This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. For more information, see our disclosures here.
A good cryptocurrency hardware wallet is a must-have essential for safely storing your hard-earned cryptocurrencies. Besides the fact that it allows you to feel more connected to your funds, a hardware wallet also enables you to securely manage your digital money, and prevent potential theft.
Most of us envision a wallet to be a pouch in which you can store all of your physical money. However, a cryptocurrency hardware wallet looks much more different. In essence, it is a portable device that lets you securely access all of your digital funds.
You see, cryptocurrencies don’t have any material form. Their flow is controlled via your private keys and public addresses. So, it’s not the coins that have to be stored securely, but the private keys that give you access to them. A crypto hardware wallet is basically a device that lets you store and generate all of your private keys and public addresses in a secure, offline environment.
Most hardware wallets feature an easy to use display, and can be connected to a PC via USB or Bluetooth interface. The display screen on the wallet can be used to verify and approve transactions, thus enabling you to prevent any leakage of sensitive information, even if you are directly connected to the Internet, or you are using a malware-infected computer.
The reason why hardware wallets are so secure is because your private keys are permanently stored on them. Traditional offline wallets need to have direct access to your private keys stored on regular hard drives or USB flash drives. However, this makes them vulnerable to attacks. Even if you encrypt your hard drive, you always have to decrypt it later to access your private keys, and this makes the whole procedure vulnerable to remote attacks. By using a hardware wallet, all of these problems are gone, since every time you want to make a transaction, you are obliged to enter a PIN-code to send or receive funds. This way, hardware wallets have two advantages – they can be used offline, and each transaction has to be signed by you in order to be completed.
Although there aren’t many hardware wallets currently available on the market, choosing the right one isn’t so easy as it may seem. Most cheap hardware wallets are prone to hardware failure, so it’s important that you only buy hardware wallets from trusted and well-respected manufacturers. In this roundup we’ll show you the best cryptocurrency hardware wallets that you can get right now.
Best Premium Wallet:
Best Biometric Wallet:
Best Overall: Raspberry Pi Zero
- Fully configurable
- Extremely secure
- Cheap price
- Difficult to set up
- Requires additional equipment
This may seem very strange, but yes, the Raspberry Pi Zero is by far the best cryptocurrency hardware wallet. The reason why it’s so great is because it allows you to run a BitCoin Electrum or ColdCard wallet, while staying completely offline. The Raspberry Pi Zero doesn’t connect to the Internet, has no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth access, and it allows you to safely type or generate your seeds, as well as protect you sensitive data with strong software encryption algorithms.
What Raspberry Pi Zero basically does is that it allows you to simulate having a hardware wallet, without having any associated problems with it. Compared to other hardware wallets, Raspberry Pi Zero can run its own operating system, it can always connect properly to other devices via USB interface, and is completely free of any firmware changes. The only problem is that it’s not meant be used by beginners, which is why we recommend reading this step-by-step guide first in order to properly set up your Raspberry Pi Zero as an air-gapped hardware wallet.
Best Premium Wallet: SecuX W20
- 2.8″ touchscreen display
- Easy to use interface
- Military-level security
- Dual connectivity
- Mediocre battery life
- Bluetooth pairing is a bit complicated
The SecuX W20 is a premium cryptocurrency hardware wallet that was designed to provide maximum ease of access when it comes to managing your digital funds. The SecuX W20 comes with a large 2.8″ touchscreen which allows you to easily see your investment portfolio at glance, as well as to conveniently confirm address while making transactions.
Under the hood, the SecuX W20 hides an Infineon SLE Solid Flash Secure Element chip with CC EAL 5+ certification, which is used to create unique PIN codes and private keys. This device also features a tamper resistant packaging, and it comes with a Bluetooth and USB connectivity support. All of its communication channels are encrypted with AES-256 technology in order to prevent information leakage, and ensure secure transactions. Overall, the SecuX W20 is one of the best crypto hardware wallets out there, and if you don’t mind its mediocre battery life and a bit complicated Bluetooth pairing procedure, then this is the best hardware wallet for you.
Best Biometric Wallet: D’CENT Biometric Wallet
- Biometrics authentication
- Durable and easy to set up
- Unprecedented level of security
- Regular software updates
- Doesn’t work well with macOS
- Allows up to 10 PIN attempts
Using PIN codes to access your cryptocurrency funds is great, but using your own fingerprint is even better. The D’CENT Biometric Wallet allows you to do just that. Featuring a built-in fingerprint scanner, the D’CENT hardware wallet represents a new generation of super convenient cold storage that brings the next level of biometric protection to your digital assets.
