Compare Ethereum Hardware Wallets

Find the best cryptocurrency hardware wallet for your ether.

The most secure way to store your coins is in a hard wallet. Our comparisons will help you find the right wallet for your ether.

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What should I look for in an ETH hardware wallet?

Ethereum cold wallets come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and prices. It's best to decide what features you want (such as a display screen, or the ability to store different cryptocurrencies), and then use our comparisons to find the most secure wallet at the most competitive price.

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The safest ways store your ether.


Here are comparisons of all the different Ethereum hardware wallets available. Whatever you're looking for, you'll find it here.

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
These are highly volatile investment products. Your capital is at risk.

Finding the best Ethereum hardware wallet in 2018.


What is an Ethereum hardware wallet?

An Ethereum hardware wallet is a physical electronic device that’s designed to store Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. Also known as a ‘hard wallet’, this is the most secure wallet option for ether storage.

How do they work?

Hardware wallets store your private keys offline – a process also known as ‘cold storage’ – to keep them out of the reach of hackers. This means that hard wallets act as a kind of offline vault for your Ethereum. Exactly how they do this depends on the model that you buy; some will have different length PIN numbers, more or less advanced backup options, and possibly connect to other devices by USB or bluetooth. The best way to consider hardware wallets is as miniature computers that handle cryptocurrency without needing to be online.

What other types of wallet are there?

There are four main types of alternative ethereum wallets that you can consider. Here’s a brief look into the differences between them:

  • Online wallet. Also known as a web-based wallet, this is a wallet that allows you to access your ether via a web browser. The private key is usually hosted by your provider, and they are solely responsible for its security. Good examples of web-based Ethereum wallets are MyEtherWallet or Coinbase.
  • Mobile wallet. This is similar to an online wallet, only that it’s stored on a native mobile phone application. Examples for mobile wallets include Jaxx, BRD, and Abra.
  • Desktop wallet. This is effectively a wallet that you can download and install on your PC. It stores the private key on your computer, giving you control of your funds and their security. Examples of good desktop wallets include Exodus, Mist, and Electrum.
  • Paper wallet. This is basically a piece of paper with both the private and public keys of ether addresses printed on it. Just like the hardware wallet, it keeps the ether completely offline, making it a great choice for those looking to hold their coins for long-term. Some of the best places that allow you to create a paper wallet include ETHAdress and WalletGenerator.

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

A hardware wallet is like a cryptocurrency safe. Unlike other wallets that require you to use some sort of application or download software on your computer to use, this wallet exists physically. It’s classified as a ‘cold wallet’ because it stores your ether private keys offline, making it safer than online, desktop, and mobile wallets, which need an internet connection for funds to be managed.

The most important factors when choosing a hardware wallet

When buying a hard wallet, you will want to consider:

Security

The idea behind using a hardware wallet is to ensure that your ether is completely secure from hackers. Other than allowing you to store access to your funds offline, most wallets will have additional security features such as a PIN or recover passphrase, which will allow you to recover your funds.

Display screen

Hardware wallets such as KeepKey, Ledger Nano S, and Trezor feature a display screen which is designed to let you view all the details of your wallet, including your balance and transaction history, without having to connect it to your computer.

Ease of use

There are hardware wallets out there that are very easy to use, meaning that you don’t need to have a technical understanding of cryptocurrencies. Wallets such as Trezor are ready to use right from the box: you just turn it on and you are good to go. Others, such as Ledger Nano S need to be configured using a computer application first. But generally, hardware wallets aren’t complicated to use, and you don’t need to be a tech wizard to use them.

Size

All hardware wallets are usually small, but you can find some that are tiny, to the point where wallets such as the CoolWallet S come at the size of a credit card. You should consider the size and shape of the wallet depending on where you intend to keep your wallet.

Are transactions made using Ethereum hardware wallets anonymous?

Yes. As is the case with other Ethereum wallets, transactions between Ethereum hardware wallets are anonymous. Once you make a payment, only your public wallet address displays on the blockchain, and there’s no possibility of someone tracing it back to you.

Do I need to download any software?

Sometimes, yes. It depends on the hardware wallet you’re using. For example, if you are using KeepKey, Ledger, and Trezor Wallets, you will need to download an extension from your Chrome browser, or a native desktop or mobile application in order to configure your device.

How do I set up an Ethereum hardware wallet?

The process of setting up an Ethereum hardware wallet depends on the wallet you are using, but the process is usually very simple:

  1. Plug in the device via USB to your computer, and launch the native desktop application. (Alternatively, if you are trying to configure your hardware wallet with your mobile phone, and your wallet provider allows for mobile compatibility, you will be able to configure your hardware wallet with bluetooth connectivity to the native mobile application).
  2. Configure or sync the device.
  3. After the device is configured, you will have the option of creating a recovery seed, which is usually a string of words (12,18,24) that can subsequently be used on other devices to recover your funds in the event that your hardware wallet is misplaced, stolen, or damaged.
  4. Copy down this recover passphrase into a piece of paper, and store this in a safe place.
  5. You can then start adding wallet addresses for all your cryptocurrency funds.

