The safest way to store your bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is through so-called hardware portfolios. These are small physical devices that support your private keys offline. This post explains exactly how they work by presenting the best hardware portfolios.
Hardware Portfolio Summary
As you probably know, stealing information from a computer is not that difficult these days. If your computer running your bitcoin wallet is infected with malware, it may expose your private key to criminal access.
Hackers may be able to take control of your computer or see what’s displayed on your screen. And once your personal key is at risk, your bitcoins are no longer under your control.
Simply put, hardware portfolios are computers cut off by any additional features. They have a small screen, one or two buttons, and can store keys and sign transactions.
The hardware portfolios look like small USB devices and offer simpler security. This is based on the logic that the more complex a device is, the more opportunities hackers have to break into it. In the case of hardware portfolios, the device is so simple that it is virtually impossible to hack or infect.
Hardware portfolios use the form of two-factor authentication, also known as 2FA. This means that in order to gain access to your funds, you will need to prove your identity through the physical wallet as well as using the device PIN.
What is the best hardware wallet?
Today, there are many companies that offer hardware portfolios in the market, with the three market leaders being Ledger, TREZOR and KeepKey. Each company creates different models with different features, and this article shows the most popular ones.
Ledger hardware portfolios
Pros: The company has a great reputation, maintains 1000+ crypto assets, mobile compatibility – only for Nano X.
Cons: The Bluetooth user interface is a bit confusing, only applies to the Nano X series.
The company LedgerWallet been on the market long enough, it has a great reputation among consumers. Frankly, it is quite difficult to find a flaw in their products.
The wallet is accessed through Ledger Live. It’s a free desktop application that lets you control all your devices, send and receive cryptocurrencies , and check your balance whenever you like.
Ledger Nano X
Ledger Nano X is the leading model of the company when it comes to hardware portfolios. The device has an impressive ability to manage 100 cryptocurrencies at a time.
The main drawback is that the user experience with Bluetooth is not as smooth as users expected. This may be removed from the company in the future through updates. But for now, this is a major drawback of the Nano X.
Ledger Nano S
The Ledger Nano S model is really impressive. The device has an elegant design, intuitive user interface and extensive support for altcoins , including Ethereum , Litecoin , Dogecoin, Zcash, Dash , Ripple, and most ERC-20 markers.
TREZOR hardware portfolios
Pros: The company has a long history in the market and a great reputation. Its devices are open source, support over 1000 cryptocurrencies.
Cons: Devices are often restarted with an upgrade, XRP is not supported , as with the TREZOR One.
TREZOR , which in Czech means “vault, vault”, is the first company to come up with the idea of a hardware wallet. The main advantage that a brand has over its competitors is its reputation. One of the founders of the company is Marek “Slush” Palatine, who also creates the first bitcoin digging pool, founded in 2010.
There is one annoying drawback with TREZOR devices. When upgrading a wallet firmware, it often deletes the entire wallet. If you are a cryptocurrency beginner, this can definitely scare you. As long as you have the recovery password for your wallet, you can simply resume working with the device. But this is definitely one of the things to keep in mind.
TREZOR Model T
The TREZOR T model is essentially the TREZOR One with a large touch screen. Both wallets offer the same features, but the touch screen makes the difference, distinguishing the TREZOR T.
Along with the Ledger Nano S, the TREZOR One model is also popular with users who want to store their cryptocurrencies. TREZOR One, formerly known as TREZOR, is the oldest hardware portfolio on the market and probably the most reputable. The model has a nice, simple design, a very easy to understand user interface and supports a wide range of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Zcash, Dash, Ethereum, Ethereum classic, Litecoin and NEM. The only high-end consumer that lacks the device is XRP.
KeepKey hardware portfolios
Pros: Beautifully designed, integrated into the portfolio of the cryptocurrency exchange – Shapeshift .
Cons: They support an insufficient number of horse species. Keepkey is a beautifully designed bitcoin wallet but relatively large in size. The device has similar features to the TREZOR One and the Ledger Nano S, but for several reasons is far less attractive than the previous two models.
For beginners, the wallet is too large to carry comfortably in a pocket of clothing, for example. Keepkey’s wallet size is almost twice that of TREZOR One or Ledger Nano S.
Additional things that can make consumers hesitate when buying a model are:
- KeepKey Support Center is not particularly responsive.
- There are also some negative reviews on Amazon about the company’s product and support.
- The portfolio maintains a more limited number of cryptocurrencies than its competitors.