YubiKey And The Route To USB-C

July 11, 2016 2 minute read

The USB-C standard has caused a lot of chatter among Apple users, some concerning the elegance of fewer wires but mostly from those that miss absent ports, such as HDMI and USB 3.0, on newer MacBooks.

Yubico has received requests to join the USB-C evolution and release a USB-C compatible YubiKey. We have built a prototype with a nifty design, but until we see strong market demand it is not ready for the mass market.

In the meantime, however, we have tested a number of USB-C adapters, available off-the-shelf or via Amazon, that allow the YubiKey to work with the MacBook and other devices, tablets and phones with a USB-C port (see picture above).

Either YubiKey form-factor will work, but the most elegant configuration is to insert the YubiKey 4 Nano into the adapter and attach the YubiKey to a lanyard hanging from a keychain.usb c dongle keychain Check to see that the YubiKey is snug within the USB-C adapter. To avoid unintentional activation of the YubiKey, we recommend a thin, non-metal lanyard cord. Without a lanyard, tweezers or a small tool may be needed to remove the YubiKey. The functionality of the YubiKey is in no way altered by using it with a USB-C adapter.

The USB-C standard is a multi-function evolution that combines both connectivity and power. For a wireless world, a single MacBook USB-C port bumps all other accessories to a wireless connection in the absence of an adapter.

When, or if, Apple opens its Near Field Communication (NFC) environment to developers, we think NFC will be the prevailing contactless connection point for the YubiKey, outdistancing Bluetooth in most use cases on all platforms.

Until then, we’re experimenting with how we might align the YubiKey design with the changing tides in USB evolution.

Share this article:

Recommended content


YubiKey SaaS offering from Yubico now available through the Microsoft Azure Marketplace

Today, Yubico is announcing the availability of its multi-factor authentication YubiKeys in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. Microsoft Azure customers in the U.S. will now have access to YubiKeys to take advantage of the scalability, reliability, and agility of Azure to drive application development and shape business strategies.  “We’re pleased to welcome Yubico to the Microsoft ...


Put Your Finger on the Pulse of What’s New with the YubiKey Bio Series

Today, we are announcing the YubiKey Bio Series, Yubico’s first-ever YubiKeys supporting biometric authentication. The YubiKey Bio was first previewed at Microsoft Ignite in 2019 where we showed a live demo of passwordless sign-in to Microsoft Azure Active Directory accounts. We’ve taken the time to ensure that we are launching products that are highly secure ...


Combating ransomware attacks on your enterprise

What do a PC manufacturer, a meat supplier and a mental health clinic have in common? They have all been victims of ransomware attacks. They’re not alone. Ransomware attacks grew by over 485% in 2020, leveraging the new ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) model of profit-sharing in exchange for ransomware tools.  One of the most infamous recent ransomware ...


Top five pitfalls companies should avoid when rolling out a passwordless strategy

Given the number of breaches in the news today where passwords were at the root of the problem, many companies are now exploring the benefits of a secure passwordless future. Secure passwordless logins not only bring cost efficiencies and a more frictionless user login experience into the organization, but deliver the security that is necessary ...