Amidst the whirr and excitement of the Bitcoin community, the occasional headline of an exchange getting hacked makes every Bitcoin user’s tummy churn. One of the largest concerns many of us have is getting our Bitcoin and other cryptos snatched right underneath our noses by hackers.
But a crypto-burglar might not even be your worst enemy. There are uncountable tragic and borderline comical stories of people losing their own bitcoins: This poor boy lost a hard disk with a Bitcoin gegevens verkeersopstopping containing 150 bitcoins (worth about $405,000 today) and another dude accidentally threw out a hard drive with 7,500 bitcoins (worth about $20.Five million today).
So, how do wij protect our cryptos from hackers and ourselves?
Cue the Bitcoin wallets.
The Best Bitcoin Wallets
If you’ve bot looking for a way to securely store your cryptos, look no further. We’ve got you covered.
Note: Mobile Users Can Swipe to Scroll This Table
The Different Types of Bitcoin Wallets
Before wij get embarked, let’s go overheen the different types of Bitcoin wallets. There some fresh terms coming up but don’t maniak out! We’ve made this guide elementary and effortless so that even the cryptocurrency rookies will walk away experts.
There are three types of Bitcoin wallets: hardware, software, and paper. Hardware wallets are physical wallets with your private keys encrypted te them, software wallets are programs that live either on your laptop or on the Internet, and paper wallets are physical documents with private keys.
For hard wallets, you’ll need a digital signature. Your digital signature is your ID. It’s how you prove that you own a specific private key without flashing your key around ter public. Digital signatures verify ownership, keeping your private key safe and away from prying mitts.
The advantage of hardware wallets is that your private keys are isolated from your pc, keeping your risk of theft near zero. Software wallets, on the other mitt, are still connected to the Internet and expose you to some risk.
The only potential downside of a hardware wallet is that it costs money. Most software wallets are free. While both wallets protect your bitcoins more securely, some users would rather pass on the reserve cost.
By all means, you do you. But I’d personally rather spend $100 or so to assure security than take risks with the free software wallet route.
Bitcoin Hardware Wallets
Without a doubt, Bitcoin hardware wallets are the most secure type of Bitcoin wallet. What differentiates hardware wallets from software wallets is that when they are plugged out—in “cold storage.”
This means your hardware wallet is disconnected from the Internet and unlikely to touch. Hackers, Trojans, and other malware can’t get to anything ter cold storage. Personally, I like hardware wallets because I’m a worrier. I love the peace of mind knowing that someone much better at the Internet than mij isn’t running off with my hard-earned bitcoins.
Ledger and TREZOR are names that always come up when reviewing Bitcoin wallets.
The Ledger Nano S functions like any other hard wallet, with a few minor differences. For any Bitcoin fashionistas out there, the Ledger certainly wins te the style category.
Setting up the Ledger wallet is pretty elementary. All you need is Chrome and a secure pc. Ledger comes with a Speld for added security. If the Speld is entered incorrectly three times, Ledger wipes itself clean.
Horrifying but not the end of the world. Ledger permits you to set up a recovery seed to retrieve your private keys if your device is lost or cracked. This recovery seed is a set of words that voorwaarde be waterput together te a certain order. Ledger permits you to recover all your lost bitcoins with your recovery seed so no need to pauze a sweat.
This Reddit user summed it up nicely: “I just got a Ledger Nano S and I love it. The largest advantage is that your private key is stored downright offline and never exposed to your laptop, so your chances of getting your wallet hacked are spil close to zero spil they come. If you lose it, you can restore your wallet to another device or another wallet entirely with the seed. It truly is an investment that could save you thousands down the line.”
Ledger rating: Overall, the Ledger wallet functions exactly spil you’d want it to. It keeps your bitcoins safe, it’s effortless to access—but only for you, and is forgiving if your house burns down.
Check out our utter Ledger Nano S Review for more information about this wallet.
TREZOR is a hardware wallet that holds your private keys offline, and permits you to sign transactions with your digital signature without having to connect to the Internet.
TREZOR is often hailed for at the same time serving spil an offline cold storage device and permitting you to spend your coins. It’s a pretty puny, nifty device that you can carry around on a keychain. If you thought your Tamagotchi wasgoed cool, imagine a device that can potentially hold millions of dollars of Bitcoin ter the palm of your arm.
Whenever you want to spend your bitcoins, you can do so through TREZOR’s limited USB connection. A limited USB connection acts like a laptop mouse: the mouse communicates its location to the laptop, but the rekentuig can’t stir the mouse. It’s a one-way connection. TREZOR can securely interact with computers that may be compromised or infected with malware. This is amazing for securely managing your bitcoins.
