Skip to main content

Top 5 Hardware Wallets for Crypto | Crypto Scams .

Crypto Wallet
Image by Bastian Riccardi from Pixabay

Your Crypto is not safe if you are keeping your coins and tokens on a centralized exchange are lending service or even in a software wallet. You are running the risk of losing access to that digital gold amidst the danger of Crypto Scams . That's why for the ultimate in crypto security, you need a hardware wallet. In this blog post, I'm going to give you a complete overview of some of the safest hardware wallets on the market right now, they being-:

Trezor Model One

Trezor Model-T

Ledger Nano-S

Ledger Nano-X

Keep Key

Compare these wallets side by side and give you some pro security tips that you've just can't afford to miss. OK, this blog post is all about keeping your crypto safe and secure, but I need to hit you with some facts before I say anymore. OK, I need to give you a disclaimer before I talk about this bill. I am not a financial advisor , I'm just an educator and this blog post is written with the sole purpose of providing you factual information. Please contact a financial advisor if your portfolio has been killed. If you're new here, you might be feeling a little bit lost right  My name is "MrCrypt "and I am your crypto geek here at the cryptolibrarynow . I pass on the knowledge of cryptocurrencies, exchanges, DeFi, protocols, NFT'S and market analysis are just a few of the topics I tackle on the daily basis. Now enough with the intro. Let's get it on , Let's unpack these top 5 Wallets -: 

Why a hardware wallet ?

Before I dive into my top five picks, it's important to quickly explain the concepts of self custody and hardware wallets. Now firstly, what self custody means is that you will personally hold the private keys to your crypto. It's sometimes also called unhosted. Now this is as opposed to keeping your crypto on a centralized servers where it controls the private keys and hence has full control. You essentially have to trust that these companies will honour a withdrawal request when you make it. However, when you hold the private keys to your crypto in an unhosted wallet, it means that you are in full control of your coins and tokens. It's permissionless spending at its finest as Satoshi intended. Now, of course, it's not just about holding those keys, but also the manner in which you hold them. There are two types of offline wallets. There are software wallets and there are hardware wallets. Now, software wallets are those that you install on your PC, phone, or web browser. They are programs or extensions that store the private keys to your wallet on the device itself. Now, there are literally hundreds of these software wallets they're free to download and are generally considered the quickest way to store your private keys and self custody your crypto. However, it's not the best way. That's because keys that remain on your device are in what is termed hot storage, i.e, they are on a device that is connected to the Internet in some way. That's unless you never connect that device to the Internet again, something which you aren't likely to do if you intend to one day spend or trade those coins and tokens. And the problem with these hot wallets is that someone could very easily get hold of those keys. Maybe they install malware that fishes your private keys, maybe they steal your phone. Maybe you download a malicious wallet. The point is that you can never be 100% secure if you are going to be using a software wallet. So you want to store your private keys in a cold offline wallet, and one of the best ways to do this is through a hardware wallet. These are basically small devices specifically built for the purposes of storing private keys and signing transactions. They are simplified from a functionality point of view, specifically to avoid the potential of external hacks. They are quite simply dumb single purpose devices. But using one of these devices is anything but dumb. That's because it's nearly impossible for anyone to steal your crypto unless they have the physical device with them. And even then, you would have to give them the PIN code in order for them to unlock the device, which you are unlikely to do unless under severe duress and even then, there is actually a trick you can use in this case, which I'll come back to a bit later on. Anyways all hardware devices will still need to be connected to a PC and will operate with software that the hardware manufacturer develops. Now these programs are usually incredibly user friendly and are one of the main reasons why hardware wallets should be easy enough for anyone to use, even beginners. This means that to all intents and purposes, hardware wallets shouldn't be that much harder to use than software wallets, but way more secure. The only difference is that they aren't free, but if you're dealing with a portfolio worth more than a few 100 bucks, then a hardware device is a worthwhile investment. OK, so that's the background on hardware wallets. It's time to finally move on to our list of the top five best ones on the market right now. I also want to state that this list is not exclusive and there are a number of other wallets out there that others vouch for. These are just my personal picks .

