During the past few years, there have been several technological advances. One of them has been the growth of cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that offers a wide range of benefits, ranging from an investment vehicle to a medium of exchange for products and services. Similar to traditional currency, everyone needs to invest in a secure storage method for their cryptocurrency. One of the most popular cryptocurrencies is called Bitcoin. If you are looking for a way to protect your Bitcoins, then you need a hardware wallet. While there are multiple types of cryptocurrency wallets, a hardware wallet is a small, physical device that will take care of your private keys in the offline world.
What Is a Hardware Wallet?
Among the various security methods for a Bitcoin wallet, a hardware wallet is one of the most popular. First, a hardware wallet is a physical, electronic device that can take care of your coins and tokens. It has been constructed for the singular purpose of taking care of your Bitcoins. The hardware wallet itself has to be connected to your tablet, phone, or computer before you can spend any coins using the wallet. Hardware wallets are a great choice if you are serious about looking for a secure, convenient, and reliable way to store your cryptocurrency. Hardware wallets are robust because they keep your private keys stored separately from vulnerable devices that might be connected to the internet. As a result, your private keys are stored in a secure, offline environment, preventing hackers from stealing our Bitcoin. Furthermore, a hardware wallet is fully protected, even if it is plugged into a computer that has been infected with malware.
Because Bitcoins and other types of cryptocurrencies are virtual currencies, a hacker can target a software wallet and steal your virtual currency by accessing your private key. In this manner, generating and storing private keys in the offline world via a hardware wallet protects your virtual currency from hackers. In this fashion, hackers will not have any ways to reach your coins.
Furthermore, even if hackers steal your hardware wallet, they would not be able to access the wallet without your PIN. Even if you lose your hardware wallet, you will still be in good shape as long as you created a secret backup code. That way, you are always able to retrieve your coins.
Even though hardware wallets are not free, and they can be challenging to understand, they are the easiest and most secure way to take care of your cryptocurrency. They are easy to backup and secure while also having a lower margin for error. Even for those who aren’t intimately familiar with technology, they are relatively easy to set up. Furthermore, multiple hardware wallets can be chained together to provide extra security.
With this in mind, everyone needs to be familiar with some of the most popular hardware wallets on the market today. What are a few of the top options from which to choose? There are several vital points to keep in mind.
The Best Computerized Hardware Wallets
When looking at the top computerized hardware wallets, there are several options to know. These include:
Trezor is among the most popular hardware wallets for Bitcoin on the market today. Trezor means “vault” in Czech, providing it with an appropriate name. Trezor was involved in the creation of the first Bitcoin mining pool back in 2010, so the reputation is undoubtedly carrying the company. At the same time, one of the downsides of the Trezor wallet is that when it is upgraded, the firmware in the wallet can delete the entire wallet, so those who are new to the world of cryptocurrency might be a bit put off by this. While this can be alleviated by restoring the wallet from the backup data, it is still something to note. There are two Trezor wallets to note. These include:
- The Trezor Model T: The Trezor Model T is, in general, a Trezor One wallet that has a large touchscreen. Ths touchscreen makes a massive difference in the quality of the wallet. When you are in the process of setting up a new wallet or restoring one from back up data, you are probably going to be asked for something called a seed phrase, which can also act as a recovery seed. Therefore, the touchscreen makes this process easier. Most users prefer the touchscreen instead of using the computer to do this instead, which can make the process more challenging. Furthermore, entering the seed phrase also makes the wallet vulnerable if the computer has been infected with malware in some way. Because the Trezor T has a touchscreen, this possibility is eliminated, making the wallet that much safer.
- The Trezor One: Of course, the other popular Trezor wallet is the Trezor One, mentioned above. This is the oldest hardware wallet on the market; however, it made it this far by being a reliable option. The Trezor One has a simple, straightforward design. It can also host a wide variety of crypto options, including Bitcoin, Zcash, Ethereum, and more. The only crypto that the wallet cannot handle (that is well-known) is the XRP. Another reason why the Trezor One is so popular is that it is one of the most affordable hardware wallets on the market. When this is combined with the ease of use of the Trezor line of wallets, it is easy to see why the Trezor One is still popular even to this day.
Overall, the Trezor line of wallets is reliable, easy to use, and secure. For these reasons, Trezor is one of the top Bitcoin wallets on the market today. In summary, the pros and cons of the Trezor wallet line include:
- Trezor wallets have been designed by experienced veterans with a lot of experience when it comes to Bitcoin wallets.
- The hardware wallets are made from open source software, making it easy to get help with them, if required.
- The Trezor company reputation is fantastic, as the wallets are widely respected in the industry.
