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Best hardware wallets in Ireland
Compare some of the top crypto hardware wallets for keeping your digital assets safe.
Best hardware wallets for 2022
Each year, we conduct an extensive review of the best hardware wallets available in Ireland. To arrive at our picks, we review the best hardware wallets on the market for overall safety, functionality, cost and supported digital assets — including coins, tokens and NFTs.
- Ledger Nano X – Best hardware wallet overall
- Ledger Nano S Plus – Best value hardware wallet
- Trezor Model T – Best hardware wallet for experienced users
- Ledger wallets – Best hardware wallet for staking
- COLDCARD Mk4 – Best hardware wallet for Bitcoin
- Trezor Model One – The original hardware wallet
- Billfodl – Best recovery phrase backup device
Best crypto hardware wallets
You've probably noticed that brands like Ledger and Trezor dominate our list of the best hardware wallets. These companies created some of the first-ever crypto hardware wallets, and each has a long track record of their devices never being hacked.
This isn't to say that other hardware wallets can't offer suitable security and cold storage functionality. Due diligence is especially important regarding crypto self-custody, so we've chosen only to showcase wallets that our team has first-hand experience with or that meet our strict criteria for inclusion.
Ledger Nano X — Best hardware wallet overall
Ledger Nano X Wallet
The Ledger Nano X is the top-tier hardware wallet from Ledger, a company that has produced industry-leading security for self-custody of digital assets since 2014.
It was our pick for the best overall hardware wallet because it allows you to securely store the keys to over 5,500 crypto assets and NFTs and put your assets to work through staking — all while on the go.
Unlike Ledger's cheaper Nano S Plus model, the Nano X has Bluetooth functionality and is compatible with both Android and iPhone for maximum portability.
Of the hardware wallets we compared, no other device provided this level of security alongside such a broad range of features.
- Manage over 5,500 crypto assets
- Run over 100 blockchain apps simultaneously
- Highly secure - no Ledger device has ever been hacked
- Can be synced with third-party wallets like MetaMask to use with DeFi apps
- Android and iOS compatibility
- Bluetooth functionality
- Most expensive Ledger hardware wallet
- Can't stake many cryptos via Ledger Live - need to use third-party apps for maximum coverage
Ledger Nano S Plus — Best value hardware wallet
Ledger Nano S Plus Wallet
The Ledger Nano S Plus is our top contender for value because it offers the same high level of security and most of the same features as the Ledger Nano X — but at nearly half the price.
The Nano S Plus also supports cold storage for 5,500 crypto coins, tokens and NFTs, as well as staking and crypto exchange features through Ledger Live.
If you're content with safe offline storage of your private keys and don't need such on-hand access to your assets — there's no Bluetooth functionality in the Nano S Plus — then this hardware wallet will likely tick a lot of boxes.
The Ledger Nano S Plus strikes such a good balance between security, coin support, features and relative affordability that we were hard pressed to find a better value option on the market.
- Manage over 5,500 crypto assets
- Run over 100 blockchain apps simultaneously
- Highly secure - no Ledger device has ever been hacked
- Can be synced with third-party software like MetaMask
- Can't stake many cryptos via Ledger Live
- Not compatible with iOS
- No Bluetooth functionality
Trezor Model T — Best hardware wallet for experienced users
TREZOR Model T Wallet
The Trezor Model T gets our pick for best wallet for experienced users because it offers a suite of advanced features that will really appeal to pros.
One of those features is the wallet's multisignature — or multisig — capabilities. Multisig provides an added layer of protection for Bitcoin, as multiple stakeholders must sign off on any transactions.
The Trezor Model T also supports Taproot — an upgrade to the privacy of the Bitcoin network. It also reduces transaction fees and allows users to engage with BTC smart contracts.
If anonymity is important to you, you can anonymise your transactions via the Tor network using the Trezor Suite interface.
You can also utilise the novel Shamir backup system with your Model T. The Shamir backup distributes your recovery phrase across multiple recovery shares, which can be stored in different locations for added security.
- Features a large touchscreen
- Offline storage for 1,800 assets
- Multisig protection for your Bitcoin
- Offers transaction anonymity
- Can be synced with third-party apps for DeFi
- Can sync with Exodus Wallet for improved usability
- One of the more expensive hardware wallets
- Only supports 14 blockchains
- No native staking in Trezor Suite
Ledger wallets — Best hardware wallet(s) for staking
We chose Ledger's range as the best hardware wallets for staking because the Nano X, Nano S Plus and even the retired Nano S can be used to stake a wide variety of crypto assets.
You can use the native Ledger Live interface with any Ledger hardware wallet to stake a limited range of 12 different cryptos — including Ether (ETH), Polygon (MATIC) and Solana (SOL).
To stake an even greater assortment of digital assets, you can sync your Ledger hardware wallet with third-party apps like MetaMask or Yoroi and use these software wallets as a bridge to staking interfaces — all while safely storing the private keys to your assets offline.
