Top 7 Best Cold Storage Hardware Wallets For Cryptocurrency
The boom of cryptocurrency and blockchain in 2024 has given way for cold wallets to be an essential part of keeping your digital assets secure. If you’re looking for the most secure, most affordable, and the top 7 best cold storage hardware wallets for cryptocurrency, then read on as I’ll be going in-depth on the cold wallets I’ve tried and enjoyed.
Cold Storage Hardware Wallets vs Typical Online Crypto Wallets
Before I jump into my curated list, let’s talk about their advantages over your run-of-the-mill online crypto wallets or “hot wallets” first. You might be scratching your head and asking yourself “Why would I need one of these if MetaMask or Phantom (for Solana based tokens) can do the same thing? Or when the CEX (centralised exchanges) seem to be doing a good job of keeping my digital tokens safe”. Well, that’s where you’re wrong.
Although these online hot crypto wallets are for the most part secure, they’re still vulnerable to online attacks that could potentially lose you all your crypto. Sure, they’re convenient as they’re connected to the cloud 24/7, but you risk security over that convenience.
Centralized exchanges, or CEXes, rely on a single point of control, which makes them prime targets for hackers looking to exploit any security weaknesses. Unlike personal cold storage options, CEXes hold your digital tokens in their systems, meaning you don’t have complete control over your own assets. Additionally, CEXes can be subject to regulatory actions or internal malpractices, which could lead to the freezing or loss of your digital tokens without your consent.
Comparatively, cold storage hardware wallets are tangible real-world wallets that aren’t connected to the internet. This means that you compromise convenience over security, but your funds are rest assured to be safe — as noone else, other than you, have access to your own physical hardware wallet.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Cold Storage Hardware Wallets
If you’re still not sold on cold storage hardware wallets, here’s everything else you need to know about them.
1. They are physical
Cold storage wallets are, on the whole, very safe. Stealing from a cold storage hardware wallet typically necessitates physical custody or access to the wallet, as well as any associated PINs or passwords that must be used to gain access to the funds.
The majority of hardware wallets are cold wallets that run on tiny to medium-sized USB sticks. Cold storage wallets include paper wallets, physical bitcoins, and a separate offline computer dedicated to cryptocurrency storage. These solutions have gone out of favor and are now replaced by reliable, high-quality hardware wallets or very secure cold-storage options accessible on reputable exchanges, despite the fact that they are still fairly secure.
2. They Are Impenetrable by anyone on the internet
As stated previously, the selling point of these wallets is that they’re made to be impenetrable to hackers. Your funds kept in a hardware wallet cannot be stolen even when it is attached to your computer or connected through Bluetooth, depending on the storage technique. While your computer is theoretically linked to the internet, transactions are signed “in-device” and then broadcast to the network via your computer’s internet connection. This “signature” allows you to assign ownership of a cryptocurrency transaction to the recipient, essentially stopping any attempts of hacking as hackers won’t have your unique signature.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though. Because hardware wallets must be powered on and then linked to the internet, you lose the convenience and ease of use that you get with hot wallets like MetaMask.
3. They Cost Money
Furthermore, while most hot wallets are free, hardware wallets can cost anything from $50 to $200. If you have more than a few hundred dollars in cryptocurrency, you should consider getting a hardware wallet before buying more. It’s a tiny fee (read: investment) to pay to keep yourself safe from losing your precious crypto.
What Do you need to consider Before buying a cold storage hardware wallet?
Going into the technical factors you need to know when buying a cold storage hardware wallet, there are a few important ones that you cannot ignore. These factors are what make cold wallets worth getting in the first place, so it’s vital that I run you through them so that you know what to look for when browsing my top 7 best cold storage hardware wallets for cryptocurrency list.
First and foremost is, of course, security. As mentioned earlier, a cold storage hardware wallet’s security is its strongest selling point. It’s what sets it apart from your typical online hot wallets, so it’s important to always look for a cold wallet with top-notch security features like sophisticated password setups, two-factor authentication, unique IDs, and more.
Don’t worry, I made sure that every wallet I included on my list will have these complex security features. After all, there’s no point in getting a cold wallet if it’s as vulnerable to attacks as a hot wallet.
Another important factor when looking for a cold storage hardware wallet is its convenience. We’re not only talking about the features that make it easy to use, but also its form factor. You wouldn’t want to be carrying around a cold wallet that’s as big as your leather wallet. Most wallets on this list should have a level of convenience that makes it easy for users to access and use.
For one, I bought, tested, and reviewed a cold wallet with a touch screen, making navigation smooth and seamless compared to USB-style cold wallets. However, this factor will mostly rely on self-preference. If you prefer a cold wallet that’s small and non-intrusive, you can opt for said USB-style cold storage hardware wallet without a touch screen. If you want something more advanced and easier to use with its size being a caveat, then go for a touch screen wallet.