- There are more than 1000 crypto assets that are supported by the Trezor line of wallets.
- Trezor wallets frequently reset when they are upgraded, which can bother people.
- The Trezor One does not support XRP crypto, which can be a problem for those who are looking to trade other types of crypto in addition to Bitcoin.
All crypto users should keep these points in mind when looking for a Bitcoin hardware wallet to meet their needs.
Another reliable company that is known for producing great hardware wallets is called Ledger. Officially known as LedgerWallet, they have been around a long time and have gained the respect of numerous cryptocurrencies aficionados. There is little that people can say about these hardware wallets that is negative.
To access a Ledger wallet, everything is done through something called Ledger Live. This is a desktop application that is free to use. It allows users to control all of their Ledger devices in one convenient interface. This means that using their hardware wallets; everyone can receive crypto payments, send payments to others, and check the balance of all Ledger hardware wallets with a single click of the button. There are two popular hardware wallets from Ledger that everyone should know. These include:
- The Ledger Nano X: The first of Ledger’s popular hardware wallets is called the Nano X. This is their flagship when it comes to Bitcoin hardware wallets. This is an impressive hardware device that can manage more than 100 crypto-assets all at the same time. The main negative about this hardware wallet from Ledger is that the Bluetooth experience appears to require some work. It is unclear exactly how this Bluetooth process works, but it can be challenging to figure out and inconsistent in its reliability. For now, it is a minor inconvenience, but given the reputation of Ledger, it is fully expected that this is an issue that will be fixed with future iterations.
- The Nano S: The other popular hardware wallet from Ledger is called the Nano S. This is similar to the Ledger Nano X; however, it is far less expensive in exchange for not supporting nearly as many crypto assets. Some of the assets the Nano S can support include Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Dash, Ripple, and several others. In this manner, the Nano S is one of the most popular hardware wallets from Ledger.
Overall, these hardware wallets from Ledger are known for being incredibly secure. In addition to their relatively low cost when compared to some of the other options, they do an exceptional job of protecting everyone’s cryptocurrency assets. For this reason, Ledger has become one of the most popular companies for hardware wallets on the market today.
In summary, the pros and cons of using Ledger hardware wallets include:
- Ledger is a company with an outstanding reputation.
- In total, there are more than 1,000 crypto assets that are supported.
- The Nano X wallet is compatible with mobile devices.
- Nano X is a bit expensive.
- The Bluetooth interface of the Nano X is a bit confusing.
Overall, Ledger is one of the most popular hardware wallet options for Bitcoin available today.
Next on the list is a hardware wallet called KeepKey. KeepKey is a Bitcoin Hardware wallet that has a gorgeous design. On the other hand, it is also one of the more extensive options, which means that it may weigh down the pockets of some people. Overall, this wallet has many features that are similar to the Ledger Nano S and the Trezor One. Some of the main benefits of this wallet include:
- This wallet has a sleek design at the vast majority of cryptocurrency users are going to find attractive
- This wallet has robust security measures that are going to ensure that everyone’s cryptocurrency assets are safe from harm
- This wallet was recently acquired by Shapeshift, which means that everyone can conduct exchanges in their wallets without having to use an external source, which is a significant upside
In this manner, it can provide a wide variety of cryptocurrency functions while also keeping wallets safe from hackers and other digital criminals.
On the other hand, there are a few downsides to know it as well. These include:
- The wallet is too large to be carried around in someone’s pocket easily. That’s why life is about twice the size of the Trezor One and the Nano S.
- Customer service from this company tends to lag behind the others. They can be hard to reach sometimes.
- This hardware wallet does not support nearly as many cryptocurrency assets as some of the other options on this list.
Another possible wallet that everyone should consider is called Coldcard, a popular type of cold storage. While this wallet might not be as well known as some of the other wallets on this list, it does have several benefits. Some of the main benefits include:
- Coldcard is easy to navigate. It has a bulky body; however, it does have a full keypad to go along with it. This makes Coldcard among the most straightforward cold wallets to use.
- It has customer support services that are available regularly. Those who are having trouble with Coldcard should be able to get help quickly.
- Coldcard is open-source. This means that anyone can audit the software program to make sure that it is secure. With more eyes on the code, it is easier to identify bugs and fix them.
- Coldcard allows offline transactions. This makes Coldcard harder to hack, providing every user with added security.
There are a few drawbacks to Coldcard Bitcoin wallets as well. These include:
- Coldcard is relatively expensive, coming in at about twice the average price of other Bitcoin wallets.
- Coldcard also supports Bitcoin only. Those who are looking for a hardware wallet for other crypto assets will be disappointed.