- Stake up to 12 cryptos via Ledger Live
- Easily synced with third-party software to stake a wider variety of assets
- Keeps the private keys to assets stored offline while staking
- Staking certain assets via Ledger Live can be a bit complex
- Syncing your Ledger wallet with third-party software can be complicated at first
COLDCARD Mk4 — Best hardware wallet for Bitcoin
As a specialist Bitcoin hardware wallet, the COLDCARD Mk4 doesn't have as many of the features of Ledger or Trezor devices, but it does keep the private keys to your BTC stored securely offline.
The COLDCARD Mk4 was created by cypherpunks — technologists who advocate for privacy-enhancing cryptography — for Bitcoin minimalists.
Like Ledger hardware wallets, the COLDCARD Mk4 uses a Secure Element chip — the same type of chip found in passports and credit cards — to protect the private keys to your Bitcoin.
Using the Sparrow Wallet desktop software and a microSD card, you can send Bitcoin to and from your COLDCARD Mk4 without ever plugging the device in. The obvious downside to this is that you'll have to purchase a microSD card adapter for your computer if you plan to transfer data this way.
- Highly secure
- contains Secure Element chip
- Doesn't require a connection to computer
- Features a high-contrast 128 x 64 pixel screen for messaging
- Multisig enabled
- Only supports BTC
- The user interface for Sparrow Wallet is less intuitive than competitor alternatives
- You will have to purchase a microSD card adapter for your computer if you prefer to transfer data via the card
Trezor Model One — The original hardware wallet
TREZOR One Wallet
We wanted to give a shoutout to the Trezor Model One — the original hardware wallet — because Trezor has been pioneering the way for offline private key storage since 2012.
The Trezor Model One was released only months after the infamous Mt. Gox crypto exchange hack in February 2014.
Many investors had just learned the hard way that if you don't hold the private keys to your digital assets, they aren't technically yours. The Trezor Model One was a first-of-its-kind way to guarantee self-custody through this era, and it's kept a commendable track record ever since.
So, while the Trezor Model One might not have the highest functionality of all the hardware wallets on the market today, it remains a dependable option at an affordable price point.
- Supports over 1,000 crypto assets
- Easy-to-use native Trezor Suite interface for your computer
- Moderate price point
- Not compatible with iOS
- Small number of blockchains supported
- No native staking support via Trezor Suite
Billfodl — Best recovery phrase backup device
We chose to give Billfoldl an honourable mention as the best recovery phrase backup device because it helps protect your chosen hardware wallet's recovery phrase from fire, flooding and any type of decay.
Most hardware wallets will prompt you to write down your recovery phrase on a sheet of paper when you set up your wallet. But if your recovery phrase sheet gets damaged or lost, you can lose access to your crypto – permanently.
Billfodl is a solid steel case that allows you to stamp your 24-word recovery phrase using metal tiles engraved with letters.
The tiles slide into three different rows on both sides of the device, and the device comes with a cover that swivels over your recovery phrase once you've properly arranged the tiles.
It's worth considering the added layer of security and peace of mind afforded by recovery phrase backup devices like Billfodl if you invest in a hardware wallet.
- Preserves your recovery phrase much better than paper and pen solutions
- Reasonably priced
- Slightly bulky design
- Sliding tiles into place can be a clumsy experience
Compare crypto hardware wallets in Ireland
What is a hardware wallet?
A hardware wallet is a physical vault designed to offer safe storage for your cryptocurrency private keys. These specially designed hard drives usually connect to your computer or smartphone via USB and, because you keep them offline, provide cold storage for your coins and tokens.
Hardware wallets contain a range of security features to protect your digital currency keys.
They're protected by a PIN and often include other security measures, such as a screen for viewing transaction details and buttons on the device for manually verifying transactions.
There are essentially two separate parts to a hardware wallet. The first part is a desktop, mobile or web client connected to the internet and performs nearly all the same functions as any ordinary hot wallet.
This software wallet creates the transactions but can't sign them — which is where the second part, the physical hardware wallet that contains your private keys, comes in. The transaction must be sent to your offline hardware wallet, verified by you and signed by the device before it can be completed.
Hot or Cold?
A hot wallet is any wallet that has an active connection to, or is hosted, on the internet. Hot wallets are more common than cold wallets and are often more user-friendly. Thanks to their connection to the internet, moving funds in and out of these wallets is quick and easy.
Unfortunately, this ease of use also comes with disadvantages, such as making them susceptible to hackers, phishing scams and other vulnerabilities. Examples of hot wallets include those offered by exchanges or web wallets such as MyEtherWallet.
A cold wallet refers to any wallet stored offline. Cold wallet storage can refer to numerous methods, such as creating a paper wallet with a QR code, storing a wallet on an air-gapped computer (disconnected from the internet) or using a hardware wallet.
While considered more secure than a hot wallet, cold wallets are often slow to use, require a physical object and can be damaged in ways hot wallets can't. Hardware wallets are a particular type of cold wallet, popular for their additional security and redundancy features.Find out more about the different types of cryptocurrency wallet
Why use a hardware wallet?
