Not only for Bitcoin there is a seemingly innumerable number of wallets, but also for Ethereum (ETH) new wallets have come onto the market in recent years. Some of the wallets differ significantly in terms of their functions and security. Each type of wallet has specific advantages as well as disadvantages. Keeping track of the multitude and variety can be especially difficult for beginners.
To keep you informed, we have created this Ethereum wallet guide, which presents the best Ethereum wallets. Before we introduce the individual wallets, it is important to understand what distinguishes the different Ethereum wallets. The most basic distinction is the differentiation between a
- cold wallet and
- hot wallet.
The distinguishing feature is the connection to the Internet. While cold wallets are not connected to the Internet, hot wallets have a permanent connection to the World Wide Web. This makes cold wallets much safer than hot wallets. The reason is obvious. While hot wallets can be attacked by hackers via the Internet connection, cold wallets have no point of attack.
Because the difference in security between the two is so significant, large crypto investment firms and cryptocurrency exchanges never keep most of their customers’ money in a hot wallet, but always in a cold wallet! In our opinion, you should take this as an example. In the private customer segment, cold wallets comprise hardware wallets and paper wallets. Hardware Wallets are physical devices that are used to manage Bitcoin and Altcoins over them. In contrast to cold wallets, hot wallets can be divided into various other subcategories. These types have in common that the “Private Keys” come into contact with the Internet in different ways.
The subcategories of hot wallets are:
- Ethereum desktop wallets
- Ethereum mobile wallets
- Ethereum online wallets
Before you decide to purchase Ethereum (click here to read our guide), you should already know which wallet you are going to use. This will effectively save you fees and time.
First, we’d like to give you one more piece of advice: The storage of your Ether (ETH) on a wallet of an exchange or a broker (belong to the online wallets) is basically the worst variant. This is because you give control of the private key to the trading platform. You must remember that the Private Key reflects the ownership of your ETH. Our recommendation is therefore very clear: take responsibility yourself and install an external wallet.
Ethereum hardware wallets
Hardware Wallets have the highest security standard compared to all other Wallets! As already mentioned at the beginning, the Private Key of an Ethereum hardware wallet does not come into contact with the Internet. This is stored on the hardware wallet. A transaction can only be released via the physical device. This effectively protects hardware wallets against phishing attacks and other malware. A theft of your Ethereum (ETH) from the Hardware wallet is almost impossible.
In addition, hardware wallets are also physically very well protected in the event that the device is stolen. The hardware wallets presented below all have an additional authorization by means of a PIN. In addition, some hardware wallets offer the ability to set up 2-factor authentication, making the devices virtually unhackable even in the event of theft.
From our point of view you should buy a hardware wallet, if you invest larger amounts in Ethereum. Even the price for our test winner (around 120 Euros) is rather low compared to the amount you probably invested. In the following box we have summarized the advantages and disadvantages of hardware wallets:
In the following we introduce you to 5 different ETH hardware wallets. If you would like to know more about the individual wallets, we recommend that you read our detailed test reports on the hardware wallets.
1.Ledger Nano X
The Ledger Nano X is the test winner in our hardware comparison test, in which we tested 8 different hardware wallets and tested all functions of the devices extensively. The successor to the Ledger Nano S, which has been sold over 1.3 million times worldwide, offers some new features that are very practical and helpful. The biggest innovation in the Ledger Nano X is the Bluetooth function, which allows the device to be operated with a smartphone and the mobile Ledger Live app. The Nano X thus practically becomes a mobile wallet that offers the same security as the desktop version.
In addition to this new function, the Ledger Nano X also features three major innovations. Ledger’s new flagship has a much larger memory than its predecessor and can manage up to 100 cryptocurrencies simultaneously. In addition, the display has been slightly enlarged, so that Bitcoin addresses can be displayed completely – without scrolling. In our opinion, there is currently no other hardware wallet that offers a better price-performance ratio than the Ledger Nano X.
2.Ledger Nano S
With the release of the Nano X, the Ledger Nano S is no longer Ledger’s latest model. Nevertheless, it can still be an interesting investment as it is still one of the most secure hardware wallets on the market. Especially the low price of 59 Euro offers newcomers a hardware wallet with an unbeatable price/performance ratio. Who can live without the new and extended functions of the Nano X and only wants to manage a small number of different cryptocurrencies, e.g. only Ethereum and Bitcoin, should bux the Nano S from our point of view.
