Two-factor authentication is a popular and powerful security tool. It requires you to verify that you actually logged into whatever account you logged into. This adds a personal touch. In order to hack your account, someone would need more than just your password and username. Of course, it’s not an end all, be all solution. However, it is nice having an extra layer of security. There are a few decent apps for this, although most sites use your phone number for text messaging. Those who want to use authenticator apps have only a few good choices. Here are the best ones for Android!
We also recommend you check out our explanation on two-factor authentication and why you should definitely use it!
2FA Authenticator is an excellent choice for six digit TOTP authentication. It’s a simple app with a basic UI and it works pretty well. You can also add your secret key manually or via QR code if you want to. This one doesn’t have a whole ton of features, but it does the job it promises to do adequately and without issue. Of course, its simplicity prevents things like customization to a degree, but it works well nevertheless.
Aegis isn’t the most popular 2-factor authenticator app, but it’s actually quite good. It overlaps a lot with andOTP, but adds a few features on the top. For instance, you can lock the app and only enter after using a PIN, password, or fingerprint unlock. That extra layer of security is actually quite nice. The app supports both HOTP and TOTP methods and it should support most sites on the Internet. Finally, you can back up your account and export to a new device when you get one and import from Authy and andOTP as well. The app is also open source. You can check out the code here if you want to see it.
andOTP is one of the newer two-factor authenticator apps on the list. It’s completely free and open source. The app also supports the TOTP protocol. It’s not the most complicated app and that’s probably why people like it so far. It only needs a few permissions and the Play Store description tells you about all of them. Some other features of andOTP include multiple backup options, a dark mode, and compatibility with Google Authenticator. Those in the know can check out the open source code here.
Authy is one of the more dependable two-factor authentication apps. It works similarly to Google and Microsoft’s variants. You get codes from it and use them to authenticate your login. It works pretty well. The app also comes with offline support, device syncing, and it supports most popular websites and account types. It’s a good way to go if you don’t want to use Google or Microsoft’s apps. It’s also totally free with no ads or in-app purchases. Authy is good for what it does.
FreeOTP Authenticator is a free and open source authenticator app. It works with most popular accounts, including Facebook, Google, and many others. You also get support for productivity sites like GitHub. It also boasts support for businesses as long as they support TOTP and HOTP. That makes it a fairly cheap solution for small businesses. It’s not the most popular option for authenticator apps, but it works exceptionally well. We didn’t have any real complaints and neither did most Google Play reviewers.
More posts about security!
Google Authenticator is arguably the most popular two-factor authenticator app. Google recommends it for all of your Google accounts. However, it also works for a variety of other websites. Some of the other features include Wear OS support, a dark theme, and offline support. This is the one I personally use all the time. There’s no specific reason for it because all the apps on this list work just as well. It just happened to be the first one I set up. In any case, it’s completely free, it’s clean, it works, and it’s widely supported. The only pain point is the set up process and it’s not even all that bad.
Microsoft Authenticator is Google Authenticator’s biggest competitor. It’s popular, it works well, and it works for stuff other than Microsoft apps. Otherwise, it’s actually a fairly simple app not unlike Google Authenticator. You log into a site or an app, it asks for a code, and you open this app to get one. We usually recommend Google Authenticator to people who use Google services heavily. The same goes for Microsoft. Those who use Microsoft heavily will likely be more comfortable with this one than most of the other apps on the list. It’s also free with no ads or in-app purchases.
Price: Free / $5.99
TOTP Authenticator is, well, a super basic and effective TOTP authenticator app. This one works like most others in the space so there isn’t much else there. However, this one adds a dark theme, widgets, fingerprint scanner support, and cross-platform support with iOS and Google Chrome browser (via an extension). There is also cloud syncing so any change you make, you can view on all of your devices. Now, the whole cloud syncing thing is a mixed bag because it puts all of your codes online, but the developers promise that token generation only ever takes place on your devices and never in the cloud. In any case, it’s one of the ten best options.
Individual authenticator apps
Some apps and services use their own two-factor authentication methods. These usually come in the form of separate apps specifically for that app or service. Some notable examples include LastPass Authenticator for LastPass users, Blizzard Authenticator (linked at the button below) for Blizzard accounts, and Yahoo uses a really unique system like this as well. Basically, for Yahoo accounts, every Yahoo app works as a 2-factor authentication app as long as you’re signed in. I have personally used Yahoo Fantasy Sports on multiple occasions to log into my account on my computer. In any case, these aren’t common but they’re quite good.
Other options for 2-factor authentication
Price: Free (usually)
A lot of websites, banks, and other companies use 2-factor authentication without the use of a separate app. For instance, my bank lets me email, text, or receive a phone call with a code to my banking app when I log in with a new device. Some prominent examples of sites that do this include Twitter, Facebook, and even Google when you choose not to use its authenticator app. Even my thermostat (Ecobee) uses 2-factor authentication when logging into my account. Additionally, many banks use a similar method. The upside is you get the token directly from the site you want to log into. The downside is waiting for that token to arrive. If there are any sites you use that don’t use 2-factor authenticator apps and use its own thing instead, we highly recommend enabling that.
If we missed any great authenticator apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists.