Hardware Wallets Review

Currently, if there’s anything crypto investors are most aware of, it’s the fact that the safety of their coins comes first. That is where wallets come onto the scene.

A wallet is simply a software or device that helps you secure your cryptocurrency. With it, you can receive, store or send any cryptocurrency.

Setting up a wallet is always one of the first things you undertake when seeking to invest in cryptocurrency. The good thing is that you can’t run short of options for Wallets.

Considerations before choosing a wallet

When you are in search of a suitable wallet to keep your crypto safe, you need to consider the following:

  • What type of wallet is it?
  • Security features- are there any encryption or authentication factors?
  • Does it allow storage of several cryptocurrencies?
  • How reputable is the wallet or company behind it?
  • How portable or otherwise is it?

Types of wallets

Remember, we earlier mentioned that you can’t run short of options, right? Well, there are so many alternatives, all categorized into different types of wallets.

On top of the chain is the hardware wallet. This type of wallet falls into the category of wallets we generally call cold storage wallets. The other group is referred to as hot wallets.

  • Cold storage wallets are designed to operate or store your coins offline.
  • Hot wallets consist of those wallets that essentially stay online (most of the time).

Specifically, you may come across desktop wallets, mobile wallets, paper wallets, and Multisig wallets. This article will review hardware wallets and give a few top examples. But before we do that, let’s run through the other types briefly, for the benefit of diversifying our knowledge.

Here are the top three hardware wallets to consider in 2018:

The Ledger Nano S

The Ledger Nano S is a trusted hardware wallet that won’t disappoint you. Though not as fancy as its latest “cousin” the Ledger Nano Blue, it has more advantages over the later due to reliability. Nano S has proven over time that it is a top wallet option.

Design features of the Nano S

  • It has a sleek USB-like design
  • It comes with a USB port cable
  • A small display screen for passphrase generation
  • There are two tiny buttons on the side of the device for navigating.

The whole device has a metal casing to safeguard the delicate screen from damage. The entire device can fit into the palm of your hand. Yes, it’s that compact. It’s therefore stylishly portable and can be used on the go.

Nano S security features

The very first line of security is that being a hardware wallet, this device stays offline. It, therefore, reduces the risk posed by hackers. On top of that, you get the following additional safety measures:

  • Built-in tamper-proof software that protects the device throughout the supply chain
  • Seed word protection
  • It allows U2F authentication

The Nano S is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux

CoolWallet

CoolWallet is one of the new hardware wallets on the market. It has a unique design that distinguishes it from the two we featured above. This HD wallet is designed like the traditional bank card, unlike the Nano S or TREZOR.

If you are looking for style as well as compact security, then CoolWallet offers just that. Apart from its security features, it is also water-proof/heat resistant.

Design features of CoolWallet

  • Card-like electronic design
  • NFC/Bluetooth compatibility enhances ease of use
  • Has a 24.6mm x 21.9mm display screen
  • Navigation button that is pressed to allow you perform on-screen selections
  • It allows for BIP2 compatibility; therefore, you to transact with other cryptocurrency wallets.

CoolWallet security features

  • Password /seed phrase recovery
  • It’s 100% cold storage, e. doesn’t connect to the internet
  • Also employs 2-Factor Authentication (2FA)

The CoolWallet by CoolBitX is slowly gaining a reputation as one of the best hardware wallets for storing cryptocurrency. If you want to know more about this stylishly cool wallet, find its complete review here.

TREZOR

Few wallets give you an assurance like the TREZOR hardware wallet. The wallet is built by Satoshi Labs, and it is one of the most widely used offline devices.

One impressive feature of the TREZOR wallet is its ability to store different types of cryptocurrencies.

Another selling factor is its compatibility with a range of other devices, making it ideal for use anywhere.

Design features of the TREZOR

  • The TREZOR is designed like a miniature calculator, without the many buttons.
  • The outer casing is made of a sturdy plastic casing.
  • It has a 128×64 pixel OLED screen for added ease of use.
  • The front features two buttons for navigation.

There is also a USB port that allows you to plug into your PC’s USB drive. You can also connect it to your tablet or Smartphone.

TREZOR security features

  • 4-pin code for access
  • Pin randomization- the 9-digit pin display is randomized every time you log in
  • 24-word recovery seed phrase enhances your wallet’s security

The TREZOR was the first Bitcoin hardware wallet, and at the moment, a little more expensive than the Nano S.

Conclusion

Hardware wallets offer the most secure form of crypto storage. However, they also present one kind of challenge. This relates to the use of and safety of your access codes and words. For example, if you were to forget or unfortunately lose your recovery seed phrase, it would mean no access to your coins. That is the biggest concern among users.

Always ensure you back up your pin code or seed key. The best way to do it is to write them down and secure them in various places. Trust me, nothing frustrates as the knowledge that you have money, but can never access it.