Compare Bitcoin Hardware Wallets

Find the best bitcoin hardware wallet.

The most secure way of storing your cryptocurrency is in a hard wallet. To help you find the best of the best we've researched and compared the competition.

Read more

Contents of page

What should I look for in a BTC hardware wallet?

Bitcoin hard wallets are sold in a few shapes and sizes, and with various different security features. Whether you want a wallet with a display screen or the most secure encryption, you'll find what you need below.

Read less

The most secure hardware wallets on the market.


If you're looking for a Bitcoin hardware wallet then these are your best options. We've researched the competition to help you find the best wallet for you.

1
£90
BTC
ETH
LTC
XRP
DASH
BCH
KMD
  • Small design
  • Number of cryptocurrencies supported
  • Range of products
2
£75
BTC
ETH
LTC
XRP
BCH
  • Tamper-proof physical device
  • Cold storage wallet
  • Use mobile app to manage crypto
3
£80
BTC
ETH
LTC
XRP
NEM
DASH
BCH
CRYPTO
  • Cold storage
  • Supports multiple cryptocurrencies
  • Various models available
4
£100
BTC
ETH
LTC
  • Support for erc-20 tokens
  • Virus and malware proof
  • Suitable with PC, Mac, Linux, and mobile
5
£69.53
BTC
ETH
LTC
  • Compact design
  • Easy to use
  • Maximum security
6
£70
BTC
  • Bitcoin fork support
  • Extra flat (4mm)
  • Number of unique features
These are highly volatile investment products. Your capital is at risk.

Finding the best bitcoin hardware wallet in 2018.


What is a bitcoin hardware wallet?

A bitcoin hardware wallet, also known as a ‘hard wallet’, is a physical electronic device that stores your bitcoins. Hardware wallets are the most secure type of Bitcoin wallets and act like cryptocurrency safes.

How do bitcoin hardware wallets work?

Exactly how your hardware wallet will function depends on which model you buy – some will have display screens, some will have different security features such as PINs and backup recovery phrases, and some can be as simple as a USB. What they all do, however, is give you a wallet address that stores your bitcoins completely offline to keep them out of reach for hackers. Think of hard wallets as miniature computers that can handle bitcoin transactions without having to be connected to the internet.

What other types of wallets are there?

When it comes to bitcoin wallets there are a number of options from which to choose:

  • Online wallets. Wallets that are hosted online. Also known as web wallets, these require you to sign up to an online service and access your wallet with an account name and password.
  • Mobile wallets. These are wallets stored on your mobile phone in the form of an app. They make it easy to spend and transfer your bitcoin on the move.
  • Desktop wallets. Desktop wallets work through software that you download onto your computer. Once you have installed a wallet client you can use its interface to store and transfer coins, as well as check your balance.
  • Paper wallets. Like hardware wallets, paper wallets allow you to store your coins offline. These DIY wallets are literally printed on paper after you have generated a wallet address and private key through an online service.

What’s the difference between hardware wallets and other wallets?

Hardware wallets are more secure, and the only type of wallet that comes in the form of a physical device rather than something you download (or make in the case of a paper wallet). Hard wallets are ‘cold wallets’ meaning that they keep all bitcoins offline. This makes hard wallets safer than mobile or desktop wallets, which are stored on devices connected to the internet, or online wallets, which are hosted directly on it.

The most important factors when choosing a hardware wallet

There are a variety of hardware wallets, with each coming with unique security features and extras. Here are factors you need to keep in mind when choosing one:

Security

The main purpose of hardware wallets is to secure your bitcoins. Hard wallets typically require you to set up a PIN code that you will have to use to access the wallet, so in case you lose your device nobody else can access your coins. Another feature you should look out for is the recovery seed. This feature allows you to add a custom phrase, with which you can restore your hardware wallet if it gets lost or damaged (this is very important or you could lose access to your coins forever).

