If you are looking for the best hardware wallet to store your Bitcoin, then look no further. The Ledger Nano S is the best wallet on the market if you want something easy to use, that offers top level security at an affordable price point. There are many wallets out there that offer great features like multi-currency support and can act as a password authenticator, but they come with a higher price tag. Let’s take a closer look at what makes Ledger Nano S a great pick for your Bitcoin!
What to look for in a Bitcoin-only hardware wallet
So you have bought some Bitcoin because you think it’s a good investment. You understand that you’re now in charge of keeping your assets safe from hackers and you’ve discovered that hardware wallets are the best way to do this. Congratulations! You’ve made a great start to protecting your cypto!
Now you’re looking for the best hardware wallet to hodl (hold) your Bitcoin asset safely over the the long term.
But how do you go about picking the best hardware wallet for your Bitcoin?
After researching loads of cryptocurrency wallets, here is our list of the top 5 features to look for if you want to the best hardware wallet to store your Bitcoin.
Top 5 features – the best hardware wallet to store Bitcoin:
Security is always first on the list, especially if you’re looking at securing a large amount of Bitcoin. Make sure you have these security features as a minimum to protect your Bitcoin private keys:
- PIN Code security
- Seed phrase security
- Offline seed phrase generation
- Secure element chip (CC EAL5+). The same types of chips that store sensitive information like biometrics and banking details. These have intrinsic security features that protect the information stored on them from attack.
The price should be affordable given you’re only looking to store the one type of cryptocurrency (Bitcoin). You shouldn’t be paying for bells and whistles you just don’t need.
3. Brand trust
If you want to hodl your Bitcoin for a few years you need to know the company that produces your hardware wallet will be around to support the device for years to come. Some folks have been let down storing their coins on hardware devices only to find a few years later the company has disappeared. They have a hard time getting their coins back once this happens because there have been no firmware upgrades and there no tech support. You’re basically on your own. So while it is possible to recover your coins in this situation, it sure ain’t easy!
4. Simple set up and use
You need a hardware wallet that is intuitive, that will take you through the steps of set up quickly and easily. You just want peace of mind of knowing you can get your Bitcoin private keys stored in the wallet in one go, and they’re safe there, are we right?
5. Quality construction
The device itself needs to last as long as you want to hodl your Bitcoin. This will rule out a bunch of more flimsy card type hardware wallets from consideration.
You’ll find the best brands in the market offer great security for your private keys in simple to set up and well constructed hardware wallets. Some even have different models of hardware wallets that offer the features you need for an affordable price.
So lets take a look a the best brands in the market when it comes to finding the best hardware wallets for Bitcoin.
What are the best hardware wallet brands in the market?
The two most trusted, popular, widely used and best brands of cryptocurrency hardware wallets are Ledger and Trezor.
Ledger is a company that was established in 2014 in France. It was established by eight individuals who were passionate about cryptocurrency security and wanted to contribute back to the crypto community by combining their expertise in cryptography and entrepreneurship.
Over the last 7 years the company has transformed from a start up to employing over 300 people around the world. It’s is now valued at $1.5 billion and recently raised another $380 million in venture capital to inject into its business and its devices.
Ledger has sold over 3 million hardware wallets and claims to secure around 15% of all cryptocurrency assets globally. They produce two hardware wallets. 1.5 million people use Ledger Live app (that complements their hardware devices) each month.
The company has a long history in crypto terms and is raising funds for the future. Our view is that it will be around for years to come.
For a full review of the Nano X and Nano S, check out this page on our site.
Trezor was established in 2013 in the Czech Republic by Pavol Rusnak (“Slush”), Marek Palatinus (“Grafik”) and Tomáš Jiříček (“Carmac”). It’s a subsidiary of Satoshi labs that formed around Bitcoin mining and security. Satoshi labs produced the first Trezor prototype in 2012. The Trezor brand has been around ever since and has a strong following of customers buying their two hardware wallet models.
There is less public information available about the company value or number of Trezors sold. Trezor does continue to release product upgrades, such as the Trezor Suit desktop app. Trezor also publishes a forward roadmap of upgrades, projects and bug fixes on Github. One of the things Trezor enthusiasts enjoy about the tech is that it’s all open source.
Trezor produces the Trezor One and Trezor Model T (premium model).
For a full review of the pros and cons and stand out features of each model, click here.
Why Ledger Nano S is the best hardware wallet for your Bitcoin
The best wallet on the market if you just want Bitcoin is the Ledger Nano S. There’s a good reason Ledger has sold more than 2 million of these particular devices. Ledger Nano S offers the best of those features that you should be looking for in a Bitcoin hardware wallet. Let’s take a look.
We’ve already covered why Ledger is one of the two most trusted brands in cryptocurrency hardware wallets. Their Ledger Nano S model has been around for 6+ years and is widely used in the crypto community with over 2M sold.
Ledger offers all of the security features mentioned above – they use a secure element chip, PIN code and offline seed storage phrase generation. They also offer a few security features that we think are incredibly value and stand them above the pack.