3.Trezor Model T
Shortly after Ledger released the Nano X, SatoshiLabs also released a successor to its successful model, the Trezor One. The Trezor Model T must therefore measure up to the Nano X in direct comparison. It is noticeable that the Model T has also received numerous new features and extended functions. The Trezor Model T, for example, has a touch screen on which all transactions must be confirmed.
In addition, the firmware (Trezor Core) has been completely revised for security reasons. In addition, the Model T has a faster processor, a MicroSD card slot for data encryption, and a modern USB-C port to connect to your computer. Compared to the Trezor One it is the premium version.
The Trezor One is the oldest hardware wallet on the market. It was first released in 2014 by SatoshiLabs and is said to be the most trusted and secure hardware wallet on the market according to SatoshiLabs. The Trezor One has already been sold over a million times, which clearly speaks for the quality and safety of the wallet. The Trezor One can be an inexpensive but very good alternative, especially for newcomers.
The Digital BitBox is an inexpensive and very small hardware wallet that supports five different cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum and all ERC20 tokens. The device is a minimalist Ethereum hardware wallet, which generates a wallet (bip32) at startup by the integrated micro controller. A very useful and good security feature is the slot for a micro SD card, which can be used to create an offline backup for recovery.
You should know this about hardware wallets:
Ethereum desktop- and mobile Wallets
As the name suggests, desktop wallets are programs that are installed on the computer to manage Ethereum. The advantage over online wallets is that the private keys are stored on your own device and not on the server of a company. Thus you retain full control over your ETH. However, a desktop is not as well protected against hacker attacks as a hardware wallet, since your PC is (probably) permanently connected to the Internet. Nevertheless, the protection is significantly higher compared to online and web wallets.
Desktop Wallets are the best alternative from our point of view if you are looking for a free wallet for Ethereum. To help you keep track, we introduce you to the best desktop wallets for Ethereum in 2019. But first we would like to show you again the advantages and disadvantages of Ethereum desktop wallets compared to the other types of wallets:
Mobile Ethereum Wallets have the advantage that you can access the wallet with your mobile phone and thus make transactions very quickly and from anywhere. However, smartphones are a very popular target for hackers. You are only effectively protected against hacker or phishing attacks with a hardware wallet. Below we have summarized the advantages and disadvantages of mobile wallets:
Below you will find our top recommendations for a safe Ethereum desktop or mobile wallet. Since all manufacturers provide both a desktop version and a version for the smartphone, we have combined these two types of wallet in one ranking.
- Atomic Wallet
- Jaxx Liberty
- Exodus Wallet
- Edge Wallet
The Guarda Wallet supports more than 50 different cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, of course. The wallet is available both as desktop and mobile version or as Chrome browser extension. For those who don’t want to download any software, Guarda also offers a web wallet that offers the least security but is the fastest and easiest to set up.
Your private keys are stored on your computer or smartphone, so only you have access to them. Since there is at least a temporary connection to the Internet, you should make sure you use an up-to-date virus program.
It’s quick and easy to set up for the first time and only takes a few minutes. The wallet interface is clearly laid out and intuitive, so even newcomers will quickly get to grips with the wallet.
You can download the wallet from the official website.
The Atomic wallet is a multi-Coin desktop wallet that supports over 300 different cryptocurrencies, in addition to Ethereum. The focus of wallet developers is on security, anonymity and decentralization. It is therefore not surprising that the wallet is very popular in the crypto space, even though it was not launched on the market until 2017. Another reason for the popularity of the Atomic wallet is certainly that it was founded by Konstantin Gladych, CEO and co-founder of the popular crypto exchange platform Changelly.com.
It is very important that the Atomic wallet does not store the private keys or the transaction data itself or pass them on to third parties. Both private key and transaction data are stored exclusively on your own device. A very useful feature, from which the wallet gets its name, are the Atomic Swaps. This allows different cryptocurrencies in the wallet – peer-to-peer – to be exchanged without an exchange being involved (which charges additional fees for the trade in addition to the network fees). For coins that do not yet support Atomic Swaps, the wallet offers the option to use Changelly or ShapeShift to execute trades from within the wallet.
