I love the idea of protecting my Gmail account using two-factor authentication, but I don't own a cell phone. And I don't want to tie Gmail to a land line since the whole point of having the account is to be able to use mail when traveling.

Am I hosed, or are there other means of authenticating?

migrated from superuser.com Apr 21 '12 at 1:47

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  • 2
    Perhaps some VoIP or soft phone which can receive text messages? – iglvzx Apr 21 '12 at 1:47

Google only offers the following options:

  1. SMS Text Message
  2. Voice Calls
  3. Google Authenticator application mobile app
  4. 1-time use printable backup codes

You could use the printed codes to access your account when traveling, but other than that you'd need a phone or device that can run the Authenticator application.

Google Help - Setup of 2-Factor Authentication

  • Can you actually use options (3) or (4) without needing a phone number for initial setup? If so, could you elaborate on how? – HC4 - reinstate Monica Dec 29 '14 at 7:08

You can probably make use of backup codes provided to you by Google but for that you need to start their service, you should have a cellphone or in your case, a landline, just to verify for first time.


You can use some independent devices - hardware tokens. For example, Protectimus Slim NFC. They can be used as a hardware alternative to Google Authenticator. You require an Android smartphone with NFC to program the token. The smartphone is required only in the process of programming. Then the token will generate one-time passwords which will be required along with the login and password to get an access to your Gmail account. Tokens don’t require any internet or network connection.

Disclosure: I work for Protectimus Solutions.

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