1) The Ledger devices themselves are certified by French cyber security agency ANSSI. They’re the only hardware wallet to go through this kind of certification.
2) Ledger has a software validation feature that allows you to confirm online that the hardware wallet you have received in the mail is a genuine Ledger device. Counterfeit of hardware wallets is a real risk in crypto. Even hologram tape and other secure packaging can be counterfeited. There’s no need to worry about this with Ledger.
Ease of set up
There are three simple steps to set up your Nano S. You have to set up the device, then choose your PIN code, and finally you have to write down your recovery seed phrase. You start out with downloading the Ledger Live app. The app then takes you through the steps to set up the device.
The Ledger Live app is another area where we think the Ledger shines over the Trezor One and Trezor Model T. While the Trezor has a large screen than the Ledger, the app just makes the Ledger easier to use without even needing a screen on the device. You mobile acts as the screen!
You just use the two buttons on the device to complete these tasks, following a set up guide that comes with the device and the instructions in the app. Easy peasy!
For Android users, you’ll need to buy what is called the “OTG kit” for an extra $24 if you want to connect to and Android phone or laptop. You will find these for sale on the Ledger website.
Ledger Nano S has been around for years and lasted the test of time. It’s a compact and solid USB type device made from brushed stainless steel and plastic. There is no battery required to operate it and it doesn’t rely on Bluetooth to connect. Connection with your computer or phone is via cable. All in all, it feels sturdy and durable and it’s performance over the last 6 years shows that it’s a long lasting piece of technology.
This is where the Ledger Nano S shines. It has everything you need to store your Bitcoin and doesn’t charge you for things you don’t. Let’s look at what you get in the cheaper Nano S model versus the others.
Nano S versus Nano X
The Nano X premium model is almost double the cost of the Nano S so what are the extra’s you’re paying for and do they matter to securely storing your Bitcoin?
The Ledger Nano X has three things the Nano S doesn’t:
- It can concurrently store 100 different coins and tokens. The Nano S is limited to 6.
- While the Nano X has Bluetooth or cable connection to your mobile phone, the Nano S connects with a USB type B cable only.
- The Nano X has a larger screen than Nano S, with touch sensor instead of buttons.
The good news is, none of these three things impact on you if your aim is to safely store your Bitcoin!
You can pay around $100 less for the Nano S and get the same strong security and Ledger Live app as the Nano X. You can easily set up the device, store your Bitcoin and manage it all with the Ledger Live app and Nano S.
If it’s just Bitcoin you’re storing, save your hard earned dough and go with the Nano S.
Nano S versus Trezor
Nano S is also around half the price of the premium Trezor hardware wallet – the Trezor Model T. So we’re going to compare the Nano S to it’s nearest Trezor competitor in terms of price – the Trezor One.
Trezor devices we just find are a bit more complicated to set up than Ledger. There are extra steps to take, like establishing a connection between your Trezor device and the Trezor software. You also have to install the firmware for the device before you can start setting up your PIN code and seed phrase.
You’ll come to find Trezor One doesn’t have the secure element chip for PIN, password and recovery seed phrase protection that the Ledger Nano S has.
While the Trezor One has a large device screen, with the Nano S + Ledger Live app you can use your mobile as your screen. You really don’t need a screen on the Nano S itself. The Ledger Live app is one the biggest drawcards Nano S has over Trezor One, and why we think Nano S is a better choice to secure your Bitcoin.
The Nano S is also slightly cheaper than the Trezor One to buy.
What else do you need to keep your Bitcoin secure?
It’s not enough to just have the Nano S and think that your Bitcoin is secure. What happens if your Nano S hardware wallet is lost or stolen, or damaged in fire or flood?
You will need to recover your coins using the seed phrase you wrote down when you set up the hardware wallet.
3 or 5 years down the track, are you going to remember where you wrote it down?
What if the flood or fire that destroyed your Nano S also destroys the paper or the book you wrote your seed phrase on?
Don’t worry. There’s a solution for every problem when it comes to securing your crypto!
The best Bitcoin bundle for security plus
Our advice is to get a metal storage wallet to store the seed phrase for your Bitcoin.
A metal storage wallet is a stainless steel lockable tablet with an inner and outer layer. It comes with stainless steel tiles that have letters and numbers engraved on them. You use the tiles to form your Bitcoin seed phrase on the inner layer. You then close the outer layer so your phrase is not visible. You lock the outer layer.
The construction makes your metal storage wallet indestructible in case of fire or flood.
Billfodl is our pick for the best metal storage wallet on the market. You can read why here.
Once you have a metal storage wallet set up for your Bitcoin seed phrase, just make sure you store it in a different location to your Nano S. You can then track it down and open it up to get the seed phrase, if you ever need to recover your Bitcoin.
Think of James Howells who lost $100 million worth of Bitcoin on a hard drive that went to the local rubbish dump. If he had a metal storage wallet, he’d have been able to recover his coins on the Blockchain. Big mistake. Huge.
You never know what’s going to happen. So don’t be the next James Howells and get yourself a Nano S and metal storage wallet to protect your Bitcoin. It’s your hard earned money – make sure it’s secure!