Secure. Versatile. User friendly. When it comes to choosing an Ethereum wallet, we’ve got a checklist of essential features to look out for.
Here’s a round-up of the top performers that tick all the boxes – from the most popular hardware and desktop wallets on the market to the best web, mobile and paper options for storing your Ether securely.
Best hardware Ethereum wallets
Heralded as one of the most secure cryptocurrency wallets, Trezor stores Ether (and other currencies) offline on an electronic chip that can only be activated when you log in with your password. To manage the Ether stored in Trezor, you need to use it in conjunction with a web wallet such as MyEtherWallet.
Ledger Nano S
The Ledger Nano S wallet also scores top marks for security with 2-factor authentication, a secured PIN code and recovery seed accessibility. It supports a wide range of cryptocurrencies and includes companion apps and a built-in touch screen – so it’s user friendly too.
Among the most expensive hardware wallets, KeepKey has similar features to Trezor and Ledger Nano S, but its screen is bigger – and a special Hierarchical Deterministic (HD) feature can generate an unlimited number of private keys.
Best desktop Ethereum wallets
Designed to make Ethereum as accessible as possible, MetaMask can be installed on Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Brave browsers. As well as enabling you to store and send Ether, it also lets you access decentralised Ethereum apps. The private keys are password encrypted and stored on your device.
Developed by the creators of Ethereum, Mist is one of the most secure desktop Ethereum wallets. In the wallet, you have access to a pair of public and private keys for making transactions – and there’s ShapeShift built in for exchanging currencies.
If you’re new to trading, Exodus has a simple user interface with well-designed features, such as ShapeShift integration for quick currency exchanges. Transactions over a crypto network can be made directly through the Exodus wallet, with transaction fees paid to the network, not Exodus.
Best web, mobile and paper Ethereum wallets
To give you a higher level of security, MyEtherWallet lets you store your private key on your computer rather than on third-party servers. (The trade-off is that you have to back up your wallet regularly.) It also has a built-in ETH to BTC swap facility – and it can be integrated with hardware wallets like Trezor and Ledger Nano S.
A good choice for iOS and Android users, Jaxx is available as a desktop app, Android and iPhone apps and Chrome extension. Private keys never leave the device – and features like seed keys enable you to restore your funds whenever you need to.
If you’re happy to have your public and private keys printed on paper, you can use the open-source project ETHAddress to create an Ethereum paper wallet. Good for generating bulk Ethereum addresses, this is the cheapest form of cold storage – and you have the option to encrypt your private key for extra protection.
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.