A hardware crypto wallet offers you a secure way to store your private keys, giving you control over your cryptocurrency. It is a safer alternative than keeping your cryptocurrency on an exchange or using a software wallet.
What to look for in a cryptocurrency wallet in 2022
There are three main ways to hold your cryptocurrency and they have varying degrees of security. The first and least secure method is to keep your cryptocurrency on the exchange where you bought it. An example would be buying on bitcoin and never sending it to a more secure wallet. This method is not very secure, as hackers mainly target exchanges in an attempt to steal cryptocurrencies.
Then there are the mobile wallets on a phone or browser like Metamask. These wallets provide you with a set of private keys that ensure that only you have access to your holdings. Private keys are a set of unique random words that can be entered to retrieve your cryptocurrency.
The only downside is that these mobile wallets run on software that can be hacked. While they are much safer than keeping your cryptocurrency on an exchange, mobile wallets are by no means completely safe.
For optimal security, a hardware wallet is required. Most of these wallets look like a hard drive or USB flash drive and are offline storage, putting your assets out of the reach of hackers. The best hardware wallets also don’t store your private keys in the software. They eliminate the risk of someone other than you accessing your funds.
Cryptocurrency wallet technology has come a long way since the early days of cryptocurrency. Like any developing market, there are many newcomers. As such, it can get a little confusing trying to distinguish which one serves the best purpose. And like any other set of products, every hardware wallet does some things better than others.
Some wallets have additional features that allow users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on the wallet itself. Others aim to allow users to archive their holdings, without additional bells and whistles, and some even work with DeFi.
Depending on your needs, we believe our choices below will have something for every type of cryptocurrency user.
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The best all-round cryptocurrency wallet: Trezor Model T
The Trezor Model T is the industry standard for cryptocurrency wallets. The Model T is the new and improved version of its predecessor, the Trezor Model One. As a result, it supports some of the newer cryptocurrencies that the older Model One doesn’t support.
As part of this redesign, the Model T features a sleek touchscreen and no additional buttons. The installation may take a little longer due to some of its features, but it’s worth it.
One of these features is the ability for users to buy cryptocurrencies with current fiat and trade cryptocurrencies within the Trezor Suite web application. Trades made through Trezor Suite are then updated in your wallet in real time.
The Model T comes with additional security levels over its competitors. Bluetooth wallets can allow hackers to get in and steal your funds. Model T connects only via a micro-USB cable. It can also use secure QR codes to make it easier to send and receive cryptocurrencies.
And even better, unlike many other hardware wallets, Trezor’s software is open source. This transparency means that any bugs are usually fixed quickly and security updates are faster, keeping everything safe.
All of these extra capabilities and increased safety, however, mean the Model T is more expensive than its competitors. Also, the Model T doesn’t integrate with iPhone users. Android users can seamlessly interact with the Model T by plugging in a micro-USB. If you are an iPhone user and need connectivity with it, we recommend that you take a different wallet.
The best cryptocurrency wallet for beginners: Trezor Model One
Sometimes the newer devices like the Trezor Model T aren’t the easiest to use. A wallet that works simply and well may be preferable, especially for those unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies. If you’re looking to keep it simple, then Trezor Model One is for you.
This hardware wallet was released in 2013. Despite this, the Model One is in no way inferior to most other wallets on the market, but it has fewer features and costs half as much.
It supports over 1,000 cryptocurrencies, but as it was developed nearly a decade ago, it is not compatible with some of the newer cryptocurrencies such as Cardano or Tezos. It also doesn’t support Ethereum-based tokens like Chainlink, Polygon, or Shiba Inu. Make sure the Model One can stock the parts you’re investing in before you buy it!
The small screen and the two buttons can be used to confirm transactions. The Model One does not have a Bluetooth function but works via a micro-USB cable, which makes it more secure.
Finally, the installation is relatively simple and once completed, you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly from the Trezor Suite web application, just like the Model T. As long as your coins are supported by the Model One, this is a great wallet for beginners. both in terms of features and price.
The safest crypto wallet: NGRAVE ZERO
Our most secure cryptocurrency hardware wallet is a newcomer from one of the world’s leading technology research and development companies, Imec. The NGRAVE ZERO wallet has your security in mind in more ways than the competition can match.
First, the ZERO does not connect to the Internet in any way. There’s no Bluetooth or USB compatibility either. The only way to interact with the wallet is via one-way QR codes.
This means that there is no risk of compromised software and all your information remains offline. The wallet is so secure that it has received the highest security certificate available, the EAL7.
The NGRAVE wallet comes with a fireproof and waterproof stainless steel card on which you can write your recovery phrase, perfect if something happens to the wallet itself. If you are looking for the ultimate peace of mind, look no further.
Of course, ZERO also supports all types of cryptocurrencies, so you can keep all your investments safe. Users will appreciate the large touch screen which makes navigation smooth.
This level of security is comforting, but it comes at a cost. NGRAVE is easily the most expensive wallet on our list, costing over $ 400. However, the price is worth it for those who want to be at the forefront of crypto security.
The most “profitable” crypto wallet: Ledger Nano X
The Ledger Nano X is one of the most popular hardware wallets. At just $ 150, the Nano X has nearly all of the same features as the Model T while sporting a sleeker look reminiscent of a flash drive. The more compact design makes interacting with the device a little less user-friendly than the Trezor Model T, but that’s a small trade-off.
The Nano X deserves its place on the list due to its compatibility with mobile devices and its integration with up to 100 applications such as 1 inch and POAP. For example, this means that users don’t have to worry about opening one app to access their Ethereum and another one for their Bitcoin. This is something Trezor doesn’t offer.
Using a Bluetooth connection, Android and iPhone users can interact with their Nano X to buy and sell their cryptocurrencies. Additionally, the wallet supports over 1,000 cryptocurrencies, so you’ll likely be able to store all of your coins in one place.
However, unlike the Trezor Model T, Nano X users cannot purchase cryptocurrencies with fiat currencies. The Nano X allows users to trade cryptocurrencies, but not to buy them directly.
The one downside to Ledger’s Nano X is a security breach that occurred in July 2020. The hackers were able to obtain the phone numbers and email addresses of millions of customers. Fortunately, no private key was obtained, but attempts were made via phishing attacks. Since then, Ledger has publicly made security a higher priority and there hasn’t been any hacking since.
Best Crypto Wallet for DeFi: SafePal S1
Built by Binance Labs, SafePal S1 came to market hoping to create a portfolio for DeFi enthusiasts. Those who are active farmers or interacting with all types of dApps should look no further.
Users can get started by downloading the SafePal app for Android or iPhone. Using the mobile app, investors can interact with all types of dApps such as Uniswap, Aave, Compound and Curve. Transactions can then be securely sent to your SafePal S1 by scanning a QR code or verifying a private key to ensure they remain safe.
Other advantages of SafePal S1 are the price and the security it offers. Priced around $ 50, this wallet is really easy to use for your bank account. Plus, it works 100% offline as only QR codes are used. There is no USB cable, WiFi or Bluetooth connection to access the funds. It also has a self-destruct mechanism if someone tries to break into your wallet.
The downside is that SafePal S1 doesn’t support some major coins like Cardano, Tezos, Algorand or VeChain. To compensate, the wallet supports all Ethereum-based tokens and Binance Smart Chain-based tokens. Just make sure SafePal S1 can hold your crypto assets before buying!