Two Factor-Authentication VS Two-Step Verification: Which is Better and Why?

Internet— A tiny world that connects us all, to every corner of the world. Browsing the Internet happens to be our favorite pastime hobby no matter where we are. We don’t just use the Internet to fulfill our leisure motives, but it’s one of the best informational platforms where we can seek almost any kind of knowledge, through the very comfort of our homes. It’s like a giant virtual playground where we all can wander and explore anything we wish for.

Two Factor-Authentication
Image Source: Buddy Mantra

But while browsing on the Internet, it’s important to be secure as well in order to keep your online privacy from being exposed to hackers and cybercriminals. Security has to be of utmost importance whenever you’re surfing online. Hackers can attack you anytime so we cannot let our guard down for even the tiniest microsecond. You may all have heard of Two Factor Authentication (2FA), right? It’s a thoughtful security approach that adds an extra layer of protection to our online accounts. However, apart from 2FA there’s also another verification method known as Two-Step Verification (2SV) that is almost similar to this, with a slight difference.

In this post, we will be highlighting differences and similarities between Two Factor Authentication VS Two-Step Verification, to understand which verification method is better and ideal to follow.


Image Source: Mashable

Both these authentication methods serve for a similar prime objective, and that is to add an extra layer of protection to our accounts, to strengthen our online privacy. Two-Factor Authentication and Two-Step Verification both have their own set of pros and cons, but follow a slightly different approach. Whether you’re using the Internet on your smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop or any other device, security happens to be a crucial concern. As cyber-attacks are rising at a rapid speed, it is really important for us to understand, that our privacy cannot be compromised at any cost or scenario. And to do so, we have to act smart in order to stay ahead of hacker’s vicious schemes.

Be it 2FA or 2SV or whatever authentication mode you pick for protecting your accounts, but ultimately choosing is what stays important.

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Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Two-Factor Authentication is a well-thought authentication peripheral that is now being adopted by almost every online account. It adds an additional layer of security while we log in to any account. No matter how strong of a password you create, it’s still not enough. With Two Factor Authentication, you first enter your username and password, then a security code is sent to your smartphone (or any trusted device) which you need to enter for logging into your account.

Two Factor Authentication vs Two-Step Verification

One can also use a biometric authentication form like a fingerprint scanner or face ID, instead of relying on a smartphone. Two Factor authentication primarily focuses on “something you know” i.e. your password and second “something you are” to confirm your identity which you can perform from any trusted device or medium.

2FA authenticates your identity and ensures that no sort of unauthorized access is being performed. To conclude, Two Factor authentication is basically a process that requires authentication from two different sources to attain a higher level of assurance.

From Gmail to Facebook, almost all major web services are now following this approach. So, if you haven’t enabled Two Factor Authentication to all your online accounts, maybe now is the time.

Two-Step Verification (2SV)

Two-Step Verification
Image Source: Naked Security

Two-Step Verification is exactly like 2FA when in implementation. When you log in to any of your online accounts, first you enter a password (Which you already know), then a security code or a one-time password is sent to your mobile device (Which you’re not aware of). You then have to enter that OTP code for logging into your account, within a stipulated time. If you fail to enter the code in a set time period, then again, a different code is generated and sent to your device.

In Two Step Verification (2SV), the user has no idea about the code beforehand. You must’ve experienced this process while logging into Gmail, isn’t it? First, you enter your user name and password, and then a numeric random code is sent to your mobile which you’ve to enter to gain access to your account.


Like we said earlier, both these authentication methods follow a similar approach. Two-Factor Authentication is just a broader term than Two-Step Verification. However, both serve a similar purpose. Talking about security, 2FA is without a doubt more secure than 2SV as it requires biometric authentication of your identification. We hope now you’re aware of the differences between Two Factor Authentication VS Two-Step Verification? Feel free to share your feedback on the same!

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