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Getting Started with Duo Security

Last Updated: October 7th, 2020


Add robust two-factor authentication to your VPN, email, web portal, cloud services, etc. with Duo. After successful primary authentication, your users simply approve a secondary authentication request pushed to our Duo Mobile smartphone app. Users may also authenticate by answering a phone call or by entering a one-time passcode generated by the Duo Mobile app, a compatible hardware token, or received via SMS.

Try Duo for Free

With our free 30-day trial of our Duo Access plan, you can see for yourself how easy it is to get started with Duo's trusted access.

Your Duo Access trial comes with all the features and functionality of a paid Duo Access subscription, except voice telephony. That means you won't be able to use phone calls as a two-factor authentication method for both administrators and end-users. Duo Push, SMS passcodes, security keys, and hardware tokens all remain available. If you require telephony as part of your Duo evaluation or pilot, please contact your Duo sales executive or Duo Support.

During your 30-day Access trial, you may choose to explore Duo Beyond edition instead. To convert your Duo Access trial to a Duo Beyond trial, visit the Billing page in the Duo Admin Panel once you've logged in and click Try It Free under the Duo Beyond plan description.

When your Duo Access trial ends, your account switches to the Duo Free plan automatically. You can continue using your Duo Free plan for up to 10 users at no cost.

Getting Started

To give Duo a try, just follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Duo account signup page and enter your information to create an account.

  2. Check your Inbox for a signup confirmation email from Duo. Click the Verify Email link in the message to continue setting up your account.

  3. Follow the steps on-screen set a password for your Duo administrator account. Your admin username is the email address you used to sign up for Duo.

  4. Install Duo Mobile on your Android or Apple smartphone and scan the barcode shown on-screen to activate Duo Push two-factor authentication for your Duo administrator account.

    If you don't have an Android or Apple smartphone, click the link below the barcode to skip to the next step.

  5. Set a backup phone number to your Duo administrator account. We'll automatically suggest the same phone number you entered when signing up for Duo. We recommend using a mobile phone that can receive text messages as the backup.

  6. Use your new administrator account to log into the Duo Admin Panel. If you activated Duo Push during account setup, click the Duo Push button to receive a two-factor authentication request from Duo Mobile. If you didn't activate a smartphone for Duo Push, you can send a passcode to your phone via SMS by clicking Text Me. Enter the passcode you receive in the passcode field on the Duo login page.

  7. Once you've logged in as a Duo admin, decide which service, system, or appliance you want to protect with Duo. The Applications page lists all resources that are linked and protected by your Duo service.

    Then, use our documentation to configure the Duo application on your service, system, or appliance.

  8. Enroll your users in Duo. We provide several methods for enrollment, such as importing from an Active Directory domain. Some applications also support self-enrollment by users when they access the protected service.

    Your Duo administrator login can't also be used to log into the service or device now protected by a Duo application, so don't forget to enroll a user account for yourself!

  9. Start authenticating into your applications with Duo two-factor!

    Cisco SSL VPN with Duo Authentication

Next Steps

Now that you've experienced the ease of adding Duo protection to a test application, your next step is planning a full Duo deployment.

We've prepared a Liftoff guide that walks you through the stages of a typical organization Duo rollout.

Liftoff Progress Bar

Our Liftoff guide includes timelines and milestones, configuration best practices, tips for employee communications and training your support staff, and more!

Duo Deployment Timeline

Questions? Check our administration documentation, knowledge base, or contact Support for help.