Trezor One -:

OK, so first up, we have the Trezor model one. It's the entry level device made by a company called Satoshi Labs, which is based in the Czech Republic. Now, they have been building these devices for over 9 years now. The Trezor one was in fact the first hardware wallet that I bought back in the day. Now, the model one has a simple black and white screen on the device, which is where you'll be confirming most actions taking place on your PC. Now this is done through the TREZOR suite, which is basically the software built by Satoshi Labs. This is actually rather new and has rolled out about a year ago. Previous to that, you had to use the Trezor Bridge browser extension, which I personally wasn't a massive fan of. But let's start with perhaps the most important question security. Firstly, the Trezor one has firmware verification. That means that the device will only ever run if the firmware that has been installed has been cryptographically signed by Satoshi Labs, so no room for malicious updates. If the firmware signature is indeed invalid, then the boot loader will erase the device memory. Then the hardware is sealed and welded ultrasonically any tampering to get into the device itself will destroy it. The keys are also stored behind a protected pin, so the only way that anyone can perform the signing operations is if they unlock this device with the PIN. You also have additional passphrase support. What that means is that you can also elect to have a special pass phrase that would need to be entered if you wanted to access your device on your TREZOR suite. I would encourage that you enable this. But perhaps one of the most important factors for me about Trezor security has to be the fact that Satoshi Labs have open sourced everything. This includes their software and firmware. It's a level of transparency that shows how confident they are in the robustness of the code. I'll leave a link to their docs as well as their GitHub below so that you can verify it for yourself should you so wish. Now, when it comes to their track record with that security, to my knowledge there have been no known losses from any hacks. The only thing that I know of is an exploit that was used by Kraken Security Labs a few years ago. This was aTrezo physical exploit that required quote voltage, glitching the device. I'll leave a link to the response. From Trezor below, but the TLDR is that the attacker would need to have access to the device, technical knowledge and special tools in order to carry out this attack. Moreover, if you just enabled that pass phrase that I talked about earlier, then this attack wouldn't have worked. Now, when it comes to coin support, the Model 1 covers a wide range of coins and tokens. However, there are some notable exceptions. Cryptos which are not supported includes the likes of Cardano, XRP tezos and Monero. When it comes to variants, the TREZOR model one comes in black and white, so that could be a good option if you wanted to have two different devices to spread the keys. Easy to identify. When it comes to price, the Trezor one will set you back €69 or $77. So, are there any drawbacks to the Trezor one? Well, for holders of ADA, XRP, XMR, etc, it won't be able to hold your coins. However, if you wanted a wallet that supports all these coins, as well as being more user-friendly with more functionality and additional security, then you may want to consider. Presales flagship Model T Speaking of which?

Trezor T -:

The TREZOR Model T has been around for about two years now, and I also have one in addition to my TREZOR One. Now, one of the main differences that you'll notice with the Model T is the user interface on the device. It's a color touch screen, which is a lot easier on the eyes as well as simpler to use. For example, with the Model T you can insert your pin directly on the device, whereas with the model one you have to use your mouse while unlocking it on your PC, not only do I find it much easier to use the touch screen, but it's also more secure as everything, including PIN entry, is being done on the device. The larger screen means it's also easier to see those addresses and to whiz through the signing process when needed. Apart from that though, the Model T has support for those other coins that you won't be able to store on the model one. So Ada, XRP, XMR, etc. So if you want a Trezor and you want to hold those assets, then this is the device for you. Now, when it comes to additional security features, one of the best features I think about the Trezor-T is what they call the Shamir backup. So, What is that? Well, for most other hardware wallets, you have only one seed word backup. This means that if anyone gets their hands on these seed words, they can get access to your device. However, with the Shamir backup, you can make multiple copies of these seed words, and you can set a minimum threshold for how many are required. To regenerate the wallet, you can think of it as a multi signature, but the seeds it's a great way to build contingencies for loss and theft, or to spread seeds among more than one person. Now, when it comes to price, the Trezor tea is a bit more of an investment. It costs €250 or $280, but if you're rocking around with anything more than, say, 10K in crypto, it could be a wise investment. However, if your crypto stack is anything less than that, then the Trezor one is Perfectly fine. So, are there any drawbacks to the TREZOR devices? Well, apart from the fact that you need to pay a hefty premium for additional coin support, neither device supports native staking. Essentially, if you want to stake proof of stake coins, then you can't do that through the TREZOR suite. However, I didn't find that too much of an issue. Because of the fact that TREZOR is supported by the Exodus wallet, this is one of my favorite software wallets, and all you really need to do is to connect your trezo to the A's and you can do your staking through it. But what happens if you want a device that offered native staking, or one that came with the Trezor one price? And the Trezor T coin support? Well then my next pick is what you would  love.

