6 Best Crypto Hardware Wallets 2023

  • January 15, 2023
  • 3 Min Read

Hardware wallets are physical devices that enable you to store the private keys for your cryptocurrency and govern your transactions. They’re referred to as offline or “cold” storage because they aren’t connected to the internet except for a brief period when the owner wants to complete a transaction.

A hardware wallet offers more security than an online wallet or crypto exchange because you control the private keys to your crypto assets, meaning no one can tamper with them. In contrast, an online exchange or centralized wallet service is vulnerable to misuse of funds by the custodian, as seen in the recent FTX bankruptcy case.

Best Crypto Hardware Wallets

WalletPriceFeaturesProsConsAmazon rating
Ledger Nano S Plus$79Supports up to 100 apps, NFT storage, etc.Affordable and works with the Ledger Live appNo Bluetooth connection4.6
Trezor Model One$69Supports over 1,000 cryptocurrenciesAffordableNo iOS app4.5
Ledger Nano X$149Supports over 5,500 tokensSupports Bluetooth connectionMore expensive than other Ledger wallets4.5
Ellipal Titan$169Has a large colored display that makes it easy to monitor assetsSupports staking, NFT store, etc.Pricey4.1
SafePal S1$50Supports 15 languages and over 50 blockchainsChip has a self-destruct mechanismFragile casing4.3
Ledger Stax$279Has a curved touchscreen and supports over 5,000 tokensTouchscreen makes it easy to use and it supports wireless chargingPricey

The best hardware wallets include the Ledger Nano S Plus, Ledger Nano X, Trezor Model One, Ellipal Titan, and SafePal S1. Some are relatively affordable, while some are pricey. The more expensive ones tend to have sophisticated features like Bluetooth support and an accompanying mobile app.

Each wallet offers different features and qualities. The SafePal S1 has a self-destruct mechanism that activates if someone tries to dismantle the secure chip element. The Trezor Model One is affordable but has no accompanying iOS app like Ledger wallets.

1. Ledger Nano S Plus

Ledger Nano S Plus
WalletPriceFeaturesProsConsAmazon rating
Ledger Nano S Plus$79Supports up to 100 apps, NFT storage, etc.Affordable and works with the Ledger Live appNo Bluetooth connection4.6

The Ledger Nano S Plus is one of the most affordable hardware wallets, costing just $79. It supports over 5,500 tokens, but the amount you can hold at a time is limited because it allows a maximum of 100 apps. You can also use it to store non-fungible tokens (NFTs) securely. A major drawback with the Nano S Plus is that you can't connect to a computer using Bluetooth, unlike the higher-end Nano X. The Nano S Plus only supports USB-C connection. Learn more about Ledger wallets.

2. Trezor Model One

Trezor Model One
WalletPriceFeaturesProsConsAmazon rating
Trezor Model One$69Supports over 1,000 cryptocurrenciesAffordableNo smartphone app4.5

The Trezor Model One is another wallet that’s very affordable, costing $69. For additional security, they're protected by a user-defined PIN up to 50 digits long. You can pair your wallet with the Trezor Suite mobile app to manage your crypto assets, but it’s only available on Android — no iOS. Like most low-cost wallets, the Trezor Model One doesn’t support Bluetooth connection but only USB-A. Learn more about Trezor wallets.

3. Ledger Nano X

Ledger Nano X
WalletPriceFeaturesProsConsAmazon rating
Ledger Nano X$149Supports over 5,500 tokensSupports Bluetooth connectionMore expensive than other Ledger wallets4.5

The Ledger Nano X is a sophisticated wallet that’s more expensive than counterparts like the Nano S Plus and Trezor Model One. It comes with both Bluetooth and USB-C support and contains a rechargeable battery. You can connect it to the Ledger Live app on a smartphone or desktop and manage your crypto assets, e.g., buy assets to add to your wallet. The Nano X is a portable and very secure cold wallet but the main drawback is its relatively high price of $149. Learn more about Ledger wallets.

4. Ellipal Titan

Ellipal Titan crypto hardware wallet
WalletPriceFeaturesProsConsAmazon rating
Ellipal Titan$169Has a large colored display making it easy to monitor assetsSupports staking, NFT store, etc.Pricey4.1

The Ellipal Titan is a sophisticated wallet that’s even more expensive than the Ledger Nano X. Its defining feature is a large, mobile-like display that makes it easy to keep track of your crypto assets and transactions. Unlike other wallets on this list, the Ellipal Titan is air-gapped, meaning no USB, Bluetooth, NFC, or any other form of external connection. This makes the wallet very secure but inconvenient for regular use.

5. SafePal S1

SafePal S1 crypto hardware wallet
WalletPriceFeaturesProsConsAmazon rating
SafePal S1$50Supports 15 languages and over 50 blockchainsChip has a self-destruct mechanismFragile casing4.3

The SafePal S1 is a low-cost wallet, which is an advantage. But, it's that inexpensive because it comes in a fragile plastic casing instead of metal like the other wallets on this list. This wallet notably has a self-destruct mechanism that activates if it receives a wrong PIN many times or if anyone tampers with the cryptographic chip.

