For those people that have been wondering what the cryptocurrency hardware wallet is, here’s a basic explanation of what they are and how they work. Hardware wallets store cryptocurrencies offline. These devices make it easier than ever before to store these currencies while guaranteeing the security of your transactions.
A crypto wallet is an electronic device that holds digital assets and enables transactions between these assets. Hardware wallets are among the most popular crypto wallets because they offer both convenience and security. The difference between software and hardware wallets is the level of security they provide: software wallets offer less protection to their owners, while hardware wallets are more secure than even running them on a computer.
Some of the hardware wallets that can store digital currencies include Ledger, Trezor, and KeepKey. Each hardware wallet is provided by a different company. Ledger is produced by the French startup Ledger and Trezor is produced by SatoshiLabs, just to mention a few.
In this guide, we’ll show you the best hardware wallets for cryptocurrency based on our experience and research. Granted, there are many other hardware wallets out there. This list is strictly for the ones that are available on the market today.
What are Hardware Wallets?
Cryptocurrency hardware wallets (also known as cold-storage wallets) are physical devices that store your cryptocurrency offline, preventing your security from being compromised. They function as a USB drive but have a lot more security than traditional software wallets.
Here we will cover some of the differences between software and hardware wallets. As you might already know, hardware wallets are more secure than software wallets. But let’s get into the details.
Differences between software and hardware wallets
Understanding the way in which hardware wallets work is definitely important. It is not the same to talk about a software wallet as a hardware wallet. Software wallets make it very easy for users to send and receive digital currencies using a computer program or smartphone app.
These software wallets store users’ private keys on the phone or computer, therefore, there is a risk of an attacker taking your coins. This could be done only if your device is compromised, this is why you should always make sure that you carefully control your devices and protect them from possible viruses or hackers.
As you can see, with software wallets, there is a risk of having our funds stolen at any moment. This does not mean that we will get our funds lost. Indeed, if we follow the same logic, then we could get our bank accounts stolen at any moment. This is something that could happen but in an extreme case. Software wallets are great devices for investors to send and receive funds and engage on different DeFi platforms and protocols. Basically, software wallets are our checking accounts where we manage small amounts of funds or where we have the necessary amount of virtual currencies to manage on a regular basis.
Instead, hardware wallets work differently. They are devices that have been created in order to protect users’ funds. While software wallets offer great functionalities (they are user-friendly and easy to use) hardware wallets secure your private keys offline. In this way, nobody can get access to your digital currencies.
Hardware wallets are devices that look like a USB or small calculators that make it possible for investors to store large amounts of virtual currencies without having to be worried about the funds getting lost or stolen by malicious parties.
By having your private keys offline, you are able to control your funds and protect them at all times. This is why hardware wallets became very popular over the last few years. Nowadays, investors use a combination of both hardware and software wallets in order to store and handle their virtual currencies.
As we have already seen, there are pros and cons of hardware wallets. These pros and cons depend a lot on your needs and what you are looking for in a cryptocurrency wallet. In general, you will be using hardware wallets in some situations and software wallets in others. The next one is a list of the pros and cons of each of these types of wallets that would help you understand which would fit better to you.
Pros and Cons of Hardware Wallets
These are some of the pros and cons of hardware wallets-
Pros of hardware wallets
- They are the safest wallets for investors
- You can store many different cryptocurrencies
- Some hardware wallets let you interact with other protocols and platforms
- It is possible to connect them to your Bitcoin node (through software integrations)
- Hardware wallets are durable devices (some of them)
- They offer advanced features for expert users
Cons of hardware wallets
- You have to pay to use these devices (one-time payment)
- They are not user-friendly for newcomers
- They don’t pay off if you hold small amounts of virtual currencies
- Hardware wallets are not comfortable to use on a regular basis (daily payments)
- Some of these wallets don’t have durable materials
Pros and Cons of Software Wallets
These are some of the pros and cons of software wallets.
Pros of software wallets
- They are easy to use
- Software wallets are easily available
- There are many types of software wallets
- There is a larger variety of software wallets than hardware wallets
- They are free to use
- Some of them support over 3k assets
- They can be easily integrated into Bitcoin nodes and also into DeFi protocols
- Users can have software wallets on their smartphones or desktop computers
- They are relatively safe
Cons of software wallets
- They are not as safe as hardware wallets (still safe)
- For large amounts of crypto, it is better to use hardware wallets
- Some of them might not protect users’ privacy
Best Hardware Wallets 2022
Now that we know the differences between hardware and software wallets, we need to know which are the best hardware wallets for 2022. There are many different devices that we could purchase nowadays. However, we need to take into consideration that not all hardware wallets are the same and some of them could be better than others.
This would highly depend on many things, including the needs that you have, the hardware wallet manufacturer and also the solutions offered by each of these wallets. Without further ado, let’s get into the best hardware wallets of 2022.
