Top Crypto Hardware Wallets 2021

Hardware wallets are not a new phenomenon in the tech industry. However, in the world of cryptocurrency, we consider hardware wallets to be amongst the most-secure cold storage solutions hand down. There is no doubt that hardware wallet growth has massively benefited from the rapid expansion of the crypto and blockchain spheres. Various hardware wallet manufacturers have been working overtime in the past years to create viable products to keep up with demand. As more people start to realise the potential of cryptocurrencies and proceed with buying their first crypto, they are also going to want to keep their crypto safe. Are you looking for a reliable hardware wallet for your crypto coins? Check out this comprehensive review for the best hardware wallets on the market today.

This article provides a review and comparison of the most popular hardware wallets in the market today (Ledger Nano S/X, Trezor One/Model T and KeepKey). Hardware wallets store private keys on the hardware device, thus significantly minimising the risks of hacking or unauthorised access.

Millions of people use cryptocurrency wallets, but there is a considerable misunderstanding about how they work. Unlike traditional pocket wallets, digital wallets do not store any currency.

The private keys are linked to ownership of that specific wallet address on the blockchain. You use private keys as the address to the wallet, as well as, a seed phrase for recovering lost or misplaced private keys. The private keys are used to sign transactions from that specific wallet, altering the recorded balance on chain.

In summary, hardware wallets are secure because of their operational designs. The hardware wallet stores private keys on the device itself, thus significantly minimising the risks of hacking or unauthorised access. Furthermore, the keys do not leave the hardware (nor are they exposed) when signing transactions. Some hardware wallets also have physical buttons you use when sending transactions (just like 2FA). Even if an unauthorised person can steal your private keys, they must also have access to your hardware wallet to be able to obtain your crypto.

"When you are not in control of your private keys and instead have your crypto stored on a hot wallet on a custodial exchange account, you don’t truly own your cryptocurrencies as you do now own your private keys."

Ledger Hardware Wallets

Ledger is one of the leading manufacturers of hardware wallets, and the company’s competitive nature has led to the production of some of the most dynamic crypto wallets in the market. The Nano S and Nano X are Ledger’s two leading hardware wallets.

Ledger Nano S
Safely Store Your Crypto
$ 59
  • The highest security standards. Integrates a certified secure chip.
  • Secure your favorite crypto. Store between 3 to 20 apps.
  • Best Buy 2019
Best Buy
Ledger Nano X
Securely Trade On-The-Go
$ 115
  • The highest security standards. Integrates a certified secure chip.
  • Secure a large number of assets. Store up to 100 apps.
  • Manage your crypto on-the-go. Bluetooth connection.

Ledger Nano S

Nano S is exceptionally sleek in design, with intuitive user interface and support for many coins. One of the most impressive features of Nano S is its support for a wide range of altcoins, including Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash Ripple, and Zcash, among others.  

Nano S is the more affordable of the two ledger wallets, selling at $59, despite the many premium features it provides users.



Ledger Nano X 

Nano X is the more advanced of the two Ledger’s hardware wallets, as the user can manage over 100 crypto assets simultaneously. The only demerit is that Nano X’s Bluetooth user interface is somewhat confusing, especially for new users. That is, its user experience is not as smooth as one would expect.

Nano X is mobile compatible, making it quite superior over many other hardware wallets.



Trezor Hardware Wallets

Trezor pioneered the idea of a hardware wallet and has become a market veteran based on its reputation. The first Trezor hardware wallet was released in 2014, and it became prevalent because of its unique operational and security features. The finger-sized hardware wallet is highly portable and is an excellent choice for anyone that has bought their first crypto.

Trezor offers two models: Trezor One and Trezor Model T.

Trezor One
Gold Standard
$ 55
  • Easy-to-use, ready within 10 minutes.
  • Reinforce your accounts with U2F.
  • USB 2.0 device
  • compatible with Windows, Linux and macOS
  • supports more than 1000 coins
Best Buy
Trezor Model T
Premium Choice
$ 170
  • Touchscreen
  • Recover your entire wallet by using your recovery seed.
  • Easily back up your entire wallet.
  • Trezor Password Manager stores your passwords safely
  • Serves as your U2F hardware token.
  • Manages your digital identity. Securely.

Trezor One

The Trezor One is the flagship hardware wallet for Trezor and is the oldest hardware wallet on the market. Its reputation originates from a neat and simple design, its user-friendly interface, the fact that it is quite easy to set up and use and it also supports a wide range of cryptocurrencies.

