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How To Choose The Right Hardware Wallet

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Are you ready to take your first steps into the exciting world of cryptocurrency but feeling intimidated by all the security-focused buzz? You're not alone.  

Choosing the right hardware wallet is a critical decision that can make or break your cryptocurrency journey. But don't worry; we'll walk you through the ins and outs of selecting a great hardware wallet in this beginner-friendly article.   

We'll help you understand the key factors to consider and compare your options. So, if you're eager to keep your cryptocurrencies safe, let's dive in and help you find your ideal crypto hardware wallet.

How to choose a hardware wallet

We’ve provided some factors you must consider before buying a hardware wallet. Each factor will help you decide which device is best for you, your budget, and the safety of your assets in general.

Budget-friendly

You should pick a hardware wallet that fits your budget. Most hardware wallets for cold storage cost between $49 and $400. That's a big gap in pricing, and we don’t recommend breaking the bank to buy a vault. You can get a wallet that meets all your needs to save money. Several factors can affect hardware wallet costs, including country of manufacture, physical features, security features, and product lifespan.

More expensive wallets have all the unnecessary bells and whistles, such as a touch screen and a Swiss knife. However, the security is pretty much the same at all price points.

Security features

Good hardware wallets have proven security features like PIN codes, passphrase protection, and secure chip elements that protect against hacking and attacks. Here is a list of things you should look for in a wallet to ensure safety.

— Secure chip: 
A secure hardware wallet chip is like the brain of the wallet. This chip functions like a mini-computer built to be really good at one thing: keeping your money safe. It generates and stores your private keys— secret alphanumeric codes that let you access your assets. This chip must also be designed to resist hacking and tampering attempts.

— Multi-factor authentication (MFA) 
MFA keeps people from getting into your wallet when they shouldn't. A strong MFA could include a PIN code, biometric authentication, and a passphrase.

— Open-source software: 
Making a hardware wallet’s app open-source means that the code is open for anyone to inspect and double-check. This is a big advantage because it builds trust and proves transparency. You—or any specialized software developer— can ensure there are no secret backdoors in the app. 

— Independently certified firmware: 
An independently certified firmware is a big deal because experts outside the company have ensured that the firmware is rock-solid and free from any hidden vulnerabilities or weaknesses.  

You can trust that it's been rigorously tested to meet the highest security standards. So, when searching for the right hardware wallet, choosing one with independently certified firmware is a smart move that gives you added peace of mind, knowing your cryptocurrencies are in safe hands.

Supported cryptocurrencies

Before placing your order,  please ensure the wallet you choose supports the cryptocurrencies, digital assets, and blockchain networks you want to use. Some wallets support fewer coins & tokens than others, so you should first check the wallet provider’s list of supported assets.

User-friendly interface

 A user-friendly interface makes setting up and using the wallet easier. The wallet should have clear instructions and an intuitive interface to enhance the user experience, even for beginners.

Backup and recovery options

Consider the backup and recovery mechanisms offered by the wallet. We recommend getting a wallet that provides a secure and easy-to-follow backup process if you lose or damage the wallet.

Customer support and community

Check if the hardware wallet company offers reliable customer support. Additionally, being part of an active and engaged community can be valuable for getting help and staying updated.

Physical durability

Since hardware wallets are physical devices, durability is essential. Choose one that is built to withstand regular wear and tear. Crypto hardware wallets are physical devices that can be exposed to various environmental conditions. 

Being water and dustproof means they can withstand accidental spills, exposure to moisture, or dusty environments. This factor is vital if you use the wallet for long-term storage.


Regular software updates

A reputable wallet manufacturer will release regular updates to address security vulnerabilities and add new features. This ensures your wallet remains secure over time.

Compatibility

Choose a hardware wallet compatible with your smartphone, computer, or other devices. Not all wallets have mobile phone apps or computer programs as their interface. For example, if you want to connect your smartphone to your hardware wallet, ensure the wallet you choose supports this feature.

Brand reputation and track record

Find a wallet brand with an excellent track record to ensure you get a real, secure device. It’s always good to do your own research and learn about different brands by watching videos of them to figure out which one you like best.

Reviews from real users are more helpful than big media outlets whose publishers might have never used the product. Therefore, smaller blogs, YouTube videos, online reviews, and online forums like Reddit are all great ways to discover more about a wallet's reputation.

