Google today announced a new Titan Security Key with USB-C and NFC as part of a refresh to its 2FA hardware lineup. 

This latest Titan Security Key is oblong in shape with a USB-C connector at the bottom, while the top has a keychain loop. The body features an indicator light and button to confirm sign-in attempts. Inside, there is Near Field Communication (NFC) for 2-Step Verification on phones by tapping. 

These 2FA devices feature Google-engineered firmware on the secure element chip to verify the key’s integrity. However, all hardware is based on existing designs from third parties. For example, this new model is just the FeiTian ePass K40 with the aforementioned custom firmware loaded.

This is part of an explicit shift to NFC over Bluetooth given wide mobile adoption. As such, Google will stop selling the old Bluetooth fob — also made by FeiTian — that featured a micro-USB port for charging and connection. Support and warranty for that older model will continue.

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

Previous lineup

This new model joins the existing USB-A + NFC version — again FeiTian — that is unchanged from before. That still costs $30 and includes a USB-A to USB-C adapter. Meanwhile, the new USB-C + NFC offering comes in at $35. It’s unclear whether Google will keep selling the USB-C only model made by Yubico. The company’s buying advice is as follows:

  • If you have a computer with USB-A ports, we recommend you get the USB-A + NFC security key
  • If you have a computer with USB-C ports, we recommend you get the USB-C + NFC security key
  • If you have an iPad with a USB-C connector you can use the USB-C Titan Security Key.
  • If you have an iPad with a lightning connector, it’s recommended to get a USB-A Titan Security Key with an Apple Lightning adapter

The USB-C + NFC Titan Security Key will be available starting tomorrow on the Google Store.

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Abner Li

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