Display screen

Some hardware wallets such as Trezor and KeepKey have display screens that allow you to view details of your transactions without having to connect the devices to a computer. Others, such as Ledger HW.1 wallet don’t have this display screen, meaning that you will need to connect them to a computer when you need to use them.

Ease of use

There are very intuitive hardware wallets out there, and ones that are more complex. There are those, such as Trezor, which don’t require you to have a very technical understanding of cryptocurrencies: all you need to do is turn them on and start using the device. And there are those, such as Ledger Nano S, that need to be connected to a computer and configured first. As a whole, hard wallets do not require much technical knowledge and are generally very easy to get to grips with.

Size

Generally, all hardware wallets are small (easily fitting in your hand), but some, such as the Ledger HW.1, are tiny. Some are also shaped like cards (such as Bitlox, and BitBox) whereas others are shaped like the normal flash drives (Ledger Nano S and Opendime). Depending on how/where you want to store your wallet, size and shape could be a factor you want to consider.

Are transactions made using hardware wallets anonymous?

Yes. Like with any other wallet, transactions between bitcoin hardware wallets are completely anonymous. Only wallet IDs display on the blockchain and there’s no way of tracing them back to your identity.

Do I need to download any software?

Sometimes you may need to download the software and configure your hardware, but it all depends on the hardware wallet you’re using. Most popular hardware wallets such as Trezor and KeepKey will only require you to download a plugin/extension from Google Chrome and configure your device, which includes setting up a PIN. If you are using Ledger Nano S, you will just need to connect it to your computer’s USB port and follow the instructions.

How do I set up a hardware wallet?

Each different hardware wallet will have its own steps to set up, but don’t worry because they are usually very simple and involve plugging in the device via USB and going to the company’s website. However, there are hardware wallets such as Trezor and KeepKey that will require you to download an extension on your Chrome in order to configure the wallet. As you set up the hardware, remember it’s imperative that you record the recovery seed. This is a string of words (usually 24) to help you restore your wallet in the future should the device get stolen. You can read more about recovery seeds in our FAQ section.

How do I transfer bitcoins from/to a hardware wallet?

It’s simple. Here’s how to go about it:

To a hardware wallet

Set up your device and access your wallet (whether that’s through the in-built screen, website, or specific software will depend on the device). Generate the bitcoin address (public key) by clicking ‘Receive’ and copy it. Go to the platform/wallet you wish to transfer your bitcoins from, choose the send option, and paste/enter the wallet address (public key) you had earlier generated. Hit ‘send’ and the bitcoins will transfer to your hard wallet – usually instantly.

From a hardware wallet

Plug in your device to a computer and launch your wallet’s official app or a compatible desktop app to unlock the wallet. Go through the security steps (password/pin number etc.) to open it. Go to the ‘Send’ option and enter the wallet address to which you would like to send bitcoin.

What if I lose or damage a bitcoin hardware wallet?

If you haven’t recorded your recovery seed, it can be a real problem because there’s no way you will be able to access your bitcoins and it’s more than likely you’ve lost those coins forever. Fortunately, if you have taken the necessary backup steps then there are steps you can take to restore your hardware wallet. Exactly where you have to go to enter your recovery phrase will depend on the wallet, but once you have done so you will regain access to your coins.

What are the main bitcoin hardware wallet manufacturers?

While there are many companies producing bitcoin hardware wallets, there’s only a few of them that are well known to dominate this industry with quality hardware. The most popular brands include:

Ledger

Ledger is run by security experts in cryptocurrencies and blockchain applications and is one of the most trusted providers around. Some of Ledger’s products include Ledger Nano S (most recent bitcoin hardware), Ledger Nano USB hardware wallet, and Ledger HW.1 USB Smartcard hardware wallet.

TREZOR

TREZOR’s hardware wallets have a reputation of being both very secure and easy to use. Aesthetically designed and with an inbuilt screen, their signature product the TREZOR One is a very popular option for storing bitcoin and other cryptos.

