If you’ve been investing in cryptocurrency for a while now, you’ve probably heard of cryptocurrency hardware wallets. But what are hardware wallets, and how do they help secure your digital assets? Hardware wallets are by far the safest way to store cryptocurrency, and that’s a no-brainer for any investor who buys crypto for the long term. Hardware wallets store the keys to your cryptocurrency (which give access to your cryptocurrency) offline, preventing online hackers from stealing your funds.
As hundreds of thousands of investors stormed the cryptocurrency markets in search of the next big altcoin, hackers took part in the crypto craze with a more secure approach. Earlier this year, Japanese hackers fled with just over $ 500 million in NEM coins after invading the servers of an Asia-based exchange, CoinCheck.
After the hack, hundreds of thousands of people realized that it was time to diversify coin holdings in different wallets, be it software or hardware storage solutions.
What is a crypto hardware wallet?
Instead of storing valuable and intangible coins on the servers of your favorite exchange, it makes a lot more sense to control your crypto from a device that is not accessible from the Internet.
Exchanges are obvious targets of altcoin heists, as they often carry millions of US dollars in coins as part of their daily business operations. A crypto hardware wallet, unlike the assets it carries, is tangible. The good ones have easy to use operating systems and interfaces. They require a PIN code to access them and can only be connected to the Internet using your computer’s USB or Bluetooth port.
Some wallets are even available in different languages. The most notable features of using hardware wallets are that they provide security using cryptography and offer the ability to back up your coins using your private keys. Your private key is what gives access to your cryptocurrency, which is technically stored in the digital asset ledger. This way, you will be able to access your funds with your private keys in case your hardware wallet is lost or stolen.
What to look for in a hardware crypto wallet
- PIN to access
- 2-factor authentication
- Easy to use interface
- Variety of parts supported
- Compatibility with other online and hardware wallets
Hardware wallets vs software wallets
While hardware wallets are the most secure way to store cryptocurrency, software wallets offer their own unique advantages to cryptocurrency investors. Most crypto investors use both hardware and software wallets; you can think of hardware wallets like your bank safe and software wallets like the wallet you keep in your pocket. Software wallets encrypt access to your digital assets on a computer or smartphone, making it easy to send and receive cryptocurrency from an exchange or other platform. Although software wallets are free and easy to use, they are generally considered to be less secure than hardware wallets.
Best hardware wallets
1. Ledger Nano X
Ledger has taken a big stepes since its inception in 2014. It is perfect for anyone serious about storing cryptocurrencies. With an LED screen for payment validation and a PIN code to confirm, the portable device is convenient and secure. As another security method, Ledger Nano X also offers 2-factor authentication. The device has its own operating system, BOLOS, supporting Windows (7+), Mac (10.8+) and Linux.
The hardware wallet supports a multitude of the best cryptocurrencies and is easy to connect to your laptop via USB compatibility. The only downside to the device is that your computer needs to be connected to the internet and only run on Google Chrome for all apps to work. Ledger’s website claims more than 1,000,000 devices sold worldwide.
2. Trezor One
The Trezor One, by SatoshiLabs was designed and manufactured in the Czech Republic by cryptocurrency advocates and a stellar cybersecurity team. In Czech, trézor literally translates to “vault”. The Trezor team is credited with developing the first hardware wallet for cryptocurrencies using modern cryptography.
It provides an LED display for an easy to use interface, as well as a PIN to access the wallet. Providing even more security, devices invite you to use 2-factor authentication when verifying your purchase. The unique hardware is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux and offers more than 500 possible altcoins to hold and exchange. Just like any other hardware wallet, the device requires your computer to be connected to the internet and connected via USB.
3. Keep the key
Another competitor of the hardware wallet space is KeepKey. Created by a subsidiary of the Shaftshift exchange, KeepKey highlights the notable differences of its device compared to its competitors. Launched in 2015, KeepKey noted that its security measures were much stronger than Trezor or Ledger.
We have yet to see anyone brave enough to confirm this notion; however, KeepKey has no operating system. Not having an operating system essentially makes a device malware proof. It is almost impossible to infect a device with complicated instructions if that device does not have an operating system. While security remains an advantage in using KeepKey, a major downside is the availability of only 35 cryptocurrencies. Still, the device couldn’t be easier to use by plugging it into one of your computer’s USB ports.
4. Trezor model T
If you wanted to spend a little more money securing your digital assets, take a look at Trezor’s Model T. Satoshi Labs innovative second edition hardware crypto wallet has been redesigned for better usability and security measures. The biggest difference from the original is the easy to use touch screen interface. The only downside is that it’s the only way to interact with the device.
The T model has the same availability of about 500 different pieces while adding more layers of security. To even connect your device via USB, you need to enter a PIN code. You only get once entered a PIN code, because every time you enter it incorrectly, you are locked for a period of time at power 2. In addition to its standard security, the Model T comes with a 12 word seed collection card which allows you to save your parts in case of forgetting your password. Overall, Satoshi Lab’s Model T seems to be the favorite, aside from its higher price tag.
5. BitBox02 by Shift Crypto
Keep your coins safe with the BitBox02 hardware wallet. Best of all, you can set up your BitBox02 in a matter of minutes. The intuitive interface makes it easier than ever to control your crypto assets. BitBox02 features a secure dual chip design and the source code has been independently audited by security researchers. It remains fully open source.
You can get Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Chainlink, BAT, and over 1,500 others. You can also choose from a different BitBox02 option, only for Bitcoin buyers.
Get BitBox02 today.
6. SafePal S1
Looking for a fast, portable option to track and manage your cryptocurrency on the go? Make sure to consider the entire SafePal S1 portfolio. The size of a credit card, you can easily take your SafePal wallet with you, no matter where you travel.
To transfer your coins and tokens, connect to the SafePal app using a local QR connection – no need to risk your coins by connecting to public Wi-Fi or using a Bluetooth device.
Best of all, SafePal supports over 10,000 individual cryptocurrency tokens and coins, which means you’ll enjoy one wallet for all of your investments.
Alternative to software wallet
Crypto.com is a one-stop-shop for all of your crypto needs, including a wallet. It offers a non-custodial DeFi wallet where you own your crypto and private keys.
You can safely store your crypto in a highly secure environment. It also allows you to send and receive up to 100 cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), DeFi coins like Uniswap (UNI), Compound (COMP), yearn.finance (YFI), stablecoins and other ERC20 tokens.
This DeFi Wallet also gives you an easy and secure way to access and explore DeFi projects. Deposit and get the best returns on your DeFi tokens with DeFi Earn. DeFi Earn is integrated with Aave Lending V2, Yearn Earn V2, Compound, Cosmos Staking and native CRO Staking.
Crypto.com DeFi Wallet is integrated with WalletConnect, allowing you to connect with DeFi Swap and other DApps by scanning the QR code.
Which wallet to choose?
While the emerging cryptocurrency market still has a lot to prove in terms of practicality, adoption should be taken with caution. Hackers will continue to enter the market with the growing popularity of secure coin offerings and the start of the adoption of international currency. Depending on how many coins you own, it may be a good idea to consider using hardware wallets as they provide increased security for your cryptocurrency investments.
Related link: COOLWALLET S REVIEW
Benzinga has developed a specific methodology for classifying cryptocurrency exchanges and tools. We prioritized platforms based on offers, prices and promotions, customer service, mobile app, user experience and benefits, and security. To see a full breakdown of our methodology, please visit our Cryptocurrency Methodology page.
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