6. Ledger Stax

Ledger Stax hardware wallet
WalletPriceFeaturesProsConsAmazon rating
Ledger Stax$279Has a curved touchscreen and supports over 5,000 tokensTouchscreen makes it easy to use and it supports wireless chargingPricey

Stax is the latest wallet manufactured by Ledger. It’s portable and sports a touchscreen that makes it easy for the user to operate. You can use this wallet to store over 5,000 digital tokens and connect it to an external device via Bluetooth or USB-C. Unlike most other wallets, you can recharge the battery of the Ledger Stax wirelessly. You can pre-order this wallet now but it won’t ship until March 2023. Learn more about Ledger wallets.

What is a Hardware Wallet?

A hardware wallet is a physical device that stores your cryptocurrency offline. The device has specialized firmware to store your private keys so that only you can authorize transactions with it. Hardware wallets usually look like USB drives or have the rectangular shape of typical wallets.

A hardware (cold) wallet is much more secure than a hot wallet. Hot wallets can be accessed via a desktop app, mobile app, or website, but that makes them vulnerable to hacking. No one can tamper with the funds on a hardware wallet unless they get hold of it physically and the wallet’s unique private keys.

Hardware Wallet (Cold Wallet) vs. Hot Wallet

Hardware Wallet (Cold Wallet)

  • Offline storage
  • Requires purchase
  • Best suited for long-term storage
  • You can access your funds only on a single hardware wallet

Hot Wallet

  • Online storage
  • They’re usually free
  • Best suited for regular use
  • Can be accessed from multiple devices

How Do Hard Wallets Work?

Hardware wallets allow you to manage your private keys, giving you full control over your crypto assets. They work with multiple blockchains, meaning you can store different types of cryptocurrencies on them. When setting up your hardware wallet, you can generate a recovery key that'll be used to retrieve your assets if you ever forget your password. However, you'll permanently lose your assets if you both lose the wallet and the recovery key, so be careful about storing them.

Hardware wallets don't connect to the internet by default, making it impossible for hackers to steal your funds. But, if you want to spend or swap any crypto asset from the wallet, you’ll need to connect it to the internet via your computer. Any transaction must be signed with a unique private key through what's called a crypto bridge, a piece of software that connects the hardware wallet to a blockchain.

When you connect your wallet to a PC to initiate a transaction, the crypto bridge transfers unsigned transaction data to the wallet, which then signs the transactions using a private key and uploads them back to the bridge, broadcasting to the rest of the blockchain network that the transaction is complete. The private key doesn't leave the hardware wallet at any point during a transaction.

Pros and Cons of Hard Wallets

Pros

  • Very secure
  • Can hold hundreds or thousands of cryptocurrencies
  • Additional protection using biometric authentication
  • Less vulnerable to computer viruses

Cons

  • Loss of funds if you misplace both the wallet and your recovery key
  • More complex to manage than hot wallets
  • Some are expensive
  • Inconvenient for day-to-day transactions

To Sum it Up

Hardware wallets are the most secure way to store your crypto assets and avoid losing them, especially in light of the recent bankruptcies of various crypto exchanges. There’s a popular saying: “not your keys, not your crypto”. Cold wallets enable you to control your private keys instead of delegating that work to a third party.

The main drawback of using a hardware wallet is that you’ll lose your crypto assets permanently if you misplace the wallet, so you must store it in a safe location that you can monitor frequently. You can buy hardware wallets on e-commerce sites like Amazon or directly from the website of the manufacturer.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are hard wallets worth it?

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    Yes, hardware wallets are the most secure way to store your crypto assets.

  • What is the best hard wallet for cryptocurrency?

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    The Ledger Nano S Plus is the best hardware wallet we recommend because of its relative affordability and ease of use.

  • What does a hardware wallet actually do?

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    A hardware wallet holds the private keys to your crypto assets, giving you full control over them.

  • What are the risks of a hardware wallet?

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    You’ll lose your funds permanently if you misplace the hardware wallet.

  • Can a cold wallet be hacked?

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    Cold wallets can’t be hacked directly, but owners can fall victim to social engineering attacks, e.g., phishing, designed to trick them into giving up their private keys.

  • How long does a cold wallet last?

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    The cryptographic chip storing the assets on a cold wallet should last between 20 and 30 years.

  • What is a cold wallet example?

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    The Trezor One is an example of a cold wallet.

Contributors

  • Avatar of Chisom Maduonuorah

    Chisom Maduonuorah is a writer passionate about tech startups, venture capital, the global stock markets, and emerging financial markets like cryptocurrency. When not writing, you can find him staring into the sky pondering what life is about.

  • Avatar of Gary Anglebrandt

    Gary Anglebrandt is a US-based editor, copywriter, and communications consultant with a background in business and international news. Beyond the US, he has worked from Seoul and Beijing, and continues to work with professionals based around the globe.