Google recently released a set of two-factor authentication (2FA) security keys called Titan Security Pack. This bundle includes a traditional Universal Second Factor (U2F) USB dongle for computer use and a Bluetooth/USB combo dongle for mobile. Here’s how to set it all up.
So what is the Titan Security Pack?
Most of the time when you buy a U2F key you get a key to use everywhere. While this is by far the safest way to secure your accounts, what happens if you lose this key? It’s not the end of the world or anything, but still, it’s not great either.
This is where Google takes a smart step with the titan pack: it comes with two keys. After adding both keys to your account, you can then throw the USB key in a drawer as a backup and keep the USB/Bluetooth key with you as it will work on both computers and mobiles. Plus, at just $50, you get a pair of dongles for the same price as most standalone Bluetooth dongles.
If you lose your Bluetooth dongle, you still have a solid backup. Since your keys do not store any data locally, your account security is in no way compromised if you lose a key.
How to Add Titan Keys to Your Accounts
First, let’s make one thing clear: these are standard U2F keys that will work on any account that supports authentication via a security key. not limited to Google accounts.
That said, for this tutorial, we are going to see how to secure a Google account with these keys. Just keep in mind that the same process will work (more or less) for any account that supports U2F.
To get started, go to your Google account page then click on the “Sign in to Google” link.
On the Password and sign-in method page, click the “Two-Step Verification” option. You will be prompted to log in to your account.
If you haven’t set up 2FA, go ahead and do it now. If you’ve already set it up, scroll down to the “Set up alternate second stage” section, find the “Security key” section below, and click the “Add a security key” button.
A window opens asking if you have your security key. Click “Next” to begin.
It will then ask you to connect your key. I’m using the USB key only, but this part works the same for both types of keys. Connect the key via USB and press the button on it. If you are using Chrome, you will receive a request from the browser to access the key. Go ahead and click the “Allow” button.
After a few seconds, the key is saved to your account and you can give it a name. Since the Titan Bundle has two keys, I’ve chosen ‘Titan USB’ for this one – the other will be ‘Titan BLE’.
At this point, you are done. Go ahead and do the same to add the Bluetooth dongle. When it asks you to connect the key to your computer, do it via USB, then press the button as with the USB key only.
Once the Bluetooth dongle is paired to your account, it will work via Bluetooth with your mobile devices – no need to involve a USB cable.
How to use the Titan Bluetooth dongle to connect
Once you’ve added Titan Keys to an account, you’ll be prompted to use them each time you try to log into that account on a new device. While using the USB dongle is fairly simple – plug it in and press the button – the Bluetooth dongle on mobile can be a bit of a mystery if you’ve never used one before.
Let’s say you log in to your account on a new Android device. After entering your Gmail address and password, you will be prompted to verify your account with your security key. To do this, you will need to pair the key with your phone.
The phone will ask you to pair your Titan Key. Press the “Next” button, then long press the button on your dongle until the Bluetooth button starts flashing. The phone should then find the key, which will appear in a list. Make sure the name on the back of the key matches what your phone displays, then press it.
It will then ask you for the PIN – it’s also printed on the back of the key, just above the device ID name. Enter the PIN code, then press the “OK” button.
The key should now be paired and confirmed, and you will be immediately logged into your account.
Use the Titan Pack on other accounts
You can use Titan Keys on any account that supports U2F, but keep in mind that some accounts, like Twitter, for example, only allow you to add one key. In this case, we suggest you add the key that you will probably have on you, which should be the Bluetooth option. It is the more versatile of the two keys, as it works easily on both computer and mobile, via USB or Bluetooth.