[Review] $15 YubiKey NEO Alternative

YubiKeys (Ad*) are great but there was always one thing that held me back from buying one: The price.

I know, you shouldn’t be stingy – it’s about your account security – but I just wasn’t into spending $50 on a YubiKey when I could just use the Google Authenticator app to add a second factor, especially because the Google Authenticator would still be the backup method if I bought a YubiKey.

But then MoritzW told me about the Feitian ePass U2F Security Key (Ad* / No referral link). Its similar to a YubiKey NEO (Ad*), meaning it has both USB and NFC connectivity but only costs around $15 – around 1/3 of the price of the YubiKey NEO (Ad*)! Of course, thinking about buying a YubiKey NEO (Ad*) for quite some time now, I immediately bought it.

Disclamer: This is my own opinion, I was not sponsored by Feitian for doing this.

Buying and Shipping

I bought the Stick off of Amazon (Ad*). It offered Amazon Prime (Ad*) so it arrived 2 days later in a small package.
Packaging

Packaging

The Stick comes in a small package made out of recycled paper with some information on the front and back. You could theretically use the package for storing the key safely if you do not want the USB port to get scrached. There were no manuals in the box, but there was a QR Code to a PDF-manual online at the back of the packaging.
The stick

The stick is made out of plastic with small bronze parts. It doesn’t feel cheap or too light. Using the hole in the top you can easily connect it to any key ring and have it with you all the time.
Using it

I only intendet to use the Stick for U2F Authentification online, even though it supports other authentifcation methods. Reading reviews off amazon, this seems to be the best use as other methods seem to not work that well, but I havn’t tested that myself.

The stick works flawlessly on Facebook, Google and GitHub, both via USB and NFC. I hadn’t had any warnings about it being incompatible or something like that.

When using the Stick over USB there is a green blinking LED indicating that something wants to authenticate using it. You then have to put your finger over the metal part to accept the authentification request.

The NFC functionality works very well on Android but is not compatible with iOS (according to the Amazon reviews) – in contrast to the YubiKey NEO (Ad*).
Security

I am no security expert but I tried using my key on MoritzWs account as he bought the same key and it doesn’t unlock. So it seems like the cheaper price doesn’t come from producing the exact same key with the same code over and over.
Conclusion

The Feitian ePass NFC FIDO U2F Security Key (Ad*) is a good alternative to the YubiKey NEO at only around 1/3 of the price. If you are only indending to use it on websites using U2F and you do not want to use it with an iOS device it is a very good deal.
“Ad*”

Ad*: Due to a recent court vedict I need to mark all named brands as ads even though I did not get paid or am affiliated with these brands in any way.