KeepKey

The KeepKey hard wallet is compatible with a number of digital assets, including Ethereum, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Dash, Dogecoin, and Namecoin. It also has an LED display and great security features.

CoolWallet

CoolWallet S is the main hardware wallet developed by CoolBitX, a Taiwanese company founded in 2014. It aims to build a bridge that connects blockchain and widespread public use. Its hardware wallet is sleek, slim and light (like a credit card) and can secure several cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash).

Bitlox

This is another brand that’s known for developing hardware wallet with ample features and compatibility. One of its hardware wallets – the BitLox Advanced can store up to 100 different wallet addresses and is slim enough to fit in your regular wallet. Other products it offers are BitLox Ultimate, BitLox Advanced, and BitLox Extreme Privacy Set.

Shift Cryptosecurity

This Company believes in a future where entrepreneurs and individuals will enjoy independence in their digital world, without worrying about cyber theft. Their flagship product is the BitBox, a very compact USB bitcoin hardware wallet.

Should I use a hardware wallet?

Well, it depends on how you want to use your bitcoins. If you’re looking to trade regularly then they can be inconvenient because you will need to keep transferring your coins from your hard wallet to an exchange. If your goal is to hold your bitcoins for long-term, they are by far the most secure option.

How can I find the best bitcoin hardware wallet?

That’s the easy part. Browse through our reviews and find the right hardware wallet for your needs. We have only reviewed the quality and most reputable hardware to ensure you get a perfect fit.

Should I store my coins in a cryptocurrency hardware wallet?


Advantages

  • Hardware wallets are much more secure than software wallets
  • Your bitcoins are always in your possession
  • They can be backed up to protect your coins
  • Private keys are never exposed to your computer, and therefore cannot be stolen

Drawbacks

  • Hardware wallets can be lost or stolen
  • There's the possibility of physical damage
  • Hardware wallets don't always support all cryptocurrencies

Frequent questions.


Can I send bitcoin from my hardware wallet to my bank account?

No. Hardware wallets hold bitcoin, whereas bank accounts hold fiat currency. This means you can’t hold your bitcoins in normal bank account. What you can do is transfer your bitcoins to an exchange where you can sell them for regular currency, which you can then move to your bank account.

Can I connect a hardware wallet to an exchange?

No. Hardware wallets store your coins offline whereas exchanges operate online. To trade your coins, you’ll have to transfer them from your hard wallet to an exchange.

Are USB wallets hardware wallets?

Yes, there are a few hardware wallets that come in the form of a simple USB. These used to be not very secure, as when a USB drive is connected to your computer with internet, they’re still susceptible to hackers. However, more sophisticated USB wallets are now being made so if you want a very portable hard wallet option, you can certainly find one.

What is a ‘cold wallet’?

Also known as an offline wallet, a ‘cold wallet’ is a wallet that is not connected to the internet. This is the most secure type of wallet because it protects your funds from cyber hacks, unauthorized access, and other types of vulnerabilities that systems connected to the internet are susceptible to. These wallets are useful if you’re storing a large number of coins for a long period of time, but if you want to be regularly trading your coins you’ll want to be using and online wallet.

Can I get hardware wallets that can hold multiple cryptocurrencies?

Yes, there are products available that hold multiple coins. Options such as KeepKey can hold Ethereum, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, dash, Dogecoin, and Namecoin, whereas others such as BitLox Advanced can store up to 100 cryptocurrencies.

Why do some hardware wallets have display screens and others don’t?

The ones with a display screen allow you to use them without necessarily having to connect them to a computer. You can view details of transactions as well as your account balance right on the device. Those that don’t have a display screen mean that you have to connect them to your computer and view your transaction information via their bitcoin client/wallet website.

Can hardware wallets be hacked?

No. quality hardware from reputable sellers is virtually impenetrable (unless you were to dedicate all the computing power in the world purely to the task for hundreds of years). Considering that the keys are stored completely offline, your bitcoins cannot be accessed by hackers. However, be aware that malware can be loaded onto certain hardware wallets if you buy from unreliable sellers, so it’s always recommended to buy from a reputable distributor.

