It’s not easy to keep your bitcoins secure from prying eyes, malicious bots, hackers, and everyday thieves. It seems that everybody wants a piece of bitcoin these days.
If people know you invested in Bitcoin early on and still have your investment, they know you’re sitting on a fortune. We don’t want to come off as ominous, but it’s a sad reality that some people would go to any length for money, or in this case, bitcoins.
You can safeguard your digital fortune in a variety of ways. You can deposit various quantities of bitcoin in different types of wallets, much as you can with paper money. Some wallets are considered “hot,” while others are considered “cold.” As we go through each form of wallet in this guide, you’ll learn more about them.
It’s worth noting that when we say “keeping the bitcoins secure,” what we really mean is “keeping the private key safe.” Your bitcoins will have an associated address in your wallet, and each bitcoin address is made up of a ‘public key’ and a ‘private key.’
The public key is THE bitcoin address itself, and it can be exchanged with anyone. A public key is analogous to an email address. Anyone with your email address has the ability to send you emails.
Your email password is equivalent to your private key. No one can read your email without a password. Similarly, you won’t be able to send bitcoins to another user unless you have a private key. This is why it’s important to keep the private key safe.
If hackers obtain your private key, they will be able to transfer ALL of your bitcoins to their own accounts.
You have no way of knowing where your bitcoins will be sent because of the way Bitcoin is structured, and you have no way of retrieving any bitcoins.
If your private keys are stolen, the most appealing aspects of Bitcoin, such as near-instant transfers, anonymity, and irreversible transactions, become your main worries. You have no choice but to embrace the fact that your bitcoins have been stolen and passed to another user and move on. There isn’t anything you can do.
So, let’s look at how you can protect your private keys and bitcoins from hackers and thieves.
Wallets on the Internet
Having an online wallet is the simplest way to get started with bitcoins. You don’t even need bitcoins to get your own wallet.To build the first wallet, go to places like Blockchain.info, Coinbase.com, and other bitcoin exchange platforms.
Online or web wallets are ideal for those who are just getting started with bitcoins and do not yet have a large bitcoin holding.
They’re simple to set up, quick to use, and accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection. Because of this, online wallets are referred to as “hot wallets” because anyone can access them.
Worse, most web wallets store your private keys on their servers, which means that if the platform is compromised, your bitcoins are effectively lost.
Similarly, if the site suffers a major technological failure, the private keys can be compromised or lost entirely. There’s also the possibility of the site restricting or suspending your account. You can unintentionally violate the site’s terms of service or anything equivalent, in which case your account and private keys will be permanently disabled.
If you have a large amount of bitcoin, you can transfer it to a more stable ‘cold’ wallet that is not linked to the Internet. It’s a frightening thought to lose hold of your bitcoins, and it’s one you shouldn’t take.
Although online wallets come with their own set of risks, they aren’t all bad, particularly if you use them frequently. You can have a few bitcoins in your online wallet for daily transactions and the rest in a more stable wallet.
This way, you can enjoy the convenience of an online wallet while also knowing that a significant portion of your bitcoins are secure.
Wallets for mobile phones
Mobile app wallets, like online wallets, are referred to as “hot” wallets because they enable you to access your bitcoins from anywhere with an Internet connection. Mobile wallets are the most convenient of all the wallets discussed in this guide. It may not be the best choice, but it is undeniably convenient.
Bitcoin payments can be made to any retailer, both online and offline. Some online wallets also have a smartphone version. Both Blockchain.info and Coinbase mobile wallets, for example, are synced to your online wallets, which is really useful since both wallets sync instantly, allowing you to see your balance whenever you log in or access any wallet.
More local businesses can welcome bitcoin payments because of its convenience. The Bitcoin community is rapidly growing, and these tech-savvy users will be downloading mobile wallets on their iPhones and Android phones.
There’s probably no easier way for them to pay for your goods or services than scanning your bitcoin address’ QR code and pressing the Send button!
However, not all about mobile wallets is positive. Your private keys, for example, can be accessed by hackers, whether they are stored on a third-party server or on your mobile phone.
If you don’t make backup copies of your private keys and store them somewhere secure, you might lose all of your bitcoins and other cryptocurrency if your mobile device is lost or damaged.