Ledger NanoS -:

That's the entry level device from Ledger, called the Ledger Nano, which at $59 makes it even cheaper than the Trezor one. Now, Ledger is a company that's based in France and has been around for about five years, so it has a slightly shorter track record than Trezor. That's aside, ledgers devices have become some of the most popular in the crypto space, and much like the trezors, they employ some pretty advanced tech to keep your private keys secure. For example, they possess a secure element that's cryptographically protected, similar to those that you'll find in passports. Ledger has also built its own custom operating system designed specifically to protect crypto assets. I'll also add that there have been no known hacks or penetration attacks on any Ledger devices. The glitching attack that Kraken used on the TREZOR devices could not be replicated on the ledgers thanks to their components, so that's a definite plus. When it comes to usability, the nano is pretty similar to the Trezor one. That's because it's operated with buttons and has a small LED screen. This is where you'll perform actions like signing transactions and viewing addresses. One thing that is slightly different, however, is that you have to install coin apps on the device if you'd like to add more coins. Now, given space constraints on the nano S, you may have to remove some and add others. However, I must stress that this won't impact on the coins themselves. Now, when it comes to the software that's used on the PC, ledgers use Ledger live. Now, I like this slightly more than the TREZOR suite just because it has a lot more functionality and the UI is cleaner. On top of that, you have a native staking feature, which means that you don't need to use another software wallet if you want it to stake your coins now. You can visit the Ledger website  and you can see which staking coins are supported by clicking on me . Now, something else that the Ledger devices have over the trezors is that the Ledger live software is also available for mobile devices. However, in the case of the nano S, you'll have to do it through an OTG kit on an Android device. That it, if you would like a hardware wallet that gives you the true mobile experience, IE Bluetooth enabled and battery powered, then a Ledger nano X is up next. 

Ledger NanoX -:

This Nano-X costs $149 and is Ledger's flagship device. It's over $100 cheaper than the Trezor Model T, so it could be ideal for those people who are looking for a happy medium in terms of cost and functionality. It has all the features and coin support of the Ledger nano, but with a few other goodies. Firstly, there's that mobile support that I talked about. This device is Bluetooth enabled and can be charged for use while out and about. You can install the Ledger live app on your phone, iOS support as well and then Connect to the device. On top of that, there's a great deal more storage space on the Nano X, which means you can install up to 100 different apps at the same time, so no amount of trash coinery will exceed the app storage on the device. Something else that this has over the Nano s is the slightly larger screen. However it's nowhere close to as user friendly as the interface on the Tresor T. Moreover, you can only operate it with the buttons on either side of the screen and it does not have a touch screen option, which you do have on the T of course. Now, in terms of the other downsides to Ledger devices, well, for one, their firmware is closed source. That means that you cannot independently verify its robustness. Yes, it is certified by a French cybersecurity agency, but it just can't compare to the vetting that comes from the broader open source cypherpunk community. At least in my opinion. Then something else that I wasn't too happy about with Ledger was a database breach that happened about two years ago. Essentially, a hacker was able to get access to Ledger's customer base data, which included e-mail and residential addresses. This caused a massive firestorm in the crypto community when the database was dumped. Not only were these users now getting spammed, but bad actors now knew where they lived and that they held crypto. Now, while this was a massive breach of trust at the time, it's worth noting that it had nothing to do with the security of any Ledger device. Moreover, Ledger appears to have taken active steps to secure its database going forward. I would also advise against handing over personal information when buying a hardware device in any case, Ledger or otherwise. OK, so those are ledgers contributions to the hardware wallet stable, but what happens if you're really strapped for cash and want the most basic hardware wallet around? Well then, my next pick might solve this problem of yours .....

