Should You Use a Bitcoin Hardware Wallet? 5 to Check Out

The rise of cryptocurrency is prompting many to invest in a variety of digital currency, with Bitcoin the most popular. There are a variety of methods for storing Bitcoin, including software, desktop and hardware wallets.

Hardware wallets are particularly effective in security and usability, helping to protect against theft while remaining usable for day-to-day transactions.

A hardware wallet keeps your coins safe even in the event of a hack, thanks to a secret pin code that prevents anyone else from transferring Bitcoins from your hardware wallet. Hardware wallets also protect against viruses and spy screen recording.

Hardware wallets store your coins’ private keys offline, with the hardware wallet generating these private keys and digital signatures.

Users of a hardware wallet write down the wallet’s seed word and store it safely, keeping at least a couple of copies just in case.

Hardware wallets for Bitcoin are a great solution for those seeking to secure their coins for a long period, which explains why they’re in high demand.

Since a hardware wallet is an important purchase for any cryptocurrency enthusiast, it’s worthwhile to examine the market.

Here are five notable Bitcoin hardware wallets to check out:

1. Trezor

Trezor has a strong reputation as the oldest hardware wallet on the market, supporting Bitcoin as well as Ethereum, Zcash and Dash. Like the best hardware wallets, Trezor is a secure cold storage device, but it also has flexible capabilities for spending. The wallet is small enough to carry around in your pocket or on a keychain, requiring a code. Without a code, a wallet is useless to a thief.

To spend Bitcoins with Trezor, simply connect the wallet to any computer with a USB connection. The connection is limited, preventing Bitcoin transactions from interacting with viruses on infected computers.

Setup is simple. You install a bridge to establish communication with your computer. Then, you choose a PIN code that identifies you as correct user when it’s plugged in.

The pin and master private key, which you receive after choosing a PIN code, are what you need to access Trezor.

There’s no username or password, which would be vulnerable to hackers. You can also set up different keys leading to smaller accounts of coins. This feature is useful especially if you’re in the unfortunate situation of being threatened for your key.

In that case, you can provide the assailant with a special key that only leads to some of your coins, instead of your entire portfolio.

Trezor is a reliable, easy-to-use hardware wallet for Bitcoin that values security and ease of use.

2. Ledger Nano S

Ledger Nano S is a sleek-looking hardware wallet with some useful features.

You can create a backup seed key for Bitcoin recovery, helping to relieve anxiety over forgetting your seed key. The OLED interface is easy to read on this batteryless device, which connects to PC or mobile with USB.

In addition to supporting a variety of different cryptocurrencies, the Ledger Nano S is notable for being one of the cheapest hardware wallets available, at less than $100.

3. KeepKey

KeepKey may not be the best option if you’re seeking portability, though there’s no denying its large design is captivating and among the best-looking hardware wallets.

Nearly twice the size of Trezor or Ledger Nano S, the KeepKey wallet supports a variety of currencies. It’s protected physically with a large and durable design, as well as virtually with secure storage.

The wallet’s large display provides an overview of every digital asset leaving the wallet, requiring manual approval.

Considering that coins of all types experience price variations, a large screen with live information can be useful. For those seeking an easy-to-read wallet with a substantial feel, KeepKey is a wallet to consider.

4. Digital Bitbox

Although the Digital Bitbox lacks a screen, the hardware wallet boasts a variety of features for less than $70.

With a minimalist design featuring only one button, the Digital Bitbox supports Bitcoin and Ethereum. The lack of display means you need to insert a microSD card with a backup, in lieu of a recovery seed word.

Fans of simplicity and those mindful of a hardware wallet budget will enjoy Digital Bitbox.

5. BitLox

BitLox’s design mimics that of a smart card, with the wallet only 4 mm thick, while still containing an internal battery.

The wallet supports multiple PIN codes, as well as a NIST-certified random-number generator. The wallet comes in two types: Advanced and Ultimate. The latter touts a case made from high-strength titanium, with the ability to store 100 wallets.

All BitLox products have a five-year warranty, with customization options to help make the design stand out.

These five Bitcoin hardware wallets vary in their designs, including highly mobile, minimalist and bulkier designs.

Regardless, they all do a great job of showcasing the security features and usability that hardware wallets can provide for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Image by Pexels

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews writes about technology and gadgets for Motherboard, MakeUseOf and The Gadget Flow. To read more posts by Kayla, check out her blog Productivity Bytes.