A hardware wallet is a physical electronic device, built for the sole purpose of securing cryptocurrencies. The core innovation is that the hardware wallet must be connected to your computer, phone, or tablet before cryptocurrencies may be spent. The three most popular and best cryptocurrency hardware wallets are:
Hardware wallets are a good choice if you’re serious about security and convenient, reliable cryptocurrency storage. Cryptocurrency hardware wallets keep private keys separate from vulnerable, internet-connected devices. Your all-important private keys are maintained in a secure offline environment on the hardware wallet, fully protected even should the device be plugged into a malware-infected computer. As cryptocurrency are digital, cyber-criminals could, potentially, target your computer’s “software wallet” and steal them by accessing your private key. Generating and storing private keys offline using a hardware wallet ensures that hackers have no way to reach your bitcoins. Hackers would have to steal the hardware wallet itself, but even then, it can be protected with a PIN code. Don’t worry about your hardware wallet getting stolen, lost or damaged either; so long as you create a secret backup code, you can always retrieve your bitcoins.
Ledger Nano S
Ledger Nano S is a Bitcoin, Ethereum and Altcoins hardware wallet, based on robust safety features for storing cryptographic assets and securing digital payments. It connects to any computer (USB) and embeds a secure OLED display to double-check and confirm each transaction with a single tap on its side buttons.
- Screen/device protected by metal swivel cover
- Multi-Currency support
- 3rd-Party apps can run from device
- U2F support
- When recovering wallet from seed, the whole process can be done from the device without even connecting it to a computer!
- Fairly inexpensive (~$65 USD)
- Not as advanced wallet software (no transaction labeling)
- No ability to create hidden accounts
- No password manager
Trezor is a hardware Bitcoin wallet that is ideal for storing large amounts of bitcoins. Trezor cannot be infected by malware and never exposes your private keys which make it as safe as holding traditional paper money. Trezor is open source and transparent, with all technical decisions benefiting from wider community consultation. It’s easy to use, has an intuitive interface and is Windows, OS X and Linux friendly. One of the few downsides of the Trezor wallet is that it must be with you to send bitcoins. This, therefore, makes Trezor best for inactive savers, investors or people who want to keep large amounts of Bitcoin highly secure.
- Good security & privacy, cold storage
- easy to use a web interface
- in-built screen
- open source software
- beginner friendly.
- Costs: $99
The KeepKey Bitcoin wallet is one of the most commonly used pieces of hardware used for securely storing Bitcoins and other forms of cryptocurrency. It is right up there with other popular cryptocurrency wallets such as Trezor and Ledger.
KeepKey is priced to compete with these other two hardware wallet juggernauts and offers similar functionality, combined with a cool and simplistic design.
- Most secure & feature packed Bitcoin hardware wallet available
- Digital screen & metal body
- Great looking hardware wallet
- $99 price may be out of range for some buyers
- New wallet, needs to gain more trust
- Not as much