The best security keys give your personal or business devices a whole new level of security by giving you physical two-factor authentication (2FA) protection that can lock down your device. You have probably seen software-based 2FA systems that send you text messages or emails to confirm your identity.
Even though these are fine and better than not having a 2FA system at all, the security keys shown here are much better. Once inserted into a computer or mobile device, it gives the user instant access to services using a button or keypad. This can provide a higher level of security than waiting for a code to be beamed to a device.
The FIDO U2F Open authentication standard is what the security keys are based on. They are cheap and come with different types of connections and standards, such as USB-A, USB-C, Bluetooth, and NFC. U2F was made by Google and the security company Yubico. Today, it protects the UK government as well as well-known internet companies like Facebook, Gmail, Dropbox, GitHub, and Salesforce.com.
Best Security Keys
Kensington Verimark Fingerprint Key
|Specific Uses For Product||personal, gaming, business|
|Connector Type||USB Type C|
The Kensington Verimark Fingerprint Key uses advanced biometric technology to give you better performance, readability from any angle, and protection against forgery. Overall, it is one of the Best Security keys that you can buy.
With Microsoft’s built-in Windows Hello login feature, you can use just your fingerprint to log in to your Windows computer. Users can store up to 10 different fingerprints, which means that more than one person can use the same computer without having to remember usernames or passwords.
The Kensington Verimark Fingerprint Key is FIDO U2F certified, which means that your fingerprint can be used as a second factor of authentication to protect cloud-based accounts like Google, Dropbox, GitHub, and Facebook.
- Compact and unobtrusive
- Built-in fingerprint reader
- USB-A only
- No support for macOS and ChromeOS
Yubico YubiKey 5 NFC
|Hardware Interface||USB 2.0|
|Special Feature||Shockproof, Water Resistant|
The YubiKey 5 NFC is made by Yubico, which helped create the FIDO U2F open authentication standard. This standard is used by many security keys, including the YubiKey 5 NFC. It works with USB-A (or USB-C with an adapter) or NFC, as its name suggests.
It works with many services right out of the box, such as Google Chrome, Facebook, Dropbox, LastPass, 1Password, and more. The YubiKey 5 is small, tough, and light, and it can even be used in water. It’s one of the best security keys to show off on a keyring because it’s black and gold. Still, it is one of the Best Security keys that you can buy.
Follow the service instructions and put the key in the USB slot when prompted to set up the YubiKey as a U2F second factor. If you tap or press the gold circle on the key, it will be registered. The next time you log in, all you’ll need to do is enter your password, put the key in the slot, and tap it.
- Small and light
- No USB-C connection
- Bigger than Nano version
Feitian MultiPass K16
|Hardware Interface||Bluetooth, USB|
|Flash Memory Type||USB|
A pair of keys that can do different things. One key lets you connect via USB-A and NFC, and the other lets you connect via Bluetooth. They cover a wide range of platforms and devices when they work together. Currently, it is one of the Best Security keys that you can buy.
- You get two keys
- Bluetooth support
- No USB-C
- Bluetooth key requires recharging
Thetis Fido U2F Security Key
|Special Feature||security key;two factory authentication;multi factor fido u2f usb|
|Read Speed||480 Bytes Per Second|
A pair of keys that can do different things. One button lets you use both USB-A and NFC, w If you want the best security key for your money, this one from Thetis should be at the top of your list. It doesn’t have Bluetooth (but a more expensive model does), and it only supports the FIDO U2F standard, so it can’t work with UAF or OTP. But if you use Chrome or Opera as a browser on Windows, macOS, or Linux, it will give you safe access to websites.
This cheap security key is easy to carry because it folds up small and has a rotating aluminum case that keeps the connector from getting damaged while it’s being moved. It comes in black, gold, and silver, which are all nice colors. Overall, it is one of the Best Security keys that you can buy.
The plastic case feels sturdy and pretty durable, but you shouldn’t put it in your bag with heavy things. The hole punch on the key is too small, so you won’t be able to use keychains or lanyards with it. while the other key lets you connect to Bluetooth. They cover a wide range of platforms and devices when they work together.
- Durable folding design
- No Bluetooth
- Only U2F compatibility
GoTrust Idem Key USB-C
|Hardware Interface||USB Type C|
|Flash Memory Type||USB|
This $35 key is perfect for people who have switched from USB-A to USB-C. It works with PCs, Macs, and Android devices as well as anything else with a USB-C port. It can also be used with iOS and Android devices that have NFC. Still, it is one of the Best Security keys that you can buy.
- USB-C and NFC support
- Durable (IP68 rated)
- Bit more expensive than the USB-A version
|Age Range (Description)||Adult|
OnlyKey, as its name suggests, has some cool features that its competitors don’t have. It can keep online accounts safe if a computer or website is hacked because it has a keypad that can stop keyloggers from getting into the computer. It works with a number of two-factor authentication methods, such as FIDO 2 U2F, Yubico OTP, and TOTP.
OnlyKey is also a password manager that can hold 24 OTP accounts, 24 passwords, and 24 usernames/URLs on a single key. This feature is helpful if you don’t want to remember a lot of passwords and would rather have the key do it for you. For now, it is one of the Best Security keys that you can buy.
It has features like encrypted backup, self-destruct which wipes the device after a certain number of failed attempts, and the ability to update the firmware to get new features. On the other hand, its user interface isn’t the most beautiful thing we’ve ever seen.
- PIN protection
- Password manager
- Not as compact as rivals
- Poor UI
Feitian ePass K9 USB Security Key
|Special Feature||Water Resistant|
Note that the specs for this key don’t say anything about iOS or iPhone, but I’ve tested it and can confirm that it works fine with NFC. Overall, it is one of the Best Security keys that you can buy.
At $25, this is a great security key for people who are just starting out. For extra security, you should have two keys, which you can buy for $50. The Feitian ePass K9 USB Security Key has everything you’d expect from a security key at a price you can afford.
- Low price
- USB-A and NFC support
- Robust and reliable
- No USB-C
What is a security key?
A security key is a USB drive that connects to devices (like laptops and phones) and gives secure access. Like one-time passwords (OTPs) and email verification, these keys add an extra layer of security by adding another way to prove who you are. You can log in to your computer, online accounts, and apps safely with a security key.
How to choose the best security keys for you?
When choosing the best security keys for yourself, you should think about how secure you need to be, the authentication standard the key is based on, the security protocols it supports, the size of the key, and the way it connects. A security key can work with either a USB-A port, a USB-C port, or a Lightning port. Some security keys have Bluetooth and NFC so that they can be used wirelessly to get in.
What’s the right security key for you?
It all comes down to which features are most important to you and how much money you have. For extra security, it’s best to have two security keys, so that one can be used and the other can be a backup. Choosing a cheaper option could be a good way to save money. But if you already use security keys or plan to use them often, it may be smart to buy a higher-quality brand.
How reliable are security keys?
Very trustworthy. We’ve been using them for years, and even though they’ve been exposed to heat, water, seawater, and a lot of rough handling, we’ve never had one break.
Are security keys worth it?
These options are worth it if you are willing to pay a monthly or annual fee. Hackers can’t get into your accounts if you have security keys because they add an extra layer of security. Even if a hacker knows your username and password, they won’t be able to get to your information without the right security key.