What is the best crypto hardware wallet?
The best hardware wallet really depends on what you need it for.
At their core, all of these wallets are more secure than using something like MetaMask because they store your details offline.
However, they vary in their use cases and features.
Some of us need support for the storage of different cryptocurrencies. Others might need more security at the expense of UX.
Whatever your needs, one of the below should be a fit for you. Just be sure to read the features to ensure you get the best hardware wallet for you.
What is a crypto hardware wallet?
Hardware wallets are, currently, the most secure method of storing your crypto investments.
They store your private key - which is the critical piece of information needed to access and move your crypto investments - in a device that’s not connected to the internet.
In effect, it isolates the information that could be used to hack your investments and removes it from easily hackable elements like your desktop or mobile device.
If you’re using a software wallet and someone hacks your computer, they have the key to access your investments.
Hardware wallets simply store the key in an offline environment so, even if your computer is hacked, the key is stored in a separate location thus thwarting the attack and theft.
What’s the difference between a hardware wallet and a cold wallet?
These are simply different names for the same thing.
A hardware wallet is a cold wallet.
They’re called cold wallets because they’re non-custodial. Meaning you are the only person to hold the key - there is no other record anywhere of the key on these wallets.
Hot wallets are software wallets like MetaMask.
They live in your browser or on your phone where there's a higher chance of hacking.
What’s the difference between a crypto hardware wallet and a software wallet?
A software wallet - sometimes called a hot wallet - stores your private key on your computer.
While hardware wallets store your keys on a separate device that has to be manually linked to the internet, software wallets store your keys on your desktop or mobile device.
While this is more convenient and means you have more recovery options should you lose your key, it’s also more susceptible to hacking attempts.
And if someone gets your software wallet key they have full access to your investments and can take any action they want - including sending themselves your currencies.
You can reduce the chance of this by linking software wallets with a 2FA app (highly recommended).
What are the benefits of using a hardware wallet?
The primary benefit of using a hardware wallet is security.
As the wallet stores your keys in an offline location (until connected to your mobile device or desktop) there is literally zero chance of someone hacking it to find your wallet keys.
This should, in theory, keep your crypto assets and investments safe.
The only drawback of a hardware wallet is that, if lost, you lose access to your assets as well.
When should you get a crypto hardware wallet?
There's no hard and fast answer on this.
It really depends how comfortable you are with risk when it comes to your finances.
However, our advice is to think about the amount of money you feel comfortable keeping in your house as fiat cash before you'd go to the bank.
If you feel comfortable keeping $500 in your home, then $500 in crypto is where you should draw the line and purchase a good hardware wallet.
If you're like me and have been cashless for some time, I'd say that $1000 is the limit.
As soon as you have $1000 in crypto assets, get a hardware wallet to ensure they stay safe and secure.
How to choose the best crypto hardware wallet
The recommendations above are all solid choices when it comes to choosing a hardware wallet. And all will help you better secure your crypto.
However, knowing which one is right for you can be a difficult task.
Before you jump in and start looking at which to buy, I’d recommend using the below decision making flow to find which best suits your purposes.
If you can’t afford to drop $250+ on a wallet, don’t get drawn in to the higher price options.
The money you’d save here would be better spent on necessary bills or in investing in your portfolio.
All of the above recommended wallerts are secure. Get what you can within your budget now, then upgrade later.
Asset volume and value
All of the above recommended hardware wallets will improve security of your crypto holdings.
However, you also need to consider the value and volume of trades you;re making.
If you’re trading between multiple currencies, then you might be better off splashing out a little more cash to get one of the more expensive wallets that support a higher number of currencies.
Currencies you invest in
If you’ve narrowed your search down to the hardware wallets within your budget and that would fit your portfolio’s scope, you need to cvheck whether or not it supports your primarily traded currencies.
For example, if you invest primarily in $LUNA, but your wallet doesn’t support it, then it needs to be discounted.
If you follow these three simple questions you should be able to find a wallet that fits your needs.