Best Ethereum wallets for safe digital assets storage

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09 November 2020
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Ethereum wallets - IQeon

With the development of cryptocurrency market, there are more and more tools for the convenience of digital assets’ use. A huge community of specialists who develop solutions for funds storage are working on it.

However, we must point out that the programmers of the Ethereum project didn’t expect they would create cryptocurrency wallets themselves. Their platform allowed users to develop tools for storing currencies. But Solidity programming language required to create dApps appeared to be a real barrier for non-advanced developers. Therefore, after the launch of ETH coin in 2015, two official wallets – Mist and Geth emerged on the market. Since then, the development landscape has expanded, and a huge number of other cryptocurrency storages have become available to users.

However, the larger the choice, the more difficult it is to make it. Today we will tell you what types of ETH wallets exist and how to choose the one that will satisfy all user's needs.

How to choose an Ethereum wallet?

Before making the final choice, you need to answer a couple of important questions:

  • What type of storage do you need?

You need to decide how often you are going to exchange digital assets. Your choice will affect the type of the wallet it’s better to use. For example, a hot wallet is the best option for regular transactions and insignificant cash flows, which requires seamless access to the Internet. And cold storage is perfect for saving cryptocurrencies in the long term. But there is also a third option – online exchanges, where you can both conduct transactions and hold your assets. The most important is not to forget that trading platforms are very vulnerable to hacker attacks and it is much easier to hack them than individual wallets.

  • What platform are you most familiar with?

Those investors who are constantly on the road, will definitely find it more convenient to use portable storage instead of a desktop computer. Pay attention to the wallet compatibility with the device from which you want to use it, Android, iOS, Windows, Mac or Linux platforms.

Hot or cold: which wallet is better?

There are several types of storage: hot, warm and cold wallets. Their difference depends on the Internet connection time.

Hot wallets require Internet connection, so you can use them in case of  having a net aсcess. This wallets are often provided by a centralized operator, and although they are extremely convenient to use, their work is directly opposite to the very idea of ​​blockchain. Due to the risk of hacking and cyberattacks, keeping large sums in a hot wallet is not the best thing.

For a long-term hold, warm and cold wallets without a constant Internet connection are the perfect option.

Warm storages are programs installed on the investor's personal computer. There are also two types of them: thick (heavy programs that store the entire history of the blockchain on a personal computer) and thin (simplified wallets that provide access to a complete archive of transactions on a specific website). The majority of digital asset holders use this kind of tools. Warm wallet can be presented as a separate program or as a browser extension.

Cold storage is a range of algorithms that allows you to store data for accessing cryptocurrency offline. In today’s conditions, this tool is perhaps the most reliable one. Such a wallet is protected by biometric identification or a special password.

What types of ETH wallets are there?

Various cryptocurrency storages can be classified by their user-friendliness and security. So, active digital assets’ users noticed an inverse correlation: the simpler the tool, the less secure it is. There are six types of Ethereum wallets in total:

  • Browser wallet

Browser or online wallets are easy-to-use – it is enough to have Internet connection and the latest browser version to run such a storage. However, it is important for the cryptocurrency owner to evaluate the security and do research on the developer of the tool, since these factors affect money safety.

An outstanding example of browser-based ETH-wallet is MyEtherWallet. It is extremely simple to create a storage using this service – you just need to create a password and generate a mnemonic phrase on the website. After that, the wallet will be instantly set up, and you won’t need to fill in additional information to use it.

Active users of MyEtherWallet point out several important advantages: multilingual service, no restrictions on the amount of the deposit, free access to the mobile application, offline storage of assets, the feature of internal crypto exchange, fast transaction processing.

One of the MyEtherWallet cons is that it doesn’t provide absolute security of funds – the user himself is responsible for his assets, choosing a reliable password and keeping it in a place inaccessible to third parties.

  • Browser extension

Internet users can install a browser extension – a special plug-in that allows users to use a crypto wallet on any page on the network. With its help, you can automatically carry out transactions on a website where Ethereum is accepted.

