What Is A Hardware Wallet?

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Without a doubt, the most secure way to store cryptocurrency is by using a hardware wallet.

A wallet is similar to a digital bank account, in that you can send, receive, and manage cryptocurrencies. A hardware wallet acts as a physical version of this. They come in many shapes and sizes, but most often resemble a USB stick.

Hardware wallets offer an ‘off-the-grid’ approach – because they are not connected to the web, hackers can’t access them. When using a hardware wallet, the access to your coins is encrypted by the device. This makes it safer than an online wallet for example.

In contrast, using an online wallet puts you at risk of running into cybercriminals, as there is an always-online component. Even with secure passwords and 2FA, if an exchange or hosted wallet website gets hacked that you’re connected to, your wallet may be exposed.

Hardware wallets are considered cold storage as they isolate your private keys from the web, mitigating the risks mentioned above.

They also let you sign and confirm transactions on the blockchain, created with your “signature”. This acts as another form of 2FA. Without the physical key, it is impossible to perform this signature.

Your private keys stored on the hardware wallet are protected by a PIN and an optional passphrase. Should a thief take possession of your hardware wallet, it’s near impossible for them to extract your keys.

Lost hardware wallets can be retrieved by use of a seed phrase, or recovery phrase. These act like a list of words that can regenerate your private key.

By having to be plugged into your computer, and requiring you to sign off on transactions, they are a great deal more safe than any other type of wallet.

There are many manufacturers of hardware wallets. Two veterans and trusted names of the space are Trezor and Ledger. Each have two very popular models:

Trezor One and Trezor T Hardware Wallets

The Trezor One is a user-friendly hardware wallet that you can use to store bitcoin and other altcoins. Just like the Ledger Nano S, Trezor supports the most commonly used cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ether, and litecoin. In addition, the wallet enables you to store all ERC-20 tokens.

Trezor T is a more upgraded version of its predecessor, featuring a touch screen and a USB-C cable for future-proofing.

Trezor One
Trezor One
Trezor T
Trezor T

Ledger Nano X and Ladger Nano S Hardware Wallets

The Ledger Nano S is perhaps the most widely used wallet and has been around for a very long time. This hardware wallet supports over 1100 different cryptocurrencies and all ERC-20 tokens. ERC-20 is the standard for cryptocurrencies that are run on the Ethereum network.

The Nano X on the other hand, allows a user to store 100 different types of coins at once, whereas the Nano S was limited to just 18.

Both have the option to use a PIN for access.

Ledger Nano X
Ledger Nano X
Ledger Nano S
Ledger Nano S

Security Beyond Hardware Wallets – End-to-End Cryptocurrency Protection

Cryptocurrency and the blockchain stand to be a major driving factor in the technology of the future. However this popularity has attracted an element of cybercrime. There are several tools internet users should use to increase their online protection. One of these tools is SaferNet.

SaferNet is the perfect solution to the cybersecurity issues that individuals, families, and businesses face today. It not only connects every device using a secure, 24/7 always on, military grade VPN, but it also stops outside cyberthreats, malware and viruses as well. On SaferNet, all users are protected anywhere in the world, all the time, on any cellular or Wi-Fi network. In addition to SaferNet’s VPN and cyber protection, it also offers a range of employee or parental/family internet controls including internet filtering, monitoring, scheduling, and blocking access to websites or even entire website categories

Typically, a user would need 3 separate services for a VPN, Malware Protection, and Internet Controls; SaferNet offers all 3 features in one service. SaferNet truly is an endpoint security presence that can be implemented in minutes around the world, on phones, laptops, tablets, and computers at an economical price point that caters to all internet users. SaferNet guarantees a smooth setup and installation process that takes only minutes, and an easily accessible control hub for you to monitor all your employee’s or family members devices; including activity, time spent online, and threats blocked.

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