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5 Best Authenticator (2FA) Apps for iPhone and Android

You probably have what seems like a million accounts online these days, right? At least, that’s how it feels to me — with all the social media, email, and bank accounts, plus digital storefronts and more. No matter where I access it from, whether it’s my iPhone 14 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus, or even my Mac, the first step is to make sure I have a strong, secure password (preferably randomly generated). But for more peace of mind, everyone needs to look into two-factor authentication (2FA) to really keep people out.

Recently, Twitter made the news again because it is forcing everyone who uses SMS 2FA to either remove it from their account or sign up for Twitter Blue to keep it. SMS 2FA is when you receive a code sent as an SMS to your phone, and while it’s convenient, this is the least secure 2FA method available. SMS 2FA is vulnerable to several vulnerabilities, including SIM swapping (where someone takes over a mobile phone number by convincing the carrier to associate that number with a SIM card), SIM duplication attacks, and more.

Twilio Authy 2FA app working on iPhone.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

However, this does not mean that you cannot use two-factor authentication (2FA) on Twitter or other sites that provide two-factor authentication (2FA). Twitter is only putting SMS 2FA behind a paywall, but you can still use an authenticator app or even a device security key for free. This also applies to any other sites with 2FA, such as Facebook, PayPal, Google, and more.

If you don’t use two-factor authentication (2FA) on your most important accounts, you should. Here are the best 2FA apps for both iPhone and Android phones.

Twilio Authy

Screenshots of the Twilio Authy iOS app
Christine Romero Chan/Digital Trends

Twilio’s Authy app is one I’ve personally been using for several years now, and it’s available on both iOS and Android devices. On the surface, Authy looks pretty simple, but it offers a lot of functionality for a 2FA app.

Setting up Authy to use 2FA with your accounts is easy, as all you have to do is just scan the QR code when setting up 2FA on your favorite website/app. Authy works with thousands of providers, including major players like Facebook, Dropbox, Amazon, Gmail, Outlook, and more. Authy also offers secure cloud backup with a free Authy account, so all of your data is encrypted and secure across all your devices. And with multi-device syncing, you don’t need to re-add 2FA codes – everything transfers with your Authy account.

Best of all, Authy works offline, so you don’t even need a data connection to generate a token, unlike SMS. Twilio Authy also supports 8-digit tokens.

Download Twilio Authy for iPhone

Download Twilio Authy for Android

Google Authenticator

Google Authenticator iOS screenshots

At this point, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have a Google account. Fortunately, Google has its own authentication app in the form of Google Authenticator. It’s a simple app that will add two-factor authentication (2FA) to your Google account, and it supports multiple accounts, also on iOS and Android.

The only complaint people seem to have with Google Authenticator is the fact that it doesn’t have a backup option, which is inconvenient. However, from a security perspective, this will be a good thing, as all data and codes will be stored locally on your device. Google already added the ability to transfer accounts to a different device in the update, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to do if you end up getting a new iPhone or Android phone.

Download Google Authenticator for iPhone

Download Google Authenticator for Android

Microsoft Authenticator

Screenshots of the Microsoft Authenticator iOS app
Christine Romero Chan/Digital Trends

If your school or business uses Microsoft accounts, you may want to consider Microsoft Authenticator for iPhone and Android. It also works with non-Microsoft accounts — like Google, Facebook, GitHub, Slack, and more — for 2FA. For Microsoft accounts, the app will allow you to sign in to your account without needing a password, where you’ll use the Microsoft Authenticator app with your fingerprint, facial recognition, or security PIN instead.

Microsoft Authenticator can also do more than just provide one-time passcodes. You can use it to autofill passwords within the in-app browser, and it also saves passwords from the Microsoft Edge browser. Not using Edge? No problem! You can also import passwords from Google Chrome and other password managers.

Download Microsoft Authenticator for iPhone

Download Microsoft Authenticator for Android

1 password

1Password 8 iOS app screenshots
1 password

Many of us may know 1Password as one of the best password managers – I know I know that. In fact, I’ve been using 1Password for about a decade now, and it just keeps evolving and getting better. I use it to keep all my passwords safe and secure, as well as generate new randomly generated secure passwords for new accounts with . But a well-kept secret is that 1Password can also be used for 2FA.

In fact, 1Password will let you know about all the sites that currently support 2FA, which is convenient. If you choose to use 1Password, adding 2FA to an account involves the typical process of scanning a QR code or copying a string of characters if you are unable to scan. Once added, the password/one-time passcode will appear on your credentials in the 1Password app, making it a one-stop-shop of sorts.

You’ll need a 1Password subscription to access the 1Password Authenticator feature, which is $3 per month for bills annually, or $5 per month for families (up to five people). Personally, 1Password is one of my must-have apps for iOS and Android, and I think it’s worth the price just for the password management features alone.

Download 1Password for iPhone

Download 1Password for Android

Duo Mobile

Duo Mobile iOS screenshots

Duo Mobile is developed by Cisco Systems, which is already a major player in cybersecurity. In order to use Duo Mobile, you’ll need a Duo Mobile account, which is about $3 per month for an individual user. Some employers may use Duo Mobile to provide an extra layer of security for employees and their accounts.

With Duo Mobile, you can add third-party accounts at any time once you set up your Duo Mobile account. You’ll get one-time passcodes and push notifications for one-click authentication on your supported accounts. Duo Mobile also has iCloud or Google Drive backups, so it’s easy to restore your credentials if something happens.

Download Duo Mobile for iPhone

Download Duo Mobile for Android

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