Just as you have a physical wallet to keep your cash and credit cards, there are Bitcoin wallets available to keep your growing crypto stash safe. The thing is that not all Bitcoin wallets are the same, and some are definitely better than others. Plus, you have to consider your unique needs when choosing from the best Bitcoin wallets. Read on for tips on how to find the best Bitcoin wallets. You will also get a list of our favorite options to choose from.
What is a Bitcoin Wallet?
A Bitcoin wallet acts as your crypto bank account because it enables you to store your coins. This way you can send and receive them easily. Your Bitcoin wallet is like your portal into the Bitcoin network and similar to a conventional bank account. It can only be accessed through a secret code known as a private key.
Interestingly enough, the most important function that Bitcoin wallets have is to keep your private keys safe and limit access to your account. Bitcoin wallets come in the form of a device, a website or an app. You can use it to manage your private keys and keep them safe.
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What is a Private Key?
The whole point of a private key is to facilitate secure communication between users through channels that are otherwise unsafe.
In the past, network users had a hard time decoding keys sent through encrypted messages, which is why public and private keys were invented.
The presence of two keys makes it easier to transact because they work in unison like a lock and key combo. The public key is used to encrypt the message, which is decrypted by the private key. As the name implies, the public key is visible to everyone else in the network and acts as your bank account number. Anyone can use it to send you coins but only you have access to the private key required to unlock access to your Bitcoin wallet.
Bitcoin wallets have evolved since they were first introduced and they now come in different types.
1. Hardware Wallets
A hardware wallet comes in the form of an electronic device that you can use to keep crypto coins safe. What makes this device so secure is the fact that it can only operate when synced with a particular device like a smartphone, tablet or computer.
There are currently two cryptocurrency and Bitcoin hardware wallets that do this really well:
- TREZOR T
- Edger Nano X
Both of these hardware wallets are highly popular because they’re easy to use and offer a super safe storage solution for your private keys because it’s not an Internet-connected device. You can use them to store Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
2. Hot Wallets
A hot wallet produces a secret code known as a private key through an Internet-connected device such as a smartphone, tablet or computer. Because they require an Internet connection in order to work, hot wallets don’t offer the same safety guarantee as a hardware wallet.
Which One is the Best?
How can you find the best Bitcoin wallets for your needs? Consider what you need it for. Do you want it for savings or investing? Are you using it for crypto in general or just Bitcoin? Bitcoin wallets are versatile enough to tick all the boxes and if you choose a software option then you won’t have to pay a dime for it. However, no Bitcoin wallet is perfect. Each comes with its own unique pros and cons that you must be aware of.
We should add here that each wallet caters to different needs. Some offer more privacy while others are geared towards safety.
Best Bitcoin Hardware Wallets
While there’s no “one size fits all” here are the best Bitcoin wallets available for you to consider.
1. Ledger Nano S
This is the most budget-friendly hardware wallet you’ll find on the market. It’ll only set you back $59 and it’s considered one of the best Bitcoin wallets around.
2. TREZOR T
Since its debut in 2014, the TREZOR line of hardware wallets has made a name for itself as one of the most popular options on the market. The T-model lives up to the brand’s reputation and is manufactured by the prestigious SatoshiLabs.
3. Ledger Nano X
The Ledger Nano X is the latest addition to the Ledger hardware wallet range. It comes with features such as Bluetooth connectivity, it’s compatible with iOS devices and it requires the user to sign all transactions using the Nano X which adds to its tight security protocols.
4. TREZOR One
The TREZOR One is famous for its compact size, since it’s the size of an average thumb, and it’s one of the more popular choices.
When the first KeepKey came out in 2015, it was the second time the market had seen a Bitcoin wallet with a screen. Now, that screen is even larger and this wallet is considered a much safer option when compared to the TREZOR and Nano S.
A hot wallet can only operate from an Internet-enabled device such as a smartphone, tablet or computer. Although convenient, the need for Internet can compromise your security. But, you can improve the safety of your hot wallet by making sure that you use a VPN whenever you connect to it. We highly recommend IPVanish because it’ll secure your connection while keeping your online activities completely private. Plus, you can use IPVanish to keep all of your online activity 100% secure, not just your hot wallet transactions.
Best Online Bitcoin Wallets
With a web wallet, your private keys are kept in an encrypted online safe that can only be unlocked with a password. The great thing about online Bitcoin wallets is that you can access them from any device, so long as they are connected to the Internet. While this might compromise its level of security, you can always encrypt your connection using a VPN like IPVanish. That way, you’ll get all the convenience without the security risk.
This is a unique and versatile Bitcoin wallet which is compatible with iOS and Android devices. You can access it from the web through your desktop and it’s also compatible with hardware wallets such as Ledger Nano, HW.1 and TREZOR.
It’s important to note that this is a multi-signature wallet which means you need to provide manual confirmation before you can carry out any transaction on it. This feature is the reason why this wallet is liked for its safety.
Best Android Bitcoin Wallets
When Bitcoin wallets first came out, Apple banned them which meant developers mainly focused on creating them for Android devices. That’s why there’s such a huge range of Android wallets available.
1. Samourai Wallet
Although it’s only been around for three years, the Samourai occupies the top spot when it comes to Android Bitcoin wallets. That’s because it offers unparalleled privacy features and the widest range of overall benefits, with open source code to boot!
Payments have never been easier than with the breadwallet. Although it was initially released as an iPhone wallet, the Android version is just as good. It comes with features like passcode support, an interface that’s easy to use and you’ll find that controlling private keys is a breeze.
Mycelium is a firm favorite among Android users thanks to its ease of use and simple backup instructions.
If you’re a beginner, then you’ll love the Edge Bitcoin wallet. It’s available for Android and iPhone devices, and it doesn’t require manual wallet backups like other options because it does that for you automatically.
5. Bitcoin Wallet
Also known as the “Schildbach Wallet” this is the ultimate Bitcoin wallet and it was the first to come to market. The fact that it offers a direct connection to the Bitcoin network gives it improved security and privacy. It’s also perfect for beginners thanks to the easy-to-use interface and it has the right features for you to navigate without feeling confused.
Best iOS Bitcoin Wallets
Since Apple lifted its ban on Bitcoin wallets, a lot of iPhone-friendly Bitcoin wallets have been developed.
DropBit features a straightforward, stress-free user interface. You can use it to control your private keys or send Bitcoins via a phone number.
The Edge wallet is compatible with both Android and iPhone devices. It’s easy to set up and use even for beginners, and users will appreciate the automatic backup feature.
breadwallet is arguably the best Bitcoin wallet for iPhone users. This is because it offers an open source interface that allows you to control your private keys completely. The simple interface lends itself to ease of use when it comes to sending and receiving Bitcoins.
Best Desktop Wallets
You can download a Bitcoin wallet and install it on your computer. Of course, the Bitcoin core wallet is always the best option for desktop users because it offers superior privacy and security capabilities. However, Electrum is another option worth considering.
The Electrum Bitcoin wallet is compatible with desktop computers that run on the Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems. Not only does it support hardware wallets like Ledger Nano and TREZOR, but it provides a reliable offline storage method for your Bitcoins.
Bitcoin wallets are essential for anyone that’s planning to invest or save Bitcoin. As you can see, there are plenty of options to suit different needs and preferences. While most people assume that hardware wallets are safer than online wallets, this isn’t always the case. As long as you use a VPN to secure your online connection, a software wallet can be as safe and private as a hardware option.
We hope this article will make it easier for you to choose a Bitcoin wallet that meets your needs. Let us know in the comments section which Bitcoin wallet you prefer.