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3 reasons to use Yubico Authenticator on desktop computers

Did you know that the Yubico Authenticator app is available for desktops as well as mobile devices? Today, we are excited to announce the support of the Yubico Authenticator desktop versions on their respective platform stores (Mac App Store, Microsoft and Snapcraft). 

Achieving strong protection with authenticator apps  

Authentication mechanisms today need to be highly secure, usable and portable, and these are the exact same principles we used to build Yubico Authenticator. Similar to other authenticator apps, Yubico Authenticator generates a one-time code used to verify your identity as you’re logging into various services. However, unlike other authenticator apps, the secrets are stored in the YubiKey rather than in the app itself, making it necessary for a user’s YubiKey to be physically present to receive the time-based codes. 

Because secrets are stored on your YubiKey, if you change phones or laptops, there is no porting or re-registering of accounts required, regardless of operating system. Furthermore, the secrets cannot be stolen from the hardware key. 

Yubico Authenticator advantages for desktop users

With recent availability of Yubico Authenticator on the Mac, Windows, and Linux app stores, we are able to seamlessly deliver the same security, portability and usability benefits of the product to desktop users. Besides simplifying and accelerating the authentication experience across many services and platforms, Yubico Authenticator for desktop carries specific advantages. It enables two-factor authentication (2FA) across unique environments including: 

Desktop VPN authentication 

Yubico Authenticator for desktop enables seamless VPN integrations by generating one-time codes with desktop VPN clients such as Cisco Anyconnect, Pulse Secure, or AuthLite. With the recent influx of remote workers, this is particularly useful in helping to secure employees who are working from home. 

Mobile-restricted environments 

Not all corporate setups allow for the use of mobile devices, making it impossible to use mobile-based authentication methods such as SMS or authenticator apps. Since Yubico Authenticator stores secrets on the YubiKey, users are able to replicate the same time-based codes that would be on a mobile device, on the desktop. This is particularly advantageous for corporate setups where mobile devices are restricted, such as call centers or doctor’s shared devices. 

Multi-device sign in 

In a recent survey from Ponemon Institute, individuals use an average of 5 devices to access online accounts. With a YubiKey and Yubico Authenticator, the same secrets are accessible on desktop computers as well as mobile devices. This makes it easy to authenticate without needing to re-register every service with the authenticator app on different platforms. 

Setting up Yubico Authenticator for desktop 

Simply download the app for Windows, macOS, or Linux depending on the machine you’re using. Open the app, insert your YubiKey, and begin adding the accounts you wish to protect by scanning the QR code provided by each service. Yubico Authenticator is also available for download on iOS (iPhones and iPads) and Android operating systems. 

Now you’re all set! Start using the Yubico Authenticator app and your YubiKey to securely login as a second factor to your services. 

For added convenience, head over to the Yubico store to pick up a YubiKey 5Ci for seamless authentication across desktop and mobile devices!