Next to convenience is a cold wallet’s compatibility. This includes how many devices it can connect to, support for external storage, Bluetooth capabilities, and more.
Again, these features closely tie into the arsenal of security capabilities of these wallets, so you can expect most wallets on this list to have extensive or universal compatibility across all your devices, whether it be your smartphone, your Windows PC, or your Mac.
4. Number of Cryptocurrencies supported
Of course, it’s also important to have a cold wallet that has a wide library of coin support. Most wallets should have at least support for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and more, but it’s also important to check if they support any altcoins you may have in your portfolio.
5. Wallet’s Battery Life
Last but not least is a cold storage hardware wallet’s battery life. This is the least important to look out for when buying your first cold wallet as most cold wallets have excellent weeks-long battery life. However, some are a bit beefier than others so it’s still something you can consider.
misconceptions about cold storage hardware wallets
1. A cold wallet will completely block any sort or form of attacks and theft on my cryptocurrencies
No, there is no 100% guarantee that you are safe from attacks even if you store your cryptos in cold wallets. First, there are occasions where you might connect them to a PC. While this may look harmless at first, you should always be careful with which PCs you connect your cold wallets to as PCs that have been targeted by hackers can also get access to your precious assets.
Second, your cold wallet will still be vulnerable to real-world accidents and theft. You might drop it on your way to work or it might get stolen while you’re on the bus. These unexpected events are of course rare and you have your cold wallet’s security features to protect you anyways, but they’re still something to be mindful of when owning a cold wallet.
2. As a beginner in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, I need a cold wallet right away
No, you do not need a cold storage hardware wallet right from the get-go. As a beginner, you can totally get away with online hot wallets like MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, and Trust Wallet. As long as you follow general security tips like using strong passwords, registering accounts with email addresses that only you know, and more, you should be relatively safe from attacks.
However, once you start stepping into bigger investments and expanding your portfolio, it’s definitely time to check out cold wallets for an added layer of security and peace of mind.
My 7 Best Cold Storage Hardware Wallets for Cryptocurrency storage in 2024
With basic knowledge and tips out of the way, we can finally discuss my 7 best cold storage hardware wallets for cryptocurrency in 2024! This list will be ranked based on the first factor (Security) we talked about in the things you need to consider before buying section, but it may also be ranked using the less important factors like Compatibility and Battery Life if the cold wallet being discussed has an outstanding feature in that factor.
1. The best bang for buck: Ledger Nano X
By far the best bang for buck cold wallet I’ve tested is the Ledger Nano X. I’ve had the pleasure to own and use this cold wallet for 1 month and all I can say is: it’s one of the best in its price range.
- Top-notch security features
- Excellent battery life
- Universal compatibility
- Supports 1800+ cryptocurrencies
- Easy to use
- Setup can be confusing
- No touchscreen
The Ledger Nano X is steps ahead of other hardware wallets currently available and a powerhouse for managing crypto assets thanks to its enhanced currency capacity and Bluetooth connectivity.
It’s also quite simple to set up and use as not a lot could really go wrong when there are only two buttons to fiddle with.
As expected, its security features are top-notch as well. I didn’t feel the need to be concerned because only public data is exchanged via Bluetooth and my private keys and seed never leave the device.
Ledger also emphasizes that even if a Bluetooth connection is hacked, the Nano X will ask for your permission before making any modifications.
Furthermore, during my time of use, it’s vital to note that Ledger created a unique operating system called BOLOS which includes a secure chip for the Ledger wallet series. This is huge as Ledger is the only company in the market that provides this feature for their series of cold wallets.
Overall, I can say that I am satisfied and happy with the Ledger Nano X. It’s easy to use, easy to carry around thanks to its form factor, and very secure.
If you’re a beginner in crypto and would like a bang for the buck cold wallet, the Ledger Nano X will be a perfect fit.
Get your Ledger Nano X today!
2. Best for affordability: KeepKey
If you’re on a tight budget but still would like to enter the world of cold wallets, then KeepKey is a good place to start. I only got to use it for about 2 weeks, but I must say that I wasn’t disappointed at all.
- Affordable price
- Sleek design
- Easy to use
- Limited device compatibility
- Only supports 40 cryptocurrencies
- No Bluetooth capabilities
- Included USB 2.0 Cable is terrible
First of all, it was very easy to set up and I didn’t have any problems getting it to work with both my Windows PC and Macbook. The ShapeShift app makes connecting a breeze and the total install/set up only took me around 15 minutes which already included a software update.
It does not support iOS or Android devices at the moment though which truly is a bummer and maybe a deal-breaker for some.
