YubiKey vs YubiKey 5- What’s the Difference? (With Comparison Table)

YubiKey is a popular security key that provides an extra layer of security to online accounts. When it comes to choosing between YubiKey Security Key and YubiKey 5, users often get confused about which one to choose.

In this article, we will provide a comparison table between YubiKey vs YubiKey 5, highlighting the key differences between the two.

By comparing the two, users can make an informed decision about which one is best for their needs.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • YubiKey Security Key is a simple and affordable solution that provides basic security features.
  • YubiKey 5 is a more advanced and versatile security key that offers additional features such as passwordless authentication and FIDO2/WebAuthn support.
  • By comparing the two, users can make an informed decision about which one is best for their needs.

What is YubiKey Security Key?

img SKY Enterprise edition 1

YubiKey Security Key is a physical security key that provides an extra layer of security to your online accounts. It is a small USB device that can be used to authenticate your identity when logging into your accounts.

It is designed to protect against phishing and other types of attacks that can compromise your personal information.

Key Features of YubiKey Security Key

  • Strong Authentication: It uses strong two-factor authentication to protect your accounts. It requires both something you know (your password) and something you have (the YubiKey Security Key) to log in.
  • Easy to Use: It is easy to use. Simply plug it into a USB port on your computer and touch the button on the device to authenticate your identity.
  • Compatibility: It’s compatible with a wide range of online services, including Google, Facebook, Dropbox, and more.
  • Durable: It is made from durable materials and is designed to withstand daily wear and tear.
  • Affordable: It is an affordable way to add an extra layer of security to your online accounts. It is significantly cheaper than other types of security devices, such as smart cards or biometric scanners.

What is YubiKey 5?

YubiKey 5 is a series of security keys developed by Yubico, a leading provider of hardware authentication devices. These keys are designed to provide an extra layer of security to your online accounts, ensuring that only you have access to your sensitive data.

YubiKey 5 family new photos web@2x 1

Key Features of YubiKey 5

  • Strong authentication: The series supports a range of authentication protocols, including FIDO2, U2F, OATH, and PIV. This means that you can use your YubiKey 5 to secure a wide range of online accounts, including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and more.
  • Multi-protocol support: The YubiKey 5 series supports both USB-A and USB-C connectors, as well as NFC for mobile devices. This means that you can use your YubiKey 5 with a wide range of devices, including laptops, desktops, smartphones, and tablets.
  • Easy to use: Its is designed to be easy to use, with no drivers or software required. Simply plug your YubiKey 5 into your device and follow the on-screen instructions to set it up. Once set up, you can use your YubiKey 5 to log in to your accounts with just a touch.
  • Durable and waterproof: It is built to last, with a durable design that can withstand the wear and tear of daily use. It is also waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about damage from spills or other accidents.

Feature Comparison Table between YubiKey Security key and YubiKey 5

Here, we’ll break down the key differences between these two YubiKey models to help you make an informed decision.

FeatureYubiKey Security KeyYubiKey 5
securitykeyanfc hero nsyubikey5anfc hero
AccountsSupports Google, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Coinbase, and moreSupports Google, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Coinbase, and more
Yubico Authenticator AppWorks with Yubico Authenticator AppWorks with Yubico Authenticator App
Password ManagerWorks with 1Password, Dashlane, and moreWorks with 1Password, Dashlane, and more
Phishing ProtectionProtects against phishing attacksProtects against phishing attacks
Security ProtocolsSupports FIDO2, U2F, WebAuthn, OATH, PIV, and moreSupports FIDO2, U2F, WebAuthn, OATH, PIV, and more
Two-Factor AuthenticationProvides multi-factor authenticationProvides multi-factor authentication
Physical Layer of ProtectionProvides a hardware-based layer of protectionProvides a hardware-based layer of protection
Fingerprint and BiometricsDoes not support fingerprint or biometric authenticationSupports fingerprint and biometric authentication with the YubiKey Bio
WaterproofIs not waterproofIs waterproof
NFC CapabilitiesDoes not have NFC capabilitiesHas NFC capabilities
Regulated IndustriesMeets FIPS and other industry standardsMeets FIPS and other industry standards
Moving and Office UseCan be used as a spare key or for moving between devicesCan be used as a spare key or for moving between devices
ConnectorUSB-AUSB-A, USB-C, and Lightning
Compatible DevicesDesktop, laptop, and mobile devicesDesktop, laptop, and mobile devices

As you can see, both the YubiKey Security Key and the YubiKey 5 offer a range of features for securing online accounts and protecting against account takeovers.

However, there are some key differences to consider. For example, the YubiKey Bio offers biometric authentication, which the Security Key does not. Additionally, the YubiKey 5 is waterproof, making it ideal for use in outdoor or wet environments.

Overall, the choice between the YubiKey Security Key and the YubiKey 5 will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

We recommend reviewing the Works with YubiKey catalog to see which YubiKeys are compatible with your online services and accounts, and considering factors such as NFC capabilities, biometric authentication, and waterproofing when making your decision.

I share my Learnings & Case studies via email.
Subscribe to Stay Updated

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main features that distinguish the YubiKey Security Key from the YubiKey 5 series?

The YubiKey Security Key is a basic model that only supports FIDO U2F and FIDO2 protocols, while the YubiKey 5 series supports a wider range of protocols, including OTP, PIV, OpenPGP, and others. Additionally, the YubiKey 5 series has a higher storage capacity for credentials and supports more authentication methods.

Can you explain the differences in connectivity options, like USB-C and NFC, between YubiKey Security keys and YubiKey 5 models?

Both the YubiKey Security Key and YubiKey 5 series have models with USB-A, USB-C, and NFC connectivity options. However, the YubiKey 5 series also includes a model with USB-C and Lightning connectors for use with iOS devices.

How does the YubiKey 5 series compare to the YubiKey Security Key in terms of security protocols and authentication methods?

As mentioned earlier, the YubiKey 5 series supports a wider range of protocols and authentication methods than the YubiKey Security Key. This makes it a more versatile and secure option for users who need to protect a variety of accounts and devices.

What are the considerations for choosing between a YubiKey 5C Nano and other YubiKey models?

The YubiKey 5C Nano is a smaller, more compact version of the YubiKey 5 series that is designed for use with devices that have limited USB port space. If space is not a concern, other YubiKey 5 models may be a better choice due to their larger form factor and additional features.

Could you highlight the differences between FIPS-certified YubiKeys and non-FIPS models?

FIPS-certified YubiKeys meet specific security standards set by the US government, making them suitable for use in high-security environments. Non-FIPS YubiKeys are still secure, but may not meet the same level of security requirements as FIPS-certified models.

In what scenarios would a YubiKey alternative be preferable to a YubiKey, and how do they compare?

YubiKey alternatives may be preferable in scenarios where cost is a concern or where users need additional features that are not available on YubiKeys, such as biometric authentication. However, YubiKeys are generally considered to be more secure and versatile than most alternatives.

Aditya R Sharma

Hello! Currently, I am working as Chief Marketing Officer at POSIMYTH Innovations, with a deep love for WordPress. I love solving problem with AI, Automations & Critical planning. In my free time, I write blogs to share all his learnings with the internet.

Content Writing for SaaS & WordPress Business
Tired of Low Traffic & see your Blog Fail?

Let me help you with content writing & SEO strategy for your product that makes sales.

After raising multiple domains to 1M+ organic click, I am helping Business owners like you harness the real power of SEO.

Explore Further