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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Google Titan Security Keys Using Near Field Communication

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Google’s Titan Security Key dongles are a great way to secure accounts using hardware rather than only relying on software.

The search giant has offered these little devices for years now with USB-A, USB-C, and Bluetooth connectivity.

Back in 2019, Google discovered a vulnerability in its Bluetooth-capable Titan Security Key that lead to a recall.

With that said, it is not surprising that in 2021, the search giant is dropping that wireless connection option entirely.

You see, starting tomorrow, the Google Titan Security Keys are ditching Bluetooth to instead rely on NFC — in addition to USB, of course.

“Today we are excited to announce some changes to our lineup of Titan Security Keys on the Google Store which provide a simpler experience and make choosing the right security key for you even easier.

We will now offer only two types of Titan Security Keys: a USB-A and a USB-C version.

Both of these keys have Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality, which allows you to use it with most mobile devices by simply tapping it on the back of your mobile device in order to sign in securely,” explains Christiaan Brand, Product Manager, Google Cloud.

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Brand further says, “Since NFC functionality is now supported by a wide range of Android phones and iPhones, we are discontinuing the Bluetooth Titan Security Key and focusing on the easier and more widely available NFC capability.

However, for existing users with our Bluetooth Titan Security Keys, these will continue to work with Bluetooth and will continue to work as an NFC key on most modern mobile devices.”

Both new NFC-enabled Titan Security Keys will go on sale tomorrow here. Google will charge $30 for the USB-A model, while the USB-C variant costs $5 more.

Believe it or not, the USB-A version comes with a USB-C adapter, meaning it is more versatile at a lower price.

Since the USB-C model is more limited and carries a higher cost, why would someone choose it over the other? Well, it is definitely more “modern” and arguably more attractive.

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