We personally have had very good experiences with the Atomic wallet over the past two years. Due to the extensive features, the large number of compatible coins and the intuitive user interface, the Atomic wallet is our top recommendation. Whether in the desktop or mobile version, the Atomic wallet is the best option for beginners and advanced users.
You can download the wallet under this link. It is available as desktop version for Windows, Mac, Ubuntu, Debian and Fedora. There are also mobile versions for iOS and Android in the respective App Store.
3.Jaxx Liberty Wallet
The Jaxx Liberty wallet is also a Multi-Coin-Wallet, which is available as desktop and smartphone version for 80 different cryptocurrencies. The wallet is developed and continuously updated by Anthony Di Iorio, a co-founder of Ethereum, and therefore enjoys a good reputation in the crypto industry.
The safety of the Jaxx Liberty wallet is very good. As with the Atomic wallet, neither the developers nor third parties have access to your “private keys”. These are stored encrypted locally on your computer. The Jaxx wallet offers the possibility to create a backup in case your computer is broken or stolen. Overall, the operation of the wallet is really very simple. The support team, which is available around the clock, is also highly praised in various online forums.
To download the Jaxx Liberty wallet you can click on this link. You will then be taken to the official website. There you can download the desktop wallet, as well as a mobile version and a version for a web browser. The application is available as desktop version for Mac and Windows, as well as mobile version for Android and iOS. There is also a browser extension for Google Chrome.
The Exodus wallet is also a Multi-Coin wallet with which we have had very good experiences. Exodus was officially launched by Daniel Castagnoli and JP Richardson in July 2016. The wallet is known for its ease of use and intuitive design. In addition, it is very popular due to the number of over 100 compatible cryptocurrencies, the value of which is displayed in over 30 different Fiat currencies.
In total, the Exodus wallet has three main components: the Multi-Coin wallet, a Portfolio Tracker and an integrated exchange service from Shapeshift. A very big advantage of the Exodus wallet is the good customer support. In addition to an extensive FAQ area (including videos) there is the possibility to contact the Exodus team via e-mail, Twitter, Facebook and Slack channel. Furthermore, the security of the Exodus wallet can also be rated as good. Neither the developers nor other third parties have access to your “Private Keys”. These are encrypted, stored locally on your computer.
However, there are two vulnerabilities that cannot be considered optimal. On the one hand, the Exodus wallet offers a backup function via e-mail. This function makes the backup very convenient, but also a bit less secure. On the other hand, Exodus does not provide two-factor authentication, which lacks a second layer of security. This means that hackers “only” have to steal the password, e.g. hack using a keylogger, and then have full access to the wallet.
If you still decide for the free Exodus wallet, you can click on the following link which will take you directly to the Wallet’s download page (click here!). The wallet is offered as desktop version for Windows, Mac and Linux. There are also mobile versions for iOS and Android.
Also the Coinomi wallet is a Multi-Coin-Wallet, which can manage more than 275 other cryptocurrencies besides Ether (ETH)! The Coinomi wallet is the oldest Multi-Coin wallet on the market and was launched in 2014. Since then, millions of users have already used it. In addition to the large number of coins, the wallet scores particularly well in the area of privacy. In addition to the usual privacy features – the private keys and transaction data belong to the user and are not passed on to third parties – the wallet offers integrated encryption for the IP address of its users.
Another feature of the wallet is the connection to the cryptocurrency exchange Coinomi. This allows users to trade cryptocurrencies directly from the wallet. The function can save the detour via an exchange, such as Coinmerce or Coinbase. However, the Coinomi Wallets also has a point of criticism. As with the Exodus wallet, no two-factor authentication is offered. This means that there is no second level of security besides protecting the wallet with a password. If attackers succeed in hacking the user’s computer, a keylogger is sufficient to steal the password and thus gain full access to the wallet.
You can download the wallet on the official website (click!).
