KeepKey hardware wallet review
KeepKey is a bitcoin hardware wallet that provides security against virtual and physical theft. Now, a lower price tag means more users can give it a try.
What is KeepKey?
As an HD wallet, KeepKey allows you to generate and store an unlimited number of private keys. A “private key” is a sophisticated form of cryptography that allows you to access your cryptocurrency.
In addition to bitcoin, the KeepKey wallet enables the storage and transaction of a variety of cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Dogecoin and Namecoin.
This is ideal if you’re using multiple cryptocurrencies or looking to build a portfolio of digital assets. KeepKey integrates with the wallet software on your computer by taking over private key generation, private key storage and transaction signing.
- Operating systems. PC, Mac, Linux and Android
- Software wallets. Works with Electrum, MultiBit and Mycelium.
How much does it cost?
When KeepKey launched back in 2015, it sold for US$239. The price tag has since come down considerably to US$49, which is ~HKD$381 (as of 4 April 2021).
What’s in the box?
Watch our unboxing of a (now sold out) limited edition gold KeepKey wallet below.
Which currencies can I store?
How do I add currency to my wallet?
Getting started with KeepKey is as easy as downloading two Chrome applications – one for generating a wallet and one for connecting to KeepKey through Chrome. After the initial setup, you simply add an account and select the cryptocurrency you want to add or exchange.
This enables you to deposit cryptocurrency and exchange one for another (eg, you can exchange an amount from your bitcoin account to your Ethereum account).
How do I make or receive payments with my KeepKey?
The process for sending and receiving payments does not change with KeepKey. The only difference is that your computer no longer stores the private keys, which means it is not able to sign transactions. Instead, transactions must be passed to the KeepKey in order to be signed. Once a request is received by the KeepKey, users are notified and prompted to make a manual confirmation.
Once approved, the transaction is signed and returned to the computer client to be announced on the cryptocurrency network (eg, bitcoin, Ethereum, etc). Although users don’t need to install any drivers to use KeepKey, they need one of the special software applications mentioned above or the KeepKey Chrome app.
How secure is KeepKey?
Warning: If someone has physical access to your KeepKey hardware wallet, they may be able to access your private keys, even without any specialised knowledge or expensive equipment. KeepKey is aware of this vulnerability and has advised that the wallet should only be used for protecting against remote attacks, and cannot be considered secure against in-person physical attacks.
If you want a wallet with more security against physical attacks, you may want to compare the best hardware wallets available.
KeepKey has several security measures.
- Private Key. Your private key is stored directly on KeepKey and never leaves the device.
- PIN Code. Your personal identification number prevents any unauthorised user from viewing your balances or conducting transactions.
- Recovery Sentence. The entire wallet is backed up with a 12-word recovery sentence that is generated on setup. This sentence can be used to recover your private keys in the event your KeepKey wallet is lost or stolen.
- Passphrase. Additionally, users have the option of selecting an additional word that is attached to the recovery sentence. KeepKey does not recommend using the passphrase feature unless you understand the consequences of doing so.
Where can I get KeepKey?
KeepKey can be purchased directly via the company’s website or through Amazon. These are the only two official vendors, which means you should avoid purchasing the wallet on any other platform.
Pros and cons
- Attractive, professionally designed OLED display makes using the device easier than other similar products.
- Provides access to the world’s leading cryptocurrencies.
- New price offers great value.
- A lack of web wallet means users must add software such as Electrum or MultiBit to make use of its applications.
- Larger size makes it slightly less portable than TREZOR or Ledger, which can fit comfortably in your pocket.
- Setup is fairly straightforward, but doesn’t allow users to save their progress.
With this information in hand, you are now ready to give KeepKey serious consideration. To get started, simply visit the KeepKey website and place your order. In just a few days, you’ll receive the hardware wallet fully equipped with a USB cable and recovery card. All you need to do is turn on your computer, install the latest version of Chrome and have a pen handy for writing down your recovery sentence.
Frequently asked questions
Image source: KeepKey Wallet