Trezor One currently costs $55, which makes it quite affordable. Although not the cheapest in the market, Trezor One is a fantastic deal for users in many aspects.

Its primary disadvantage is that it frequently resets when upgrading, which annoyingly deletes the entire wallet. For starters, this can be a real scare, although it’s something you can sort out quickly as long as you’ve got your backup in place.



Trezor Model T

The Trezor Model T is simply an upgrade of Trezor One, because of its large touch screen. Otherwise, both wallets offer the same features. The Trezor T model is slightly more secure because you perform interactions on the hardware wallet, which is supported by the large touch screen. The Model T is also known to support some additional cryptocurrencies that the Trezor One model doesn’t support, such as XRP, ADA, and XRM. The current price for Model T lies around $170.

The additional security feature of the Trezor T lies in its two-factor authentication and Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP), which adds an extra layer of security that protects your coins. 



KeepKey Hardware Wallet

KeepKey wallet is considered as one of the best hardware wallets in the market today. One of its strongest points is its beautifully minimalistic design and focus on security, which makes it quite popular with new crypto users.

The wallet was acquired in 2017 by ShapeShift AG, a Swiss-based crypto exchange, and is currently offering in-wallet exchange via the parent company, ShapeShift. Therefore, you can trade crypto-to-crypto on the platform without the need to use an external exchange.

Integrated with ShapeShift
$ 49
  • Big LCD Touchscreen
  • Trade crypto commission free with the ShapeShift platform.
  • Straightforward Backup and Recovery
  • Easy management through ShapeShift's intuitive web-based interface
  • Generate and manage your private keys offline in cold storage

Users state that they prefer the KeepKey to Ledger’s Nano S and Trezor One. However, the wallet is large in design, which differentiates it from the two other wallets. KeepKey is less portable because it appears too big to fit in a standard pocket conveniently. Its size is almost twice that of its peers, Nano S and Trezor One.



Conclusion Which Hardware Wallet is Best?

The race to come up with the best crypto wallets in the market has seen many companies come up with unique features such as LCD screens and physical buttons, which sets them apart from peers. The top-tier hardware wallets typically compete in terms of design, level of security features, price range, the number of coins supported, portability and industry reputation.

Before we compare and conclude on which wallet is the best (for you), it is crucial to summarize the pros and cons in a table below.

NameCoins supportedEase of UsageWeightPriceCompatibilitySecurityExtra Features
Ledger Nano SAll major coinsBeginnerLight$65Windows, Mac, and LinuxHighly secureLCD screen
Ledger Nano XAll major coinsIntermediateLight$115Windows, Mac, and LinuxHighly secureLarger LCD screen
Trezor OneAll major coins except Ripple, Cardano, Monero, and Tezos.BeginnerLight$55Windows, Mac, and LinuxHighly secureLCD Screen
Trezor TAll major coinsBeginnerLight$170Windows, Mac, and LinuxExtra secureExtra-large touch screen
KeepKeyLimited coinsIntermediateHeavy$49Windows, Mac, and LinuxHighly secureSmooth & impressive display

Storing your cryptocurrency safely on a hardware wallet costs money, and everyone wants to get value for their money. When we look at the three hardware wallet manufacturers, it is clear that all of them take security matters seriously. We note that some – like the Trezor Model T – have improved on the security aspect by introducing a bigger touch screen to ensure you don’t use any external devices that could compromise your private keys.

Based on our review, it is clear that each wallet has its pros and cons. Which hardware wallet is best for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. For instance, while Trezor T is the most secure with its extra-large and sleek touch screen, KeepKey is the cheapest of the wallets. Similarly, while the smooth user interface of the Nano S gives it a cutting edge over its peers, its counterpart (the Nano X) is mobile compatible and has Bluetooth functionality.

Ultimately, you cannot go wrong with any of the leading hardware wallets. Your choice will be dependent on what you value most. When designing hardware wallets, manufactures face a trade-off in terms of user experience, security, amount of coins, interoperability and other features that the public likes.

The most important advice we can give, however, is to ensure that you buy your hardware wallet directly from the manufacturer or from an authorized dealer to avoid fraud associated with eCommerce sellers on Amazon and eBay. You can use any of the links provided in this article to go directly to their e-stores.

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