The Ethereum Edge wallet is a wallet that is only available as a mobile wallet for Android and iOS. In addition to Ethereum, it can manage 17 other cryptocurrencies. One feature that sets the wallet apart from other desktop and mobile wallets is the ability to transfer Fiat currencies to the wallet (Euro and US dollars) and purchase Ethereum directly.
In addition, it has a good safety standard. This allows 2-factor authentication to be enabled to protect the user account. You can also secure your account with a PIN or Touch ID. Very useful for owners of multiple smartphones is also that the wallet can be used from multiple devices.
To download the wallet you can visit the official website of the Edge wallet (click!).
Ethereum Online Wallets
Ethereum Online Wallets offer an even easier and faster way to manage Ethereum than desktop wallets. The classic example of an online wallet are the accounts on a cryptocurrency exchange. These offer the considerable advantage that the user does not have to worry about anything. Both the installation and the creation of a backup are omitted. However, exchange wallets also require a great deal of trust in the trading platform. Users must be confident that the platform will store the cryptocurrencies in cold storages and that the IT infrastructure will not be hacked. In addition, the employees of the trading platform who have administrative access must be trusted.
At this key point, only the Mt. Gox Hack shall be mentioned briefly, which was possibly an inside job. Ultimately, however, well-known and established exchanges and brokers have very good security precautions for each of these points of attack. This is another reason why it cannot be assumed in principle that online wallets are insecure. They just do not offer the same level of security as hardware wallets!
Beyond exchange wallets, there are also online wallets that are not operated by cryptocurrency exchanges. Here two Ethereum specific developments are to be mentioned above all. This is on the one hand the MyEtherWallet, probably the most popular and best known Ethereum wallet. On the other hand, there is the MetaMask wallet, which occupies a special position and offers some special functions that set it apart from other wallets.
Below we have compiled an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of online wallets:
1.Our test winner: MyEtherWallet
The MyEtherWallet (MEW) is a user interface for accessing the Ethereum blockchain and sending transactions. MEW was already released in July 2015 and is valued in the crypto community, especially by developers, for its ability to build distributed applications (dApps). But the MEW is also very popular among ETH investors. It is the most commonly used Ether (ETH) wallet.
A big advantage of the MEW is that no special technology or software is required to use the wallet. After the first versions of MyEtherWallet were technically quite sophisticated, the user interface has become very clear and intuitive over the years. Users can easily send and receive Ether (ETH) and all ERC20 tokens, check the balance and access Smart Contracts.
In addition, users have several options to choose from to access their Ether addresses: MEWConnect (mobile version for the smartphone), via hardware wallet (e.g. Ledger, Trezor, Keepkey, Digital Bitbox, etc.) and Metamask extension and software (via keystore file, private key or mnemonic phrase).
MEW has also partnered with a number of companies to enable users to exchange their Ethers for other cryptocurrencies. These include Bity, Kyber Network, Changelly and Simplex, so users can switch Fiat to Crypto, ETH and BTC, ETH and ERC-20.
In addition to these reasons, we believe that two criteria are decisive that make the MyEtherWallet the best online wallet for Ethereum and our test winner:
- The MEW provides an interface to the well-known Ledger and Trezor hardware wallets, eliminating the security vulnerabilities of web-based wallets.
- Although the MyEtherWallet is accessible via the Internet, the private keys and transaction data are not stored on external servers, but only on the user’s computer
Metamask is an Ethereum hot wallet that can be installed via browser extension for Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Brave and already has more than one million active users. The browser extension is an important part of the Ethereum ecosystem in order to access decentralized applications (dApps) from a web browser and execute transactions within dApps by storing the private keys. With this functionality, MetaMask is of central importance for Ethereum’s dApp ecosystem.
It is important to know that the MetaMask wallet stores the private keys locally in the user’s own browser and not on external servers. This gives the user full control. However, browser access also has a disadvantage: Although neither MetaMask nor the browser has access to the sensitive information, browsers such as Google Chrome can collect information about usage behavior – when and how MetaMask is used. Like many other wallets, MetaMask offers an integrated solution to buy cryptocurrencies. MetaMask users can select Coinbase and ShapeShift to purchase Ether or ERC20 tokens.