Considering the factors we've provided, you can make an informed decision and choose a crypto hardware wallet that aligns with your security needs and preferences.

Comparing popular hardware wallets

We've also compiled a handy comparison table of some of the most popular hardware wallets on the market.  
This table provides an overview of key features, supported cryptocurrencies, and price ranges, giving you a clear snapshot of each option.  

Whether you're a seasoned crypto user or just starting, this comparison will help you find the perfect wallet to safeguard your digital assets. 

 

 

Tangem

Ledger Nano X

Trezor Model T

SafePal S1

Ellipal Titan mini

Price

$43.90

$158.85

$219

$49.99

$99.00

Setup time

1-3 min

30 minutes to 1 hour

5-10 min.

3-5 min

15-20 mins

OS Compatibility

Smartphone with NFC (iOS & Android)

Smartphone, 64-bit desktop computer

Windows, macOS,

Linux,

Android 7.1 or newer.

 

Android,

iOS, Windo,macOS

iOS, Android with Bluetooth 4.0 or higher

Battery type

None required

Built-in lithium-ion battery

Powered by USB when connected

Built-in lithium battery

Built-in lithium-ion battery

 

Extractable private key

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Backup option

Multiple cards + (optional seed phrase)

Seed phrase only

Seed phrase only

Seed phrase only

Seed phrase only

Connectivity

 

NFC

USB-C, Bluetooth

USB, Bluetooth (beta)

QR-code

QR-code

Multi-factor authentication (MFA)

Access code, Biometric authentication

FIDO U2F

U2F or FIDO2, PIN protection

PIN code

PIN, Google Authenticator

Secure element certification

CC EAL6+

CC EAL5+

None

CC EAL6+

CC EAL6+

Independent firmware audit

Yes (Kudelski Security)

No

Yes (unknown)

No

No

Open-source software

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Hardware components

Only secure element

Secure elements & non-certified parts

Non-certified parts

Secure elements & non-certified parts

 

Secure elements & non-certified parts

Supported cryptocurrencies

6000+

5,500+

1000+

10,000+

10,000+

Anti-counterfeit protection  

 

Firmware certificate /attestation

Hologram on the packaging

Hologram on the packaging

Firmware signature

Anti-tamper seal, firmware verification

Water and dust protection

Full IP68

IP68

None

None

IP68

Weight

6g

34g

22g

142g

120g

 

Best hardware wallet for beginners

Hardware wallets are a must-have for anyone who wants total security. Nowadays, when custodial wallets are getting robbed every week, it is imperative to have a safe, tamper-proof, and unbreakable way to store your coins.

The Tangem Wallet stands out as one of the best hardware wallets on the market for several fantastic reasons.


Firstly, its price is a real game-changer. Compared to other hardware wallets, Tangem comes in at a budget-friendly cost, making it accessible to a wide range of users. It doesn't break the bank but still provides top-notch security.

Secondly, when it comes to features, Tangem is cutting-edge. It's designed with simplicity and safety in mind. Plus, it's got a sleek, modern app that's intuitive and easy to use.

With Tangem, you're not just getting a wallet; you're getting a state-of-the-art security system for your digital assets, all without burning a hole in your pocket. It's a winning combination that makes Tangem a standout choice among other hardware wallets.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a hardware wallet?

A hardware wallet is a device that allows users to store their cryptocurrencies and digital assets offline. This makes it harder for hackers to get to them.

What is the safest hardware crypto wallet?

The safest hardware wallets often have a PIN or password and a secure chip element. They’re monolithic and completely made with certified parts. In addition to open-source software and audited firmware, safe hardware wallets must have water and dust protection. Tangem Wallet meets all these requirements, making it the safest hardware wallet on the market.

How do hardware wallets work?

By generating and storing private keys offline, a hardware wallet keeps them safe from cyberattacks. A private key is used to open and access a wallet to control the assets inside.

Is a hardware wallet safer than Coinbase or Binance?

Custodial wallets like Coinbase and Binance are not as secure as hardware wallets. Not your keys, not your coins: because custodial wallets retain custody of your wallet’s private key, you can never fully guarantee your cryptocurrency’s security. A hardware wallet gives you possession and control over your private keys.