Can I backup a hardware wallet?

Yes, this is what a recovery seed does. Basically, when you are configuring the hardware, you will be asked to enter a passphrase, which usually consists of 12, 18, or 24 words. If you ever happen to lose your device or it gets damaged, you can use the recovery seed to restore your bitcoins.

Can I wipe and resell a hardware wallet?

Yes. Hardware wallets can be completely wiped if you want to stop using them for whatever reason. Obviously make sure you transfer your coins elsewhere first before you sell it to ensure that the new owner will never be able to access your coins that were previously on it.

Which operating systems support hardware wallets?

Depends on the wallet, but usually they are compatible with all major operating systems. Most of the common hardware wallets such as Trexor, KeepKey, CoolWallet, are Bitlox are compatible with Linux, Windows, and Mac operating systems. However, options like Ledger Wallet have specific requirements for operating systems, for instance requiring Windows 7+ and Mac OS 10.9+. Ensure that your wallet is completely compatible with your operating system.

What is a bitcoin wallet?

Also referred to as a bitcoin digital wallet, a bitcoin wallet is a program or software where bitcoins are stored. The wallets come in many forms, each providing unique features. There are web based wallets, mobile wallets, and offline based wallets such as paper and hardware wallets.

Why are they called wallets?

Because, just like regular wallets, the purpose of a bitcoin wallet is to store your money. However, a bitcoin wallet does this by recording the movement of bitcoin in and out of itself on a publicly displayed ledger (the blockchain). The wallet facilitates receiving and sending of bitcoins and gives you ownership of bitcoin balance. Although they function similar to a banking app, wallets are not only online; there are options such as hardware and paper wallets that store your bitcoins offline.

How fast are transactions between bitcoin wallets?

Transactions between wallets are technically instant, but it could take a little bit longer for payments to be verified on the blockchain, especially if there are a lot of transactions currently being verified. If there’s a delay at all it’s usually only a couple of hours at most. Generally, fast and secure peer-to-peer transactions are one of bitcoin’s biggest advantages.

What are private and public keys?

A public key is also referred to as a wallet address and is essentially your account number (to use a banking simile). It’s simply a unique identifier for your wallet that’s known to the public. A private key, on the other hand, is like a PIN number: it is the password required to transfer bitcoins out of a wallet. Typically, it consists of a 64-character long code and can be referred to as the ‘ticket’ that allows you to spend bitcoins.

If bitcoin is a digital currency, how can it be stored offline?

Good question. It gets a little technical, but because bitcoins don’t physically exist, they can be stored virtually anywhere (whether online or offline). Ownership of bitcoins is determined by the records on the blockchain, which show exactly where they have been transferred. If, for instance, you have transferred your bitcoins to a wallet and it then goes offline, the location of those coins will still be stored on the blockchain. All you need to know is the wallet address and private key and you will be able to access them at any time.

Can I have more than one wallet at a time?

Yes, you can have as many wallets as you want to, of all types. Having multiple wallets helps make you even more anonymous and it can be a good idea to spread your bitcoin across multiple wallets. It also helps if you have different investment goals: for instance, holding your coins for long-term on a hardware and paper wallet, and trading bitcoin using an online wallet connected to an exchange.

Can I transfer from my bitcoin wallet to my bank account?

No, you can’t. Bank accounts hold fiat currency, whereas a bitcoin wallet holds bitcoins, so you cannot transfer directly between them. To transfer from your wallet into your bank account you’ll have to sell your bitcoins on an exchange and then transfer the resulting money over to your account. Services like Wirex, who are now offering bitcoin debit cards, are making this a much easier process because they allow users to have a debit card that’s linked to a bitcoin and a fiat currency account. You can easily convert your bitcoins to fiat currency before you spend them.

What connection do wallets have to the blockchain?

