The buying, selling and trading of Bitcoin requires the use of private keys. Bitcoin wallets are essential for the safeguarding your private keys, and by extension, your bitcoin investment. There are a number of different Bitcoin wallets to choose from that can be divided into the following categories:
- Bitcoin hardware wallets
- Physical hardware that can be purchased and plugged into your device or computer and stores your private keys.
- Online Bitcoin wallets
- Readily available online wallets are secured with username, password and various levels of encryption. These can be obtained by creating an account with a reputable online Bitcoin wallet provider.
- Software wallets
- Software wallets are similar to online Bitcoin wallets except they can be downloaded to your computer or as a mobile application.
- Paper wallets
- Paper wallets are paper printouts of private keys.
For the purposes of this guide and offering quality Bitcoin wallet reviews, we will focus on hardware Bitcoin wallets, online Bitcoin wallets, and software wallets, which are the most readily available and most used wallets.
Best Bitcoin Hardware Wallets
If you’re in the market for a Bitcoin hardware wallet then there three options that continue to come up in searches for popular and reliable options:
- Ledger Nano S
We’ve put together the basics in this table below, but scroll down even further for a bit more information on each variety.
Ledger Nano S
The Ledger Nano S hardware wallet is a sleek design that looks exactly like a USB flash drive. It supports Bitcoin as well as Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Zcash and Dash. It requires you to create a passcode when you first use it to prevent anyone accessing it if you lose the device. The device itself is highly secure and won’t allow access no matter how minimal the security on your computer may be.
The Trezor Bitcoin hardware wallet is a sleek, black piece of hardware that is compatible with Microsoft, OS X as well as Linux. It not only supports Bitcoin, but also Dash, Zcash, Ethereum, and Litecoin too. The Trezor hardware wallet offers the ultimate in security whereby even if your computer is at risk, your Bitcoin will always be secure. The Trezor only has two buttons, one to accept and one to decline, so operations are minimal and extremely easy to navigate. The small screen allows you to see the transactions visibly.
The Trezor Bitcoin hardware wallet is a sleek, black piece of hardware that is compatible with Microsoft, OS X as well as Linux. It not only supports Bitcoin, but also Dash, Zcash, Ethereum, and Litecoin too. The Trezor hardware wallet offers the ultimate in security whereby even if your computer is at risk, your bitcoin will always be secure. The Trezor only has two buttons, one to accept and one to decline, so operations are minimal and extremely easy to navigate. The small screen allows you to see the transactions visibly.
Best Bitcoin Wallets
Software Bitcoin wallets are also known as mobile wallets and they can be downloaded as an application to your phone or desktop. There are countless versions of mobile wallets that can be tested out, but we’ve selected three that we know are reliable, trusted and secure:
The Wirex Bitcoin or Litecoin wallets are our own players in software or mobile multi-crypto wallets that offer something really competitive to the market. Secured with two-factor authentication and multi-signature protection, these downloadable wallets are as secure as it gets when you’re dealing with anything other than a hardware wallet. The Wirex mobile Bitcoin and Litecoin wallets are compatible with iOS and Android.
As with Wirex and the online wallets, Electrum offers multi-signature security on its downloadable software wallet. Users can start transacting almost immediately upon download and setup and they are also offered cold storage of their private keys. Compatible with Windows, OS X and Linux too.
Like Wirex, GreenAddress has two-factor authentication and multi-signature protection, which adds that extra layer of security. Also equipped with transaction limits and restrictions, which help prevent phishing attacks. It’s also a web-based online wallet as well as being downloadable for iOS and Android.