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Google Announces USB-C Titan Security Key

Google announced today that it's updating its Titan Security Key with a USB-C connection. Eager buyers won't have to wait long for the device to debut: the aptly named USB-C Titan Security Key is set to launch in the U.S. tomorrow.

Titan products have a simple purpose: offer people a two-factor authentication (2FA) mechanism that works offline. People still have to log in using their account credentials, usually in the form of a username-password combination, but they also use a one-time password generated by their security key. (Although some apps, including Google's own Authenticator, offer similar one-time password features.)

Using a device like the Titan Security Key as the second factor in a 2FA setup can help make accounts even more secure. Other 2FA mechanisms, such as one-time passwords sent via email or text message, could be intercepted without the user ever knowing. Relying on a device like the Titan Security Key removes that possibility, although it does mean people have to keep track of their key at all times.

We used the previous version of the Titan Security Key earlier this year. Our impressions were generally favorable because the device was easy to use, provided you have enough accounts that support it, and relatively inexpensive at just $50. We suspect the USB-C will offer similar appeal, and anyone who's gone all-in on USB-C will probably appreciate the ability to use the connector without a special adapter.

Google said in its announcement that the new USB-C Titan Security Key would be compatible with Android, Chrome OS, macOS, and Windows devices. There's no word on iOS compatibility, likely because the only devices to feature a USB-C port are the iPad Pro models released in 2018, giving Google little incentive to support the platform. The USB-C Titan Security Key will cost $40 from the Google Store.