Ethereum is the second most popular cryptocurrency and it continues to grow every year. Today, it’s easier than ever to find a good Ethereum wallet – including hardware wallets and software wallets.
What’s the best Ethereum wallet? Keep reading to find out.
Ledger Nano S
Many people associate the Ledger Nano S with bitcoin storage. However, the Ledger Nano S can store much more than just bitcoin: it can also store Ethereum, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies. If you’re using the Ledger Nano S to store Ethereum, then you can expect a similar experience to using it as a bitcoin wallet. There’s a small OLED screen that gives you tidbits of information about each transaction. Your private key is stored on the device itself along with your Ethereum.
The Ledger Nano S lets you access your funds through MyEtherWallet, the popular web-based extension. You can attach your Ledger Nano S to your computer at any time to access and spend your ETH funds.
You can buy the Ledger Nano S for around $100.
Like the Ledger Nano S, the Trezor wallet can store bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. It’s one of the most popular Ethereum wallets available today. Priced at around $100, Trezor can be paired with software wallets like MyEtherWallet. You connect your Trezor to your computer whenever you want to spend your Ethereum (say, when you’re investing in ICOs). Then, you can easily transfer it to MyEtherWallet and disconnect your Trezor.
Trezor is also durable and water-resistant. It comes with a built-in display that makes it easy to verify transactions.
Both the Trezor and Ledger Nano S are hardware wallets. MyEtherWallet, however is a web-based wallet. Unlike most web-based wallets, however, MyEtherWallet doesn’t store your private key in some online server like an exchange. Instead, MyEtherWallet is a browser extension – which makes it more of a software wallet than an online wallet.
MyEtherWallet lets you set a password to access the extension. Then, the extension will provide you with a downloadable file. You can download that file locally to your PC. Then, any time you need to access MyEtherWallet, you upload that file. The file acts like the key that unlocks your funds. You can easily transfer the file between computers.
Another unique feature of MyEtherWallet is that you can create smart contracts within the extension. The open source nature of MyEtherWallet also means that developers will often pair their apps or services with MEW. That’s why both Trezor and the Ledger Nano S are accessible through MyEtherWallet.
Ultimately, the only real issue with MyEtherWallet is that it has a clunky interface not overly friendly to beginner users. You’ll want to have some basic cryptocurrency experience before you start using MyEtherWallet. You also need to make sure not to delete your MyEtherWallet file – or else you risk losing your entire stash of ETH.
Jaxx is another popular Ethereum wallet. You also saw Jaxx on our list of the most popular bitcoin wallets. In total, Jaxx supports the secure storage of 13 different cryptocurrencies.
There’s a desktop version of Jaxx as well as a mobile app. When using Jaxx, your private keys are stored locally on your device.
Overall, Jaxx is user-friendly and great for beginners. It walks you through the Ethereum storage process while maintaining a high level of privacy and security.
Exodus is a surprisingly-stylish desktop wallet for bitcoin, Ethereum, and other major currencies. When launched, Exodus was the world’s first multi-cryptocurrency desktop wallet. The wallet is free to use and download.
The main dashboard of Exodus lets you view your entire portfolio value at a glance. You can also see individual breakdowns of all seven supported cryptocurrencies. Another unique advantage is that ShapeShift, the popular crypto-to-crypto exchange service, is built right into the platform. That means you can easily swap between cryptocurrencies to balance your portfolio.
Other nifty features include one-click email recovery and backup seed keys that let you restore your wallet if you ever lose access. Like MyEtherWallet, Exodus also supports smart contracts.
The one major drawback to using Exodus is that the software needs to be constantly connected to the internet. However, your private keys remain stored locally on your computer at all times.
Mist is the official Ethereum wallet. It’s one of the best and most popular Ethereum wallets available today – and obviously, it’s the wallet that’s officially developed by the Ethereum Foundation.
When you first install Mist, it will take some time to fire up. That’s because Mist needs to synchronize with all Ethereum nodes. Once that sync is complete, Mist will ask you to setup a secure password.
Mist has no backup password: the password you setup here is the only way to access Mist. There’s no other option, so make sure you don’t forget it.
In terms of security, Mist works like most other Ethereum wallets listed here. Your private keys are stored on your local device.
Mist, like Exodus, has ShapeShift built-in, allowing you to easily trade cryptocurrencies and balance your portfolio. You can hold Ethereum and all ERC20 tokens in your Mist wallet.
MetaMask is the final best Ethereum wallet on our list. MetaMask is not just a wallet: it’s an entire browser that lets you access the Ethereum network. You can use MetaMask to store and send Ethereum, but you can also use it to access any decentralized apps (dApps) on the Ethereum network.
With MetaMask, your private keys are encrypted and stored locally on your machine. You can export your private keys at any time.