Best Bitcoin Wallets Compared & Reviewed (2017 Updated)
Dealing with secure Bitcoin wallets is essential for the safety of your funds and your privacy. To avoid unpleasant situations, you should opt for the best wallets out there. Read carefully this article in which we review the most popular Bitcoin wallets.
If you plan to buy and store Bitcoin, you will need a Bitcoin wallet. However, there are so many options that you can’t help but wonder which one to go for. This article contains our review of the eight most popular wallets to choose from.
As we have discussed in our Bitcoin buying guide, there are four main types of wallets: hardware, online, software, and paper wallets. We will only cover the best of the first three groups.
Where paper wallets are concerned, you should know they are card-like wallets that have printed on them all the data you require to generate private keys. In fact, these were the first cold/offline wallets before hardware ones came out. You can create paper wallets yourself by generating Bitcoin addresses and private keys via https://www.bitaddress.org/ or use Blockchain.info which also has the paper wallet option.
Now, let’s go over some of the best wallet brands out there. Remember: you may find hardware wallets referred to as cold wallets, while online and software wallets are described as hot wallets. We will go through each of the two groups and review the best providers.
Hot Wallets – Key Features And Reviews
“Hot wallets” refers to the group that comprises web and software services operated via a laptop, tablet, desktop computer or mobile device. Since the private keys are generated via the Internet, they cannot be viewed as totally secure.
Hot wallets – the good news:
- Best to store small Bitcoin amounts;
- Easy to use;
- There are universal wallets compatible with multiple operating-systems and devices.
Hot wallets – the bad news:
- They are less secure than hardware wallets, which is why it is not a good idea to store large amounts of Bitcoin.
If you want to store small amounts, you can opt for hot wallets, which are more convenient than hardware wallets.
Here is our ranking for the best hot wallets:
#1 Coinbase – 92%
Coinbase is not only a Bitcoin wallet service; it is a full-service cryptocurrency broker and exchange ranked among the most reputable on the market. The system is available in over 30 countries, and its client base reaches four million.
Coinbase is an online wallet that is intuitive for beginners, but it is the company that keeps your Bitcoin and this might add some risk. It recently introduced its new Vault service, which limits its influence over your cryptocurrency.
If you make a transfer within the Coinbase network, there are no transaction fees. However, there may be miner’s fees if you opt to transfer Bitcoin to an address from other networks.
Another significant issue to consider is that Coinbase tracks your Bitcoin transactions, which shouldn’t be an issue if you are not planning to purchase adult products or sell goods on the dark webJ.
- You can add funds from within the wallet.
- It’s one of the oldest and most reputable services out there.
- Coinbase can track your Bitcoin transactions and can even freeze your account.
- The security of your funds is lower than average.
Link - https://www.coinbase.com
#2 Blockchain – 90%
Blockchain info is the most popular service providing exchange solutions for cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin wallets. Its client base reaches eight million users and it is still growing.
You can use the Blockchain wallet service via your mobile device or computer browser.
A specific feature of the system is its use of hybrid wallets, which means Blockchain keeps your Bitcoin funds online without having an open door to your private keys.
Note that if you use the Blockchain system, it will be difficult for you to make transactions in complete anonymity.
As for the transaction fees, Blockchain doesn’t seem to be worried about “recommending” as high as $26 per transaction, as shown by a user. The wallet service would recommend to you a mining fee depending on the transaction volume, so the fees are dynamic. You can propose your own fee, but there is no guarantee that the transaction would get confirmed.
- A user-friendly interface.
- You can use it from mobile devices and the web.
- Your private keys are stored by a third party, so you have to trust it.
- You cannot make anonymous payments.
Link - https://blockchain.info
#3 MyCelium – 90%
People regard MyCelium as one of the best mobile wallets, and it has a series of sophisticated security features. In fact, this is the reason why this Bitcoin wallet may seem a bit complex for beginners, but it is worth it given the security and speed.
Although MyCelium features on the hot wallets list, it still offers some cold storage methods. For example, it provides support for the cold wallets Ledger and TREZOR (described below), Tor (a browser to access deep web), and watch-only accounts.
There are miner fees and you can change their settings via the Fee Estimator by picking from:
- LowPriority – to be added within the next 20 Blocks – up to 3hrs20mins.
- Economy – to be added within the next 10 Blocks – up to 1hr40mins.
- Normal – to be added within the next 3 Blocks – up to 30mins.
- Priority – to be added within next Block – up to 10mins.
- You can stay anonymous while buying and selling Bitcoin.
- It offers GPS-based local Bitcoin buying and selling.
- The app is available only for mobile devices.
- It’s not that simple for beginners.
Link - https://mycelium.com
#4 Armory – 89%
Armory is a popular and reputable brand in Bitcoin wallet security. It has one of the most advanced desktop wallet applications. However, the bad news is that beginners will find it difficult to operate with it.
Armory should definitely be present in the list of the safest Bitcoin wallets since it comes with a broad range of encryption and cold-storage features.
Whether you have to store $100 or $1 million in Bitcoin, Armory provides the most sophisticated security options. You can sign on transactions and operate with the private keys offline.
According to their official website, the transaction fees are no more than 0.0001BTC, which is less than $0.01. This is a very low fee compared to what other wallet services out there charge.
- Armory is quite flexible as it has online and offline options.
- The app has the greatest security options.
