Which YubiKey is right for you?

Computer Accessories & Peripherals

It’s always a good idea to have a backup in case you lose your key. This is why keeping a spare YubiKey is always recommended, similar to a spare house key or car key.

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Best YubiKey for you

Whether for personal or professional use, we all place a massive amount of trust in our electronic devices and web services. As data breaches have become more common, a physical form of two-factor authentication has emerged in the form of security keys. Security keys are typically entered into a USB port to facilitate access to your device, adding more security than simply relying on a password.

The leading brand of security is YubiKey, made by Yubico. There are dozens of options to choose from, ranging from simple and personalized to advanced and business-oriented. So, which YubiKey is right for you?

What are the best YubiKey security keys to buy?

Yubico has worked hard to earn its reputation by manufacturing a variety of quality security keys delivering results to numerous users worldwide. 

Top YubiKey for professional use

YubiKey 5 Nano

YubiKey 5 Nano

What you need to know: This small USB key is sleek, convenient and high-performing.

What you’ll love: Unlike key models designed for use on a keychain, the YubiKey 5 Nano’s small size means that it can easily be left within your device. It’s a great option for professionals and enthusiasts of all kinds, as it supports a wide variety of apps, web services and use cases. 

What you need to consider: If removed from your device, the model’s small size makes it easy to lose. In addition, it only works with a standard USB connection and is not NFC-enabled.

Where to buy: Amazon

Top YubiKey for your money for professional use

YubiKey 5 NFC

YubiKey 5 NFC

What you need to know: A bestseller for Yubico, this midrange key is a great choice for professionals seeking affordable security.

What you’ll love: Like the Nano model, the YubiKey 5 NFC offers strong authentication across numerous protocols and platforms. It is NFC-enabled, which allows for simple tap-and-go authentication with NFC-compatible devices. The sturdy, waterproof design easily attaches to a keychain.

What you need to consider: The key sticks out from the USB port, meaning that it should be taken out of the slot when transporting your device. What’s more, its setup process is less straightforward than other keys.

Where to buy: Amazon

Worth checking out for professional use

YubiKey 5C NFC

YubiKey 5C NFC

What you need to know: This sleek key is ideal for those seeking great protection with a USB-C connection. 

What you’ll love: If your device has a USB-C slot and you want to free up a standard USB slot, this is a great option. The USB-C connection also makes this a convenient option for many phones and tablets. Additionally, it is NFC-enabled and comes with the same features as the standard YubiKey 5.

What you need to consider: The key should be considered only if your devices have USB-C connections. Also, it is on the higher end of the price spectrum and is not NFC-enabled.

Where to buy: Amazon

Top YubiKey for versatility

YubiKey 5Ci

YubiKey 5Ci

What you need to know: This versatile security key is ideal for use in mobile Apple devices.

What you’ll love: With both a USB-C and lightning connection, the versatile 5Ci can be used with a huge number of products, including Apple devices with a lightning port. Compared to other keys, this model features improved mobile app security on Android and Apple devices alike.

What you need to consider: It is not NFC-enabled, and it lacks the durability and water-resistance of the standard YubiKey 5. It is also the most expensive model in the 5 series.

Where to buy: Amazon

Top mid-sized YubiKey

YubiKey 5C

YubiKey 5C

What you need to know: This mid-sized key has a sleek design and attaches to your keychain. 

What you’ll love: The compact YubiKey 5C model is smaller and less obtrusive than the 5 series, while still being designed for keychain use, making it more difficult to lose. It is very easy to use, while still offering advanced protection across platforms.

What you need to consider: This model is not NFC-enabled. It is not water-resistant or crush-resistant, making it less sturdy than the YubiKey 5C NFC.

Where to buy: Amazon

Top YubiKey for personal use

Security Key C NFC by Yubico

Security Key C NFC by Yubico

What you need to know: This affordable key is designed for relatively casual personal use. 

What you’ll love: As one of Yubico’s most streamlined options, the Security Key NFC works with most popular web services. It is perfect for adding security to internet logins. This model sells at a great price, has NFC functionality and uses a USB-C connection to free up a port on your device.

What you need to consider: Unlike the YubiKey 5 Series options, this basic key will not work with LastPass. It is not as fully featured as the 5 series.

Where to buy: Amazon

Top YubiKey for your money for personal use

Security Key NFC by Yubico

Security Key NFC by Yubico

What you need to know: This is the least expensive YubiKey on the market.

What you’ll love: At a low price, this low-maintenance security key is an awesome way to better protect your online accounts. Just like the YubiKey 5 series, this model increases security on all the most popular websites. In addition, it is just as sturdy and water-resistant as more expensive options.

What you need to consider: The Security Key NFC does not come with LastPass support or the ability to log into your device. It does not have a USB-C connection.

Where to buy: Amazon

Top YubiKey for convenience

YubiKey 5C Nano

YubiKey 5C Nano

What you need to know: This tiny key offers high-quality protection without getting in the way.

What you’ll love: The YubiKey 5C Nano is fantastic if you want to protect a mobile device with a USB-C port. Unlike the 5C or 5C NFC, the Nano model barely protrudes from the port. It is also great for freeing up a standard USB slot on your laptop or PC.

What you need to consider: Since it’s not designed for keychain use, this model could be easy to lose when you are on the go. It is not crush- or water-resistant. Additionally, it is not NFC-enabled.

Where to buy: Amazon

 

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Henry McKeand writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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