You may have heard of the saying: "Be your own bank". It means everyone should store their coins in a hardware wallet.
Cryptocurrency hardware wallets are important devices to keep your coins safe. It is similar to depositing your coins to a bank but the owner of the bank is you. When traders want to hold a coin for the long term or take their coins out of exchanges, they put it inside a hardware wallet to make sure it won't be stolen.
Hardware wallets are more secure than other methods of keeping cryptocurrency because the hardware wallet is a device made to stay offline and only allows transactions when the owner of the wallet authorizes it. In 2021, there are many hardware wallets to choose from and each has different strengths and weaknesses just like a bank. Some are more secure, some have better services, and some allow you to do transactions quickly. In this article, we will cover the 5 best hardware wallets of 2021.
Ledger Nano S
Ledger is one of the most well-known brands in the hardware wallet market thanks to it being one of the first brands to establish itself. Users like the Ledger Nano S for its affordable price and simple design that looks like a USB. To use the Ledger Nano S, the user must download a Ledger Live App to their PC and set up the wallet through the PC. The Ledger Nano S has 2 buttons and a small screen on the device that is used for authorization during wallet creation and transactions. However, some users may find the small buttons and screens difficult to navigate.
Although the Ledger Live App is well-made and simple to use, there is one major issue with the Nano S that users may find frustrating. To store a certain coin on the Nano S, users must manually install an APP for that coin from the Ledger Live App into the Nano S. Only 5 Apps can fit into the Nano S at a time meaning the Nano S can only hold 5 currencies at a time. This means you will need multiple Nano S if you are holding many currencies.
Pros: Popular brand, affordable price, small size, Ledger Live App is simple to use.
Cons: Must be used with PC through USB cord, must keep installing and uninstalling Apps, small buttons and screen.
Ledger Nano X
Ledger Nano X The upgrade for the Ledger Nano S but also comes with a bigger price tag. It also comes with a larger data storage so more Apps can be installed inside the Nano X at once and some major currencies are already pre-installed. The biggest change of all is that you can now access your coins through the Ledger Live smartphone App instead of your PC and it works with the Nano X through Bluetooth. Being able to use the Ledger wallet through their smartphone is a big plus for many users.
Pros: Support smartphones users.
Cons: Data storage is still limited, Bluetooth connection can be a security risk.
ELLIPAL Titan Cold Wallet
ELLIPAL is a cryptocurrency wallet start-up that started selling its hardware wallets in 2018. It quickly gained popularity among hardware wallet experts because it came with a new and effective security design not used before in hardware wallets - true air-gapped security.
Air-gapped refers to a device that cannot be connected to any online networks or any devices - this includes WiFi, Bluetooth, USB, Cellular connections, and so on. This means the ELLIPAL Titan is protected from every type of online attack which makes it incredibly secure compared to other hardware wallets. While the Ledger may carry risks when it connects with Ledger Live App through USB or Bluetooth, the ELLIPAL Titan eliminates that risk.
Another big plus for the ELLIPAL Titan is that its frame is completely made out of a single piece of metal making it incredibly strong. If a hacker tries to crack it open, it will inevitably leave obvious damages. It also has anti-tamper capability, meaning the device can automatically delete every data when it detects a breach. This is huge security plus compared to other wallets as it can protect you against actual thief and supply chain attacks.
Last but not least, the ELLIPAL Titan also pinpoints one pain point Ledger users have which is not being able to access many currencies at once. On the ELLIPAL Titan, you can create multiple accounts on one device and each account can hold every coin that the ELLIPAL supports. No need to install anything which is very convenient.
The ELLIPAL is also very easy to use for every age group as it got a large touch screen. You will need to download the ELLIPAL App for your mobile phone. It works similarly to the Ledger and the Ledger Live but the main difference is that ELLIPAL uses QR code to communicate with the App instead of USB or Bluetooth.
Pros: Very high-security thanks to being air-gapped, Protects against physical attacks, can store many currencies under one account.
Cons: Priced a little higher than the Ledger, has some weight to it as it is made out of metal.
Trezor Model T
Trezor is the first company to sell hardware wallets and is loved by early adopters of cryptocurrency. It is created by Satoshi Labs - a very capable development team and the software is open-sourced. The Trezor is used more by experts in comparison to beginners as it is not as simple to set up. However, the software gives you plenty of freedom, for example, you can connect it to other wallets such as Mycelium, Metamask, meaning it is not bound only to the Trezor App.
The Trezor Model T comes at a high price but it does have a small touch screen to input digit pins and a USB port to connect with a PC or phone.
Every Trezor has a PIN code that never leaves the wallet. It makes sure that if the PC or phone the wallet is using is compromised, the PIN will not get stolen. The PIN system in Trezor also has an inbuilt system that prevents any brute-force attempts. After each incorrect guess, the waiting time between the guesses is raised by a power of two. Making 30 guesses will take as much as 17 years. This makes it very difficult to hack the Trezor without knowing the PIN code.
Pros: High-profile development team, has a strong history in the crypto space, touch screen.
Cons: High price, not wireless, not resistant to physical attacks.