When it comes to two-step verification, there are plenty of apps out there that will allow you to secure your accounts with an extra layer of security. A popular option is Google Authenticator. But to be honest, I was not a fan of this app. There is no option to back up accounts and this can be a problem if you lose your phone. Also, there is no app lock feature which means anyone can see all your codes directly.
Google Authenticator is a useful app for tracking two-step verification (2FA) codes, but it’s by no means the only one. If you think some key features are missing, or you want something open source, there are plenty of options to suit your needs.
Let’s take a look at some alternatives to Google Authenticator and why you might want to switch.
Why would you want to replace Google Authenticator?
Google has tried to tap into various mediums such as social media and games, where in the latest port it got the lowest star score in the Google Stadia review. On the other hand, Google Authenticator has over 10 million downloads so far, making it one of the most popular two-factor authentication apps for Android.
Although popular, it is not perfect. Google Authenticator does not ask you to verify your identity when you open the app. It also doesn’t hide the icons when you open it: every icon is visible from the start. This makes it dangerous if someone gets an unlocked phone, as they can tamper with your codes without a problem.
Google Authenticator also has no features to save or transfer codes between phones. You can tell this is a problem by checking out some of the app’s negative reviews.
You will find that some people have lost their phones and their accounts connected to the application are locked. Others want to transfer authenticated accounts to a new phone, only to find that Google Authenticator doesn’t support it.
As you can see, there are many negative reasons why you should look for an alternative to Google Authenticator. So let us show you five of the best.
Authy has positioned itself as a major competitor to Google Authenticator. Right off the bat, it offers a backup of all your saved accounts, in case you need to erase or change phone data. It does this by encrypting information and storing it in the cloud.
Authy also differentiates itself by offering the desktop application, in addition to the smartphone version. This means you don’t have to be constantly tied to your phone to get the codes; Alternatively, you can get your icons straight from your desktop. This is more useful if you don’t have a smartphone or tablet.
Plus, it offers password protection, so no one can accidentally access your codes. As such, if someone gets your phone unlocked, there’s always an app password to bypass before they can see the 2-step verification codes.
Restricting screenshots means Authy can prevent people from trying to take pictures of your icons. It might sound like overkill, but since we’ve already shown you ways to protect yourself from keylogging with a Keylogger, malware can take screenshots of your screen to read your data without your knowledge.
Authy describes her goal as finding a solution to “a complex problem – Get rid of passwords. Nobody knows if it will happen or not. As for the comparison between Authy and Google Authenticator, Authy is the clear winner.
Download: Authy for Android | iOS (free)
2. HENNGE OTP
HENNGE OTP also provides its users with password protection to prevent intrusions. The app is compatible with all popular services – Google, Facebook, Amazon Web Services, Dropbox, Evernote and WordPress, to name a few.
However, the only limitation while using this app is that it is only available for iOS, so Android users are out of luck. If you are an iOS user and want something simple without a lot of features and options, it is worth trying this app for yourself.
Download: HENNGE OTP for iOS (Free)
3. Sound Login Authenticator
If you want to try something a little more unique, why not connect by voice? No more typing in those pesky codes; Make some noise on your phone and you’re just connected.
As the name of the app shows, this app relies on sound to generate a one-time code. It takes a bit of initial setup; You need to install the app on your phone and install a browser extension (Chrome, Firefox or Opera). Your computer should also have a microphone (we’re talking about audio, remember?).
When you want to sign in, you can point your phone at your computer’s microphone and tap the account you want to access on the smartphone screen. The app will emit a short ringtone, which will transmit the temporary icon to the browser extension. This will automatically fill in the code for the website you are trying to connect to.
As such, it eliminates the need to quickly write 2FA code within a time limit. If you’re a slow writer and need something more comfortable than entering a six-digit code, you may find what you need using the Sound Login Authenticator.
Download: Audio Login Authenticator for Android | iOS (free)
4. Free OTP
If you’re a privacy advocate, you won’t want to touch a non-open source 2A code app. Luckily, there are apps out there that respect your privacy and use open source code, so you can be sure companies aren’t harvesting your data.
FreeOTP was developed by Red Hat, an open source software company that appeared in 1993. You can quickly add the code generator using the QR code scanner, or enter your details manually. The app is light in size and very simple which makes FreeOTP a great choice if you want a token generator you can trust and nothing more.
Download: FreeOTP for Android | iOS (free)
If you like the idea of an open-source two-factor authentication token app, but dislike FreeOTP for its lack of features, try andOTP instead. The code remains open source and trustworthy, but it adds many useful features over the app above.
For example, andOTP can store tokens on the server, with different levels of encryption available. You can change the theme if you are a fan of dark mode. You can lock the OTP app with a password or PIN, which means whoever takes your phone can’t access all your codes without bypassing the security layer.
Finally, the application has a “panic trigger”. If you think your phone has been hacked, you can freak out the app. You can choose what the app does with this launcher; He can either erase all accounts, reset the app to default settings, or both.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing, OOT is only available for Android. As such, iOS users who want an open-source solution can stick with FreeOTP for now.
Download: andOTP for Android (Free)
Choose powerful alternatives to Google
Google Authenticator has a lot of downloads on the Play Store, but it’s by no means the best. If you’re looking to access password-protected apps, backups, and open source, you’ll be better off with the best Google Authenticator alternatives.
If you’re ready to cut the cord completely, be sure to check out search engine alternatives from Google, News, Docs, and more.