Hardware cryptocurrency wallets are always ‘cold’ wallets, meaning they are not connected to the Internet and, thus, prevent themselves from cyber attacks (e.g. hacking, theft).
However, all hardware crypto wallets are designed differently regarding security and safety.
Hardware wallets have to strike a balance between security and usability when it comes to design.
What are the security features of each hardware wallet?
Do they have any privacy features, and what type of encryption does each hardware wallet uses?
This article will address these questions.
Which Hardware Crypto Wallets are the Most Secured and Safe?
We will look at the top seven (7) hardware crypto wallets with the best form of security in place in order to keep your crypto funds safe.
Designed as the premium model by Ledger and released in 2019, the Nano X is a Bluetooth-enabled hardware wallet that works securely with Android and iOS mobile devices.
The hardware wallet support over 5,500+ coins and tokens. It has a 100 mAh battery and can last a few months when left idling. The battery can be recharged quickly using the provided cables on any laptop.
Ledger Security Features
- It uses specialized chips called Secure Elements as an extra layer of security to generate and store private keys for crypto assets.
- Uses a custom-built secure Operating System (BOLOSIt uses a passphrase that acts as a 25th word to your recovery phrase of 24 words.
- Ability to create normal accounts and hidden accounts
- PIN code access
- Uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity to connect with Android & iOS devices
- Uses AES-based encryption during authentication pairing
Founded in 2013, the Trezor Model T is an advanced touchscreen device that allows users to store their cryptocurrencies securely offline (aka cold storage) and supports over 1800+ coins and tokens.
The hardware wallet allows up to 50 digits of PIN code and has complete network isolation. This means no WiFi, Bluetooth, or NFC and requires users to install the latest firmware on the device manually. This is ideal for those who seek total privacy and anonymity.
Trezor Security Features
- The first hardware wallet in the world to implement Shamir Backup (SLIP39)
- In-built Trezor Password Manager
- It also serves as a U2F (Universal 2nd-Factor) hardware token
- PIN protection
- Passphrase protection
- Offers FIDO2 Authentication to log into supported sites and services without entering the password
- Comes with no firmware installed. Users need to install the latest firmware version manually
The KeepKey wallet was released in 2015 and subsequently bought over by ShapeShift, a Switzerland-based cryptocurrency exchange. The hardware wallet supports several coins, including BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC and many ERC-20 tokens.
Users access their wallet via a secure connection to the ShapeShift platform for sending, receiving, exchanging and performing crypto trading. The platform is also compatible with the Ledger and Trezor hardware wallets.
KeepKey Security Features
- Integration with ShapeShift, the exchange platform
- Supported by popular software wallets, such as Electrum and Mycelium
- PIN code
- Additional passphrase protection
- Private keys are stored in an offline environment and never leave the wallet
4. NGrave ZERO
Released in 2019 and having a 4″ touchscreen display touchscreen, the NGrave ZERO is a hardware crypto wallet with a 4-inch touchscreen for user interaction with the device. The hardware wallet is EAL7 certified, which is the highest level of security in the blockchain industry.
The wallet supports the creation of up to 100 accounts, able to store Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, BNB, XLM, XRP, DOGE, and USDT, and over 1500+ ERC20 tokens.
NGrave Security Features
- Does not rely on USB or any network connection capability such as WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, or 4G.
- Communication via QR codes
- Biometric fingerprint sensor for authentication and transaction signing
- Built-in light sensor
- It uses its own custom operating system to minimize any associated vulnerabilities
- PIN code protection
- Water and dust resistant
The Prokey Optimum hardware wallet uses a browser-based interface to connect users securely to their crypto funds. The interface supports over 1000+ coins and tokens, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, BNB. XRP, MATIC, DOGE and many more.
ProKey Security Features
- PIN code protection
- Passphrase protection
- Ability to create multiple accounts to manage balances and anonymity
- Protected against supply-chain attacks
Released in 2019, the Bitbox02 is a Swiss-made hardware wallet that is designed to be mobile-ready, allowing connectivity via USB-C to be plugged directly into the computer and Android devices.
The hardware wallet comes with a micro-SD card slot so users can use it for easy backup and restoration purposes. The device has no physical buttons as it uses invisible touch sensors (e.g. tapping, sliding) for users to interact with the wallet.
The Bitbox02 supports over 1500+ ERC20 tokens and major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano and many others.
BitBox02 Security Features
- Dual-chip design with a secure chip
- Micro-controller chip’s code is open-source and independently audited by security researchers
- Secure bootloader
- Uses invisible touch sensors (e.g. tap, slide) for wallet interactions
- Offline backup and restore using the Micro-SD card
- Support Universal second factor (U2F) for other online accounts
The Ellipal Titan hardware wallet is an entirely air-gapped cold wallet 100% isolated from the Internet. This means the wallet is fully protected from unauthorized access, cyber hacks, malware and any online threats.
For transactions, the hardware crypto wallet works together with the Ellipal app. For example, to send coins, you will use the app to generate a unique QR code for your hardware wallet to scan and approve using its private keys stored inside. The entire transaction process also includes the gesture password and the account password.
Ellipal Security Features
- No USB ports or Bluetooth connectivity
- The only connectivity mode is via QR codes (open data format & travel through light)
- Private keys are generated offline in the wallet and never leave the device
- Anti-tamper and anti-disassembly design
- 2FA protection (e.g. PIN, gesture)
- Auto-selfdestruct feature
- Support offline firmware update