A hardware crypto wallet gives you a secure way to store your private keys, giving you control over your cryptocurrency. It is a safer alternative than keeping your crypto on an exchange or using a software wallet.
What to Look for in a Cryptocurrency Wallet in 2022?
There are three 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 is 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.
The following are mobile wallets on a phone or browser such as Metamask. These wallets provide you with a set of private keys that ensure that only you can access your property. Private keys are a series of unique random words that can be entered to retrieve your cryptocurrency.
The only downside is that these mobile wallets work with software that can be hacked. While it is much safer than keeping your cryptocurrency on an exchange, mobile wallets are certainly not completely secure.
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 don’t store your private keys in software either. They eliminate the risk of someone other than you gaining access to your money.
Cryptocurrency wallet technology has come a long way since the early days of cryptocurrency. Like any emerging market, there are many new entrants. As such, it can be a bit confusing trying to discern which serves the best purpose. And just 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 are intended to allow users to store their assets without additional bells and whistles, and some even work with DeFi.
Depending on your needs, we think our picks below have something for every type of cryptocurrency user.
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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 does not support.
As part of this redesign, the Model T has a streamlined touchscreen and no additional buttons. The installation may take a little longer due to some features, but it’s worth it.
One of these features is the ability for users to buy cryptocurrencies with current fiats and trade cryptocurrencies within the Trezor Suite web application. Transactions made through Trezor Suite are then updated in your wallet in real time.
The Model T comes with additional layers of security compared to its competitors. Bluetooth wallets allow hackers to break in and steal your money. Model T can only be connected with a micro USB cable. It can also use secure QR codes to facilitate sending and receiving 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.
However, all those extra features and increased safety mean that the Model T is more expensive than its competitors. Also, the Model T does not integrate with iPhone users. Android users can interact seamlessly with Model T by connecting a micro USB. If you’re an iPhone user and need to connect to it, you’ll want a different wallet.
Best Crypto Wallet for Beginners: Trezor Model One
Sometimes the newer devices like the Trezor Model T are not the easiest to use. A wallet that is simple and works well may be preferable, especially for someone new to crypto. If you like to keep it simple, the Trezor Model One is for you.
This hardware wallet was released in 2013. Despite this, the Model One has nothing to envy to most other wallets on the market, but it has fewer features and costs half as much.
It supports over 1,000 cryptocurrencies, but since it was developed almost a decade ago, it is not compatible with some of the newer cryptocurrencies like Cardano or Tezos. It also does not support Ethereum-based tokens such as Chainlink, Polygon, or Shiba Inu. Make sure the Model One can stock the parts you invest 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 setup is relatively easy and once complete 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.
Most Secure Crypto Wallet: NGRAVE ZERO
Our most secure cryptocurrency hardware wallet is a newcomer from one of the world’s leading research and technology development companies, Imec. The NGRAVE ZERO Wallet has your safety in mind in more ways than the competition can match.
First of all, the ZERO does not connect to the internet in any way. There is also no Bluetooth or USB compatibility. The only way to communicate with the wallet is through one-way QR codes.
This means there is no risk of compromised software and all your information will remain offline. The wallet is so secure that it has received the highest available security certificate, the EAL7.
The NGRAVE wallet also comes with a fireproof and waterproof stainless steel card onto which you can write your recovery phrase – perfect if something happens to the wallet itself. If you’re looking for complete peace of mind, look no further.
Of course, the ZERO also supports all types of cryptocurrencies, so you can keep all your investments safe. Users will appreciate the large touchscreen that makes navigation smooth.
This level of security is reassuring, but it comes with a price. The 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 that resembles 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 minor compromise.
The Nano X earns its place in the list thanks to its compatibility with mobile devices and the integration with up to 100 applications such as 1inch and POAP. This means, for example, that users don’t have to worry about opening one app to access their Ethereum and another for their Bitcoin. This is something that Trezor does not offer.
Using a Bluetooth connection, Android and iPhone users can interact with their Nano X to buy and sell their crypto. The wallet also supports over 1,000 cryptocurrencies, so you’ll likely be able to store all your coins in one place.
However, unlike the Trezor Model T, Nano X users cannot buy cryptocurrencies using fiat currencies. The Nano X allows users to trade but not buy cryptocurrencies directly.
The only negative of Ledger’s Nano X is a security breach that happened in July 2020. Hackers managed to get the phone numbers and email addresses of millions of customers. Fortunately, no private key was obtained, but there were attempts via phishing attacks. Since then, Ledger has publicly given security a higher priority and there have been no more hacks since then.
Best crypto wallet for DeFi: SafePal S1
Built by Binance Labs, the SafePal S1 hit the market with the hope of creating a wallet for DeFi enthusiasts. Those who are active yield farmers or who interact with all kinds of dApps need look no further.
Users can start by downloading the SafePal app for Android or iPhone. Using the mobile app, investors can interact with all kinds of dApps such as Uniswap, Aave, Compound and Curve. Transactions can then be sent securely to your SafePal S1 by scanning a QR code or verifying a private key to ensure they remain secure.
Other advantages of the SafePal S1 are the price and the security it offers. Priced around $50, this wallet is very easy to use for your bank account. In addition, it works 100% offline as only QR codes are used. There is no USB cable, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection to access money. It even has a self-destruct mechanism if someone tries to break into your wallet.
The downside is that the SafePal S1 doesn’t support some notable coins like Cardano, Tezos, Algorand or VeChain. To compensate, the wallet supports all Ethereum-based tokens and Binance Smart Chain-based tokens. Make sure the SafePal S1 can hold your crypto assets before you buy!