Generally speaking, crypto hardware wallets are considered the safest way to store the private keys to your digital assets for the following reasons:
- Private keys stored offline. Unlike browser extensions, mobile and desktop wallets — which are exposed to risks like hacking, malware and phishing scams — hardware wallets store the private keys to your assets offline.
- 12- to 24-word recovery phrase. If you lose your hardware wallet, you can regain access to your private keys using your 12- to 24-word recovery phrase.
- PIN and password protected. Hardware wallets are PIN or password protected for additional security.
How to choose the best hardware wallet
If you've decided that offline storage in a hardware wallet is the best option, the next step is actually choosing a wallet. There are several reputable options available, so make sure you consider the following factors when deciding which one is right for you:
- Security features. How secure is the wallet, and what features does it offer? Is it secured by a PIN? Does it include its own screen? Can you verify transactions by manually pressing buttons? Have there ever been any reported instances of security breaches involving the wallet?
- Ease of use. Consider how easy the wallet is to set up and use. If you don't completely understand the processes involved, there's always the very real risk of losing some or all your funds. With this in mind, make sure the wallet makes it as simple and straightforward as possible to keep track of your crypto holdings.
- Supported coins. Check the fine print to make sure the coins, tokens or NFTs you want to store are actually supported by the wallet you're considering using.
- Supported operating systems. Is the device compatible with the operating system you're running on your computer or smartphone?
- How you actually access your crypto. Hardware wallets usually come with their own native software interface (like Ledger Live or Trezor Suite). Many devices also allow you to interact with your crypto holdings using a third-party wallet — for example, if you were storing Ether (ETH) on a Ledger Nano X, you could manage your tokens using either the Ledger Live app or the third-party wallet MyEtherWallet.
- Back up and restore. Read up on the process required to back up your wallet, and restore your coins if something goes wrong. Is this process easy, and will it increase the level of security for your funds?
- Price. This is an important factor for many as hardware wallets aren't free. Compare the prices of competing wallets, including exchange rates and shipping costs if buying from an overseas retailer, to get a better idea of which option offers the best value.
- Portability. This may not be an important feature for all users, but if you want to transport your wallet with you, consider how easy it would be to carry it around daily.
- Independent reviews. Do your research to find some independent reviews of any wallet you're considering. What do those reviewers list as the wallet's pros and cons? What problems (if any) have they had when using it, and do they recommend it?
By considering these important features, you'll have a much better idea of which hardware wallet is right for you.
Hardware wallet pros and cons
- Considered to be the most secure way of storing private keys — more so than software or Web3 wallets
- Give you full control of your private keys
- Support a wide range of coins and tokens
- Allow you to recover your coins if your wallet is lost or stolen
- You'll need to buy one — and prices can run up into the hundreds of euros
- Not quite as convenient as other wallet options when you need quick access to your crypto
- Not all coins are supported by every wallet
Hardware wallet security tips
Keep the following tips in mind to help ensure the security of your crypto coins and tokens:
- No wallet is 100% secure. If you want to ensure the safety of your funds, the buck stops with you. The most secure wallet in the world is useless unless you properly follow wallet setup or security instructions, so exercise caution at all times.
- Only buy from a reputable seller. Only buy hardware wallets direct from the manufacturer or an authorised reseller since buying a second-hand wallet puts you at risk of hacking and theft.
- Keep private details private. You should never disclose your hardware wallet's secure PIN and your crypto private keys to anyone.
- Don't lose your recovery seed. You need your recovery seed to access your crypto coins if your wallet is lost or stolen, so make sure you write this seed on a piece of paper and keep it safe. Better yet, write it on several pieces of paper and keep them all in separate but secure places. Consider purchasing a recovery phrase backup device like Billfodl for even greater peace of mind.
You might balk at spending more money to protect your crypto investments, but as countless well-public stories of exchange theft and insolvency have demonstrated over the years, "not your keys, not your coins."
Storing the private keys to your crypto assets on a hardware wallet is widely recommended for anyone planning to make significant investments or to hold crypto for the long term.
As always, though, do your own research to find the crypto wallet that's right for you. Our guide to the best crypto wallets covers the different types of wallets and can help you decide which will best suit your needs.
Do I need a hardware wallet?
A hardware wallet isn't essential, no. You can leave the private keys for your crypto in the hands of a centralised exchange. But you risk losing access to your assets if the exchange becomes insolvent or gets hacked.
Can hardware wallets store any crypto?
No. Different hardware wallets support different cryptocurrencies. For example, Ledger wallets can store the private keys to over 5,500 crypto assets, while the COLDCARD Mk4 can only store the private keys to your Bitcoin.
Which hardware wallet supports the most coins?
Of the hardware wallets we reviewed, Ledger's support for more than 5,500 coins, tokens and NFTs puts its nose in front of the competition.
Which is the most secure hardware wallet?
Of the wallets we reviewed, Ledger wallets have the best security track record.
No Ledger wallet has ever been hacked, but researchers have pointed out vulnerabilities in older versions of the COLDCARD wallet and the Trezor Model One — each of which has now been addressed by the wallets' teams.
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