Ledger Nano S
This is perhaps one of the most popular and recognized hardware wallets in the world. It has been developed by Ledger in France and it has been offering some of the best solutions to cryptocurrency investors for over 5 years already.
This hardware wallet allows users to store and hold hundreds or even thousands of assets. It supports most of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world and it is also a great option for users that want to hold a diversified portfolio.
Compared to other wallets, Ledger Nano S does not have a large memory. That means that if you want to manage different cryptocurrencies at the same time, you will have to install and uninstall apps all the time, which might not be extremely comfortable.
Nevertheless, users that want to hold one or two different cryptocurrencies might feel that this wallet is the best in the market and one of the most reliable in terms of solutions offered. You will be able to store your private keys offline but still have an easy-to-use interface with the Ledger Live software created by the company behind this hardware wallet.
If you are a newcomer and you want to start using a hardware wallet, this is one of the best in terms of price and solutions offered to investors.
Ledger Nano X
The Ledger Nano X is the evolution of the popular Ledger Nano S wallet. It was released a few years ago and it has many different improvements over its predecesor. For example, it has a larger screen, it has more space to offer different apps and supports more currencies.
Additionally, compared to the Ledger Nano S, the Ledger Nano X has no cables (it can be used using Bluetooth) making it very convenient for travellers and people that want to use their digital currencies on the go.
This cryptocurrency wallet is also very useful to protect users’ funds as it keeps private keys outside the internet. This is why this is considered to be a cold storage wallet.
Furthermore, Ledger Nano X relies on the Ledger Live app. It works in the same way as with the Ledger Nano S. Users will be able to handle their virtual currencies, visualize their funds and send and receive transfers. Thanks to the Bluetooth connection, users will also have the possibility to sign transactions without having to be worried about exposing their private keys online to hackers and attackers.
The only thing that users should take into consideration is that the Ledger Nano X is more expensive than the Ledger Nano S, but it also offers many more solutions.
Trezor One is the most popular hardware wallet created by SatoshiLabs from Czechia. This cryptocurrency hardware wallet is one of the main competitors to Ledger as it offers similar solutions and it has been one of the first and widely-used crypto hardware wallets in the market.
Users can hold their virtual currencies using this intuitive device that would protect users’ private keys offline. Trezor has been audited and it offers transparency and security to all of its users. Additionally, it has great customer support in case users need help or advice on how to handle digital currencies.
In the same way as the Ledger Nano S wallet, users can get access to different apps and hold hundreds (if not thousands) of virtual currencies using this wallet. Thanks to its monochrome display and two buttons, using Trezor One is very simple and intuitive for investors.
Trezor One costs more than the traditional Ledger Nano S wallet but it is also a more robust device compared to Ledger’s option.
A relatively new cryptocurrency hardware wallet is the Coldcard Mk3, which was released to the market in late 2020. Compared to Ledger Nano S or Trezor One, the Coldcard Mk3, has a different shape, which immediately attracts the attention of customers.
This wallet allows users to store Bitcoin online and offline. Thanks to its features, it is possible to connect it to Wasabi and Electrum, which makes it easy for users to handle payments and protect their privacy when sending and receiving transfers.
The Coldcard Mk3 has an OLED display that lets users see all the information that they need without any effort. It definitely has a larger size compared to the Ledger Nano S or the Trezor One.
Finally, Coldcard supports multisig as it can be connected to other wallets. This makes it possible for advanced users to have a complete and entirely sovereign setup. Nonetheless, users cannot use Lightning Network using the Coldcard Mk3.
Another popular hardware wallet that users can currently find in the market is KeepKey. This hardware wallet has a rectangular shape and a very clean look, making it ideal for those users that want to hold virtual currencies with style.
KeepKey is owned by the cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift and it is a relatively affordable hardware wallet compared to other options. However, it has a limited number of coins supported and it might not be the best wallet when it comes to portability (there are other options that are lighter and smaller).
This could be one of the best options for users that are searching for a different device to store their virtual currencies. Nevertheless, if you are searching for versatility, then you should definitely consider Ledger Nano S or Trezor Model T.
Billfold is a steel Bitcoin hardware wallet that focuses on durability rather than usability. This is a backup device that will let you securely store your 24 words. You will not be able to send and receive coins using this wallet, as it is a piece of steel that can be securely stored anywhere you consider without being worried about fire, floods or time.
When you use traditional hardware wallets such as Ledger Nano S or Trezor One, you will have your private key backed up on a piece of paper. This paper can get lost or destroyed. This is why users might prefer to have a Billfold metal seed recovery wallet to protect their seed phrase.
The price of this wallet is just $99 and it could be a great option for those investors that want to make sure their private keys are completely secure.