Best Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallets

Contributor, Benzinga

If you’ve been investing in cryptocurrency for a while now, you’ve most likely heard of cryptocurrency wallets. Hardware wallets are the very best type of wallet for security, and all long-term oriented investors should utilize them. Hardware wallets are physical devices that store your cryptocurrency’s private keys offline, which grant access to your digital assets. An investment of $60-$100 for a hardware wallet may end up saving you thousands of dollars; think of it like insurance on your digital assets.

A free alternative is using a software wallet. However, these are still subject to vulnerabilities. Using a software wallet allows your investment to be more liquid, and you can easily interact with DeFi programs through software wallets. Some investors prefer software wallets to holding crypto on an exchange, as cryptocurrency exchanges hold custody of users’ funds.

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What is a Crypto Hardware Wallet?

Instead of storing precious, intangible coins on the servers of your favorite exchange, it makes much more sense to control your crypto from a device that can’t be accessed from the internet.

Exchanges are obvious targets of altcoin heists as they often carry millions of U.S dollars worth in coins as a part of their daily business operations. A crypto hardware wallet, unlike the assets it carries, is tangible. The good ones have operating systems and easy to use interfaces. They require a PIN to access and can only be connected to the internet by utilizing your computer’s USB port or bluetooth.

Some wallets are even available in different languages. The most notable features in using hardware wallets are that they provide security using cryptography and present the option to backup your coins using your private keys. Your private key is what grants access to your cryptocurrency, which is technically stored on the digital asset’s ledger. This way, you’ll be able to access your funds with your private keys in the event that 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 supported coins
  • 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 provide their own unique benefits for cryptocurrency investors. Most crypto investors use both hardware and software wallets; you can think of hardware wallets like your bank’s vault, 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. While software wallets are free and easy to use, they’re generally regarded as less secure than hardware wallets.

Best Hardware Wallets

Best For
ERC-20 tokens

1. Ledger Nano X

The Ledger company has made big strides since its inception in 2014. It’s perfect for anyone serious about storing cryptocurrency. With an LED display for payment validation and a PIN to confirm, the handheld device is convenient and secure. As another method of security, Ledger Nano X also features 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 drawback the device has is that your computer must be connected to the internet and running solely on Google Chrome for all applications to work. Ledger’s website boasts over 1,000,000 devices sold globally.

Best For
Crypto enthusiasts

2. Trezor One

The Trezor One, by SatoshiLabs was designed and crafted in the Czech Republic by cryptocurrency advocates and a stellar cyber security team. In Czech, trezor literally translates to “vault.” The Trezor team is credited with developing the 1st 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, the devices prompts you to use 2-factor authentication when verifying your purchase. The unique piece of hardware is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux and offers over 500 possible altcoins to hold and trade. Much like every other hardware wallet, the device requires your computer to be connected to the internet and connected via USB.

3. KeepKey

Another competitor in the hardware wallet space is KeepKey. Created by a subsidiary of the Shaftshift exchange, KeepKey highlights the notable differences its device holds over its competitors. Launched in 2015, KeepKey noted that its security measures were far stronger than Trezor or Ledger.

We have yet to view anyone brave enough to confirm this notion; however, KeepKey does not have an operating system. Not having an operating system essentially makes a device malware proof. It’s nearly 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 drawback is the availability of only 35 cryptocurrencies. Still, the device couldn’t be more easy to use by plugging it in one of the USB ports of your computer.

Best For
Crypto enthusiasts

4. Trezor Model T

If you wanted to spend just a little more money to secure your digital assets, look to Trezor’s Model T. The innovative second edition hardware crypto wallet by Satoshi Labs was redesigned for better ease-of-use and security measures. The largest difference from the original is in the easy-to-use touchscreen interface. The only downside to this is that it is the sole way to interact with the device.

The Model T features the same availability of about 500 different coins while adding more layers of security. To even connect your device via USB, you must enter a PIN. You only get one shot an inputting a PIN, as every time you input it incorrectly you are locked out for some time period to the power of 2. In addition to its mainstream security, the Model T comes with a 12-word seed recovery card that allows you to back up your coins in the event of you forgetting your password. All in all, Satoshi Lab’s Model T seems to be the favorite, other than its higher price tag. 

Best For
Bitcoin Purists

5. BitBox02 by Shift Crypto

Keep your coins secure with the BitBox02 hardware wallet. Even better, you can set up your BitBox02 in minutes. The intuitive interface makes it easier than ever to stay in control of 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 1,500+ more. You can also choose from a different BitBox02 option, just for Bitcoin buyers.

Get BitBox02 today.

Best For
Crypto enthusiasts

6. SafePal S1

Looking for a quick and portable option to track and manage your cryptocurrency on-the-go? Be sure to consider the comprehensive SafePal S1 wallet. 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 offers support for over 10,000 individual cryptocurrency tokens and coins, which means that you’ll enjoy a single wallet for all of your investments.  

Best Cryptocurrency Wallet For DeFi

If you’re looking to participate in decentralized finance apps like Aave, Uniswap, or PancakeSwap, you’ll need to use a software wallet that can connect to these applications. The best crypto wallet for DeFi is MetaMask, and you can download it for free on the Chrome Store. The wallet can be added as a browser extension to Google Chrome, making it extremely simple to use on websites that support Web3 crypto wallets.

What Wallet Should You Choose?

While the emerging cryptocurrency market still has lots to prove in terms of practicality, adoption must be taken with caution. Hackers will continue to enter the market with the growing popularity of secured coin offerings and the beginning of adopting international currency. Depending on how many coins you have, it may be smart to think about utilizing hardware wallets as they offer heightened security for your cryptocurrency investments.

Related link: COOLWALLET S REVIEW

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