The easiest way to get the most out of a mobile wallet is to only move what you need from a more secure wallet (such as a hardware wallet) to it. As a result, even if you misplace your phone and are unable to recover your private keys, you will not lose any of your bitcoins.
Wallet for the Desktop
A desktop wallet is the third form of wallet you can use to store your bitcoins securely. It’s essentially a desktop application that stores your private keys. Bitcoin Core is the most common, though not always the most realistic.
Make sure you have at least 150GB (or more) of free disk space before installing the app, as it will immediately download the entire blockchain dating back to 2009!
You can’t avoid downloading the blockchain because Bitcoin Core won’t process any transactions until the entire ledger has been downloaded. You can then begin sending and receiving bitcoins to your wallet once it has been downloaded.
If you don’t have a lot of free disk space or enough bandwidth to download such a large file, there’s some good news for you: Nowadays, Bitcoin Core isn’t the only desktop wallet accessible.
There are many options, including Electrum, Bither, Armory, and others, that don’t require you to download the blockchain because they use SPV (Simple Payment Verification) technology.
Desktop wallets are simple to use, and they are safer than online or mobile wallets since you can simply detach your machine from the Internet to prevent hackers from gaining access to your device and stealing your private keys.
Of course, it’s not as easy as using a web or mobile wallet, but you do have complete control over your private keys. If your device is stolen, contaminated with a virus, or permanently disabled, you should hold a backup copy of the keys.
You might lose all of your bitcoins in the blink of an eye if you don’t back up your private keys.
Wallet made of paper
Keeping your digital cryptocurrency in a paper wallet can seem strange at first. You’re probably wondering why anyone would do such a thing because bitcoin doesn’t exist in the physical world.
Bitcoin and paper do not seem to be a perfect match, but when you think about it, they are. At the very least, on some stage.
Since Internet hackers will never be able to break into your little piece of paper, paper wallets are a type of “cold storage.” We’re pretty sure paper isn’t one of them. There are plenty of professional hackers who can find a way into most computers and servers, but we’re pretty sure paper isn’t one of them.
Your bitcoins may be safe from hackers, but they are not safe from criminals who steal them off the internet. If you don’t look after your paper wallet and leave it lying around in your pocket,
unsecured locations, you’re essentially handing over the keys to your fortune!
When using paper wallets, you should also think about water. Keeping your wallets in ziplock bags or other water-resistant containers can help you avoid this problem.
While paper wallets are less convenient than mobile or web wallets, they are much more secure. You can print both your public and private keys and store them in a secure location, such as a safety deposit box.
For saving your private keys for long periods of time, paper wallets are the best option.
If you don’t intend to touch your bitcoins for months or years, you can create paper wallets. Of course, as we’ve mentioned in previous pages, it’s better to keep a few bitcoins in more secure wallets (only what you can afford to lose) so you can keep sending and receiving bitcoins. You should keep the rest of your private keys in a paper wallet.
Wallet made of hardware
Hardware wallets are the best bitcoin wallets, according to the Bitcoin community, and something that any serious Bitcoin investor and enthusiast should consider purchasing. Hardware wallets are more costly than the other wallet forms we’ve discussed so far in this guide.
Of course, if you have a large number of bitcoins to safeguard, it’s a small price to pay for the protection of your fortune. Most hardware wallets support a variety of cryptocurrencies, so if you’ve invested in currencies other than bitcoin, you’ll find this form of wallet to be a great investment.
When making a bitcoin or cryptocurrency transaction, you use a hardware wallet, which is essentially a strong and robust USB stick that you plug into your device. Simply remove the wallet and place it somewhere secure when you’re done.
The ability to create private keys offline, which makes hardware wallets less vulnerable to hacker attacks, is a unique security feature. These sturdy little devices allow you to carry your private keys with you everywhere you go without fear of them being revealed to the public.
Hardware wallets are also simple and convenient to set up. You can add a PIN code, password, or recovery seed words to your wallet to authenticate your access and recover your bitcoins if your wallet is lost or damaged.
If you get amnesia and forget your recovery details, write down your secret information and keep it hidden somewhere that you know. Otherwise, if it is discovered, whether by mistake or by purpose, your bitcoins and any other cryptocurrency you have on it will be gone in no time.
