Hardware wallets are by far the most secure option for keeping your valuable Bitcoin secure.
Here’s the thing:
Hardware wallets cost money.
We know… paying for stuff sucks, but the security hardware wallets offer are unrivaled by software wallets.
Below, several well know hardware wallets are compared and contrasted to help find the best Bitcoin hardware wallet for you!
Why are Hardware Wallets so secure?
Hardware Bitcoin wallets offer the most security out of any other storage method due to them having multiple lines of defense.
- PIN Codes that must be entered in person
- Backup phrases used to recover private keys from a lost, stolen or broken wallet
- Offline storage. If done correctly, hardware wallets can be set up without ever exposing them to the outside world.
The Ledger Nano X is the newest installment of hardware wallets from Ledger. It’s aesthetically pleasing and extremely secure. The Ledger Nano X comes at a price of $119, which is average for a hardware wallet.
What Makes the Ledger Nano X so Secure?
The Ledger Nano X has several lines of defense making it an extremely secure option for storing cryptocurrency. Through the use of a microchip and PIN Code, the device can only be turned on when a PIN is entered correctly.
After a certain amount of PIN code failures, the device is wiped.
Your coins are still safe.
This is due to another line of security known as your recovery phrase.
Ledger Nano X Recovery Phrase
Before setting up your Ledger, you’ll be prompted to write down the wallets recovery phrase.
In the event your wallet is lost, stolen, broken, or eaten by your dog, this can be used to recover wallets.
As long as this sequence of words is kept safe, you can access your wallet from Ledger devices or other supported wallets.
This is an example of a recovery phrase.
NEVER show this to anyone as it would be all they would need to access your wallet. This is only for tutorial purposes.
What Coins Does the Ledger Nano X Support?
The Ledger Nano X supports a wide variety of cryptocurrencies and altcoins. By default, the device might not have the necessary firmware for storage, but this can be easily installed.
According to the Ledger website, the device is capable of having over 100 wallet apps, including ALL ERC-20 and Ethereum tokens. The Ledger Nano X currently supports over 1185 cryptocurrencies!
How Do I Setup a Ledger Nano X?
The wallet comes with a tutorial inside the package, but Bitpremier has also written an in-depth text tutorial on the official Ledger Nano X review page.
What Do I Need to Use My Ledger Nano X?
The Ledger Nano X can be used on any computer, regardless of the operating system. It works perfectly with Mac or Linux machines and is also companionable with Google Chrome on Windows 7-10, Mac 10.8+ and Linux.
Upon connecting the device to a computer, you will want to download the Ledger Live Application where you can manage the device.
How Do I Navigate the Ledger Nano X?
The device has two buttons on it that are used to navigate its menus. The left and right buttons correspond to up or down. Clicking both at the same time is how you “confirm” or continue to the next menu.
The Ledger Nano X is all around one of the best Bitcoin hardware wallets for your money.
Next up, is the Trezor T (Left) (€149). After the success of the Trezor One (Right)(€69), the team behind the devices decided to take all of the popular features into the newest model.
What makes the Trezor so secure?
Similarly to the Ledger Nano X, the first line of defense for the Trezor device is a distinctive PIN code. Upon initialization, the device asks you for a PIN code.
Even if the computer the Trezor is plugged into gets hacked, the PIN can never fall into the hands of the hacker.
The Trezor T also features a recovery seed that allows you to recover lost coins. As with other recovery seeds, NEVER share this with anyone. This one is shown for the purpose of an example.
What Coins Does the Trezor Store?
After receiving some complaints about the lack of supported Altcoins, the Trezor team has listened and expanded the number of cryptocurrencies the device can store.
At the time of writing, the Trezor T and One can support almost all major cryptocurrencies and Ethereum tokens.
Keepkey is another Bitcoin hardware wallet with a minimalistic design that costs $99 plus shipping. The decently sized crystal clear screen of the device makes it easy for the user to navigate its menus.