Keep Key -:

This is the Keep-key hardware wallet which comes in at an impressive $49. This is a hardware wallet that was initially launched back in 2015. However in 2017 it was acquired by the folks over at Shapeshift. Now if you haven't heard of Shapeshift, it's one of the oldest non custodial crypto exchanges. That and was started by Eric Voorhees, a Bitcoin OG. The keep key device itself is similar in appearance to the Ledger Nano devices in that there's a small black and white OLED screen that's controlled by buttons on the top of the device. However, the keep key wallet is a lot more bulky than the Ledger nano or the Trezor 1. When it comes to using the Keep key device, it does so by interacting with the Shapeshift browser interface. So it does not have its own unique software, which I'm not a massive fan of, but that's just me. In terms of security, it has most of the same protections as the Ledger and the Trezor, i,e, pin and additional passphrase protection. Moreover, like the treasure, what the device is, firmware is completely open source, which is of course a plus in my book. One of the downsides about this wallet, though, is its coin support. It can only support about 40 coins and tokens, which is way fewer than those offered by some of keep-key's competitors. Many of the larger alt coins that people tend to hold are not supported here. Solana, Polkadot, Cardano, et cetera, et cetera. I should also add that when it comes to Web three wallet support, Keepkey doesn't seem to have been invited to the party. For example, one of the most popular Web 3 wallets out there is the Meta mask browser wallet, which supports all Trezor and Ledger devices, but not the keep key, unfortunately. Another potential drawback with the key wallet is that it could also be vulnerable to that voltage glitching attack that I told you about earlier. In fact, the key key was the first device that they were able to crack about a month before they did it with the TREZOR devices. But as I said, for the TREZOR device, the attacker would need the wallet itself. As well as a technical background and specialized tools. So arguably quite unlikely, but still worth noting. So that's the keep key a solid wallet with a strong track record for those on a budget.

Security Tips -:

Crypto Security Tips
Image by WorldSpectrum from Pixabay

Now that's it for my list of the best hardware wallets out there today, and I'll be adding to this list as I try out new wallets throughout the year. As I promised though, I wanted to leave you with a number of security tips that you have to consider if you want to securely store your coins on a hardware wallet.

1) So firstly if you are going to be buying any hardware wallet, be sure to get it from the official manufacturer. That's because there have been known cases of people who have bought poisoned wallets which have been tampered with. That's why when you buy these wallets they come with a tamper proof seal. If the seal is broken in any way, then don't touch the device. 

2) Then when it comes to setting up that hardware wallet, be sure to keep those seed words extra safe. Remember, these are the master keys to your crypto, and if they land up in the wrong hands then that could be it for your coins. The same can be said if you lose your keys and the device as well. That's part of the reason as to why I prefer to use the Trezor T with those built-in key redundancies. And when it comes to managing those seed words, then you're going to want to make sure that you store them in a super secure location. If you want to go the extra mile to make sure that they won't get destroyed in a fire or a flood, then you can also opt to buy some steel seed cards. 

