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The best USB security keys to protect your PC

Hand inserting Yubico Security Keyuna of the best USB security keysYubico

The protection of your data must involve both physical and digital tools. Within the first we present this guide with the best USB security keys. Our favorite is the YubiKey 5 NFC, for its ease of use, extensive authentication protocol support, and portability.

But it is not the only USB security key that we like, since there are many and very good options for those with bigger budgets or more specific needs. They can help you log in to computers and protect your profiles, email, browser history, and more, with an additional layer of security that is innately difficult to hack.

About digital options: Make sure you take steps to protect yourself and have a strong antivirus solution. Also consider good parental control software to keep your kids safe. on-line.

The best USB security keys

The best

YubiKey 5 NFC

Hand holding a YubiKey 5 NFC on his cell phone to access

Yubico's NFC key is designed to work both on a USB-A port and with Near Field Communication, (NFC). NFC technology means that instead of plugging it in, you can place the key by tapping the device to activate authentication. This is particularly useful when using smart phones, and the device works with both iOS and Android, so it has more usability than the average USB key, which generally doesn't work with phones. It also supports many authentication protocols beyond FIDO in case you want to use an alternative or open source security method. We also like the simple design, which includes a small hole in which you can wind a rope or chain to always carry it with you.

The rest

Thetis Fido U2F Security Key

Woman's hands using a laptop keyboard and one of the best USB security keys installed on the left side

This highly affordable Thetis key is a solid model that will work with all FIDO U2F compliant data, including Chrome, MacOS and Linux browsers (however it lacks email compatibility). It has a particularly excellent design, made of an aluminum alloy with a rotatable design that allows you to hide the USB port for better protection in your pocket or case. A one-year warranty is included in this model, making it even better for those looking for a low-cost wrench.

Google Titan Security Key

Google Titan Security Key USB Security KeyGoogle

Google launched its own line of USB security keys with options for all kinds of users. Our favorite is the Bluetooth / NFC / USB-A model, which gives you multiple options to connect. However, Google also has a USB-C version of the Titan key, as well as more affordable models, depending on what you're looking for.

These USBs are great, but we're lowering them a bit due to past vulnerabilities in some low-energy Titan Bluetooth keys, leading to a quick Google recall. These issues are now in the past, but they weren't a good option in mid-2019.

Yubico Security Key

Yubico Security Key inserted in a laptop

This Yubico USB-A key is similar to our best choice, but it is more affordable and does not come with NFC technology. If you don't need to use a key on your phone or other mobile device, you can save some money with this model. The design includes that hole that we like so much and is resistant to water and compression. That golden circle that you see is to activate it, just insert the USB and touch it. Easy!

SoloKeys USB-C

One SoloKeys USB-C USB security key with two interchangeable red and black covers and one anti-static bag on one side

SoloKeys is an independent developer that specializes in open source FIDO2 security keys, a solid choice for security freaks who really like to dig deep into the software and make sure everything works properly and above all else. SoloKeys offers some models, but we are great about the USB-C option. Your current devices probably have USB-A ports and the USB-C port may be busy, but USB-C will soon become the only available USB design, so this is a practical way to protect your key in the future.

CryptoTrust OnlyKey

A finger touching a CryptoTrust OnlyKey USB security key that is inserted into a laptop

Okay, an activation button is understandable, but what is this key doing with six different buttons? They are an additional layer of password and security access that makes this key unique among its contemporaries and potentially very powerful depending on how you prefer to manage your security. Each button can register a long press or a short press, giving you 12 potential options. Each of these 12 can have their own password for a device, and you can enable a PIN for each password to activate it, and if our math is correct, that increases three-factor authentication! The key also supports multiple authentication protocols. It's not exactly an easy way to save time, but if you really want additional security, it's hard to do better.

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