The blockchain is the technology that records all the movements of bitcoin between wallets. So if you make a transaction from your wallet, the information is recorded and is publicly visible from the blockchain, but not anything pertaining to either your identity or to whom you are sending, or from whom you are receiving bitcoin.

What is a ‘recovery seed’?

A recovery seed is a mnemonic phrase that usually consisting of 12, 18, or 24 words, that allows you to recover your wallet if you lose access to it (for instance if it gets lost/stolen or corrupted, or if you forget your password). Wallet software typically generates this mnemonic phrase and instructs the owner to record it somewhere for future reference. It is advisable to write it down on paper and keep it locked away. If you forget your wallet’s details, or - in the case of paper and hardware wallets - your wallet gets damaged, lost, or stolen, you can use the recovery seed to restore your bitcoins to a new wallet/device that uses the same software.

On a technical level, how do wallet transactions work?

Each wallet has a private and a public key. These work like your PIN and account number in regular banking. If you want to send coins to another wallet, you enter that wallet’s public key (commonly called a wallet address) in the field provided, and then enter the amount of bitcoins you wish to send, and hit ‘send’. The wallet creates a transaction output, which is registered on the blockchain network (with your public address as the transaction input). The blockchain verifies that transaction and it will display as a transfer of X bitcoins from your wallet address to theirs. Your wallet will then have X fewer bitcoins and your friend’s will have X more. Think of it like wiring money from a banking app; once you send money, the amount is deducted from your balance, which is then credited to the user’s balance.

Do I need a wallet to mine bitcoin?

If you’re mining bitcoin you’ll need a wallet address to receive the transaction fees and block rewards generated by mining. Generally it’s not advisable to have these payments going directly to a hardware wallet as payments are generally small and frequent, which can put strain on the hardware. For mining puIf you are using cloud mining to mine bitcoins, however, you might not need a wallet as all bitcoins are credited in your account hosted by the cloud mining provider. But when you want to move them, you’ll definitely need a wallet.

What is a deterministic wallet?

A deterministic wallet is a wallet that can generate many different keys from a single ‘seed’, allowing you to backup and restore your wallet easily in future without needing to provide any other information. These types of wallets have very solid security features. So long as you have the passphrase, you can generate the key pair from it, making bitcoin storage less of a security concern.

Can I connect my wallet to a bitcoin debit card?

No, not yet. Bitcoin debit cards work by connecting to an account which you load with bitcoin. The cards are accepted on any card-accepting merchants as well as ATMs. We have guides to bitcoin debit and prepaid cards to help you learn about how they work, so be sure to check it out.

Are transactions between wallets irreversible?

Yes, they are irreversible. Once you transfer bitcoin’s ownership to another address, it is recorded within the blockchain ledger, and you lose the permission for moving or retrieving the coins again. Unless the new owner agrees to return your coins, there’s no way to undo the transaction. This means that chargebacks are not possible between bitcoin wallets. If you’re sending money somewhere, make 100% sure you’re sending it to the right address, otherwise you’ll lose your coins.

Can wallets be hacked?

Bitcoin wallets cannot ‘hacked’ in the sense of someone forcing entry into the wallet. Private keys are impossible to guess because they contain random long tail code of 64 characters, unlike regular passwords (if your wallet is on an online platform and only protected by a password it is less secure). What hackers try and do is acquire your private key/password through malware and malicious phishing attacks. They tend to target exchanges to try and get everyone’s details so that they can access multiple wallets. If you are using an exchange, make sure it has with good security features such as 2-factor verification.

Do I have to pay tax on the bitcoins in my wallet?

In the UK, if you make enough profit then yes. If you buy bitcoin and it rises in value it is subject to capital gains tax: you are required to pay tax of between 10% and 28% (depending on your income) on any profits above £11,700. If you made the coins through mining then technically it is classed as a trade and subject to income tax. In other countries, bitcoin’s tax status varies, and governments are still in the early days of figuring out exactly how to collect taxes on bitcoin.

Scroll to top