Using desktop and mobile applications looked like a good answer, but some users wanted something even more convenient, interactive, and portable. A solution was soon proposed by pioneers of the hardware industry — Ledger. The company proposed a small device that would fit in your pocket and provide the full benefit of cold storage and a convenient interface.
The first iterations already looked quite good. Soon enough, other companies announced their forays in this new field. Today, crypto users have a much wider choice of hardware to work with. We will talk about some of the finest products in the market and try to find which will work for you!
The foundational block of crypto — your mobile phone
The best crypto hardware wallet is one that you can use daily without much hassle. Many people use their phones for all their day-to-day needs. Why should you not use it for operations with crypto?
There are pros and cons to using your smartphone as the main hardware for crypto management. Let’s talk about the advantages:
- Using a smartphone is natural for the vast majority of contemporary people. It is convenient and intuitive. Installing an app is easy and many smartphones have excellent security features.
- Smartphones are affordable. You can get a decently functional smartphone with all the necessary features for a couple of hundred bucks. It is much cheaper than getting a top-of-the-line hardware wallet.
- Modern smartphones are compatible with many desktop systems and do not take up much space in your pockets.
- While these advantages look good on paper and may convince many inexperienced users to use their devices instead of getting a dedicated hardware wallet, disadvantages are deal-breakers for crypto enthusiasts. Here are some of them:
- Smartphones can be easily compromised and, despite the best efforts from manufacturers, can be infected with viruses and other malware. Using crypto on a device that has been compromised is exposing your capital to unnecessary risks.
- Hardware crypto wallets have to be resilient against all sorts of threats including theft. A smartphone can be hacked even if you use the vast majority of security features. A dedicated wallet will be close to impenetrable for most hackers.
- Crypto wallet hardware runs specialized software that prevents the installation of any applications meaning that your device will never be infected with a virus or unwanted programs. It is a very simple system that protects your data and funds from unauthorized access.
Smartphones are quite useful in many scenarios and you may want to use them to access trading accounts on various exchanges or otherwise manage your portfolio. However, security risks should be contemplated carefully. Nobody wants their funds stolen due to ineffective safety measures or compromised software.
Our TOP 5 best cryptocurrency hardware wallets
Each of our picks has significant advantages but also has some downsides. It is close to impossible to find a perfect solution since increasing convenience often requires compromises on the security side of things and vice versa. The right balance for you is what should be the main priority. Some people may prioritize convenience and aesthetics over security. Others will not give up any safety features.
While the best option for any given individual is a matter of personal taste, some products are way above the market’s average. We reviewed only those products that deserve your attention.
1. ELLIPAL Titan The best physical cryptocurrency wallet for users
The vast majority of newcomers to the industry do not know much about cryptocurrencies in general and want something that will make it easier for them to start using their coins. Currently, the best solution for such users is ELLIPAL’s Titan, a multifunctional hardware wallet for over 1000 different types of protocols that has a surprising level of safety.
ELLIPAL created a solid piece of technology. The aesthetics are a bit rough around the edges and some people may find it less appealing from the design standpoint. However, you will be impressed by the relatively large touchscreen, responsive software, and flexibility of the wallet. You can use it to store 48 coins and over 1000 different tokens.
If you are into crypto and want to explore the world of blockchain to its fullest extent, this wallet will be a good tool to have. It allows users to buy and use a variety of digital assets, quickly send money, scan QR codes for quick payments, and manage assets without ever connecting to another device. In general, it is a great solution for daily crypto users.
Another great advantage is that it has a watertight seal and won’t be scratched by your keys. Carrying it around is not as uncomfortable as one could imagine given the relatively big size of the device.
Advantages of ELLIPAL Titan:
- The device has many useful features and a big screen that allows you to get more information about your tokens and coins
- The wallet can store up to 48 different types of coins and over a thousand tokens issued by various blockchain networks
- Users commend Titan for its flexibility, richness of features, and convenience of using it in day-to-day situations.
- Quick pay, QR-code scanner, and other neat features make it quite functional and interesting for people who want to explore the world of crypto.
Disadvantages of ELLIPAL Titan:
- Among top hardware wallets, this one certainly lags in the security department since many convenient features may be exploited by hackers.
- Compared to some other state-of-the-art devices, it is quite large and won’t fit onto your keychain.
