How to Identify the Best Bitcoin Wallets
Bitcoin has become a household name across the globe. This no doubt, is due to its popularity and adoption among the mainstream folks.
This popularity and its value makes it a target for hackers and cybercriminals looking to steal some of the tokens. This is why you must choose a decent bitcoin wallet, even before making the purchase.
This is even more important because there are a ton of bitcoin wallets available for you to choose from. The abundance of options can be very confusing.
This article is meant to show you how to identify the best wallets from the many options available. You’ll learn all about all the features that clearly distinguish the top bitcoin wallets from the crappy ones.
But first, let’s briefly talk about the various types of bitcoin wallets.
Types of Bitcoin Wallets
Before we highlight those wallets, it’s important to know that there are different bitcoin wallet types. Each of these wallet types have their pros and cons. Knowledge of these will help you make a smart decision about where and how to store your tokens.
These are wallets that are usually stored on your computer or mobile device. The distinctive feature is that all the devices that store this wallet are connected to the internet.
While they are safe, the reality is they’re prone to hack attacks, particularly if you’re careless about connecting to the internet from anywhere.
If you’ll be installing these wallets, you must make sure that not only do you have dedicated, secure internet, but also, avoid visiting shady sites that can leave your devices vulnerable to hack attacks.
Some shady sites are notorious for installing keyloggers or malware on your system. This will then track your keys, and send the details to a remote computer that’s being monitored by hackers.
These are wallets that are installed on devices that aren’t connected to the internet. This also known as cold storage devices, and often come in the form of hardware. Cold wallets can also be installed and set up on an internet enabled device.
You’ll just need to sandbox it by creating a virtual machine on your PC. This will isolate the wallet, making sure that nothing gets in or out. The best bitcoin cold wallets though, are those completely disconnected from the internet.
They can be in the form of USB drives or dedicated hardware wallets –we’ll talk about this next. The most important feature of cold wallet is that it’s less prone to hack attacks, and has solid security measures.
We do recommend that you keep the bulk of bitcoin holdings in cold wallets, and leave some for daily or smaller transactions in your hot wallet.
To help you understand this better, cold wallets are like your bank accounts or safety deposit boxes, while hot wallets are like your pre-loaded debit/credit cards, or walk around money in your wallet.
These are wallets that you can install on your handheld devices. They’re great for carrying out transactions on the go. All you have to do is login to your mobile wallet, and send the tokens to pay for whatever you need.
These are cold storage wallets used for storing and keeping your bitcoin tokens safe. They are usually in the form of specialized USB type devices. This is the ultimate bitcoin wallet, and guarantees the safest security measures.
They are unhackable. If you never want to worry about your bitcoin’s safety, the bitcoin hardware wallet is a must-have. In fact, this is often owned by professional and serious bitcoin investors, and used to keep their tokens safe from the grabby hands of hackers.
Features of the Best Bitcoin Wallets
They are Secure
If you’ll be using a desktop or web based wallet, you should lookout for the secure protocol on the left side of the URL bar. Pay attention to the HTTPS sign in front of the URL. If it’s HTTP or shows a not secure label, skip using it.
A HTTPS based URL is about the most secure protocol and keeps all your data and information safe. All data transferred through that protocol are unhackable because of their encrypted nature.
Apart from that, see if the wallet provides additional security features like 24-48 character passwords, seed phrase, 2FA and multi-layer security.
The best wallets are very easy to use. You don’t need to be a geek to figure out what goes where, and how to send and receive tokens. They have clear directions and point you in the right directions.
So, take a look at the bitcoin wallet’s interface to see if you can understand it. If it is very easy to understand, then this is one you might want to use. Also make sure it provides easy withdrawal features. This way, you don’t have to jump through hoops to execute your withdrawals or send funds to anyone.
Has Multi-Signature Features
Also known as multisig, this feature is incredibly effective at deterring hackers from accessing your wallet. It provides multi-layer protection that requires two parties or the entry of multiple infos.
This means accessing your wallet or executing a transaction will often require more than one key. Without it, the transaction or action won’t go through. This is similar to an account that requires the confirmation of two details from two different parties. Only this time, you have the keys.
Easy to Use
A wallet has to be very easy to use and navigate. You don’t really need to have to log out of the account before converting currencies. Some of the top bitcoin wallets now have currency exchanging features, which means you can send just about any token from your wallet, after converting them there.
This is a key security measure that secures your account. All serious wallets must provide at least a 24 character alphanumerical key that’s only unique to you.
This is often different from your password, and is added as an extra security layer. The more complex your private keys are, the harder it is for the hackers to gain access to your wallet.
Always copy and/or write down your keys so that you don’t forget them. Keep them very safe to prevent unwarranted access. Some smart investors with a lot of bitcoin, even go as far as keeping those keys in a safety deposit box in the bank.
Should Have HD Features
HD stands for Hierarchal Deterministic. This geek speak for a feature that generate a unique address every time you carry out a transaction.
This adds an extra layer of security and privacy, thus making sure that hackers monitoring transactions on the blockchain, don’t identify your own wallet address.
Has Good Customer Support
All good bitcoin wallets have great customer support. This is important and can be lifesaving in the event of a problem with the wallet.
The reason you need this is when there are issues, you want them fixed right away; not having to wait for days before someone gets back to you. Usually it’s too late by then, and the damage would have been done. So, to avoid delays, ensure that your wallet has great support.
The best bitcoin wallets have serious backups in place. This way, all your transactions and tokens are backed up in the event of a mishap.
This is an incredibly important feature that can protect your account and ensure you don’t lose your funds. The backup must also be encrypted and easy to restore whenever necessary.
Reliability and Dependability
Wallets that aren’t reliable should be avoided at all cost. You want to make sure that your wallets’ service is always available even at 2am in the morning. So, they must have 100 percent uptime, and service availability. Check online to see what people are saying about your preferred bitcoin wallet. If there are frequent complaints about its reliability, go look for other options.
Dynamism of Platforms
Your wallet should run or open on multiple operating systems. All good wallets have linux, android, iOS, Windows and Mac OS versions. So, whatever platform you’re running it on, it’ll work smoothly and without any glitches.
At the end of the day, all these features are crucial features that your wallet must have. Endeavor to look out for them all and ensure they check the box. Always check for user reviews.
The more positive reviews you have about a wallet, the better, really. You don’t want to make any mistake with your bitcoin wallets. Paying attention to these features will ensure you don’t