3)If you are going to be using either the Ledger or the Trezor, then I would also advise you to set-up a separate pass phrase on the device. That way, even if someone is able to miraculously unlock your device, they won't be able to access your coins. These past phrases can be seen as the 25th word on the 24 word seed, and even if someone gets hold of your seed, they could not recreate the wallet without this passphrase. Now, this pass phrase can actually be used in a sneaky way for what are termed hidden accounts. Basically, you can leave a dummy account without a passphrase and your valuable actual accounts with the pass phrase. Therefore, if ever anyone forces you to unlock your device under duress, you can always just log into the dummy account. To fool them. Now, of course you can avoid all of that to begin with by just avoiding the conversation entirely. No one needs to know about your crypto holdings or how you store them. In fact, it's best if they don't. So don't feel the need to brag about it. Just enjoy the fact that you have taken personal control of your keys in the most secure. Way possible. And that's it for the breakdown of my top five wallet picks for today. Now. Are there any other wallets that you used that were not on this list?  I'd love to know, so let me know in the comment's down below now. 

That's all for today's . If you found it informative, let me know by sharing it to as many people as possible who have myths about the crypto bill. If you plan on sticking around for more interesting blogpost like this please pay a visit to cryptolibrarynow by clicking on the link below -:

cryptolibrarynow .

My last Blogpost was on NFT based Domain names , if you are interested in reading that please click on me .


Popular posts from this blog

What is Tectonic Crypto Burn Mechanism for Tonic | How To Stake Tonic Explained 2022.

    Table Of Content -: What is Tectonic Crypto Burn Mechanism for Tonic? Why is Tonic Going down? What is Tectonic? what is Tonic ? What is Tonic Staking ? How Does Tonic Staking Works? Lending Assets Borrowing Assets How to Stake Tonic? How to Unstake Tonic? What is Tectonic Crypto Burn Mechanism for Tonic? The answer is Staking , as more people borrow and repay their loans on Tectonic , the staking module will buy more TONIC off the market resulting in a lower market supply. Why is TONIC going down ? Tonic is going down because of two reasons-: 1st)The Staking Module buying more Tonic off the market resulting in a lower market supply , thus high burn rate. 2nd)TONIC Iis based Kronos blockchain , and as kronos is going down so expecteadly TONIC is also going down. Disclaimer -: I need to give you a disclaimer before I talk about this bill. I am not a financial advisor , I'm just an educator and this blog post is written with the sole purpose of providing you factual information.

What Is Crypto Mining | For Beginners.

Hi folks. Do you know something I've learned recently is that it's very, very useful to know one of these shadowy, supercoder types who keep Mr Ajit Doval awake at night? Well, not literally. Well, I suppose you never know. Anyway, I have a friend. Called Rakesh and he is a whiz with computers and he has very kindly put together this little beauty for me. Now it doesn't look like much, does it? Well, this is actually my very first crypto mining rig. Crypto Mining In India!?!.Now, wait, I know what some of you may be thinking. Guy, come off it. Crypto mining is big business. You'd need a room filled with thousands of those if you wanted to become a crypto miner. Well, you're half right. But before I talk about this chap here, I want to talk briefly about the mining process, because it's one of the most technical. And tricky aspects of crypto to try and wrap your brain around so. Here goes, and. So let's start with Bitcoin now.  How Is Bitcoin Mining Done? Her

Bitcoin Mining Climate Change: How Much Does It Really Matter?

  What Is Crypto Mining? Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and a few other large cryptocurrencies use a proof of work consensus mechanism. In simple terms, a consensus mechanism is the process used by multiple entities to reach an agreement about. Fact, as a simple example, let's say you're hanging out with eight of your friends and you're deciding whether to go to the movies or to the beach. The consensus mechanism for that decision could be a simple majority vote, or it could be that all of you must vote to do the same activity. Cryptocurrency works the same way, except instead of a group of friends deciding what to do for fun, it's a group of computers spread around the world deciding which cryptocurrency transactions are valid. Rather than confirm one transaction at a time, cryptocurrency networks group multiple transactions into a single block. Each block contains a record of the previous block, hence the term blockchain. For blockchains like bitcoins, they're reward