HARDWARE WALLET: TREZOR
The TREZOR hardware wallet requires an initial investment from users, a little over $100. but for many it is the preferred method of keeping private keys safe.
Hardware wallets tend to be small, flash-drive-style devices that plug into computers through a USB connection. Users then interact with the wallet, and therefore with their private keys and cryptocurrency, through a web interface and have to rely on internet-connected services to actually acquire cryptocurrency. But strictly for the storage of private keys, hardware wallets are a go-to solution for semi-casual cryptocurrency users, as they are not connected to the internet and are therefore safe from hacks, but still allow for relatively easy access.
TREZOR s web interface is called TREZOR Wallet, which can be downloaded as a Google Chrome extension or run through the standalone TREZOR Bridge. The TREZOR itself will prompt users for a PIN number, which they create on first use. choosing between four and nine digits. They are also provided with a 24-word recovery passphrase to record on a card and store just in case. The TREZOR supports bitcoin. ether, dash, litecoin. zcash and more cryptocurrencies, and the parent company has a partnership with MyEtherWallet (more on that below).
Other popular hardware wallet providers include Ledger and KeepKey, and their offered devices differ in price points, supported tokens, ease of use of the web interface and device hardware.
DESKTOP WALLET: EXODUS
When it comes to desktop wallets, there are plenty of choices, but Exodus is the most intuitive and easy to use. making it our favorite option for new users.
Desktop wallets store a users private keys on their hard drive, hypothetically giving them full control over their keys and. therefore, their cryptocurrency. But it should be noted that hard drives are vulnerable to hacks. Still, a computer is harder to misplace or lose than a hardware wallet and is less vulnerable to cyberattack than. say. a mobile wallet It may be the right answer for some users but shouldnt be a primary solution for holding all of ones crypto savings.
When it comes to Exodus specifically. the interface is simple to navigate and customize. Users can easily configure which cryptocurrencies they are using, and the home screen displays a handy chart of their portfolio and the value of each token in relation to others. Exodus supports 29 currencies with another 22 either in process or planned, and a “wallet” section allows users to add or remove the cryptocurrencies that are shown, keeping the display crisp. The “exchange” section lets users swap between anything within their portfolio with one click and access a clear description of the conversion rate. While there is no matching mobile app. Exodus is easily the most robust and user-friendly desktop wallet available.
Other popular desktop wallets include Electrum. mSIGNA and Copay.
PAPER WALLET: MYCELIUM
Paper wallets might seem like an odd entry on this list but they are actually as simple and secure as it gets.
As you might imagine, creating a paper wallet is a matter of printing off your private and public keys and storing them safely. As long as the keys are generated securely, keeping them off the computer offers a security advantage over any other option listed here. At the same time, its imperative to store a paper wallet in a safe and hazard-proof location. Many users will make copies of their paper wallets and store at least one backup. But this solution tends to appeal to those who are planning to store their cryptocurrency for a long time, without a need to access it on a regular basis, and may not be ideal for new or casual users.
Mycelium is unique in that it is a hardware USB device that a user plugs directly into their printer, which then produces their paper wallet. This system ensures that keys are generated securely and safe from hacking.
There are also sites like BitAddress. org and WalletGenerator. net that will create printable paper wallets for free.
WEB WALLET: MYETHERWALLET
For ether or any ERC20-enabled token (now the bulk of available cryptocurrencies). MyEtherWallet (MEW) has become very popular. It does not support bitcoin. litecoin or any other non-Ethereum-based currency, but new users find it easy to access and use.
Web wallets come in a wide variety and some are more trustworthy than others. Some web wallets let users generate their private keys on their own computers and store them there, which would offer about the same level of security as a desktop wallet. Others store the private keys on a web brov/ser. which is presumably less secure. Like mobile wallets, web wallets are best used as short-term solutions for small amounts of cryptocurrency and best paired with a hardware or paper wallet for long-term security.
The Blockchain. info wallet. GreenAddress. the Coinbase wallet and SpectroCoin are other popular web wallets.
MOBILE WALLET: BITPAY
BitPay is a major Bitcoin payment processor, and as such, its mobile wallet only supports the use of bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, so it might not be the right solution for those interested in regularly engaging with the wider cryptocurrency ecosystem. But it is one of the most popular solutions for using bitcoin on the go.
Mobile wallets are not recommended for the storage of large amounts of cryptocurrency over long periods of time. Like anything else secured on a mobile device, private keys on your phone are relatively susceptible to theft. But when it comes to sending and receiving small amounts of cryptocurrency on the go. its hard to imagine a more convenient method.
The BitPay wallet is very user – friendly and it does offer multisig protection, offsetting the security concerns for mobile wallets by requiring multiple signatures before a transaction can be executed.
Samourai. Bitcoin. com and Abra are also popular mobile wallets.
Jaxx is another popular and powerful mobile wallet solution, with desktop, tablet and extension versions as well.