YubiKey 5 Series Quick Start Guide



In addition to describing the new features in the YubiKey 5 Series, this quick start guide points to the documentation on how to get started using YubiKeys in the 5 Series. 




The YubiKey 5 Series security keys offer strong authentication with support for multiple protocols, including FIDO2, which is the new standard that enables the replacement of password-based authentication.  The YubiKey strengthens security by replacing passwords with strong hardware-based authentication, including multiple protocols and public key cryptography. It is easy to use, radically reduces IT costs, defends against phishing attacks, and eliminates account takeovers. As the principal inventor of the U2F and FIDO2 authentication standards, Yubico is a recognized, award-winning leader in IT security.  

Note that for individual consumers, the YubiKey only works with services that support one of the many protocols provided by the YubiKey. For a full list of those services, see Works with YubiKey.



YubiKey 5 Series: Key Benefits

Strong Authentication that Protects Against Phishing and Eliminates Account Takeovers 

Stolen passwords account for 81% of security breaches. Authenticating with username and password alone is no longer sufficient. The number one method for stealing credentials is through phishing attacks. Even multi-factor authentication solutions like one-time passwords (OTP), temporary passwords sent via text message (SMS), and/or mobile push (notifications that look like text messages and alerts) are vulnerable to phishing attacks. The National Institute of Standards and Technology no longer recommends using SMS as a second authentication factor. The YubiKey offers superior security by combining hardware-based authentication and public key cryptography to effectively defend against phishing attacks and eliminate account takeovers. And now with support for FIDO2 in addition to U2F, the YubiKey offers the broadest options for strong authentication, including not only two-factor authentication, but also support for single-factor passwordless backed by public-key cryptography. 


Paves the Way to a Passwordless Future

The Yubikey 5 supports the FIDO2 protocol, which in turn supports not only today’s two-factor authentication but also strong, single-factor, hardware-based authentication. This eliminates the need to change passwords frequently and to create long passwords that are cumbersome and easy to forget.


Easy, Fast, and Reliable Authentication

Authenticating with OTP via mobile apps and SMS or using mobile push are cumbersome: neither easy nor fast, and they may not be available when you need them. Not only are they inefficient, if your phone dies or loses connectivity, you are stuck. The YubiKey provides reliable hardware security that requires neither a battery nor network connectivity, so it is always on, always accessible. Authentication via touch is four times faster than typing an OTP. 


Obviates the Need for Password Resets

Using the YubiKey means that you almost never require password resets. 


Modern Authentication from the Industry Leader

YubiKeys are the trusted secure-authentication choice for the largest technology, finance, and retail companies in the world. This includes 9 of the top 10 technology companies, 4 of the top 10 US banks, and 2 of the top 3 global retailers. Google, Facebook, Salesforce and thousands more companies trust YubiKeys to protect account access to computers, networks and online services. YubiKeys are made in the USA and Sweden to precise durability standards, making them crush-resistant and waterproof. Founded in 2007, Yubico is a recognized, award-winning leader in the security industry as the principal inventor behind the U2F and FIDO2 open authentication standards adopted by the FIDO alliance. Yubico was the original designer of the U2F security key that works with unlimited services to secure logins and eliminate account takeovers. Yubico is the first to introduce the FIDO2 security key that ushers in a new, passwordless era.



Getting Started

To set up two-factor authentication using FIDO U2F in Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and/or a host of other services, no additional software is needed for a YubiKey. To see the full list of services known to work with the YubiKey, go to our Works With YubiKey Catalog


For setting up your Key with these services, use Yubico’s wizard to guide you through the process, from identifying the key you have to making the selected service recognize it: Set Up Your YubiKey. When you select the service, you are taken to further instructions on a web page belonging to the service you have selected.


Information on the YubiKey 5 Series 

Instructions on working with the YubiKey 5 Series are provided in the following: