There are a few storage options for cryptocurrencies today, many wallets were designed to offer a certain layer of security to gain investor’s confidence. With many alternatives around today, many people often ask what the best hardware wallet is?
In this piece, we have taken out the time to profile some of the leading hardware wallets per their pricing, features, benefits, and drawbacks. Users can use this recommendation as a starting point to safeguard their Bitcoin and crypto holdings.
What is a hardware wallet?
A hardware crypto wallet (also known as a hard wallet) is a small, USB-like device that holds your cryptocurrency wallets’ private and public keys. Due to their physical nature, they are immune to hacking attempts and offer many additional layers of security as compared to other wallet types.
Hardware wallets can be compared to an everyday wallet for keeping fiat currencies. You store your banknotes in them for easy retrieval when you need to spend cash. These types of wallets are a goto version of storing Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and a large number of digital assets.
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Typically, hardware wallets are useful in safeguarding a wide variety of digital currencies including tokens. Today, a lot of people confuse or use the terms Bitcoin and crypto hardware wallets interchangeably. It is, however, important to note that general crypto hardware is likely to provide basic functionalities for Bitcoin first.
Aside from the most popular coins, a bitcoin hardware wallet supports many cryptocurrencies, often having thousands of different options. The only drawback of hardware wallets (but one that is justified) is the price. A good hardware wallet will set you back between $50 – $200 depending on the brand and quality you choose to go with. Which is actually a low investment compared to the bitcoin price prediction.
In the next few sections, we will briefly introduce the best hardware wallets so that you can make an educated decision for the safety of your coins.
What are the different types of crypto wallets?
There are essentially two types of crypto wallets and are the cold and hot wallets respectively. Here we will attempt to give a good insight into both types of wallets.
Hot wallets are the types of digital cryptocurrency that works based on connection to the internet. They are also called software wallets and they are what trading platforms or exchanges make use of. Additionally, wallet apps such as blockchain.com wallets, Trust Wallets, and others also make use of hot wallets.
Safeguarding crypto assets with hot wallets can bring about ease of use, however, it is replete with a lot of risks. Soft wallets are prime targets of all forms of malware and predispose assets stored online to hacking. In the more than 12 years of crypto existence, there has been a lot of cases of hacking of cryptocurrency exchanges. As private keys are generally stored online, hackers are always looking for means to gain access to hot wallets.
Hot wallets also work on mobile devices, android, and iOS. Authentication is always done by email and password. These wallets are easy to use with chrome browser extensions, credit card payment, and a simple user interface. Mainly used by those who want to learn how to trade Bitcoin. Despite the risks, a lot of crypto users still make use of hot wallets a great deal.
Cold wallets are wallets that aid the storage of all kinds of digital assets and erc20 tokens offline. The cold storage offered by these wallets is kept offline, reducing the risks of exposure to cyber-attacks. Cold wallets are designed to take a bit of the feature of soft wallets in terms of ease of use and hardware wallets’ security.
Hardware wallets are useful for people with low-risk appetites or those who want to lock up their assets for a long time. A unique passphrase is keeping your wallet safe. Depending on the wallet, you can store Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dogecoin, or most other Cryptocurrencies. You store your value on a secure chip, protected by seed phrase and pin code.
The best-selling cold wallets are the ones from Satoshilabs (Trezor) and from Ledger with their unique Ledger Live software. Read more about these items below.
Paper wallets are a type of offline or cold storage option in which a crypto address and its private key are physically printed out in the form of QR codes. While paper wallets are also highly immune to hacking, their use is generally discouraged.
Conducting transactions cannot be done in part, that is, you cannot send 2 BTC out of say 5 that is in your paper wallet. Rather, all the funds domiciled in a paper wallet must be sent to a desktop or any digital wallet before they can be used. After spending the portion you want, the remaining balance will have to be resent to a new paper wallet that will be generated.
Care should be taken to send the balance funds to a new paper wallet you control as this is one avenue most people get to lose their assets. Apparently, the risks in usage overshadow the pros, hence, the use of hot and cold wallets is rather recommended.
How does a hardware wallet work?
As noted earlier, a cryptocurrency hardware wallet is a USB-like device that stores your private keys. It is crucial to know how to use a hardware wallet as recommended after purchase. With these wallets, you will be able to keep your assets offline and connect them to the internet when you need to make transactions. This can be as simple as connecting the device, inputting your PIN, sending the funds, and disconnecting to go back offline.
Learning tip: For detailed information and instructions you can study various tutorials at the iMi Blockchain Academy. Next, we show you only one example. Simply click on the image to get started. Registration at our academy is absolutely free of charge. Watch many other tutorials on this and other crypto-related subjects. Or learn how to get Bitcoins for free.
Hardware wallets reduce how your private keys are susceptible to compromise as the keys never leave the hardware wallet. Even when the device is connected to the computer or desktop, the transactions happen within the wallets and not on the computer. The software upon which the hardware operates runs the interface with the computer the device is connected to.
Cryptocurrency hardware wallet comparison chart (Top 10 highest rated)
|Product name||Supported coins and tokens||Our rating||Pricing|
|Ledger Nano S||1800||5||$59|
|Ledger Nano X||1800||5||$119|
|Secalot||3 + ERC20||3||$59|
|D’CENT Biometric Wallet||1895||5||$119|
|Keystone Essential (Cobo Vault)||12||3||$119|
Best hardware wallets for cryptocurrency: our top 10 list:
Over the years, many companies have taken the initiative to create secure and easy-to-use wallets, to make crypto more reliable as a store of value and a digital currency. With many different types of wallets, it can be tricky to find the one that is best for your needs. Among them, the most secure option is using a bitcoin hardware wallet.
In this section, the top 10 hardware wallets are examined, taking into account their benefits, drawbacks, and pricing amongst others.
1. Ledger Nano X (best bitcoin hardware wallet)
The upgraded, premium version of the Ledger Nano device is one of the best hardware cryptocurrency wallets in the market overall. It comes with an additional set of features that make it more luring for tech-savvy investors. Let’s have a look at its benefits and drawbacks.
Benefits of Ledger Nano X:
- Bluetooth support and easy to connect with your smartphone
- Heavier and bigger in size than its predecessor
- High level of security than web-wallets or apps
- Additional memory space to store up to 100 apps (coins) at any given time
- Bigger screen
Drawbacks of Ledger Nano X:
- Higher price than Ledger Nano S but the same level of security
Price of Ledger Nano X: $119 including free shipping worldwide.
2. Trezor One (hardware wallet with great value)
Trezor One is more appealing and unique than the Ledger Nano S. The device has many similarities with its competitor, and the competition is mostly related to the brand and design.
Benefits of Trezor One:
- All funds are stored in a “cold” wallet, meaning that they remain offline
- High security and continuous update to the software to ensure the safety of your funds
- The wallets include optional exchange support which you can use by whitelisting your wallet
- Supports 1644 coins and tokens that can be traded within the device
- Great design and OLED screen make it more appealing to those who don’t want a wallet that reminds of a USB stick
Drawbacks of Trezor One:
- Older devices may lag or not connect well with your desktop. This can be somewhat scary for beginners
- Its price does not cover shipping costs. When added together, the cost of this wallet is more expensive than the Ledger Nano S
Price of Trezor One: $57 excluding shipping.
This device retails at a dropped price of around €49 but shipping is not included and they offer a 15-days return and money-back warranty.
3. Ledger Nano S (good hardware wallet for beginners)
The Ledger Nano S is one of the first and most trustworthy cryptocurrency wallets. Having sold more than 1.5 million devices since 2014. It is independently certified by ANSSI as the most secure wallet option in the crypto market.
Benefits of Ledger Nano S:
- Supports more than 1800 coins and tokens, including a built-in exchange function that you can use to trade them
- It’s easy to use and navigate even by complete beginners. The device has two buttons on its sides and all action can be seen on the screen
- Convenient fund recovery even if you lose your device, through a secure 24-word phrase
- Includes a built-in security chip that matches those found in passports
Drawbacks of Ledger Nano S:
- Older versions are non-Bluetooth compatible, requiring an OTG cable to connect with your computer or smartphone
- Not able to customize the design. This is not a big problem but it can make the device blatant for some
Price of Ledger Nano S: $59 including free worldwide shipping.
The device retails at a relatively low $59 which includes free worldwide shipping and a 14-days return without any questions asked.
4. Trezor T (top-rated hardware wallet)
Trezor T also ranks as one of the most advanced hardware wallets out there. It is an upgraded version of the Trezor One, with a major touch of advanced features. The Trezor Model T is a touchscreen wallet with encrypted storage resident on the cloud. Trezor T supports all of the coins Trezor one supports with additional support for about 5 more coins. These include Cardano (ADA), Ripple (XRP), and Tezos (XTZ) amongst others.
Benefits of Trezor T:
- Trezor T is quite easy to use
- Its beautiful design is appealing to those who fancy aesthetics
- It has compatibility with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X amongst others.
- More robust, and advanced compared to Trezor One.
Drawbacks of Trezor T
- It has a larger design compared to its biggest competitor, Ledger Nano.
- Not as cost-effective as its predecessor, the Trezor One.
Price of Trezor T: To become an owner of a Trezor T hardware wallet, you may need to set aside as much as $186.
5. KeepKey (cheap hardware wallet)
This hardware wallet is somewhat unpopular but comes with many great features. The Keepkey is not our first option when it comes to this list, there are many reasons for which you might want to obtain one.
Benefits of Keepkey:
- It is a Hierarchical Deterministic (HD) wallet, which turns it into a tiny computer built to store your keys
- Regularly hosts large discounts which makes it a great budget option
- Its price has dropped nearly 60% due to (we assume) low demand. That being said, the wallet has the same level of security as all the other options mentioned above and a very sleek design
Drawbacks of Keepkey:
- Limited cryptocurrency storage options. The wallet currently supports 7 popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin
- No web wallet extension. Users will need to download external software like Electrum or Multibit to access the device’s applications
- Significantly larger in size than the other options in this list, which makes it less portable
Price of Keepkey: $49 including worldwide shipping.
6. Ellipal (most unique hardware wallet)
The Ellipal hardware wallet is the most unique option out of the five on this list. It is the only option that operates on its own accord and does not require any sort of connection to the internet. Therefore, it is kind of a real cold wallet. It also has very robust support for a wide range of cryptocurrencies numbering up to 7,000.
Benefits of Ellipal:
- No wires or USB connectivity; communication happens through QR codes
- Very easy to use as the device reminds of a typical smartphone
- Easy to set up and use since the app is simple and well-built
Drawbacks of Ellipal:
- No information on the device’s founders. This makes it somewhat hard to trust
- A complex process of firmware updates, since the device does not connect to the web
- The price, which is more expensive than any of the options mentioned above
Price of Ellipal: $189 excluding shipping costs.
7. Secalot (all-in-one hardware wallet)
Secalot is branded as an all-in-one digital security pack sold as a small USB dongle. It is a multi-functional device that serves as a cryptocurrency wallet address, an OpenPGP smart card, a U2F authenticator, and an OTP generator.
While Secalot cannot be ranked as one of the more popular options out there, it is one of the most affordable.
Benefits of Secalot
- Secalot can serve a multi-purpose and offer holders more value than most hardware wallets out there.
- The device works on all major operating systems including Windows, macOS, and Linux. Additionally, no specialized drivers are necessary.
- Security is top-notch, made possible with a microcontroller designed with a high-performance cryptographic co-processor.
Drawbacks of Secalot
- Limited coin support compared to the competition.
Price of Secalot: The device can be acquired for $59.
8. BitBox02 (secure full node hardware wallet)
The BitBox02 wallet is a Swiss product with open-source technology. As a hardware wallet, it is often accompanied by the BitBoxApp through which users can securely manage their coins. The BitBox02 device supports up to 1,500 coins.
Benefits of BitBox02
- It is simple to set up and does not compromise security,
- BitBox02 offers users an easy pathway to connect to your full node,
- Backup to microSD card with additional option to export the BIP39 recovery words,
- Software and hardware are open-source and can be independently audited,
- The wallet has an in-app guide through which user’s common questions can be answered.
Drawbacks of BitBox02
- Not as widely distributed and easily accessible as its top competitors,
- Not so suitable for those concerned with costs or pricing, and many more drawbacks.
Price of BitBox02: Each BitBox02 pack costs as much as $139.
9. D’CENT Biometric Wallet (top biometric hardware wallet)
D’CENT offers a more unique style of hardware wallet protection and usage by connecting to any type of mobile device using Bluetooth or USB. Just as the name implies, the hardware wallet has an inbuilt biometric sensor to offer a more modern mode of accessing the underlying software. D’CENT biometric wallet includes a scanner and supports a number of different cryptocurrencies, numbering up to 1,895.