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

To a hardware wallet

Start by setting up your device through the provider’s website, software or built-in screen (depends on the device). Click on the ‘Receive’ option in order to generate your Ethereum address, and then copy it. Head to the wallet you intend to transfer your Ethereum from, click on the send button, and paste your wallet address in the field provided. Now click ‘send’ and the ether will be transferred to your wallet’s address instantly.

From a hardware wallet

Use your wallet’s official mobile app or a compatible desktop app in order to unlock the wallet. Enter your password or PIN number to open the wallet, and then hit the ‘Send’ option. Now enter the public wallet address of the person you want to pay ether to and confirm your transaction(s).

What if I lose or damage an Ethereum hardware wallet?

In the event that you cannot use your hardware wallet, you will be able to recover your funds so long as you have kept the recovery passphrase created on initial setup. If you haven’t kept this, then it’s probable you will have lost your coins permanently.

What are the main Ethereum hardware wallet manufacturers?

Ledger

This is a reputable manufacturer of hardware wallets run by security experts in the fields of blockchain applications and cryptocurrencies. Some of its hard wallets include Ledger Nano S and the Ledger Blue. It supports the storage of the largest amount of cryptocurrency keys on the market.

Trezor

A manufacturer known for making hardware wallets with impeccable security features and its user-friendliness. The Trezor One, its signature hardware wallet, comes with an inbuilt screen that displays transactions and balances.

KeepKey

Compatible with various cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, Dash, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum, this wallet is popular among investors who wish to hold multiple digital assets. It’s native app also comes integrated with the ShapeShift exchange.

CoolWallet

Developed by a Taiwanese company known as CoolBitX, the CoolWallet S is the brand’s main hardware wallet, which takes the shape of a credit card and is designed for mobile users. It supports a number of top digital assets, including Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Bitcoin.

Should I use an Ethereum hardware wallet?

Honestly, it depends on your needs. If you are a long-term investor and want to store a sizeable amount of ether, a hardware wallet would be a great option as it keeps access to your digital assets completely offline. If you want to get similar security without having to spend the money, you could also consider a paper wallet. However, if you are a cryptocurrency trader and intend to access your wallet regularly, you will want to go with an online or a mobile wallet.

How can I find the best Ethereum hardware wallet?

Right here. We have reviewed the most reliable and reputable hardware wallets providers for you to pick the perfect hardware wallet provider.

Should I use an Ethereum hardware wallet?


Advantages

  • Hardware wallets are much more secure than other wallets
  • You have complete control over your ether
  • Hardware wallets offer comprehensive backup options
  • Private keys are never exposed to your computer, and therefore cannot be stolen

Drawbacks

  • Hardware wallets can be lost or stolen
  • Your hardware wallet could potentially be physically damaged
  • Sometimes hardware wallets don't support all types cryprocurrencies
  • They cost money, whereas most other types of wallet are free

Frequent questions.


Can Ethereum hardware wallets be hacked?

In terms of a hacker forcing entry into your wallet, it’s safe to say that an Ethereum hardware wallet can’t really be ‘hacked’. The private key that allows the transfer of ether from one wallet to another is impossible to guess because it is a 64-character long tail code. However, malware can be loaded onto certain hardware wallets, targeting your private key. This can only be the case if you don’t buy from a reputable retailer or website.

Can I backup a hardware wallet?

Yes, you can back up your hardware wallet using a recovery seed. When you purchase the device and are in the process of configuring it, you will be requested to create a passphrase consisting of 12, 18 or 24 words, which will then help you to regain access to your wallet’s funds in the future if you ever lose the wallet or damage it.

Can I wipe and resell an Ethereum hardware wallet?

Definitely. You can wipe clean your Ethereum hardware wallet if you don’t need it anymore, and resell it. But before you do, make sure you transfer your ether to another wallet as you may never be able to access the coins later on.

Which operating systems support hardware wallets?

Usually, hardware wallets are compatible with all major operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, and Ubuntu. However, some native applications from hardware wallet providers might require you to download a software update for your specific OS, so be sure to check for that.

Can I get hardware wallets that can hold multiple cryptocurrencies?

Yes, you can. There are multiple hardware wallets designed to store a variety of digital assets. For instance, the Trezor One is designed to hold up to 100 cryptocurrencies, whereas an option like the BitLox can only store bitcoin.

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

Hardware wallets such as Trezor, Ledger Nano S, and KeepKey come with a built-in screen to make it easier to use for users. To send or receive ether, you just need to turn the device on and handle the transfer right from the device. The best thing about these wallets is that you can use them while on the move without requiring connection to your computer. You can view your transaction history as well as the balance of your ether from the display screen. Those that lack a display screen, such as Ledger HW1 have to be connected to a computer in order to make transfers or view wallet details.

Can I send ether from my Ethereum hardware wallet to my bank account?

It’s not possible to send ether from your hardware wallet directly to your bank account. Whilst these wallets are designed to store digital assets, bank accounts are not. However, there is a workaround. You can convert your coins into fiat currency; just send the ether to an exchange, sell it for your preferred currency (GBP, EUR, USD), and then transfer the amount to your bank account.

Can I connect an Ethereum hardware wallet to an exchange?

