Introduction to the YubiKey 5 Series

The YubiKey 5 Series security keys offer strong authentication with support for multiple protocols, including FIDO2, which is the new standard that enables the replacement of password-based authentication. The YubiKey strengthens security by replacing passwords with strong hardware-based authentication using public key cryptography.

  • For those who just want to use a YubiKey without programming anything, the most useful part of this guide will be Understanding the USB Interfaces, which describes how the YubiKey connects, and indicates what it can connect to.

    For an overview on setting up two-step verification in a typical case, see Google on using a security key for 2-step verification.

  • The full list of the services that work with YubiKeys is on Yubico’s Works With YubiKey page.

  • Most of the rest of this guide targets systems integrators, IT teams, or developers who expect to integrate support for YubiKeys into their environment.

All the YubiKeys in the YubiKey 5 Series have the basic functionalities and capabilities described in this guide. However, it is the firmware version that determines which of the more specialized functionalities and capabilities are available to your YubiKey.