Difference Between Microsoft Authenticator and Authy (With Table)

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Two- Factor authentication assists people to secure their online accounts with the help of a second “factor” of protection along with the password. Authenticator apps generate one-time passwords which are time-based and refresh every 30 to 60 seconds. Two of the most common authenticator apps are Microsoft authenticator and Twilio’s Authy.

Microsoft Authenticator vs Authy

The difference between Microsoft Authenticator and Authy is that Microsoft Authenticator supports both mobile platforms and Windows, whereas Authy supports Android, Windows, iOS, macOS, and Chrome browsers. Microsoft Authenticator was released in 2015 and doesn’t require a dim card but Authy, released in 2012, requires an active sim card for the creation of an account.

Microsoft Authenticator is a two-factor authentication app that provides single-use passcodes for several sites and products, including Microsoft accounts. It offers a lot of useful features, including password-free login to Microsoft products, account management for multiple sites at the same time, time-based, passwords using two-factor authentication, etc.

Authy offers great security features. It was launched by Twilio in 2012. It is capable of taking more backups than most authentication apps. These back-ups are then saved to Authy servers for more security. Authy will quickly take icons from every new account you add to any website.

Comparison Table Between Microsoft Authenticator and Authy

Parameters of ComparisonMicrosoft AuthenticatorAuthy
CompanyMicrosoftTwilio
Released20152012
Creating an AccountIt doesn’t require a sim card.It requires an active sim card.
BackupsIt offers the ability to back up 2FA codes for iOS devices.You can take more backups that are then saved to Authy servers.
PlatformsIt supports both mobile platforms and Windows 10.It supports iOS, Android, Windows, Chrome browsers along with macOS.

What is Microsoft Authenticator?

Microsoft Authenticator is a two-factor authentication technology in the form of an app that adds security to your online accounts. Microsoft Authenticator is compatible with Microsoft products as well as any websites or apps which use two-factor authentication with a single-use passcode which is also time-based.

You are required to have a QR code from the site or app to Microsoft Authenticator if you are not using a Microsoft site or product. You will then be asked to scan the QR code within the app.

Microsoft Authenticator offers a feature of account recovery. You can turn it on if you want to through the settings. It also allows schools and workplaces to register users’ devices for better usage.

Microsoft Authenticator has recently been modified to include a password manager for Microsoft accounts, allowing it to securely autofill passwords on your mobile device for sites and apps. It also offers extra security features. One of the most useful layers of security is the PIN and biometric verification that is required to see the codes that have been saved.

One issue is that if you’ve backed up to iCloud, you won’t be able to move your saved 2FA accounts to an Android device because the iPhone version requires iCloud.

It also offers you to sync with the Microsoft account that has been associated with the app. After doing this, you will be enabled to see all the logins and account details that have been saved and synced.

What is Authy?

Authy was launched by Twilio in 2012. It offers an amazing combination of security, features, and support of two-factor authentication apps. It lets the users set up a new account very fast, but it does require a working sim card to set up.

It has a grid-based design which makes it easier to use for beginners, and has large icons. When you add any new accounts to any website, Authy will automatically pull icons from them. You will be able to add, delete, search, and rearrange all of your accounts.

It also supports more platforms in comparison to other authentication apps. It is available on iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android. Some of its features include a PIN number along with biometric protection.

A great advantage of Authy is its encrypted cloud backup. It has an option for its users to enter a private password or pin code which Authy will use to encrypt their login data for the accounts in the cloud. This also means that Authy won’t be able to recover the account if you forgot the password.

Authy also offers a feature to back up all of your tokens online, but this is disabled by default. All of these backups are encrypted before they are uploaded, so not even someone from Authy will have access to the accounts and their details. These backups allow you to recover your tokens if you get a new phone or lose your current one.

Main Differences Between Microsoft Authenticator and Authy

  1. The company that released Microsoft Authenticator is Microsoft, and the company that released Authy is Twilio.
  2. Microsoft Authenticator was released in 2015, whereas Authy was released in the year 2012.
  3. A new user does not require a sim card when creating an account in Microsoft authenticator. On the other hand, you do require an active and working sim card to create an account in Authy.
  4. Authy gives more options for backup, which are then saved to the Authy servers themselves, whereas Microsoft Authenticator also offers backup, but it’s less than Authy. They offer the ability to back up 2FA codes for iOS devices.
  5. Microsoft Authenticator supports both mobile platforms and Windows 10. Authy supports way more platforms, including iOS, Chrome browser, macOS, Windows, and Android.

Conclusion

Microsoft Authenticator and Twilio’s Authy are both great two-factor authenticators that offer great security features. Authy has been available on more platforms than Microsoft authenticator, and it also has more backup features to save on its servers.

However, Authy does require an active sim card to create an account, whereas Microsoft authenticator has no such requirement for opening up an account.

References

  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3384217.3386396
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/9308020/


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