KeepKey takes over the management of private key generation, private key storage, and transaction signing.
Private keys stored on the device are kept in a way ensuring no outside source can access the sensitive information.
The hardware wallet generates a private key with the help of its random number generator, an inherent feature combined with the chance factors from the user’s computer, a feature that lends additional power to the randomness of the key’s features owing to the use of two different sources.
Keepkey Recovery Phrase
Keepkey defaults to a 12-word passphrase, but 18 and 24-word phrases can be used. For the most part, the longer the passphrase, the more secure your wallet is. This passphrase can be used to recover information and private keys from the device in the event it is broken or stolen.
A feature of KeepKey critics often attacks is its lack of complete cryptocurrency support. Offering support for only six currencies, way lesser than its competitors, it can be purchased at a cost of $99.
OpenDimes are sold in packs of three for $37.50 plus shipping. They function much differently than other cryptocurrency hardware wallets. The whole idea of OpenDime is to be like cash where you physically hand over the bills. In this case, you hand over the OpenDime.
For long-term holders of Bitcoin, this might not be your best option as it focuses on in-person transactions.
To get started with the device, plug it into your computer. Setup guide instructions are in a readme file that shows upon insertion. The device asks you to insert a random file which is used to create a unique private key.
After the key is initialized, load the OpenDime with any amount of currency. The private key of the device is completely secure until it is “opened”. Using a small item like a dime, you can easily remove a component to expose its private key.
From here, you can plug it back in to access its contents.
Here are some situations where OpenDime can be used from the official website:
- Gifting someone a Bitcoin! Preload an Opendime and mail it to a friend.
- Deliver the payment for a car when you go to pick it up. Just put your payment on an OpenDime and hand it over when you get the keys. Private key for car keys!
- Load a number of Opendimes with various denominations of Bitcoin. Keep them in your pocket to pay for things throughout your day.
- Sell Opendimes, preloaded with value, in exchange for gold or other precious metals.
- Use this instead of a paper wallet. Just as “compatible” but takes care of generating the private key safely.
What other cryptocurrencies can OpenDime store?
Opendime currently supports Bitcoin and Litecoin although it is possible OpenDime adds new currencies in the future.
Is OpenDime secure?
OpenDime is secure as long as it is untampered with. The private key is completely hidden until the piece is broken off. Hardware components are exposed on the outside of the device but pose no security risk.
Made in Switzerland by Bitcoin Core creator Jonas Schnelli, Digital Bitbox Hardware Wallet is a protected hardware RNG & key storage that makes storing Bitcoin as simple as possible. It doesn’t have a screen, and is managed through the device it is plugged into.
How secure is Digital Bitbox?
Digital Bitbox is extremely secure, as it uses Encrypted USB communication, tamper-resistant chips, and the option of two-factor authentication. Offline backups can be created using the Micro SD slot on the device.
Digital BitBox is completely open source and available to view here. Open-source code is great to have on any software project as it allows the code to be reviewed for bugs and malicious files. No such files have been found and the project is completely trustworthy.
What other coins does Digital BitBox support?
Digital BitBox currently supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and all ERC-20 tokens. It is possible more cryptocurrencies are added in the future.
Why are hardware wallets important?
A majority of new Bitcoin users decide to leave their Bitcoin’s in online exchange wallets such as Coinbase. While this is convenient, you are not keeping your cryptocurrency secure. Private keys ultimately decide who owns the Bitcoin. When Bitcoin is left in a wallet like Coinbase they hold your private key for you.
If you want to use your Bitcoin to transact, consider also having a hot wallet. Hot wallets are typically software wallets that store lesser amounts of Bitcoin. These are great for spending Bitcoin on everyday items.
You can never be too secure when it comes to cryptocurrency, which is why hardware wallets are the #1 option for storing cryptocurrency. Depending on your needs, certain cryptocurrency wallets are better than others.