Yubico vs. google authenticator-The secret to securing your digital life conveniently

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 Do you spend a lot of time on your email, Facebook account or even Skype? You need to secure all of your accounts. This Yubico vs. google authenticator will tell you how to do this.

I try not to make transactions online due to the risk of identity theft. I learned from my friend who had allegedly applied for a loan without her knowledge. A malicious person managed to collect her credit card details through the internet and applied for a loan in her name. This was a life lesson learned the hard way for all of us. That is why I am very keen on what kind of details I share on the internet. After that incident, I looked into different methods of securing online accounts and bumped into Yubico and google authenticator. It was hard to choose between the two, but this table helped me lay out some differences.

What are the differences between Yubico and google authenticator? How do they compare

Name Yubico Google authenticator
Type Hardware Software
Authentication Multi-factor authentication Two-factor authentication
Installation No Yes
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Yubico vs Google authenticator-what are the main differences?

Ease of use

If you need a security system that is easy to use, choose Yubico. You don’t have to go through a lot of processes to start using Yubico. You only have to insert the key and tap it when it flashes for you to gain access.

Most people find the process of setting up google authenticator complicated since it comes with numerous steps. Using the app can be complicated for new users. Backing up data is also a cumbersome experience since the backup codes have to be set up online.


Google Authenticator implements the two-factor authentication system to protect your accounts from getting hacked. It incorporates the use of time-based one-time passwords which allows you to enter a one-time code for you to access your account. The password fades after a few seconds. Though this type of authentication gives you some level of security, it is not adequate since it can be compromised.

Yubico delivers superior security due to the inclusion of public key cryptography to defend your accounts against attacks such as phishing. It provides you with A2F and FIDO2 support giving you multi-factor authentication and well as support for passwordless login. By supporting FIDO2 protocol, it gets rid of weak password authentication.


You will also love the design of Yubico security keys. They are built with high-quality materials that make them resistant to water. The manufacturer also molds them in the form of plastic with a lot of pressure to make them tamper-proof. The design of the google authenticator app is not that impressive.


Yubico vs. google authenticator

Hardware-based security keys make it difficult for someone to steal your account details. One of the hardware devices that is used by many online users is Yubico. It is a security key that can prevent you from cyber-crimes such as phishing. It makes use of U2F protocols to prevent account takeovers. You can quickly register the security Key on multiple services. After registration, you only need to insert the key in your computer then tap it to gain access.

Yubico is a convenient security key that delivers asymmetric cryptography. It is also FIDO2, and FIDO certified. It works with different applications such as Windows, Google Chrome, Linux, OS, and Mac. The device is portable, and it does not rely on batteries. The manufacturers use fiberglass material to make Yubico crush-resistant and water-proof.


  • Yubico is not easily damaged
  • You can connect it with Google accounts, Microsoft account, and Dropbox


  • You can lose the security key

Google authenticator

Yubico vs. google authenticator

Some people prefer dealing with software to secure their digital accounts. If this describes you, check out the google authenticator app. This makes use of the two-step verification system which includes a one-time password to authenticate mobile application users. As you log in to a site that supports third-party applications, the app produces a password which you must enter as you key in the other log in details to gain access to the site.

When you install Google Authenticator and create an account, the provider gives you a secret key. You have to scan a QR code for you to load the key into the authenticator app. The app generates valid codes based on the current time and the shared secret. It allows you to receive codes even if your mobile device has no reception.


  • The software does not depend on cellular network
  • Offers one time passwords


  • It does not offer the highest level of security


The digital world makes it easy for anyone to access and view confidential information. You can, however, reduce the risk of identity theft by securing your online accounts using apps or hardware based security keys.

From Yubico vs. google authenticator comparison, I established the right security measure I should take for my needs. I chose Yubico because it uses multi-factor authentication and supports FIDO2 protocol. I also like the portability of the hardware and its ease of use. It eliminates the need for installing any software in the desktop and gives me the option of securing my data through my mobile device.


How safe is Google Authenticator?

This app offers some level of protection against hackers, but it is not entirely safe. It uses the standard authentication system known as the two-factor authentication.

How does google authenticator work?

This software verifies who you are based on a secret that is shared between your provider and you. The software is not very reliable since it can break down if you travel across different time zones.

Why should you consider two-factor authentication?

With this, you get two ways of verifying your identity. It includes an additional step when you log in to your accounts making hacking difficult. You enter your password and the code to log into your account.

Do I need Yubico to secure my accounts online?

Yes. This is an easy to use hardware that gives you an advanced way of securing your accounts. It goes beyond two-factor authentication since it supports FIDO2 protocols and public key cryptography.

Between Google authenticator and Yubico, which is more secure?

Yubico offers a higher level of security compared to google authenticator since there is no shared secret. The use of a physical key also makes it hard for a hacker to log into your online accounts.