clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Google is releasing a USB-C Titan security key

New, 4 comments

Made in partnership with Yubico

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Image: Google

Last August, Google released its first two Titan security keys, which can be used as ultra secure methods of two-factor authentication for some online services over USB-A, NFC, or Bluetooth. Now, Google says it’s adding a new USB-C key to the lineup, which will be available tomorrow from the Google Store for $40.

The USB-C key appears to have similar functionality to Google’s USB-A key and Bluetooth keys, all of which are built to the FIDO standard. A spokesperson confirmed to The Verge that the USB-C model lacks the NFC capabilities that its other two keys have. This may not be too much of a loss, though, as you’ll more easily be able to plug the USB-C key directly into recent phones and computers without using an awkward USB adapter or having to rely on Bluetooth.

Google’s new USB-C key is compatible with Android, Chrome OS, macOS, and Windows devices, according to the company. (Only the Bluetooth key works with iOS, and it requires the installation of Google’s Smart Lock app.) Like its previous keys, Google says the USB-C key’s firmware is permanently sealed into a secure element hardware chip, making the key more resistant to physical attacks.

Google says it partnered with security key-maker Yubico to manufacture its new USB-C key, and it shows: Google’s key looks a lot like Yubico’s YubiKey 5C. Both keys are pretty similar, but Google’s key doesn’t support the entirety of the FIDO2 spec (it only supports WebAuthn for two-factor authentication), so Yubikey might be the better option, depending on what you need.

Google’s existing Bluetooth and USB-A Titan security keys can now be purchased individually.
Image: Google

Google’s other two Titan security keys were previously only available as a $50 bundle, but Google says you’ll be able to buy them individually starting tomorrow. The USB-A / NFC key will cost $25, while the Bluetooth key, which can also be plugged in over Micro USB, will cost $35.

Correction, October 15th, 3:39PM ET: We incorrectly said that Google’s Titan USB-C security key does not support WebAuthn. It does, for two-factor authentication. We regret the error.