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To use a virtual MFA device with AWS, you must configure it for use with AWS, and then enable it. In this section you'll learn what a virtual MFA device is and what you need to do to configure and enable it.
A virtual MFA device uses a software application that generates six-digit authentication codes that are compatible with the Time-Based One-Time Password (TOTP) standard, as described in RFC 6238. The software application can run on any mobile hardware device, including a smartphone. Most virtual MFA applications allow you to host more than one virtual MFA device, which makes them more convenient than hardware MFA devices. However, you should be aware that because a virtual MFA might be run on a less secure device such as a smartphone, a virtual MFA might not provide the same level of security as a hardware MFA device.
The AWS Virtual MFA application is one example of an TOTP-compatible virtual MFA device. The AWS Virtual MFA application runs on the Android mobile operating system and is available for download from the Amazon Appstore for Android. For more information about downloading and installing the AWS Virtual MFA, see Installing the AWS Virtual MFA Mobile Application.