Overall, Coldcard is a healthy option for Bitcoin wallets. Those who are looking for a reliable, secure, hardware wallet that can handle Bitcoin with ease will be happy with Coldcard.
Paper and Steel Hardware Wallets
For cryptocurrency users who are a bit worried about computer hackers gaining access to their wallets, it might be a good idea to consider using steel wallets. Steel wallets are great because they can serve as a backup for other kinds of Bitcoin wallets in case the original one is destroyed. In this manner, nearly any cryptocurrency holder could benefit from these steel wallets. Some of the top options include:
One of the most robust steel wallets available today is called Billfodl. The company provides several products; however, its Billfodl wallet is one of the most popular. One of the main benefits of Billfodl is that the wallet is effortless to use. To get this wallet set up, slide up the metallic letters to match your seed key. Once the seed key is in place, you can slide the metal hinge to lock the letters into place.
At the same time, it is important to point out that the metal letters can also be a downside. The size of them can make them hard to see, so you have to watch very closely where you place the letters. You want to make sure that you don’t accidentally lock a misspelling of your seed key into place. Overall, the Billfodl wallet is a mighty steel wallet that can secure your keys. Billfodl is so confident in its wallet that there is even a 125 percent refund policy in place. If you don’t like your Billfodl wallet, then the company will pay you to take it back.
Cryptosteel is one of the most popular steel wallets available today. The process of buying a Cryptosteel wallet and getting it set up is relatively easy. You can decide what type of internal set-up you want to have for your wallet. For example, you can choose a mnemonic, a hexadecimal system, or a mixture of both.
One of the exciting features that you can add to your Cryptosteel wallet is that you can make it unique by adding an engraving. You might decide to use a crypto symbol or something special for you.
When it comes to usability, Cryptosteel is one of the easiest wallets to use. Even as your keys change, you can edit Cryptosteel with ease. When you are changing or filling in the codes, you have to be mindful of where the letters are. Copy down your private key and slide the letters into place. Then, slide it to lock it and protect your private keys from being stolen. You’ll be good to go! For these reasons, Cryptosteel is one of the most popular steel Bitcoin wallets available today.
Finally, it is time to talk about CryptoTag. When talking about CryptoTag, it is essential to note that the company certainly does not lack for any visual flair. It promises to provide its users with the best product possible. The CryptoTag wallet does everything it can to live up to these high expectations. Inside each box from CryptoTag are the wallet, a hammer, and a wide variety of letters and numbers that can be used as pins. To use the pins that come with your CryptoTag wallet, you etch each one into the wallet using a hammer. This certainly sounds like a secure option. It is impressive both in its appearance and in its feel as you stamp your key into place.
At the same time, if you make a mistake, it is in place permanently. There is nothing you can do about it. Therefore, there is no room for error. Therefore, there is a significant trade-off between the impressive security that CryptoTag provides and the possibility of making a mistake as you hammer your private key into the CryptoTag wallet.
Cross-between Hardware Wallets
A cross-between hardware wallet is a mixture of one of the above options that form a Bitcoin Bearer Instrument. Currently, the best example is a mixture of an electronic hardware wallet, but also both physical, such as a kind of USB stick that allows you to spend Bitcoin like a dollar bill.
This is the world’s first Bitcoin credit stick. This means that users can spend their bitcoins in the same manner as traditional cash. In this manner, users can think about OpenDime as a Bitcoin piggy bank. It is possible to add as many bitcoins to OpenDime as you desire. But to withdraw from the OpenDime wallet, you will need to physically break a pin on the stick to reveal the private key, meaning that the funds on the hardware are no longer safe for future use after this use. For this reason, it is a good idea to send any remaining coins to a new address until they are ready to be used.
In this fashion, the OpenDime Bitcoin wallet is a cross between a steel wallet and a hardware wallet. If you like carrying a paper Bitcoin wallet, then OpenDime might be a solid choice for you. Pass it along multiple times. Connect to any USB to check balance. Unseal anytime to spend online. Similar to other hardware wallets, OpenDime Bitcoin wallets can degrade over time. Therefore, users should keep this in mind when using it.
Find the Right Hardware Wallet to Store Your Bitcoin
These are just a few of the most popular hardware crypto wallets that are on the market today. Bitcoin is snowballing, and as more people become interested in it, hackers are only going to try harder to steal people’s virtual currency. Therefore, everyone needs to take the necessary measures to protect their assets from harm. Think about some of the features of these hardware wallets and make sure that your Bitcoin investment is protected. Remember that even though hardware wallets are not free, they are the easiest way to store all types of virtual currency securely. Because they are accessible to backup and secure, it is a good idea for everyone to take a look at the various hardware wallets on the market today and find the one that best meets their needs.