Hardware wallets are ideal for securely storing all of your cryptocurrencies. Whether you have a large digital currency collection or not, you never have to worry about your wallet being hacked and your money being stolen.
Your private keys are kept in a secure location. All you have to do now is make sure your memory never fails you, and you’ll never forget where you stashed your wallet backups!
To summarize this guide, the best wallet for your bitcoins and cryptocurrencies is a hybrid of many wallets. Long-term storage should be done with hard wallets or paper wallets, medium-term storage should be done with desktop wallets, and short-term storage and regular transactions should be done with online and mobile wallets.
The 6 Best Bitcoin Wallets for 2021
These are the safest, most reliable and best Bitcoin wallets to use in 2021. Buy using the links below for additional savings.
This is our pick for the best Bitcoin wallet. If you have any cryptocurrency in your portfolio, we highly recommend buying a Ledger Nano X to keep your crypto safe and secure.
This is a second-generation wallet from Ledger which is a French company that has been in the crypto space for a few years. Their first product, the Ledger Nano S was one of the very first hardware wallets on the market and was on top of the space for quite a few years.
While many other Bitcoin wallets are located online, these hardware wallets are plugged into your computer. They look like a USB drive and connect to your device via USB or Bluetooth so you won’t need a specific Windows computer, Mac or Linux laptop all the time but you’ll be able to connect to your mobile device as well via Bluetooth.
Since it’s a hardware wallet, Ledger Nano X supports over 1,500 cryptocurrencies that continue to grow each year as users suggest their favorite cryptos. Ledger Nano X is a cold storage hardware wallet but there is a companion Ledger Live software that includes a user interface for all of your holdings.
The user interface allows all the users to add new wallets for different cryptocurrencies and manage their portfolios from the software. Hardware wallets remain some of the most popular in the industry. This Ledger program includes a USB Type-C cable so you can also connect with this method through a desktop computer. You can use the Bluetooth function to connect to a smartphone or tablet as well.
Ledger Live is intuitive and has a convenient user interface
Store up to 100 different apps simultaneously
Bluetooth isn’t as smooth as it could be
Can only store a few wallets simultaneously
If you’re looking for 2021’s best bitcoin crypto wallet, this is it.
Trezor Model T
This is another second-generation cold storage wallet that specializes in Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies. This functions much like Ledger but gives the users the ability to access third-party exchanges like Changelly and Shapeshift.
You can access these exchanges which is convenient but the price for this cold storage wallet is hard to justify for that feature alone. You’ll be able to utilize the touch screen with the Model T which is a big help to new users. There’s also a MicroSD slot so you can further encrypt the PIN and protect your device from attacks.
The Trezor Model T comes with the same USB Type-C cable so you can easily connect to your smartphone or laptop or desktop to access your storage wallet. There are 1,400 cryptocurrencies available through this wallet and is considered to be a bit more secure than the Ledger Nano X due to the lack of Bluetooth incorporated.
Web-based user interface with the exchanges built-in for easy access
Large list of supported cryptocurrencies
Open-source with large amounts of community and customer support
Unlimited number of wallets available simultaneously
Price point is high for a hardware wallet
Small touchscreen is difficult to type on
Can be confusing for a first time user Click here to learn more about Trezor Model T and see lowest price Ledger Nano S
This is the original hardware Bitcoin wallet and is the first generation wallet delivered by Ledger. Unlike later iterations of the Ledger wallet, this one does not include the USB Type-C cable so it may be difficult to connect it to newer age Android or iOS smartphones or tablets.
Much like the second generation Ledger Nano X, the Nano S supports the same list of cryptos and gives users access to the Ledger Live software. It doesn’t use Bluetooth and limits the number of wallets you can have simultaneously active on your overall device. The Nano S only supports 18 simultaneous wallets while the second generation stores up to 100.
If you need to make room to add another wallet with the Nano S, you can delete it off your hardware wallet and the information and Bitcoin will still be stored on the blockchain. To store your cryptocurrency safely at a very fair price, Nano S is a great place to get started. It’s simple to the user with the Ledger Live and as a beginner, the interface is easy to use and keep track of all of your wallets.
Ledger Live is an easy user interface
Secure storage at an affordable price
Open-source for great customer and community support
Only able to store 18 wallets simultaneously
No wireless Bluetooth feature Click here to learn more about Ledger Nano S and see lowest price