Microsoft Authenticator vs Authy: Difference and Comparison

Two- Factor authentication assists people in securing 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.

Key Takeaways

  1. Microsoft Authenticator supports multi-factor authentication, providing extra security.
  2. Authy offers encrypted cloud backups, allowing for easy device transfers.
  3. Authy supports multiple platforms, while Microsoft Authenticator is limited to Microsoft services.

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 vs Authy

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

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 and any websites or apps that use two-factor authentication with a single-use passcode that is also time-based.

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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 for 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 allows you to sync with the Microsoft account associated with the app. After doing this, you will be able to see all the logins and account details saved and synced.

microsoft authenticator

What is Authy?

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

It has a grid-based design that makes it easier 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. Its users can 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 forget the password.

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


Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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13 thoughts on “Microsoft Authenticator vs Authy: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The article provides a clear understanding of the different features of Microsoft Authenticator and Authy. It’s useful for anyone looking to use two-factor authentication.

    Reply
  2. Reading this article has provided me with a clear insight into how both Microsoft Authenticator and Authy offer unique benefits in terms of platforms and backup options.

    Reply
  3. I appreciate the detailed comparison table. It sums up the functional differences between Microsoft Authenticator and Authy in a very effective way.

    Reply
    • Absolutely, the detailed comparison makes it easier to determine which authenticator app could be the most suitable for particular user needs.

      Reply
    • Yes, the information presented in the comparison table makes it easier to understand the strengths and limitations of these two apps.

      Reply
  4. I found the explanation of the security features and cloud backups of both authenticator apps to be very insightful.

    Reply
  5. This piece was interesting, but I think it was a bit too focused on Authy and Microsoft Authenticator. It would have been good to see mentioned other interesting alternatives to these two authenticator apps.

    Reply
  6. Both Microsoft Authenticator and Authy appear to have their unique features and benefits. The article effectively highlights the distinct functionalities of these two authenticators.

    Reply
  7. The article is informative and comprehensive in its review of the security features and recovery options offered by Microsoft Authenticator and Authy.

    Reply
  8. The article does a great job of providing an in-depth understanding of the features and functionality of both Microsoft Authenticator and Authy.

    Reply

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