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How Much Does a YubiKey Cost?

YubiKey cost, YubiKey price, How much does a YubiKey cost?
12 Oct 2023

What Does a YubiKey Cost?

“How much do these YubiKeys actually cost?” is almost certainly a question you’re going to encounter on your journey of going passwordless. With CISOs becoming increasingly cost-conscious, understanding the price of security keys is a critical piece of information when it comes to selecting the right hardware for your organization. We applaud you for exploring the undisputed industry leader in passwordless solutions, Yubico, and their increasingly popular YubiKey! Here at Keytos, we’re not only proponents of the tech, but we’re also power users!

The TL;DR here is that the cost of a YubiKey is anywhere between $25 for the Security Series and $95 for the YubiKey FIPS series. Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Wow. Thanks. That’s not helpful at all. What’s the difference between these YubiKeys?” Well, keep on reading for a detailed breakdown of the features of the various options available as well as the associated costs.

Cost Conscious – $25 – Security Key

You know that basic rule of math, “every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square?” Terrible memories of high school geometry aside, this principle applies exactly to 2FA vs. MFA. Every 2FA is MFA, but not every MFA is 2FA. What do we mean? In case you couldn’t tell from the naming pattern, where 2FA uses two factors, MFA uses two or more factors to authenticate users. This is honestly common sense – why use just a password and email address when you can also use a smartphone? The more factors, the more layers of security – at least, that’s the case in most use cases. This is a large reason why MFA has skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years.

Keep your online accounts safe from hackers with the Security Key by Yubico. Trustworthy and easy-to-use, it’s your key to a safer digital world. These inexpensive YubiKeys are great for personal accounts; however, they fall short for most corporate needs since they do not have PIV slots for certificate based authentication or the Yubico attestation certificate that allows us to validate the YubiKey was assigned to the right person.

Middle of the Road – $50-$105 – YubiKey 5 Series & FIPS Series

YubiKey 5 Series – starting at $50

This is the frontrunner if not obvious choice for most everyone getting started with passwordless. It offers the right amount of protection for the price, and is perfectly reasonable for even the smallest organizations. For reference, these are the keys we’re using at Keytos and have been deployed across our entire organization! Don’t let the inexpensive nature of this key fool you, this is some hardcore security!

Check out the product sheet HERE.

YubiKey 5 FIPS Series – starting at $80

Check out the Product Sheet HERE to see how the FIPS series differs from the standard 5 Series.

If you’re working in an ultra-regulated industry or sector, you may be legally obligated to have a FIPS-compliant login device. In that case, this is certainly the key for you! …this is probably overkill for the “average” user, but does offer exceptional protection!

NIST Certification: FIPS 140-2 validated (Overall Level 2, Physical Security Level 3.)

YubiKey C Bio FIDO – $90-$95

Word to the wise, just keep on reading. We have reason to believe that these keys aren’t for you, no matter the nature of your business. While Bio sounds super secure and makes you feel like a spy, these keys are extremely expensive and do not support certificate-based authentication. If you’re still interested in learning more, check out the Product Sheet here.

What Now – Next Steps to Go Passwordless?

Now that you’re well versed on the options and price points available from Yubico, we recommend asking yourself a few more questions…

1) Have you considered how you are going to ship your YubiKeys to your users?

2) Have you decided which passwordless authentication method you are going to use? Learn more about the difference between FIDO2 and Smartcard Authentication.

3) Once you have purchased test keys, how are you going to onboard users and deploy across your organization?

Hopefully, the links above are helpful in shining some light on what to do once you’ve made a decision. While selecting the right key vendor is important, understanding how you’re going to deploy and maintain the hardware should be of equal concern.

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