With close to $1 billion in cryptocurrency stolen in 2018 alone, and 2019 not looking much better, there has never been a better time to take the plunge and invest in a hardware wallet.
Hardware wallets offer the ultimate in security for your cryptocurrency portfolio by storing your funds in a secure offline environment, protecting them from almost all attack vectors.
Thankfully, cryptocurrency hardware wallets have come down in price quite significantly since they were first introduced several years ago, and are now quite affordable for the great majority of cryptocurrency users.
Moreover, cryptocurrency hardware wallets have gone beyond simply storing cryptocurrencies, allowing you to perform a whole load more functions, including using your device as a two-factor authentication key and integrating with a variety of external wallets.
Without further ado, here are our top picks for the best beginner hardware wallets in 2019:
Ledger Nano S
As one of the smallest hardware wallets on the market, the Ledger Nano S is best suited for those who like to keep their portfolio with them at all times — being approximately the same size as a USB drive.
One of the standout features of the Ledger Nano S is its secure element, which physically isolates your private keys to protect them from external threats, keeping your portfolio secure at all times.
As it stands, the Ledger Nano S is compatible with well over 1,000 cryptocurrencies, including almost all of the top ten most popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), EOS and Cardano (ADA).
Besides its arguably best-in-class security, the Ledger Nano S is also highly expansible, with an impressive array of new apps available to expand its functionality. These apps add support for a variety of interesting cryptocurrencies and support for external wallets, making the Ledger Nano S much more than a simple cold-storage device.
- Small form factor
- Huge number of supported assets
- Solid construction
SatoshiLabs are known for their innovation. They released the first Bitcoin hardware wallet with their Trezor device, and have since upped the game again with their Trezor One wallet.
Featuring solid design with robust construction, the Trezor One is built for durability. Coming in at just 6cm by 3cm wide, the Trezor is small enough to carry around, but not so small that it is easily misplaced.
The Trezor One supports a great variety of digital assets, ranging from the ever-popular Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) to up-and-comers such as Zcash (ZEC) and Enjin (ENJ).
If a long-standing history of trust is one of the key determinants of who you give your money to, then SatoshiLabs are certainly worth considering, being the originators of the hardware wallet industry.
- Large list of supported assets
- Works with Fido U2F
- Relatively cheap price
KeepKey — Best for Design
Unlike most other hardware wallets, the KeepKey doesn’t try to be as small as possible. Instead, it prioritizes functionality over size, which allows it to feature one of the largest screens on any cryptocurrency hardware wallet.
Because of this, if you like your tech to have a substantial, robust feel to it, then the KeepKey might be the ideal wallet for you. With that said, the KeepKey is slightly more expensive than the Ledger Nano S and Trezor, making it a premium option for most people.
Unlike some other hardware wallets, the KeepKey only supports major digital assets, featuring native support for seven major cryptocurrencies, along with several dozen ERC20 tokens. This means the KeepKey is best-suited for those with a relatively simple crypto portfolio.
The KeepKey is also one of the only hardware wallets with ShapeShift integration, allowing you to easily trade your assets without exposing your private keys to external exchanges.
- Shapeshift integration
- Large, robust construction
- Premium design
Overall, which one you choose depends on your individual preferences, but it is hard to go wrong with any of these options.
Image credits: Ledger, SatoshiLabs, KeepKey