2. NGRAVE — the most expensive among top crypto hardware wallets
If you want to impress someone and show off your involvement with modern technology, you should check out NGRAVE, one of the most feature-rich hardware wallets out there. The price is certainly something to consider since it costs over 390 Euros which is a lot for many average crypto users. Whether you need something so expensive to manage coins is your decision, but we would advise against it if you cannot afford it.
NGRAVE stands out from the crowd with its strong focus on security, slick design, and functional software. The device was conceived as a no-compromise solution for dedicated crypto enthusiasts who want the best security and the highest level of convenience.
You will be pleasantly surprised with the comfort of using a large 4-inch touchscreen. It allows you to quickly get the most important information about your portfolio. It is responsive and solid. Another great feature is the biometric scanner that prevents any unauthorized access to the wallet and its contents.
Other features like a light sensor, NGRAVE LIQUID app companion, QR-code scanner, and GRAPHENE backup for keys are also great. The operating system is custom-made and protects your portfolio from many security risks that other mainstream hardware wallets may be exposed to. In general, a great device to have and show off. However, the price is quite high.
Advantages of NGRAVE:
- The design and utility of the device are through the roof and make a solid piece of technology that will impress your friends.
- Many features are designed to make the life of an average crypto user simpler and more convenient.
- NGRAVE offers its users a variety of complimentary features like pairing it with a mobile app, immediate customer support, and more.
Disadvantages of NGRAVE:
- It may not be as durable as other products in the market. Titan, Trezor, and Ledger offer devices that look like they are built better.
- The price is quite high even by crypto industry standards. The cheapest model will cost you about 390 Euros which is several times more than other products.
3. SafePal S1 — the best hardware wallet for cryptocurrency
Advanced users who want to access the whole spectrum of digital assets available to investors should look into using SafePal S1, a great hardware wallet backed by the biggest centralized exchange Binance. This company started its Labs kitchen focused on financing various DeFi and specialty products. In 2021, the Labs introduced a new product — a feature-rich hardware wallet with the sole purpose of challenging the market dominance of Trezor and Ledger.
S1 has many advantages compared to other hardware wallets and offers much-needed flexibility to users who want something cheap, functional, and capable of working with a variety of tokens and coins. All assets that you can trade on Binance are supported by this device.
Safety features are quite strong and offer protection from various potential threats. You can use its mnemonic card to store various bits of highly important data like your private keys, seed codes, and passwords. The only true way for this device to connect to the outside world is via a USB cable. It does not support other forms of wireless connections such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
Some users may think that these limitations are unnecessary, but it is the best way to ensure that your device is fully protected from unwanted access by hackers. You will simply never connect to a compromised network. Despite an obvious limitation of this approach, it is a great security feature.
Use SafePal S1 to store BTC, Binance Coin, and tokens issued by the Ethereum and Binance networks. Don’t worry about the fact that it can be accessed by other apps. If any software vulnerability is detected, the device will reset immediately to prevent data leaks and unauthorized access to your portfolio.
Advantages of SafePal:
- The product looks nice despite its relatively low cost. It is not as fancy as some other hardware wallets, but it works wonderfully.
- The variety of supported coins and tokens makes it a great choice for people who are active in the crypto industry and want to work with different assets.
- The product is fully compatible with Binance and its various services. Loyal customers of this centralized exchange should use it.
Disadvantages of SafePal:
- The lack of wireless connection options is quite limiting for people who are used to employing a host of devices like smartphones and laptops to manage their portfolios.
- The product is certainly slightly worse in terms of design and overall quality compared to established market leaders.
4. Trezor One — one of the best physical Bitcoin wallets
Trezor is a product by the creative team of SatoshiLabs based in Eastern Europe. The company initially wanted to release something basic yet formidable and capable of competing with Ledger. It started alongside the latter and created its best-seller in 2013. Model One is the first iteration of hardware wallets by SatoshiLabs and it works excellently.
Early models of offline devices were focused on privacy and security. They often worked as cold cryptocurrency storage devices that were completely stripped of any functionality allowing them to connect to other devices and networks. This concept was soon abandoned and the whole industry started focusing on convenience. Nevertheless, Trezor decided to follow its original course and continues to sell its first model to users who want the highest level of safety.
Throughout its existence, Trezor Model One received multiple updates to patch some holes in its security features. Some people lost their coins due to breaches that were not identified until it was too late. Nowadays, it is a reliable and secure wallet that uses hierarchical deterministic keys and can be further protected by 2FA and other safety features.
The price of this model is very low compared to market standards. SatoshiLabs managed to cut some corners without compromising the main functionality of the device. For example, you have a tiny display and two buttons to control your wallet. Bluetooth is not an option which is a downside for many users of crypto who also prefer working with their smartphones.
