Yubikey 4 vs Nitrokey U2F (FIDO) – social media security key

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Yubikey 4 has developed 2FA to heighten the security of your social media accounts. Check out the Yubikey 4 vs Nitrokey U2F (FIDO) for more information on social media security

In my third year in school, I realised that there is nothing more important than securing all my information. I lived with a roommate, so my personal information is more than accessible to him and his friends. I drew the line when I found out that they had been looking through my school documents and projects. If they had done anything to mess that up I would never have gone as far as completing the project. Luckily! A set out for a solution before that could happen. I was looking for something that would keep my devices and accounts safe from any unauthorised entry.

Differences between the Yubikey 4 vs Nitrokey – How do they compare?

Model Yubikey 4 Nitrokey
FIDO 2 support YES Yes
Wireless  support NO No
Compatibility Chrome (all desktop OS) Chrome
Origin USA USA
  Check price Check price


Yubikey vs nitrokey – a detailed comparison

Origin of Manufacturer

Yubikey is very reliable and designed by some of the co-originators of technology.  The Yubiko Company is based in USA and Switzerland. It is a Swedish company that owns some of its sub diaries in Germany, the USA and the UK.  People have great confidence when purchasing the product, especially when they know it’s origin. Yubiko products are generally good. They create the perfect hardware and cater to the consumer.

Nitrokey is a German based company that is dedicated to producing great hardware that enables high security for users. It might not compete with yubikey in terms of location but there is something to look forward to in terms if structure.

Wireless /Usb support

Yubikey does not offer a wireless support for any device. You have to plug in this small USB device into your device for any kind of access. You cannot, at any point get access to some of your devices or features if you do not have the key

Nitrokey contains a fully complete and standard compliant USB plug, this will ensure that you use the drive endlessly without facing any connectivity issues.

Multiprotocol support

Yubikey 5 has incorporated the improved Fast Identity Online-FIDO 2 standards and the Universal 2nd Factor-U2F standards. These two qualities mean that the new Yubikey 5 security device has an upper hand against crimes such as phishing.

Yubikey 4 vs Nitrokey reviews, pros and Cons

Yubikey 4

yubikey vs nitrokey

If you need to use the near factor communication of yubikey 4, it is no issues; this security key can use both the NFC and USB to connect to your device. The yubikey 4 is compatible with Mac OS x, Linux operating system, Microsoft window, and other major browsers. With a simple touch at the central part of the key, it has the ability to protect any access to your networks, computers and other online services. This USB device is created to support multiple cryptographic protocols and authentication. It is perfect for all kind of protection for individual consumers to some of the biggest companies and organisations.

Some of the most popular apps that work with this key include remote access, VNP, computer logins, password management, development platforms, content management, popular online services and others. You can use the yubikey to secure a wide range of applications. All you have to do is log in to your Gmail, Google, Dropbox, Facebook, or other accounts using the Fido universal 2factor protocol and sign in a code. The yubikey website also offers an open source software tools that are easily to download from their website. This means you can configure and personalise your yubikey.

The yubikey supports countless authentication protocols, they include, one time password, OATH –HOTP, smart card (PIV) the open PGP and other u2f protocols. The hardware secures elements guards the encryption keys.


  • Supports multiple protocols
  • you can generate multiple one-time passwords


  • challenging to set up


Nitrokey U2F

Nitrokey is an open source usb smart card that has multiple uses including one time passwords, email encryption, file encryption and computer authentication.  The creators decided to create it when they needed a solution to securing their encryption keys on insecure computer systems.

The GPA Assistant lets you edit the user data on the card and easily/quickly generate encryption keys for the smart card.  The other option is to use the terminal which is not that much harder to learn. Nitrokey worked great. You can use GPA with it but I found using the command line was preferable when setting up the Nitrokey.

If you were able to get the Nitrokey working with GPG and all that, then using it for email encryption is only takes a few more steps.  Assuming you are going to use Thunderbird, you just need to install the Enigma mail extension. Once you install the plugin you can encrypt and decrypt mail in the same way that you would encrypt/decrypt anything with your Nitrokey.  Email encryption with Nitrokey is one of the easier functions of the Nitrokey to set up.


  • It protects unlimited number of accounts
  • compatible with 2 factor authentication
  • It is very easy to use and secure your logins


  • Does no work with work with Office 365

The final verdict

I found Nitrokey when I was looking to get another Yubikey and found out that Yubikey went closed source. Since then I have been testing the Nitrokey out, I’ve found that I like it a lot and will definitely use them in the future. So far it has been a bit of a challenge to configure as the GUI is far from perfect, mainly in the aspect that it is hard to figure out if you are a newcomer. But I haven’t given up and have been able to use the majority of the features that the Nitrokey Pro has.


Is there an encryption on the Yubikey 4?

No, there is no encryption on this device.

Do you need a separate key for each account?

No, you can use one key for multiple accounts, just like the 2FA system that allows you to use one app for multiple accounts, but different codes

Can you use the Yubikey for a remote desktop?

Yes, the key is compatible. It works to support PIV functionality and smart card.

Can you use the Yubikey with your iPhone?

It depends on what kind of iPhone model you are using at the moment. For iPhone 6 and above, you will need the Yubikey neo.