5 Best Bitcoin Hardware Wallets 2018 – Buyers Guide and Reviews

One of the major concerns that people have in reference to cryptocurrencies is the storage. There are a lot of great cryptocurrency platforms out there. However, even with the best platforms, there’s always the slight risk of a hack. Furthermore, a lot of people don’t like to keep their cryptocurrencies with another platform.

That’s where wallets come in. These wallets act as storage spaces for your cryptocurrencies, ones that only you have control over. However, wallets come in various different types.Such as hardware wallet, desktop wallet, online wallet and more. In this article, I’ll give you a detailed review of the 5 best bitcoin hardware wallets in the market.

But before I get into that, it’s important to fill you in on what a hardware wallet is, how it’s different from other types of wallets, and other information.

What is a Hardware Wallet?

Hardware Wallets, as the name suggests, are wallets for your cryptocurrencies that comes in the form of an external device. Some wallets exist only in the cloud, some exist on paper, hardware wallets exist in external devices, usually USBs.

Why should you prefer Hardware Wallets?

Hardware wallets are considered to be the most secure forms of storing cryptocurrencies for a number of reasons:

  1. So far, there has been no reported case of a hardware wallet that’s been hacked. The wallets aren’t kept online, so hackers can’t get to them. They need physical access. Furthermore, even if they’re stolen, they can’t be used without the 2-factor authentication grant or the password which only you have.
  2. Hardware wallets are also highly efficient and rich in features. One of their best features is that some of them come with OLED screens that displays your transaction details.
  3. Hardware wallets are extremely easy to use. Simply plug them in and you’re good to go! As such, they can even be used by people who aren’t really good with technology. As opposed to this, other forms of wallets come with complex setups, menus, etc.

Things to Keep in Mind

We’ve established that hardware wallets are the safest means of storing your cryptocurrencies. However, there are still some precautions you should take to ensure that all goes smoothly.

  1. You should never lose your PIN or password. This is used to give you access to your wallet. As such, if you lose them, you’ll lose access to your wallet. You might be able to regain access through some complicated functions that differ for different wallets, but it’s best not to get into that hassle.
  2. Keep your hardware wallets safely. Like all other technological devices, don’t let them catch water, dust, etc. If the hardware wallet is damaged, it might be difficult to restore access to your online information and bitcoins.
  3. Finally, hardware wallets can also be expensive. Other types of wallets work based on a commission system and don’t require an upfront fee. Hardware wallets need to be bought.

Now that you have all the necessary basic information about hardware wallets, read on to find out about the 5 best Bitcoin hardware wallets.

5 Best Bitcoin Hardware Wallets Reviews and Comparisons

Before I get into the detailed bitcoin wallet reviews, you can go through the following comparative table. This is a table of the 5 best bitcoin wallets in the market. Going through it, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so you can read the reviews of the wallets that you’re most interested in.

Bitcoin Hardware WalletReviewSecurityAnonymityEase of UseCheck Website
TrezorTrezor ReviewGoodMediumAverageCheck
Ledger Nano SLedger Nano S ReviewGoodMediumDifficultCheck
KeepKeyKeepKey ReviewOkayHighEasyCheck
CoolWalletCoolWallet ReviewOkayMediumAverageCheck
Ledger HW.1Ledger HW.1 ReviewGoodHighAverageCheck

You can find the bitcoin wallet reviews down below.

PART 1: Trezor

Trezor is one of the oldest and most reliable hardware wallets in the market. In terms of security, there’s no hardware wallet more efficient than it. However, being the first hardware wallet ever made, it lacks in some of the sophisticated features found in newer hardware wallets.

Trezor is a little device that can be connected to the USB post. It comes with a little display screen that gives you information about your transactions and there are two buttons you can use for navigation. The user-interface is extremely simple.

Trezor Banner

Features:

  1. Multiple Currency Support: Trezor supports a wide range of cryptocurrencies in addition to bitcoins, such as Ethereum, Zcash, etc.
  2. 2-Factor Authentication: You can set up a 2-factor authentication system. As such, you’ll only be able to access your wallet after confirming with your devices.
  3. Password Management: You can set up a password so that in case you lose the device, you can still restore all your information in another wallet using your password.

If you want help setting up Trezor wallet, you can watch the following video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4RGA58ZtOk

Price: You can buy the Trezor device for €89.

Read: Trezor Review

PART 2: Ledger Nano S

Ledger Nano S is the most popular bitcoin hardware wallet in the market. It’s a little USB that you can attach to your slot. Furthermore, there are two buttons you can use to navigate and pressing them together would lead to your transaction being confirmed. You can also use the little display screen to view the progress of the transaction.

Ledger Nano S

Features:

  1. Multiple Currency Support: Ledger Nano S supports a variety of different cryptocurrencies.
  2. OLED Display: You can view your transactions in the display screen.
  3. Backup: In case the wallet runs into some hardware issues, you can restore all your data with a recovery sheet.
  4. App Usage: You can also use the wallet USB device to access apps such as U2F, SSH, etc.
  5. PIN and Password: You get a PIN or password which you need to use to access your device. As such, even if someone else steals it, they can’t access it without your PIN.
  6. Privacy: The wallets are decentralized and the wallet company has no access to your information. Furthermore, it’s encrypted so that no hackers can access it either. This guarantees complete privacy.

