Cryptocurrency wallets are essential when you are dealing with digital currencies in any shape or form. You need to have a wallet to store your cryptocurrency funds, and it also lets you send and receive tokens.
When it comes to looking for a cryptocurrency wallet, especially an Ethereum wallet, it is vital that this wallet is secure as well as flexible and suited to your specific needs. There are dozens if not hundreds of different wallets to choose from, with many different configurations.
Some Ethereum wallets are hosted online while others are kept on a desktop, and the most secure are hardware wallets that are kept in a physical location and are not connected to the internet, meaning they cannot be hacked.
A lot of cryptocurrency users simply use the wallets that come as part of their accounts on cryptocurrency exchanges, which is not a wise practice as crypto exchanges have a track record of being hacked and having outages.
Let’s take a look at the best Ethereum wallets currently available on the market today.
What Factors Should You Consider When Selecting an Ethereum Wallet?
When selecting the Ethereum wallet that’s right for you, keep in mind that the two main parts of a cryptocurrency wallet are the private and public key. You will use the private key when accessing your wallet and when authorizing a given transaction. The public key is the address of the wallet that will be sent to the person or entity that you are receiving funds from.
Your private key should not be shared with anyone.
One of the key factors you need to consider during the process of selecting an Ethereum wallet is how accessible it is. Some people like to easily gain access to their holdings no matter where they are or what device they are using.
Other people are holding their cryptocurrency tokens for the long run and don’t need to access them very often.
Security should always be at the front of your mind when selecting a Ethereum wallet. While there are a number of free wallets available, paid options generally have more features. Finally, you may want to consider the usability of a given wallet to see if it suits your needs in that department.
What Different Types of Wallets Are There?
- Hot wallets are the most used type of cryptocurrency wallet. Mostly they are associated with exchanges like Bittrex and Coinbase. Generally, they do not have strong security features, unlike with cold wallets.
- Software and cold wallets have the same features as hot wallets, but they also have enhanced security features. They can be easily accessible and are compatible with the majority of devices, including mobile devices.
- External wallets are hardware wallets which allow you to store your digital tokens offline. This is by far the safest option in terms of wallet type and it keeps your funds secured and away from potential hackers as there is no network connection in these devices.
What Are Some of the Leading Ethereum Wallets for 2018?
Ledger Nano S (Hardware Wallet)
This is one of the cheaper options when it comes to hardware Ethereum wallets at approximately $65. Your Ether will be kept safely stored offline.
There is a slick OLED screen on this device which means you can control any transactions with ease and the security is so strong that you will have no issues with hacking.
You can simply connect the device to your computer using a USB cable and it is immune from any form of malware that may be on your computer.
MyEtherWallet (Web Wallet)
This web wallet is a bit different from others on the market. MyEtherWallet was specifically designed with the goal of giving its users complete control of their private keys. This means that the folks at MyEtherWallet will not have access to your private keys.
It is an open source platform that does not utilise any 3rd-party servers. Smart contracts are implemented for every transaction and it is compatible with the majority of software wallets on the market.
Jaxx (Mobile Wallet)
Jaxx is a wallet that caters for a variety of digital assets, with 13 different cryptocurrencies being catered for, including Ethereum. Jaxx is nicely designed and has strong security features.
With the Jaxx wallet, private keys are kept on the device, and there is a strong team behind the wallet who are constantly looking at ways to improve their service. Seed keys are used to allow the user to restore funds whenever they need to do so.
Exodus (Desktop Wallet)
Exodus is the first desktop wallet that caters for multiple different cryptocurrencies. It is free and it has a slick interface. For example, as soon as you open the Exodus wallet, an easy to read pie chart pops up that shows your token portfolio in an easy to see manner.
There are seven different tokens supported in the Exodus wallet including Ethereum. There is an internet connection required to access this wallet, but the private keys will be kept on your machine. They also have other security features such as backup seed to back up funds and one-click email recovery.
Trezor (Hardware Wallet)
Trezor is a hardware wallet that is compatible with Ethereum. Trezor provides a high level of security without compromising convenience and ease. Unlike cold storage, Trezor is able to sign Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin transactions, to name a few, if it’s connected to an online device.
Trezor has two models of its hardware device, the Trezor One and the Trezor Model T. Both offer different levels of security to ensure your Ethereum wallet is as safe as can be. From private keys to unique recovery seeds, this hardware wallet is one of the most secure on the market.
Related: read our full comparison of Trezor vs. Ledger Nano S
With all the different Ethereum wallets available today, it can seem a little overwhelming to figure out which works for you. Doing ample research on hardware wallets, desktop wallets, paper wallets, etc. will help guide you in the right direction.