Which Crypto Wallet is Best?

Beginner Jan 14, 2021 · 3 min read

How To Choose Your Hardware Wallet?
Key Takeaways:
— Hardware wallets are by far the most secure way to secure and manage your funds, but is can be hard to know which crypto wallet is best.

— Ledger hardware wallets marry the convenience of storing all your private keys in one place with the security of Secure Element and BOLOS operating system.

— Our Ledger Live user interface is a one stop shop where you can manage your assets directly from the hardware wallet.

— It’s designed with military grade security, including Secure Element chip and custom BOLOS operating system, so you can focus your energy on managing your assets.

How can you know which crypto wallet is best for you? Not all hardware wallets are created equal. Understanding how they work and what they are made of will guide you to choose the perfect device for your assets.

Why do I need a hardware wallet?

As you’ll know from the last article, if you’re buying any sort of crypto, a hardware wallet is non-negotiable. There are a couple of reasons for that: first, as you know, it keeps your most important data off-line, so your wallet can never be compromised; and secondly it also gives you full ownership and control over your cryptocurrencies by giving you sole access to your private keys.

Hardware wallets are encrypted devices that ensure your private keys are stored offline. Unlike digital or hot wallets, they provide a layer of security against the evolving threats that come from being connected to the Internet.

Yet, even among the hardware wallets family, not all devices are equal. Like computers or mobiles, they are not all worth the same. What makes them different? Well, mainly their security features. 

Why are Hardware Wallets Secure?

The security level of a hardware wallet depends on the quality of protection layers. Remember, cryptocurrencies are assets that need specific security protection. In the same way that you wouldn’t build a vault out of lego bricks, you wouldn’t build a hardware wallet using components taken from your coffee machine. Or would you? 

Hardware wallets typically consist of three primary security features or layers:

  • A hardware (physical) component. Like how computers and mobiles work with a processor, hardware wallets use a chip. 
  • An operating system, like Microsoft Windows for PC, macOS for Apple computers or Android for most smartphones.
  • An anti-tampering authentication check. This checking process can include several steps, you often have both a PIN code and a password to completely unlock your smartphone. It can include up to 2 steps for the most secure hardware wallets.

Why is Ledger Nano the safest hardware wallet?

Security is absolutely central when you’re deciding which crypto wallet is best for you.

Crypto needs a high level of security – remember, you are your own bank. Think about that. It’s a huge responsibility, and there is nobody to fall back on if your funds get hacked. That’s why there’s no room for compromise when you choose your wallet, and at Ledger, we feel the same. That’s why every single one of our wallets components is the best on the market. Let’s take a closer look at the most important ones now.

The finest chip

Most hardware wallet providers use generic chips (called Microcontroller chips). Those are used in common appliances like microwaves and TV remotes.

But for the awesome responsibility of securing a hardware wallet, these chips are not up to the task, because they have a number of vulnerabilities – this leaves your most precious data wide open to hackers with technical knowhow.

So at Ledger, we use a higher level of chip, designed specifically for sensitive data – it’s called secure element. Secure element chips are used in passports, credit cards and payment systems – essentially, anywhere that requires you to keep your data on a device while ensuring it stays hidden. With every Nano benefiting from a secure element chip, you can have peace of mind, knowing your funds will never be vulnerable to physical hacks.

The finest operating system

Operating systems are a critical feature of hardware wallets, and a component that deserves your attention.

Off-the-shelf operating systems could have security flaws as they are not explicitly tailored towards protecting crypto assets. Additionally, hardware wallet services are rapidly adding support for more crypto assets, including intuitive interfaces and Bluetooth compatibility that are difficult to reconcile with conventional operating systems.

Therefore, “tailor-made” operating systems are to be favoured when making the choice, and Ledger uses exactly that. Our bespoke BOLOS operating system is designed to allow your Ledger Nano to constantly update and integrate new features, allowing all the different elements of the wallet to integrate your key data without ever revealing it to any of the applications. Agility with total security – this is why our custom operating system puts us ahead of the other options.

After the security check, the extras

Once the security check is done, and ends up positive, the things left to compare are the extra features: crypto coverage, optional features, ease of use and access to crypto services etc. 

Crypto support

When it comes down to extra features, the first thing you should check is if the hardware wallet supports the cryptocurrencies you’re interested in. Expanding the suite of supported crypto assets while maintaining the same security standards has been one of the main development focuses for wallet providers. For instance, Ledger hardware wallets support over 1500 different cryptocurrencies

Ease of use

Beyond coverage, there are other features that can be attractive to users, like bluetooth connection, increased storage capacity etc.

At Ledger, we have been dedicated to giving you full power over your crypto by improving convenience along with the overall user-experience., without ever compromising security.

Our hardware wallets provide you with easy access to crypto management services thanks to one-single app: Ledger Live. This one-stop-shop offers you the possibility to directly buy, sell, lend or swap crypto assets thanks to our different partners, while keeping your private keys secure in your hardware wallet throughout.

When evaluating crypto hardware wallets, security should always be among your top priorities. Here is a quick recap of what you need to have in mind when choosing your hardware wallet:

How to choose your Hardware Wallet

Get Secure, Get Free

So now you have the lowdown – at Ledger, we create hardware wallets to provide you with the highest level of security for your private keys, along with an interface to make your interactions easy and seamless. Eager to discover how we do that? Feel free to check our Academy Playlist about the Ledger ecosystem and continue your path towards financial freedom!

Or you can just keep reading…

Knowledge is power.

Knowledge is power – so keep on learning! If you enjoy getting to grips with crypto and blockchain, check out our School of Block video where we peek inside the head of a scammer.

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