I have been a Goggle Authenticator user since the start of two-factor authentication apps (2FA). Released in 2010, it is one of those apps that I always use to authenticate logins on various websites and services. Its use has become second nature.
But it has disadvantages.
Must read: The ultimate MacBook USB-C accessory is now even better
First, it runs on only a few platforms, in particular Android, iOS and Blackberry.
Another is that you are limited to having on a single device. Not a big disadvantage for those who live with a smartphone in their hand, but if you surf a lot “device”, this can be a disadvantage because you have to have your smartphone nearby.
Another drawback, and this is a major problem, is that if you switch phones, you must turn off the entire app and go back and resynchronize all accounts. This is where things get really annoying and where it feels easier to just turn off 2FA and take a gamble.
So I started looking for a new service, and there are some there. Password managers 1Password and LastPass both have built-in authenticator apps, but what I went for is Authy. It is quick and easy to use and set up, works on multiple devices and platforms, offers you the ability to backup and the website offers a wealth of information about how to secure accounts with 2FA.
Also: Protect yourself: how to choose the right two-factor authentication app
Although I had to go through the process of setting 2FA on all my accounts – I even added it to a few more while I was busy – hopefully it will be the last time I have to do this. Although I had to change my workflow a bit, the advantages of switching from Google Authenticator outweigh the disadvantages.
So if you are still using Google Authenticator, take a look at the alternatives offered and if you don’t feel like reconfiguring all your 2FAs now, keep that in mind for the next time you replace your smartphone.