For cryptocurrencies support, the KeepKey allowed making several different Bitcoin wallets where I was able to consolidate all my altcoins into a single location including Dogecoins and Litecoins.
However, I noticed that it only supported 40 cryptocurrencies as of today. This can change in the future, but that’s something you’ll need to think of before getting this cold wallet.
Going to its security features, the KeepKey has some tricks up its sleeve. It has PIN protection against unauthorized use, secure recovery phrases, and unlimited address support.
What really sucks is though that it doesn’t have Bluetooth (hence the aforementioned lack of support for phones) so you will always have to plug it into PCs which could have viruses and whatnot.
In a nutshell, the KeepKey is a decent starting and budget option for those new in the cryptocurrency space. It’s definitely not perfect and lacks some features that I would’ve loved to see in a cold wallet, but it still does its job well and gets a mark of approval from me.
Get your KeepKey today!
3. Best for Fancy features: Trezor Model T
Trezor Model T, just like Ledger, is a household name when it comes to crypto cold wallet storage. Its Model T is the company’s second generation of hardware wallets and in one way or another, similar to the Ledger Nano X.
What sets it apart from the Nano X is that it also allows users to use third-party exchanges such as Changelly and CoinSwitch straight from the Trezor’s website. I cannot stress how convenient this was and how much it made things easier for me.
- Universal device support
- Bluetooth capabilities
- Excellent security features
- MicroSD card support
- Type-C port
- 1800 cryptocurrencies supported
- Touchscreen enabled
- Support for 3rd party exchanges
- Lackluster design
- Small touch screen makes typing hard
Apart from its convenience, its build is excellent too. It’s got a touch screen which makes it easier for beginners to use than the buttons on the prior model.
It also has MicroSD card support which allows you to encrypt the PIN and further safeguard your device from attacks, something that the Nano X lacks.
Yet another similarity to the Nano X is that the Trezor Model T also comes with a USB Type-C connector that can be used to connect to your smartphone or desktop computer. If you hate cables, then no worries as it’s Bluetooth capable for use in your iOS or Android device.
It was also a pleasure to see that it supports a huge library of 1800 cryptocurrencies. Definitely a step up from KeepKey’s measly 40 cryptocurrencies support.
In conclusion, I really loved the Trezor Model T. It’s secure, easy to use, and not a problem to carry around. If there’s anything I hate about it, it’s definitely its price. It’s priced on the expensive end for a cold wallet. But hey, if you appreciate the fancy features that comes with it, it’s going to be a worthwhile buy.
4. Best for Most secured: Ellipal Titan
Security is the name of the game if you decide to purchase the Ellipal Titan. During my short time with this wallet, I can confidently say it features one of the best security capabilities out of all the cold wallets on this list. This is thanks to its renowned air-gapped security.
When the Ellipal Titan hardware wallet is in the air-gapped state, it is physically, electromagnetically, and electrically isolated from all other networks, virtually blocking any attempts of theft and security breaches.
- Unmatched security
- QR Code reliant
- Good battery life
- Air-gapped state makes it tough against hackers
- Support for 30 mainstream coins and 1000 altcoins
- Responsive touchscreen
- Convenience is compromised
- Average design
This was the only cold wallet in this list where I truly felt that my cryptocurrencies were 100% secured and safe. Of course, this is by no means discrediting the other cold wallets I’ve mentioned above. They’re all secure and safe in their own way, but the Ellipal Titan is on another tier.
In addition to its air-gapped feature, the Ellipal app relies solely on QR codes. The Ellipal Titan’s circuit board was meant to block all physical connections, including WIFI, Bluetooth, and cellular so that basically means the anti-tamper self-destruct mechanism protects your device from both online and offline threats.
If it detects a brute force intrusion, it will erase any sensitive information like your private keys instantly. And don’t worry—if anything goes wrong, you can just use your recovery seeds to get your coins back.
Besides security though, other aspects of the Ellipal Titan are average. The touchscreen is responsive and sizable, but that makes its size and overall footprint rather bulky. It supports 1000+ coins and cryptocurrencies which is a step below the Nano X and Model T.
Overall, the Ellipal Titan is the best choice in the market right now in terms of a well-protected and secured system that disconnects it from any sort of network.
5. Best small-form-factor with touchscreen cold wallet: SecuX V20
If you want a wallet that’s small and convenient to carry around but also touch screen-equipped, then the SecuX V20 is perfect for your needs. So far, the wallets I’ve discussed can only be either small and easy to carry around but lacks a touchscreen, or too bulky in exchange for a functional touchscreen. With the SecuX V20 though, there’s no need to compromise either anymore as it’s the perfect blend of small form-factor and excellent functionality.