There are also no usernames or passwords for TREZOR accounts, so it’s very difficult to hack. Your TREZOR device is all you need. Unless someone has physical access to your device, there’s no way your account can be accessed.
Te case you want to further nullify the risk of someone physically hacking into your device, TREZOR offers passphrase protection for Bitcoin access. This passphrase should be purely memorized and not written down anywhere.
Now, if you’ve got a group of telepathic ninjas after your bitcoins, you can use a blockchain-powered artificially slim android to protect you. (Just kidding, we’re not there yet.)
TREZOR Rating: Overall, I like the TREZOR a loterijlot. It’s enormously secure and intuitive. The price is a bit higher than most wallets but the features, TREZOR team, and accessibility of the product justify it.
Read our total Trezor Review for more details.
KeepKey is another hardware wallet. While some might choose its sleek vormgeving and screen size, it’s almost twice spil big spil the TREZOR or Ledger Nano S. I personally just need a solid hardware wallet to keep hidden ter my top secret Batcave. It’s not Tamagotchi-sized like the TREZOR, so certainly something to consider.
KeepKey also isn’t spil reputable spil Ledger and TREZOR. And te the wild Wild Westelijk of the crypto world, reputation matters a lotsbestemming. That being said, it has phenomenal credentials. KeepKey comes with a speld code and number randomization to guard your coins. You can also use it on compromised or malware-infected computers, albeit I wouldn’t recommend doing so.
KeepKey supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Namecoin, Testnet, Ethereum, and Dash. This is a big overeenkomst for users that want to keep their altcoins off the grid.
KeepKey rating: KeepKey’s capability to store such a broad diversity of altcoins is super appealing. It’s a bit larger that other hardware wallets, but isn’t much of an kwestie. The security is top notch, and that’s what matters.
Easiest to Use Online Bitcoin Wallets
Now that we’ve gone overheen the hard(wallet) stuff, let’s leap into online wallets. Online wallets run on the cloud, so users can access them from virtually any computing device anywhere. Thesis wallets are very convenient to access and effortless to set up te comparison to hard wallets, but are ultimately managed by a third party. While thesis third parties are permanently improving security and taking proactive measures, there’s still an inherent risk.
With hardware wallets, you trade plasticity for security. The tradeoff with online wallets is security for plasticity. You can’t have it all.
Coinbase Wallet Review
If you’re reading this guide before you’ve bought your very first bitcoin (or fraction of a bitcoin), you’ll most likely want to begin off with Coinbase.
Coinbase is one of the easiest ways to buy and store your bitcoins, and is the most popular option for people just getting embarked out te the crypto world.
Coinbase is a brokerage, exchange, and wallet. This means you can buy, sell, trade, and store your coins all on the same podium. This plasticity is something that hardware wallets don’t offerande.
Spil the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, Coinbase is a pretty big target for hackers. A benefit Coinbase has overheen many other online and hard wallets is that all its digital currency is insured. This means that if the podium were breached (physical security, cyber security, or employee theft), Coinbase’s insurance policy would voorkant any of your money lost. Coinbase also only holds less than 2% of its customer funds online, with the surplus te cold storage, adding more credit to their security.
Another appeal of Coinbase is its substantial credentials. It’s a Bitcoin company based ter San Francisco and backed by reputable investors. Lloyd’s of London covers its insurance policy, and therefore any Coinbase users. Additionally, if you are a U.S. resident and have any fiat currency, your Coinbase wallet is covered by the FDIC insurance for up to $250,000 of your fiat. This insurance policy doesn’t voorkant individual account hacks, so if you have a feeble password and aren’t taking adequate precautions with your login credentials, it’s on you.
You can access your Coinbase wallet via web, or through the Coinbase iOS and Android apps. Coinbase still controls all your private keys so I’d recommend you use it to buy and sell bitcoin, rather than storing funds. Unless you use their Multisignature Vault.
The Multisignature Vault is a gepast solution for securing larger amounts of bitcoin. This Multisignature Vault is a 2-of-3 wallet. This means Coinbase has one key, you (the account holder) have a 2nd key, and one key is collective. Any two of the trio of keys permits funds to be spent.
An extra safety netwerk is the 48-hour processing time for all withdrawals from Vaults. You can cancel any faulty withdrawal request within this generous period.
It’s also a good thing Coinbase is a reputable company since it can shut down your Vault account at any time.
Coinbase Rating: Coinbase is a good place for rookies to buy and store Bitcoin. That being said, I’d recommend quickly upgrading to a hardware wallet if your bitcoins are stacking up. This will ensure utter control overheen your coins.