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The following high-level procedure describes how to set up and use an MFA device, and provides links to related information.
Get an MFA device. The device can be a hardware MFA device or a virtual MFA device. A virtual device is any device that you can install an OTP (one-time password) application on. For example, it is common to install MFA applications on a smartphone, but OTP applications are also available for PCs and tablets.
If you want to use a hardware device, you can find information about where to purchase the devices that AWS supports at http://aws.amazon.com/mfa. If you want to use a virtual MFA device, or if you just want to learn more about virtual MFA, see Using a Virtual MFA Device with AWS.
Enable the MFA device. You can enable the MFA device for use with AWS using the AWS Management Console, the IAM command line tools, or the IAM API.
Use the MFA device when logging on or accessing AWS resources. For access to an AWS website, you need a user name, password, and MFA code (an OTP). For access to MFA-protected APIs, you need access keys and an MFA code.
For information about user passwords, see Credentials (Passwords, Access Keys, MFA, and Certificates) . For information about using MFA with the AWS Management Console, see MFA Devices and Your IAM-Enabled Sign-in Page. For information about the AWS service APIs that use MFA, go to Does AWS MFA affect how I access AWS Service APIs? on the AWS Multi-Factor Authentication FAQs page.