Benefits of D’CENT Biometric Wallet
- Offer Bluetooth and USB Connectivity for flexibility and convenience,
- Has a fancy design boosted by its biometric capabilities,
- The wallet is cryptographically secured using high-performance chips
Drawbacks of D’CENT Biometric Wallet
- Limited user base compared to its core competitors,
- Not as compact as Ledger and Trezor devices
Price of D’CENT Biometric Wallet: To own a D’CENT, you will need to pay about $119 excluding shipping fees.
10. Keystone Essential (open-source hardware wallet)
Keystone Essential (formerly Cobo Vault) is flaunted as one of the next evolution of cold storage systems. The device works by using QR code transmissions to eliminate any potential malware infiltration risks. The device takes the security of Bluetooth and USB-backed devices one step forward by introducing a new level of transparency.
Benefits of Keystone Wallet
- Brandishes an open-source underlying software,
- Works with no mobile data, making it easier to use,
- Secures private keys through a Random Number Generator model,
- Has a superior design with a 4-inch touchscreen.
Drawbacks of Keystone Wallet
- Supports a relatively limited number of cryptocurrencies (12 in total). Other top wallets support more and can serve as a disadvantage to Keystone owners.
Price of Keystone Essential: Each Keystone device costs $119
What is the best bitcoin hard wallet?
As highlighted in the list of top ten hardware wallets above, all wallets have their unique features, pricing, and benefits. This makes choosing the best Bitcoin wallet a matter of choice. There are a whole lot more Bitcoin wallets out there, and though none is specifically dedicated to just Bitcoin, intending buyers can follow the listing above to make a choice to get started with.
Best crypto hardware wallets: Key takeaways
The evolution of digital currencies has translated into the creation of both online and offline wallets to secure digital asset holdings. Online wallets or hot wallets are more susceptible to hacks with better and reassuring security being guaranteed by offline or cold wallets.
Getting to choose the right one to buy can be draining. Hence, to make your decision easier, we have created a small decision matrix. You’ll definitely find yourself in there somewhere, caught in between which of the many devices out there to acquire. Simply click on the image of the bitcoin hardware wallet that fits your needs below and buy it online. We always recommend to buy a hardware wallet from the manufacturer itself and not from Amazon or any other 3rd party. Why? You will store value (money) and no one, not even Amazon, can guarantee that the device has not been manipulated.
|Best Bitcoin Wallet||The OLED Wallet||The Beginners Wallet||The top-rated Wallet||The Cheapest Wallet|
Buy Ledger Nano X
Buy Trezor One
Buy Ledger Nano S
Buy Trezor T
Buy the Keepkey
|The unique Wallet||all-in-one Wallet||Full node Wallet||The biometric Wallet||Open-Source Wallet|
Buy the Ellipal
Buy the Secalot
Buy D’CENT Biometric
Buy Keystone Essential
With the right hardware wallet in your hand, you’re ready to buy, trade, and spend Bitcoin. Of course, there are many different aspects to cryptocurrency. Just be aware of scams and fake trading platforms. Therefore, you better be prepared and know what you’re doing. If you need help to get started or make the next to to become a professional, then book a free consultation with our experts today!
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What is Bitcoin hardware?
Bitcoin hardware can be split into 2 different hardware sections. Section #1 is a Bitcoin mining hardware. It is used to process crypto transactions and adding records to Bitcoin’s public ledger. Section #2 is a Bitcoin hardware wallet (cold storage). It is used to store your Bitcoins in a safe place. These wallets look like a USB-stick. This is the safest option to store cryptocurrency.
How to buy Bitcoin hardware wallet?
You can buy your Bitcoin hardware wallet directly from the manufacturer website, on Amazon or from our website. Please read our reviews before you make a bad buy. Furthermore, we always promote some special deals whenever possible.
How to use Bitcoin hardware wallet?
To use Bitcoin hardware wallet works somehow like a USB-stick. Just connect it to your desktop or mobile phone to connect to the internet. Most hardware wallets use their own piece of software. Some devices even work on their own, without the need of installing software. Simply follow the instructions of your hardware wallet. If you have a Ledger Nano S you can follow our detailed video tutorial.