Authy review, a Google Authenticator App alternative!

Note from the Editor-in-Chief:

Authy brought a whole new experience for Two-Factor Authentication with a new Chrome Extension/App, make sure to read my full review about the new Authy Extension.

I’m sure a lot of people who really care about their privacy and securing their accounts in every possible way have Two-Factor Authentication enabled. A lot of online services these days are implementing this feature, and lately it was Buffer after a hack made users post spam on their twitter and Facebook feed, which made a lot of people angry, but Buffer was quick to fix this problem and add another layer of security by implementing Two-Factor Authentication to all users. It was a good addition, and it’s something a lot of big name companies already have, such as Google, Dropbox, Evernote, DreamHost, WordPress, and CloudFlare, and now with Buffer included I’m sure you have a long list of accounts in your Google Authenticator app, which was recently update to take advantage of the new iOS 7 user interface.

Intro

I’m gonna be honest with you guys and say that Google Authenticator app sucks! I did use it for quite a while now and I hated it, like really hated it, and I was so blind for a while to a point where I didn’t even bother to look for a Replacement to this horrible app, until recently when I was scrolling down my RSS feed, and I came across this article from Federico Viticci the editor in chief of MacStories, the article is mainly about the must have apps for 2013, but if you dig deep inside the article and read all of it you, will see that Viticci mention an app called Authy, which is the app that I’m talking about now. And with that a refreshing love story began between me and Two-Factor Authentication all over again. For those of you who don’t know what Two-Factor Authentication is you can read my article here, where I talk about this layer of security and explain how it work and the services that uses it. Authy is a company based in San Francisco, and it basically an authentication platform in the cloud, it’s idea: everyone should be able to use strong authentication. But let’s be honest here, Google Authenticator App is not an easy app to use, there’s no tutorial for the app, there’s no easy guide, and there’s no step by step or a how to…There’s nothing.

The user interface suck, and there’s no iPad app, let alone a backup system. And what’s so funny about this is when Google updated it’s Google Authenticator App for iOS 7 there was a big problem when users where surprised that all there credentials were lost after the update. And that’s my dear readers is a big ass problem, but Google quickly managed to fix this problem and release another update that restored all accounts, but what if it was impossible to do that, that’s when Authy comes with it’s backup feature, and believe me when i say that Authy is the best google authenticator app alternative

Let’s start

To download the app you can click here First of all the app is free which is great, and after you install it, you will be welcomed with a great and easy to follow guide on how to get started with Authy, so that’s +1 You will notice how easy it is to setup the app, All you need to do is to put your country code, phone number and email address, an SMS will be sent to your phone number to verify your account, and with this setting up Authy is over.

Design

authy app menu

The second thing you will notice is the design of Authy, it’s so iOS 7, flat, white, and gorgeous, and so fucking simple. The interface contain only a setting button in the top right corner and a slide menu that takes you to all of your connected accounts.

Adding an account

authy add new

It’s simple, slide the menu on the left, tap on add Authenticator account, and you will be promoted with 2 ways to add your account. Via QR Code Enter Key Manually scan the QR code and you are all set.

Settings

authy settings

Settings menu contain 4 tabs: My account Ext. Accounts Bluetooth Devices.

My accounts have all the basic information about your account from your phone number to your email address, and also an option to protect your account with a pin code. Ext. Accounts have all the external accounts that you added with an option to delete them, and an opt-in and out option to backup your information in case your device was lost or broken, and what’s so good about this is that by default it’s not enabled, so if you are concerned about your privacy, you can just keep it disabled.

authy bluetooth

Bluetooth have the option to enable sharing the token via low energy Bluetooth to a Mac near by. Devices is a kickass, a kickass to Google Authenticator App bcuz Authy is a universal app, which mean you can download it on your iPhone and iPad, and believe me on the iPad it look gorgeous too. Android users can enjoy this amazing app by downloading it from Google play

Multiple devices

I just talked briefly about this feature, but let’s dig deeper, after you finished setting up your iPhone now it’s time to setup your iPad. All you have to do is install the app, and put just like on your iPhone your country code, phone number and email address, and the magic happen automatically, Authy detects that you have an account with the same number and email address on another device and ask you if you wanna reset your account or add this device. You chose to add this device, on your iPhone you will get a notification that there’s another device that want to connect with your Authy account, accepting this is as easy as typing YES. After that open your iPad and chose a name for this new device, and slide the menu on the left, you will notice that all your accounts are there but with a lock next to them bcuz you already locked them with a password, just tap on any of them, type your password and boom, you just unlocked your accounts on your iPad, and the tokens now works on both iOS devices.

One Last Thing, for WordPress.org users!

authy wordpress

If you are a WordPress.org site owner and you would like an extra layer of security, all you need to do is instal the Authy plugin, you can find it here. Just install it, and then enable it, go to Authy main web site, sign up, follow the instruction and confirm your account. After that you have to create a new application inside your Authy dashboard, copy your API key, save it on your WordPress Authy plugin, enable Two-Factor Authentication in your WordPress profile account and you are all set. Authy WordPress login You sir now have Two-Factor Authentication protecting your WordPress.org site.

Final words

I’m honestly not sure why Google don’t update it’s Google Authenticator App more than just a new UI. I really don’t enjoy using apps that doesn’t sync or apps that doesn’t have both an iPhone and an iPad version. But with

Authy you will get the whole package. Great UI, backup system, pin code protection, multiple devices, sharing token with your Mac, protecting your date in the cloud, So what are you waiting for? Go download the app and enable Two-Factor Authentication on all of your account and enjoy using Authy!