As Bitcoin attracts more and more buyers every day, the ways in which one can store his crypto assets have become very diverse.
Some are content with keeping their virtual coin in a software or desktop wallet, while others prefer more secure alternatives. And if you’re in it for the long run, that does not sound like a bad idea. For long-time holds, it is recommended you use a paper wallet or a hardware wallet.
A hardware wallet is a physical electronic device, built with the sole intent of storing cryptocurrencies. Hardware wallets have better security than software wallets, keeping private keys separate from the internet- connected devices. Your assets are practically immune from threats like scams and hacks, and even if your hardware wallet was stolen or someone hacked your computer, you can always have your virtual coins restored to a new wallet.
That’s because no one can transfer Bitcoins or altcoins without them knowing your secret pin code. So far, no one reported theft or loss of assets from a hardware wallet. In the following article, we will list some of the Best Hardware Wallets available on the market.
Things to consider before buying a hardware wallet
There are several features that you must take into consideration when you are looking to buy a hardware wallet:
- Security features – the most important aspect of a wallet is its security implementations.
- Ease of use- you should be able to easily navigate the device and its features.
- Supported currencies- verify if the wallet supports all the cryptos that you are interested in storing.
- Operating systems compatibility – check if the device is compatible with the operating system on your computer or smartphone.
- Backup and restore functions- the wallet should have a backup function in the eventuality that your device gets stolen, lost or broken.
- Price- Stick to a wallet within your price range. The price also includes shipping costs.
- Customer opinions- scour the internet for real user reviews of the product, and if they are unfavorable, keep on searching.
Ledger Nano S
The Nano S was created by a France-based start-up company, LedgerWallet. The product has a sleek and aesthetic design, an easy to use OLED interface and support for a variety of cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Bitcoin cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Ripple, Komodo, Ark, PoSW, ERC-20 tokens Litecoin, Dogecoin, Zcash, Dash, Stratis).
Other notable features include a backup seed key which can be used to recover lost coins and two buttons on the side which will help you easily navigate the interface.
The device does not require batteries and you can recharge it by connecting to your desktop or mobile device via USB. The price is reasonably affordable, compared to the other hardware wallets on the market, selling at around $60 USD.
LedgerWallet has been in the business long enough for it to be considered a reputable company, gathering mostly positive feedback from its customers.
The Trezor hardware wallet is one the oldest wallets on the market. It was created by SatoshiLabs and it is recognized as the world’s first secure hardware wallet.
Trezor has a design similar to that of a small calculator, featuring an OLED screen with a very simple to use interface. It generated nine digit pins and 24-word recovery seed keys in the eventuality that the device gets lost or damaged. The device was made to store private keys and store transactions offline of crypto coins such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Testnet. Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Namecoin, Dogecoin, Dash and Zcash (ETH being supported through the use of an external wallet called MyEtherWallet).
Trezor has a solid reputation, one of the company founders being the first to create a mining pool for Bitcoin.
Trezor can be used with devices that support the Android operating system with apps like Trezor Wallet, Multibit HD, and Mycelium. Its price is currently $76.82.
KeepKey is a hardware wallet which has a beautiful design albeit somewhat large (approximately two times bigger than Nano S and Trezor) which might make it a bit inconvenient to carry around in your pocket.
It offers backup seed key feature which is pin code enabled and it has the same functions just like other wallets.
The company isn’t as reputable in the community, getting a few bad reviews from buyers. It currently supports six currencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Namecoin, Dogecoin, Dash and Testnet. KeepKey can be bought for $42 USD.
Ledger Blue Wallet
The Ledger Blue is a handheld hardware wallet which has a 3.5-inch touchscreen in addition to Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Due to its modular architecture, it is capable of running multiple companion apps in completely separated from each other on top of its firmware, allowing you to add cryptos or apps without compromising your stored keys.
The wallet can be connected to any computer or smartphone, supporting a list of security measures such as: 2-factor authentication, PIN security, What You See Is What You Sign for malware transactions, viruses, and man-in-the-middle attacks. The device can be backed up and recovered using a 24-word recovery phrase.
The Ledger Blue can be used in junction with a number of software wallets: Electrum, Mycelium, MyEtherWallet, Copay, GreenBits, and BitGo.
It supports storage for over 1000 cryptos including BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, ETC, LTC, DOGE, ZEC, XRP, DASH, STRAT, KMD, ARK, EXP, UBQ, VTC, VIA, NEO, XST, XLM.
The price is the biggest downside, as buyers would have to pay up nearly $250 dollars.
Trezor Model T Wallet
Another of Satoshi Labs’ creations is the newest series of the Trezor series called Model T, which was created to have additional security implementations and enhanced user navigation.
It features a 240×240-pixel LCD touchscreen through which all confidential information must be entered. All transactions go through a double verification process offering an extra layer of security.
The Model T features a USB Type C connector ensuring its mobility and its compatibility in the future. A microSD slot enables the device to be adapted to other features later on.
The wallet supports over 500 coins and tokens including BTC, BCH, BTG, LTC, DASH, DOGE, ETC, ETH, ERC20, NEM, NMC, ZEC, EXP, UBQ, and XZT.
The product is sold at a price of 180.29 EUR, which is around $200 USD.
CoolWallet S Wallet
CoolWallet S is a wireless hardware wallet developed by a Taiwanese fintech company CoolBitX, that makes use of Bluetooth or near field communication (NFC) to connect to Android or iOS devices. The S model was released in 2018.
What sets this wallet apart from other is its slim and sleek design which makes it look like a credit card rather than a USB device. It features a secure element (SE) chip that stores the private seeds, as well as a built-in display for transaction verification.
The wallet supports Bitcoin Cash, Binance Coin, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Tether, Ripple, Zencash, and ERC20 Tokens.
The wallet comes with a price tag of $99 USD.
The Ledger HW.1 is an HD USB wallet that uses only the generated 24-word seed to back up the entire wallet. The big minus here would be that the device does not have a display, meaning you will have to set up your HW.1 on an offline computer or with a USB drive called Ledger Starter.
While not having a screen or a sleek design, the price is very low compared to other competitors and is still more secure than software wallets. It is also a good alternative for those that are not so keen on technical matters. It comes with the lowest price on the list, $25.99 USD.
Although hardware wallets cost more money, the level of security you will get is much more important. The world of cryptocurrency is full of cases of hacking and theft, so it’s best you avoid such scenario by storing your cryptocurrencies in a hardware wallet.