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Best Crypto Hardware Wallets for 2022-2023

 

Today in 2021, there are an array of crypto wallets available for HODLers, but are they all equally safe? Better yet, is it safe to hold your coins on an exchange? By far one of the best ways to store your crypto is through cold external storage. This means an external device that plugs into your computer and allows you to store your cryptocurrency. When you are finished, you can simple eject your device from your USB port or adapter and you’re done.

What are Cold External Wallets?

A cold wallet is a physical device that keeps your crypto offline entirely. Other popular names you may have came across include “hardward wallet” or “cold storage”. Most crypto wallets resemble USB drives and by storing your crypto on these devices, it makes it very unlikely for hackers to get your holdings.

What are the benefits of an external wallet?

First and foremost, peace of mind. Especially if you plan to hold for  a long time (months, years, etc.). You are in full control of your crypto. Of course as the value of the wallet in question increases, the argument for external storage grows increasingly stronger. Someone who has $100 in crypto may not see the significance  of investing in a cold wallet as much as someone who has $10,000, $100,000, or more invested in cryptocurrency. Nevertheless, whether you have .0001 of a coin or 100,000,000, an external wallet is the safest way to store your crypto.

Trezor Model One

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The Trezor Model one is a great introductory cold storage wallet for your crypto. The device itself is quite small being just a bit bigger than your average USB stick. There is an outer plastic shell that feels secure, but by no means is indestructible, so being careful with it at all times is important. Another attractive feature is the trezor model one stores over 1000 coins. I personally own a model one and I bought it 2 years ago right at the time when I decided I was going to start accumulating. Everyday, hackers are trying to find vulnerabilities in website security and you don’t want to be that person who left $5,000 or more sitting on an exchange when it got hacked. Often times, the behavior of exchanges can vary especially in times of bleeding markets. It’s always nice to know that your crypto is in your full control. From a functional standpoint, the trezor is a USB 3.0 it with your purchase you get a cable that will a connect your computer to your trezor. The onboarding is farily painless and the only real hiccup was I needed to download the trezor bridge, which you can find more starting here.

 

Trezor Model T

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The Trezor Model T

By now almost everyone has heard of the Trezor Model One hardware wallet. Trezor manufactured their wallets with one goal in mind: Security. The Trezor Model T claims to have more features than the Trezor Model One, and today we are going to ask one question: “Is it worth it?”.

Let’s look at what the Trezor Model T promises us the following: A physical wallet for storing cryptocurrency, Support for more than 1000 coins and tokens, a touch screen interface, reputable,  Secure, inexpensive, and easy to use.

Protecting your long-term investments

If you have many different altcoins, and you want to store them on a single wallet, then the Trezor Model T is worth considering. The Trezor Model T does provide physical means for storing your cryptocurrency safely. However, if you are looking for the best cryptocurrency wallet to safely store your keys, then some questions come to mind.

Why buy the Trezor Model T?

The Trezor Model T is a good cold storage wallet because it allows support for over 1000 coins. Pretty impressive right? But the Trezor Model T is reputable and secure! It was released in 2018 by Satoshi Labs. The Trezor Model T does offer a secure way to store your keys offline in a physical location. What about affordability? Well, it’s more expensive than the Ledger Nano X. What are you paying for in a hardware wallet? A gimmick with a bunch of bells, whistles, and flashing lights. How does one even justify the existence of a hardware wallet?

Is the model T difficult to use?

What about simplicity? Is the Trezor Nano T user-friendly? Let’s examine the necessary steps for setting up your wallet. When your Trezor Model T arrives in the box it comes with a USB cable and some pieces of paper. What are the pieces of paper for you may ask? Well to write down the seed words of your public and private keys of course. “Wait, what? Why do I need to write down my private and public keys” I hear you asking. Well, you see, if anything happens to your wallet then you have the keys written down and stored somewhere safe. That means you can restore your wallet using these keys at any time in the future. For example, you may lose your hardware wallet or misplace it, or lose access to it somehow. How are you going to restore your coins without the keys that you wrote down? Your Trezor Model T will arrive with a little “safety seal” to show that no one has used it before. The seal helps you sleep well at night knowing you didn’t just throw your money away on a pointless gadget.

 

Also, it’s important to mention at this point that you may get an error when finishing the process depending on what browser you are using. Objectively speaking, setting up the wallet is easy if you follow all of the steps. Using the wallet is pretty straight forward too. The entire process for setting up your Trezor Model T can take up to 15 minutes.

 Ledger Nano S

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The Similar to the Trezor Model one, the Ledger Nano S is a great introduction into cryptocurrency for those just getting serious. This devices is very lightweight, easy to store and offers a wider range of currencies compared to the Trezor Model one (1800 for Nano S). There are strong arguments whether one should just go with the Nano S as opposed to the Model one.  Additionally, the Nano S has additional platform operability. Both the Nano S and Model one are compatible with Windows, Linux, Mac and android, but the Nano S also works with Chrome OS

 Ledger Nano x

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The Ledger Nano X

The Ledger Nano X is less expensive than the Trezor Model T and can do more things. The Ledger company was founded in 2014 and is a market leader when it comes to cryptocurrency technologies. One of the great things about the Ledger Nano X is that it can hold over 100 apps.

However, the Ledger Nano X setup is a little bit more complicated than the Setup of the Trezor Model T. Although the setup is more complicated, using the Nano X is quite straightforward. So this hardware wallet is simple, easy, and straightforward to use.

I would say that one of the major things Ledger Nano X has going for it, is Bluetooth connectivity which allows it to pair with mobile devices. This is an option that the Trezor Model T doesn’t have. Although the hardware wallet is somewhat expensive, It’s more affordable than the Trezor Model T.

The core issue here is whether these wallets are useful to investors. After examining them objectively the answer largely depends on you. Are you comfortable leaving thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars on an exchange? How about in a mobile wallet? In both situations there is some amount of vulnerability. Your cold hardware wallet is like a safe. It removes your coins offline and stores them safely.

What are the potential downsides external wallets?

When you first activate your wallet, you will receive seed phrase ranging from 12-24 words. It is always stressed that this (seed phrase) is never shared with anyone. It is also highly encouraged that you keep your seed phrase in a safe place. Your seed phrase is essentially a recovery phrase to restore your wallet should you ever lose or accidently break your external device. Scenario, let’s say you just bought $100 of Cardano (ADA) and you yourself decide you want to hold this for a few months. You just bought the Trezor Model T and you decide to store your cardano. Immediately after, in a flurry, finish up, pull out your USB and stuff it in your pocket. A few actions here, and another few there, you eventually forget it’s in your back pocket. From a here you could sit on a hard chair and break it, run your pants through the washer, or just misplace it altogether. The point is, if you have your seed phrase, no harm done. You can recover your coins. However, if you lost your seedphrase, you’ve lost your coins. As the saying goes, “Not your keys, not your wallet”. This is also a lesson of not sharing your seed phrase with others as anyone with this special code can essentially take full control of your wallet.