The D’CENT Biometric Wallet comes equipped with a STMicro Cortex M4 processor, as well as with NXP P60 (EAL5+) Secure Element chip that features more than 100 protection mechanisms for attack protection. This hardware wallet supports both PIN and Fingerprint authentication methods, and it features a large OLED display, as well as a 585 mAh Li-ion Polymer battery. With this device you also get USB and Bluetooth connectivity support, as well as proprietary backup and restore software. Keep in mind, however, that D’CENT Biometric Wallet works best when connected to a Windows PC, so try avoid using it on a Mac computer. Also, it allows up to 10 wrong PIN attempts, which some users may not be fond of.
Best Budget: Ledger Nano S
- Cheap price
- Supports 1,500 tokens
- Very light and portable
- Doesn’t require batteries to run
- Doesn’t support air-gapped operation
- Very small internal memory
The Ledger Nano S is by far one of the most popular cryptocurrency hardware wallets out there. It supports more than 25 cryptocurrencies and 1,500 tokens, features numerous security protections, and is very easy to use. Plus, it’s very cheap. The Nano Ledger S is also extremely light, doesn’t require any batteries to run, and its chassis is made of brushed stainless steel and high-quality plastic.
Compared to some other premium hardware wallets, the Ledger Nano S does have some disadvantages. First of all, it requires to be plugged in to a computer to run, which means it doesn’t support air-gapped operation. Secondly, the Nano S uses apps to manage your crypto assets. Some apps take up more space than others, and Nano S has a very small amount of storage space which can get used up really quickly. Overall, if you are a cryptocurrency beginner, and have a very small portfolio, the Ledger Nano S will suit you just fine. However, if you are a serious cryptocurrency miner or trader, then you might consider getting a better hardware wallet than this one.
Best for Beginners: SafePal S1
- Ultra-compact dimensions
- 1.3-inch HD display
- Supports air-gapped operation
- Unlimited currency storage
- Bad customer support
- Doesn’t support rare coins
The SafePal S1 is one of the best hardware wallets for cryptocurrency beginners. It supports 20 blockchains and around 10,000 tokens which you can add and delete as you like. The SafePal S1 comes equipped with a 1.3-inch high-resolution screen, as well as with intuitive D-pad, and a high-quality camera. This is also a very slim and compact hardware wallet – it is the same size of a credit card, and you can carry it around anywhere with ease.
Probably the best feature of this budget hardware wallet is the fact that it supports air-gapped signing mechanism, which means you can send and receive crypto with a simple scan, and you don’t have to connect the device to Internet via USB, Bluetooth, NFC or Wi-Fi interface. The SafePal S1 also comes with its own self-destruct mechanism which activates automatically in case it gets stolen, and it features an industry-grade Secure Element chip with EAL 5+ certification. Overall, the SafePal S1 is a good hardware wallet with solid software support, however, if you are looking for a day-to-day wallet with advanced support for rare coins, then this is not the best wallet for you.
Best Reliability: Trezor One
- Supports offline operation
- Compatible with MyEtherWallet
- Advanced security measures
- Supports variety of coins
- Very small screen
- Easy to lose due to its small size
The TREZOR One is among the most trusted an ubiquitous hardware wallets in the world. It offers unprecedented security for cryptocurrencies, password management, and SFA, while maintaining unmatched ease-of-use, whether you are a cryptocurrency expert, or a brand new user.
The TREZOR One features a small and informative touchscreen display, a fast integrated processor, and advanced coin support. It is perfect for managing your Ethereum cryptocurrency assets, and is fully compatible with the MyEtherWallet platform. Being an offline wallet the TREZOR One allows you to sign all of your transactions without the need to connect to the Internet. Thanks to its highly secure environment, it is fully protected from online threats, as well as from malware-infected computers. Another great thing about this wallet is that it works seamlessly with Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. Last but not least, the TREZOR One allows you to create decoy wallets, which is another great security measure that most other hardware wallets lack. Overall, the TREZOR One is a great hardware wallet that comes with slightly confusing, but feature-rich software.
A cryptocurrency hardware wallet represents an effective and secure way to keep you digital funds from falling into wrong hands. Most cryptocurrency miners keep some coins in cold storage, and some in a hot wallet in order to have some funds ready to use when the time comes. Most of them also own multiple hardware wallets for different coins and purposes. We hope our buying guide helped you in search of the information you were looking for. If you still feel confused, and need advice, feel free to post a comment below. We will try to help you.