You can watch the following video to learn about Ledger Nano S configuration:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjDBz1Fs7JE

Price: You can purchase the USB device for just €79.

Read: Ledger Nano S Review

PART 3: KeepKey

KeepKey is one of the most popular hardware wallets for storing bitcoins. However, it doesn’t really compare against the far superior Trezor or Ledger Nano S. Furthermore, it’s also twice the size of other hardware wallets and difficult to slip into your pockets.

In terms of compatibility, KeepKey only supports 6 of the major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoins. It also has great security features. You get a backup seed password which you can use to restore access to your wallet if you lose it or if it gets damaged. And you need to access it using your PIN.

keepkey home

Features:

  1. Secure Storage: The private key is held securely in the device. Furthermore, to access the device you need to enter another PIN.
  2. Easy Transaction: KeepKey has the largest display screen amongst all the hardware wallets. As such, you can see complete information of the transactions in your device. Furthermore, you need to hold the confirmation button to approve of any transaction.
  3. Simple Recovery: In case your KeepKey is lost or stolen, you can recover all your transaction information and altcoins by using your Recovery Cipher, available in the form of a 12-word sentence.

Price: Purchasing KeepKey costs $129.

Read: KeepKey Review

PART 4: CoolWallet

CoolWallet, as the name suggests, is known for its aesthetic charms and how “cool” it looks. One of the best aspects of CoolWallet is that it looks just like a credit card and can easily fit into your actual wallet. Furthermore, this little card-like device comes equipped with a screen that reveals all transactions and balances. And one of the best aspects of CoolWallet is that it’s completely waterproof.

Features:

  1. Has a display screen for all the information.
  2. Is shaped like a card and can slip into a wallet.
  3. You can also download a CoolWallet Android or CoolWallet iOS app for your phones.

PART 5: Ledger HW.1

Ledger HW

Ledger HW.1 is the most portable and tiny hardware wallet possible. It’s basically nothing but a little chip you can slip into your card slot.

Furthermore, one of the reasons that people prefer it, beside the super portability, is that it’s also extremely cheap. It’s probably the cheapest hardware wallet in the market.

The Ledger HW.1, however, is exclusively a Bitcoin hardware wallet and it doesn’t support any other cryptocurrencies. The private key is stored in the device and can be accessed with two-factor authentication. Furthermore, the private key is not even revealed to the host OS. This ensures complete privacy.

Price: Ledger HW.1 can be purchased on their official website for $25.99.

FAQs

1. Why is a Hardware Wallet considered more secure than an Online Wallet?

Online wallets like Coinbase are secure means fo storing cryptocurrencies. However, in that case, your information is susceptible to getting hacked if that organization is hacked. Furthermore, most of these organizations are always under risk of being hacked. Many of them have been hacked several times. And if a hacker gets in, all your bitcoins may be lost in seconds.

Of course, most online wallets do insure you. However, for that you’ll have to wait a long time and deal with a bunch of people and paperwork.

Hardware wallets are a lot more secure for a number of reasons:

  1. Your private keys are always stored offline so they can’t get hacked.
  2. You’re given a long seed phrase which is unique to you and can help you restore your information if you lose or damage your hardware wallet.
  3. An 8-digit pin is also used without which no one can access the wallet.

2. How are Bitcoin Hardware Wallets impervious to hacking?

Bitcoin hardware wallets aren’t impervious to hacking. However, in order to hack your hardware wallet, the hacker would have to gain access to your physical device. This means that they’d have to either steal your device or be someone close to you.

Furthermore, once they gain physical access to your device, they’ll need your PIN number as well to access it. Without it, the hardware wallet will be useful.

Another alternative to hacking would be to find out your Seed Phrase, which will give them access to your wallet even without having it physically.

As you can see, hacking into a hardware wallet would be extremely difficult and would require intimate knowledge of you. Furthermore, the process will bring about a small return.

That’s why people prefer to hack large organizations. With a single hack, they can gain access to everyone’s wallets. Hardware wallets make for far less tempting targets.

4. What happens if the Hardware Wallet company goes out of business?

All wallets are compatible with each other. As such, even if one hardware wallet company goes out of business, you can still use your wallet with other companies.

5. Do hardware wallets work with Coinbase?

Coinbase doesn’t work with hardware wallets. However, you can send your cryptocurrencies from your Coinbase account to your hardware wallet. So they can be used in conjunction with each other, but they’re separate entities. Buy in Coinbase, store to hardware wallets.

6. Should I take a picture of the seed with my phone as a back-up?

You can take a picture of the seed with your phone. However, you should only store it offline so it can’t be hacked and found. It’s even better to store the seed in hard copy, printed and laminated.

7. Why do Hardware Wallets have buttons?

The buttons in hardware wallets help you control the transactions. Even if you want to approve a transaction you have to press the confirmation button or buttons.

Conclusion

Well, that’s all you need to know about hardware wallets. As you can see, there are various different hardware wallets to choose from, and all of them come with their own pros and cons.

However, my personal recommendation is to go with Trezor or Ledger Nano S, both of which are the most feature-rich and trustworthy wallets.

Do comment down below and let us know if you found this article to be useful and if you have any other questions about bitcoin hardware wallets.