Conclusion: The MetaMask wallet is a very special wallet which we can recommend if you plan to use dApps on the Ethereum Blockchain. For security reasons you should (in our opinion) refrain from storing larger amounts of Ether (ETH) permanently via MetaMask wallet. Other wallets are better suited for this.
3.Binance Web Wallet
Custody of Ether (ETH) on Binance, one of the largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, can also be an option if you plan to actively trade cryptocurrencies. On the exchange you can trade over 150 crypt currencies out of the online wallet. However, you should be aware that if you use the Binance wallet, you will hand over the responsibility for managing the Private Keys to Binance. Accordingly, security can also be classified as significantly lower than with the wallets presented so far. On the one hand, your private keys are stored on external servers; on the other, Binance is a popular target for hackers.
Although it is one of the safest exchanges in the world. Nevertheless, Binance has already been hacked. The biggest Binance Hack happened in May 2019, when hackers succeeded in stealing a total of 7,000 BTCs. From the users’ point of view, Binance fortunately took full responsibility for the hack and therefore did not pass the loss on to its customers. Nevertheless, our recommendation is that you use the platform exclusively for trading cryptocurrencies and not for permanent storage. If you want to store your Ethereum for a long time, you should send the ETH to an external wallet.
You can register an account on Binance by clicking on this link*.
The broker eToro occupies a special position among web wallets. This is because the eToro account (web wallet) has a deposit guarantee of up to €20,000 per customer. Unlike most wallets, the user does not bear the sole risk of loss or theft of his Ether (ETH). This great advantage can be of particular interest to newcomers who are unsure about setting up and managing a wallet.
- However, the eToro wallet has two (big) disadvantages! First, for holding Ethereum on the eToro wallet per day, so-called “overnight fees” are incurred, which make the longer hold on eToro rather unattractive. Details on the amount of the fees can be found in our eToro Review.
- Second, Ethereum can only be transferred to eToro’s mobile wallet at extra cost and only from there to an external wallet where you have full control over the private keys. However, this process is very cumbersome and costs additional fees.
As you can see, the eToro wallet has both a big advantage and two disadvantages. Depending on what is more important to you, the eToro wallet may or may not be an option for you. To use the eToro wallet, you need to create an account with eToro (click here*).
5.Litebit Online Wallet
Litebit is our top recommendation for European customers to buy and sell Ethereum (ETH). Besides the brokerage service, the platform also offers an Ethereum Web wallet, where Litebit takes care of the management of your private keys (according to the classic definition of a stock exchange web wallet).
Litebit stores a large part of its customers’ money in cryptocurrencies in a cold storage (offline). Litebit also offers the option of 2-factor authentication for the account (and thus the wallet). However, we recommend that you rather use a free desktop wallet or buy a hardware wallet if you want to keep ETH long term. For the short-term storage of your Ether (ETH) the Litebit wallet is suitable from our point of view.
If you want to buy Ethereum, just click on this link*. You will be taken directly to the home page where you can register.
In the following we have summarized the most important aspects of the use of Web Wallets:
Ethereum Offline Wallets / Ethereum Paper Wallets
Ethereum Paper Wallets can be a very good option if you want to save ETH offline and don’t want to use a hardware wallet. They have a very good reputation in the crypto community. The explanation for this is quite simple: Because the password, address and private key are “stored” on a piece of paper, the sensitive data is not connected to the Internet. However, you should note that a web wallet must be used to send transactions.
Ethereum offline Wallets are especially useful if you don’t want to access the Ether (ETH) for a long time. You can keep your Ethereum Paper wallet in a safe place. It is important that your PC and printer are free of viruses and malware. This can be a potential weakness of the Ethereum Paper wallet.
1. Best Ethereum paper wallet: MyEtherWallet
MyEtherWallet allows you to print an Ethereum Paper wallet. The website creates the Private Key and the Public Key with one click. You can then print out the information and keep it in a safe place so that no external hacker can gain access to your Ether (ETH).
If you use Ethereum Paper wallets, you should note the following:
Further important information in the Ethereum wallet test
Please note that we have compiled the information to the best of our knowledge and experience. However, you should always seek further information and test different wallets to find the best wallet for you.
If you have any questions or suggestions about our Ethereum wallet review, please feel free to leave us a comment. We’ll be glad to help you!
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