Yes and no. Some hardware wallets like the CoolWallet S and KeepKey allow for users to use native mobile apps, which are connected to an exchange, like ShapeShift. However, all hardware wallets and the private keys stored in them are always kept entirely offline.

Are USB wallets hardware wallets?

Technically yes, but most hardware wallets are much more advanced nowadays. USB wallets used to store your ether offline, but when connected to your computer they could still be susceptible to hackers.

What is an Ethereum wallet?

Also referred to as an Ethereum digital wallet, an Ethereum wallet is a program or software where ether is 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 an Ethereum wallet is to store your money. However, an Ethereum wallet does this by recording the movement of ether in and out of itself on a publicly displayed ledger (the blockchain). The wallet facilitates receiving and sending of ether and gives you ownership of your ethereum 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 ether offline.

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 an online wallet.

How fast are transactions between Ethereum wallets?

Transactions between Ethereum wallets are executed instantly, but the verification process might take a bit of time. Depending on network traffic, the transaction could take 2 hours to process, but they usually complete within a few minutes time. The expediency of transactions on the Ethereum network is one of the reasons why Ethereum is popular, as transaction speeds on the Bitcoin blockchain are usually longer.

What are private and public keys?

Also referred to as a wallet address, a public key is essentially your account number (to use a banking example). You need it to make payments to another wallet. And as the name suggests, the key is viewable publicly and can be obtainable by anyone. A private key, on the other hand, is like a PIN number: it is the password required to access your funds and transfer ether out of a wallet. This key should be kept confidential (in cases where you are using paper or desktop wallets) as anyone with access to it can access your coins and transfer them.

Can I have more than one wallet at a time?

Absolutely. You can register as many wallets as you want to. You can have any type of wallet, from an online wallet, to a mobile wallet, to a hardware wallet, to a paper wallet. Further, multiple wallets might allow you to transact more anonymously. Wallets might also help you fit different purposes, such as being able to use funds on an online wallet for trading, or keeping funds in a hardware wallet for long term storage. Moreover, it can be a good idea to spread your ether across multiple wallets depending on your needs. For example, if you want to trade your ether regularly you can keep your funds on an online or mobile wallet, and you can use a hardware or paper wallet to store your other funds offline long term.

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

No, it’s not possible. You see, Ethereum wallets hold ether rather than regular (fiat) currency held by bank accounts, so you cannot transfer directly between them. What you can do is sell your ether on a platform such as Coinbase and transfer the money into your bank account. Services like Wirex are making this process easier by offering users Ethereum debit cards that are linked to a fiat currency and Ethereum account.

What connection do Ethereum wallets have to the blockchain?

The blockchain is simply a technology behind Ethereum transactions, recording the movement of coins. If you make a transfer from your wallet to another, the blockchain will show the transaction between the two wallet addresses, but not anything relating to the identity of the wallet owners.

Do I need a wallet to mine Ethereum?

Yes. In order to receive your block rewards and transaction fees generated through mining, you will need to have a wallet. A cloud mining account may have an integrated wallet where your coins will be sent to, but eventually you will need to have your own wallet to transfer your funds into.

What is a deterministic wallet?

This is effectively a wallet that can generate multiple different keys from a single ‘seed’ for the purpose of backing up your wallet to recover funds at a later date, so long as you have the recovery passphrase saved. These wallets also carry additional strong security features, making general storage of ether less of a worry.

On a technical level, how do transactions work?

Think of like internet banking. An Ethereum wallet comprises of a public and private key, which correspond to an account number and private PIN respectively. To access your own funds or ether, you will need the private key. However, when sending ether to another address, all that is necessary is the account number of another person, like when you send funds to a friend for the first time. When the transaction goes through, all that will be visible on the blockchain is both the incoming and outgoing wallet’s public addresses. Ultimately, funds will be deducted from your wallet address.

What is a ‘recovery seed’?

This is basically a mnemonic phrase that allows you to restore your wallet if you lose it, usually consisting of 12,18, or 24 words. It’s recommended that you record this phrase on paper and keep it locked away in a safe place. This is because if you ever misplace or forget your wallet or its details, or - in the case of paper and hardware wallets - your wallet gets damaged, lost, or stolen, you can use the recovery seed to recover your ether onto a new wallet/device.

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

In the UK, if you earn profits from trading with ether, you are technically required to declare it as a taxable profit under capital gains, so long as you make a profit above £11,700. Otherwise, profits are tax free. However, if you are located within another country, you should look at your local legislation as the tax status of cryptocurrencies might be different.

Are transactions between wallets irreversible?

Yes. You can’t possibly reverse a transaction after it’s initiated on the Ethereum network. If you’re making a payment using ether, make 100% sure you’re sending it to the right wallet address.

Can Ethereum hardware wallets be hacked?

In terms of a hacker forcing entry into your wallet, it’s safe to say that an Ethereum hardware wallet can’t really be ‘hacked’. The private key that allows the transfer of ether from one wallet to another is impossible to guess because it is a 64-character long tail code. However, malware can be loaded onto certain hardware wallets, targeting your private key. This can only be the case if you don’t buy from a reputable retailer or website.

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