Some security features are great. You may use multi-signature access to a BTC account, set a strong 9-digit PIN code, and additionally sign every single transaction to ensure that you are in full control of your digital assets.
Advantages of Trezor Model One:
- This device is among the cheapest on the market with starting price being just $59. It is an affordable entry-level hardware wallet for newcomers.
- The wallet supports over 1000 different digital assets including all mainstream coins and a variety of tokens.
- This device is a time-tested product that has been around for almost a decade. It has many loyal users from all across the globe.
Disadvantages of Trezor Model One:
- Some security concerns were raised in the past. While it is considered one of the best Bitcoin hardware wallets right now, it used to have problems.
- Trezor Model One does not have the same level of customer support and technical maintenance options as some other devices.
5. Ledger Nano S — the most secure crypto hardware wallet
This particular device is a great choice for people who want to use all the possibilities of the Ethereum network and work with a variety of ERC-20 tokens. The Nano S model was released in 2016 and has sold hundreds of thousands of units to users from all over the world. Many believe that it is the safest and most reliable option in its price range.
Ledger Nano S is the most popular hardware wallet by a large margin. It looks stylish, fits in your pocket or on a keychain, and supports a wide range of various digital assets including all ERC-20 tokens, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. The list of supported tokens is regularly expanded allowing users to explore the rich world of crypto.
The device is capable of working with a rich selection of digital assets but can simultaneously store only several wallets. It is not the best choice for people who are interested in trading a wide range of assets regularly and plan to use many tokens daily. However, if you are planning to spend tokens in retail locations or want to have a small yet functional portable wallet, Ledger is a good pick.
You may sync the hardware part of the wallet with a special desktop app called Ledger Live. It is a good option for users who want to have a little bit more flexibility in how they manage tokens. The stick comes with some accessories including a keychain and a ring. Use them to latch the wallet to your belt or home keys.
Advantages of Ledger Nano S:
- Many consider it to be the most aesthetically pleasing hardware device out there. The design is slick, compact, and functional.
- Nano S is a time-tested wallet that has been selling like hotcakes since 2016. Many Bitcoin enthusiasts endorse using this particular device for daily usage.
- With over 1100 different assets supported by this product, you will find a way to utilize it efficiently.
Disadvantages of Ledger Nano S:
- The limited space on the device means that you can only work with a couple of wallets at the same time. Installing new wallets is a tedious task.
- The variety of features is underwhelming when comparing it to some other products in the same price range.
What is the best hardware wallet?
Choosing the best Trezor or the best Ledgers is an ungrateful task due to a multitude of reasons. Hardware wallets are quite good with many models offering a wide range of useful features to their users. They all can be used to manage mainstream coins like BTC or ETH. They all have good security and work as cold storage devices when needed.
It all comes down to utility and convenience. Even the price is often a negligible factor since the difference is less than $50 between most products in the market. Yes, you may pick something expensive, but it won’t make a significant difference.
Here are factors that you should keep in mind when choosing the best crypto hardware wallet for you:
- Convenience. Watch some reviews and read about a device you are interested in. If you think that you will quickly get used to the interface and features, take notes. If it looks way too complicated, pick something different.
- Design. You should enjoy using any physical device. Since many products have similar features and security options, pick devices that are easy on your eyes. Better-designed products usually satisfy users and provide an excellent experience.
- Price. Ledger and Trezor have budget models that work for most users who do not plan to diversify their cryptocurrency investments beyond reasonable. You can get a functional device for less than $100 and use it for a long time.
- Compatibility. Some hardware wallets may not support tokens that you are currently invested in. Such models should be dead last in your ranking. Look at affordable, utility-oriented devices that support a wide variety of digital assets.
Personal tastes and preferences play a huge role and should be taken seriously. If you don’t like how Trezor Model One looks, pay the same price and get Ledger Nano S. If you think that Ledger is not fancy enough, consider getting NGRAVE.
The main takeaway
A good HW wallet will make it easier and safer for you to work with cryptocurrencies of all sorts. If you are interested in protecting your portfolio, purchasing and using a hardware wallet is a good idea. Just remember that you need to use them carefully. Even the most secure wallet will not prevent you from losing coins if you don’t follow fundamental security practices.
Picking any device from our list is a good call for most cryptocurrency users. If you are an experienced crypto investor, you have already made up your mind. Those who are new to the industry should buy something from the list and learn how to use it!