- User-friendly touch screen
- Small form factor
- Military-grade security
- Universal device compatibility
- CC EAL 5+ certified
- Low-energy Bluetooth connection
- Offline and online capabilities
- Support for 1000 coins
- QR Code support
- Battery life is just average
- No standout feature
The SecuX V20 comes with a large color touch screen display and a battery for offline/disconnected use. It has a provided USB cable for connection with my PC, but it also has Bluetooth capabilities. Thanks to this low-energy Bluetooth connection which is built on what SecuX calls AES-256 technology for maximum data security, the SecuX V20 can go completely wireless without any problems.
In terms of its compatibility, it’s essentially universal as I’ve tried connecting my iPad to it and it worked flawlessly. You can also use it as an online wallet if you decide to connect it to the internet which is super convenient if I want to transfer my funds or pay for something using crypto in a jiffy.
It shares some similarities with the Ellipal Titan in terms of its security features as it also has QR code capability which lets me do quick transfers and transactions to my other wallets.
There’s also everything else you can expect from your typical cold wallet. Military-grade security with CC EAL 5+ certification, PIN and password protection, and many more.
Although the SecuX V20 doesn’t have any standout features, it’s definitely a good package for its price of $140. It’s small, lightweight, secure, and functional—good enough to store your precious crypto assets.
Get your SecuX V20 today!
6. Best for Binance and ERC tokens: SafePal S1
For Binance users out there like me, the SafePal S1 is a godsend for its advanced features and tight integration with the Binance platform.
- Great integration with Binance platform
- Highly Secured
- Also suitable for ERC Tokens
- Mushy control buttons
- Centered for Binance users which may not apply to everyone
According to SafePal S1, their goal was to create a wallet that’s for advanced users for less than the price of the Model T and Nano X—and I’m here to say that they have done just that. For only $50, it’s an excellent cold wallet that’s with great features, specifically made for Binance and ERC tokens users as it is supported by Binance themselves and comes with PINs and private keys that are segregated to make it more difficult to hack.
It works in conjunction with the SafePal S1mobile app. When making crypto payments, for example, you sign transactions offline by scanning QR codes within the app’s camera.
It also includes a mnemonic card containing mnemonic seed codes and private keys, as well as a USB cable cord and brand stickers. It also has a self-destruct feature that auto activates if it detects a virus.
What I didn’t like with the SafePal S1 is how hard it was to navigate. It has control buttons, but they were too hard to press and felt mushy.
Other than that, I can’t really complain for $50. It gets the job done and it has tight integration with the Binance platform which is good news for its users.
Get your SafePal S1 today!
7. Best fingerprint-supported cold wallet: D’CENT
If you’re still paranoid about your cold wallet’s security, then the D’CENT might be the perfect cold wallet for you. This is hugely thanks to its fingerprint support for unlocking the device instead of only PINs and passwords.
- OLED screen for battery savings
- Fingerprint as login method
- Military-grade encryption
- Bluetooth support
- Allows addition of custom tokens from Binance blockchain
- Sleek design
- Clicky buttons
- Easy to use
- No air-gapped security
- Only supports 25+ cryptocurrencies
Setting the D’CENT up was quick and fast as I was guided by its included manual. I did find some difficulty in registering my fingerprint, but it might be because of my finger and not with the device itself as I was able to unlock it with no problems after the initial setup.
On top of its fingerprint capabilities, it’s got everything you’d expect from a cold wallet. It’s well-secured with military-grade encryption. It’s also got Bluetooth support for seamless connection with the cloud if need be.
Its display is another excellent asset of the D’CENT. It’s only 128×128, but it’s OLED which means text is easy to read and battery savings are guaranteed.
In terms of compatibility, the D’CENT only supports 25+ cryptocurrencies, with Bitcoin and Ethereum being one of them, but it does allow for the addition of custom tokens that reside on several blockchains like the Binance Smart Chain.
For those looking for a wallet that has biometric security, a good screen, and is easy to use, the D’CENT is definitely worth picking up.
Although it doesn’t have the air-gapped security of other wallets or the form factor of the Nano X, it’s still a worthwhile wallet with good features for a reasonable price tag.
Get your D’CENT today!
My closing thoughts
And that wraps up my Top 7 Best Cold Storage Hardware Wallets for Cryptocurrency list! For a brief recap, my best bang for buck and price to performance pick is the Ledger Nano X. It’s beginner-friendly, portable, secure, and universally compatible across all your devices.
For users who are on a tight budget, you may want to consider the KeepKey for $99 or the Binance-integrated SafePal S1 for $50. These are great starter wallets that may lack some features of higher-end ones but still get the job done.
Finally, for those looking for the most secure cold wallet that has military-grade encryption and air-gapped security, the Ellipal Titan is a great choice. Its only caveat is its size which is almost as huge as a phone. Nevertheless, it is still a fantastic wallet with top-notch security features.