MetaMask extension for Google Chrome and Mozilla is especially popular in the crypto community. Its owners have access to a simplified transfer of ETH and ERC-20 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. The obvious advantages include the ability to import an existing Ethereum wallet into the extension and the simplicity of user interface, as well as the presence of separate applications for iOS and Android platforms. The disadvantage is that there is no extension for Safari browser.

  • Desktop wallet

The desktop is the perfect combination of safety and convenience. In this case, the storage version is installed on the personal computer. The only thing is that such a wallet is vulnerable to existing viruses on PC. To avoid losing funds, you need to scan your computer for malware in advance.

Popular software-based Ethereum wallets are Mist, the official wallet of the Ethereum project, Exodus, the first multi-currency storage for PC, and Jaxx, a multifunctional wallet created by the Canadian company Decentral.

Before downloading a program to a computer, you need to check whether a disk storage is large enough, as, when Mist is being installed, the Ethereum blockchain will also be loaded, which takes almost a terabyte. After that, you need to do the usual thing: create the most reliable password for entering, register an account and get access to a pair of public and private keys for further operations.

  • Mobile wallet

The smartphone wallet is of a great balance between functionality and security. All you need to transfer Ethereum is to download the official app on your smartphone. Such a tool allows the asset holder to be on the go and provides access to the storage from anywhere in the world. However, using a wallet connected to public networks has certain risks. Therefore, if you often connect to someone else's Wi-Fi, it is better to use a browser or desktop wallet.

Ethereum holders use the mobile version of the Jaxx wallet quite often, because it supports more than 90 cryptocurrencies (including ETH) and the option of internal conversion via the ShapeShift service. Moreover, it has a very simple and attractive interface combined with enhanced security.

Those who are interested not only in a huge variety of tokens available on Ethereum blockchain, can download TrustWallet. In total, this application supports more than 40 blockchains and 160 thousand assets.

  • Hardware wallet

One of the most reliable ways to store crypto savings is a hardware wallet, which allows users to transfer assets to a kind of USB card with a special software. To put it simply, a hardware wallet is a multi-currency program with no internet access. You connect it to a computer, enter a password and transfer a certain amount of crypto to the wallet. Afterwards the device is disconnected from the PC and the network.

Its strongest point is unprecedented security, because even if there is a hidden virus on the computer, it will not affect the cold wallet – its software works autonomously from programs run on the PC.

Users name Ledger Nano S and Trezor as the most popular crypto wallets of this type. During the first use of Ledger Nano S, a 24-word passphrase is generated, which is required to create the private key. The wallet is the best option for long-term storage of digital assets offline: it can only be activated by connecting to a PC and entering your SEED code.

An alternative to the Ledger wallet is the inexpensive and compact Trezor hardware wallet, which allows you to manage nearly 1,000 assets. Trezor has the function of remote formatting so the user's cryptocurrencies can’t disappear when the wallet is lost.

  • Paper wallet

Many people prefer to keep the keys to their assets in the old-fashioned way – on paper, because this is the ideal wallet from the point of security.

To create it, you need to be able to handle the console and generate keys, but there are services that offer automation of this process. The user will only need to print the received data.

Paper wallets can work in a similar way to fiat money. To send assets to other crypto enthusiasts, you need to import the private key of the paper wallet into the software wallet, and transfer the cipher on paper to the recipient. He will only need to open the wallet and withdraw funds.

You need to be extremely careful with such a storage: paper is a very fragile material that can be torn, soaked, faded, burned, or simply get lost.

ETHAdress will help in creating a paper wallet – it is a project that generates a private key and prints out a ready-made sheet with a cipher or QR code.

Which wallet is the best for Ethereum?

There is no universal wallet for everyone, because every option is made to satisfy different user requirements. If someone chooses a high level of security, he should definitely pay attention to a hardware wallet, and for those who want the program to be always at hand and allow quick transactions, a mobile wallet with wide functionality is the most suitable option.

It is impossible to say unequivocally which variant is the best one. However, among all the wallets on the market, there are leaders who have managed to win the trust of millions of users. It’s only about choosing the one that suits you the most.

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