Google Authenticator - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Google Authenticator

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CNET Editors' review

Google Authenticator allows you to add a second layer of protection beyond your password, and while the app is a little dated and provides few cues for how to set it up, it works well for what it promises. There are some requirements for use, of course, including that you turn on Google 2-step verification. The setup process alone can be rather cumbersome, but once it is working, we experienced no additional issues.

Initial installation of the app takes some time because you'll need to turn on 2-step verification, set up your security tokens, and verify that it is working properly. Once this is done, however, Google's app provides an easier-to-use solution than some other verification methods. Because the standard 2-step verification requires that you have a network connection to receive a text message, this tool is better, allowing it to work over Wi-Fi when your connection is inactive. It also allows you to change your security tokens based on time or counters, and there is a QR setup mode that works well. Additionally, because you can enter multiple accounts at once, it is easier to activate 2-step verification on more than one account than it would be on your computer.

If you can look past the complicated setup, and the potential issues that seem to arise whenever there is an iOS update, Google Authenticator works quite well as a security device for your Google accounts. There are issues, of course, but when properly installed, maintained, and updated, it works as intended and is a bit easier than managing all of this via text message.

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