- Armory is suitable for experienced users.
- There is no mobile app.
#5 Green Address – 88%
Being a hot wallet, Green Address offers you the possibility to monitor your Bitcoin wallets online. However, the system has great security and privacy measures and options, which makes it a favorite for many clients.
You can access Green Address on the Internet, via a mobile device, or through a desktop client, which indicates a highly flexibility performance.
The system has a watch-only mode, which helps you monitor the transactions and wallet state without putting your safety at risk.
Green Address supports the following exchanges: BitcoinAverage.com, BitStamp, Kraken, LocalBitcoins, The Rock Trading, BTC-E, Huobi, BTCChina, BitFinex and QuadrigaCX.
There are miner fees that are automatically calculated.
- A user-friendly and quite a flexible interface with fiat price conversion.
- A fast PIN login.
- There is control over your Bitcoin transactions.
- It requires a remote app.
Link - https://greenaddress.it/en/
#6 Bitcoin Core – 86%
Bitcoin Core is a desktop (software) wallet. In fact, the service is viewed as the “official” Bitcoin solution since it is among the oldest ones.
Many people don’t want to use it because of its low speed and the limited number of options. However, the system represents a full node, which suggests it can monitor other transactions and keep a copy of the whole blockchain (Do not confuse this with Blockchain info service!). This means that the system is among the most transparent ones.
Another issue to consider is the fact that Bitcoin Core needs some of your PC’s memory. Anyway, the latest computers seem to have no problem with that.
Bitcoin Core would charge you a transaction fee that goes to the miners. Generally, it is very low, but you had better apply the dynamic fee estimation feature in order to avoid transaction fails.
- It has advanced privacy features - no intermediary can access the private keys.
- Bitcoin Core is a stable system.
- There is no mobile application and no web interface.
- You need some free space on your PC to store the entire blockchain.
Hardware Wallets – Key Features And Reviews
The hardware wallet is a physical device that looks similar to a USB flash drive. It is specifically designed to store Bitcoin. This form of storage is much more secure than having a wallet on the web or using an application.
Once you disconnect your hardware device from the computer, no-one can hack or steal your crypto-funds.
Here are the main points you should consider:
Hardware wallets – the good news:
- They are the best way to secure Bitcoin.
- They make it easy to store Bitcoin.
- They are intuitive and easy to set up.
Hardware wallets – the bad news:
- You will have to buy the physical device, which may cost more than $50, sometimes up to $100.
- You should have the device with you.
Therefore, if you need to keep significant amounts of Bitcoin, it is better to opt for hardware wallets, which are portable devices that employ sophisticated security methods.
The most popular hardware wallets are Ledger Nano S, TREZOR, KeepKey and Ledger HW.1.
We’ll review the best two of them.
#1 Ledger Nano S
Ledger is one of the most popular hardware wallets intended for those who seek maximum security. Since it is a hardware wallet, Ledger is a physical device much like a USB flash drive you can connect to your laptop or desktop computer. You cannot make any Bitcoin transaction without activating the device.
Ledger Nano S is the most acclaimed hardware wallet among the series produced by Ledger. Another popular name is Ledger Unplugged.
The Nano S model is covered by a metallic case that adds protection. Besides, it is compact and has a user-friendly app.
When it comes to transaction fees, if you stick to the “Standard fee” (normal confirmation), you will pay an additional $2 for 1BTC transaction. However, if you switch to the “High fee” (fast confirmation), it may go over $100 per 1BTC transaction.
- It comes in a metallic case.
- It’s probably the cheapest hardware wallet with a screen.
- It’s easy to set up.
- The device will cost you money.
- You cannot buy and sell Bitcoin without the device.
TREZOR is an offline hardware Bitcoin wallet that can offer the highest protection level possible. In fact, this is the reason why Bitcoin owners use cold wallets and TREZOR in particular.
TREZOR is an external device with the help of which you can keep the private keys and sign on transactions offline. Before making any moves, you will have to set up the device. The good news is that it has clear instructions to help you achieve this.
The special thing about TREZOR is that one cannot hack it since there is no password or username for the account – the only thing you need for accessing the account is the device alone.
Some users have complained about the fact that the dynamic fees provided by TREZOR were very high. Sometimes the fee per one Bitcoin transaction reached $247.
- It’s one of the most secure Bitcoin wallets.
- It supports more wallets.
- It has a price tag you can’t really describe as low.
- The transaction fees are very high.
Link - https://TREZOR.io
Check the comparison table below – by putting together these trusted wallets, we aimed to make it easier for you to assess the differences. Note which of the wallets has a web interface, what their price is, which of them has advanced security options, and which allows you complete anonymity.
|Coinbase||Blockchain.info||Green Address||Mycelium||Armory||Bitcoin Core||TREZOR||Ledger Nano|
|Security||Medium||Medium||Medium||Medium||High||High||Very High||Very High|
|Ease of use||Easy||Easy||Easy||Difficult||Difficult||Difficult||Average||Average|
|Miner fees||Low||High||Low||Variable||Low||Low||Very High||Medium|
Don’t let the multitude of options confuse you. Think of it as having a wide range to pick from depending on your particular situation and goal. With the help of our reviews and comparison table, we hope you will make the right choice for your specific needs.
Check out our forthcoming guides, where we discuss the best Bitcoin exchanges out there and show you how to buy Bitcoin with debit cards and via PayPal.