5 Best ETH Wallets: Comprehensive 2020 Guide — Exscudo Blog
Today, we are going to share with you our list of 5 best ETH wallets. To help you make a good choice, we will explore all the popular types of wallets, both hot and cold.
If you want to learn more about the difference between hot and cold wallets read our comprehensive wallet guide.
Best ETH Wallets: Overview
Ethereum is a life-changing project in the history of blockchain. Its father Vitalik Buterin had a bright idea to create a cyber environment where any developer could create a decentralized app (dApp) for any purpose. This platform runs on Ether, the in-house token. Just like BTC, Ether is a cryptocurrency operating with public and private keys. To keep both things, you need a wallet. It’s a special device, software or app that makes it possible to move (send and receive) your ETH.
Below is our version of the top 5 Ethereum wallets. And the winners are…
Best ETH Wallets: Our Favorites
The first two ones are hardware wallets. Metamask and Mist fall under the desktop category. Channels is a mobile app. Now, let’s explore each of our best ETH wallets separately.
Ledger Nano S: Basics
If we talk about the top wallets for ETH, there is no way we can skip Ledger Nano S.
It’s a very popular hardware wallet by Ledger, one of the leading manufacturers in this sector. It’s a highly secure device that looks like a typical USB flash drive and weighs about 6 g. A distinctive feature of Ledger devices is BOLOS OS.
As Ledger is a hardware wallet, it stores your crypto offline, therefore no hacker can reach it. Without getting too technical, it means your funds are 99,99% secure. This fact places Ledger among the best ETH wallets.
Setting up Ledger Nano S
It’s a very simple process: you connect your Ledger Nano S to your PC using the cable that comes in the same package. Select ‘Create new wallet option’ and set a PIN-code for it. Don’t forget this code — you will need to enter it every time you deal with the device.
In the package, look for a piece of paper with a blank numbered list. There are 24 numbers for 24 words. Your task is to write them down in the given order. Together, they will be your private key. Every time you forget your PIN-code, this paper will come to the rescue. To recover access to your Ledger by entering any word the device will require.
The list of the coins Ledger Nano S supports includes as many as 1184 cryptos, according to what the manufacturer says. Apart from Ethereum and Bitcoin it has:
Pros and Cons of Ledger Nano S
- Not an open-source hardware;
- The sheet with the recovery phrase is rather easy to steal or lose.
Trezor One: Overview
Trezor One, our second-best ETH wallet, is one of the pioneers of the Bitcoin hardware wallet sector. To an outsider, Trezor seems a mini-calculator or a similar gadget. This wallet is compatible with Android devices that run apps like Trezor Wallet or Mycelium. With Trezor, your private keys are highly unlikely to be discovered, even if your computer catches a virus.
The PIN code you set for a Trezor wallet always stays within the device. Thus, it cannot be stolen. If somebody enters a wrong PIN, the wallet will activate a special protection measure. It will increase the waiting time to make a random guess very hard.
The device creates a 24-words backup phrase in offline mode. For it, a Trezor wallet applies a Random Number Generator. In case of loss, you can use this seed phrase to regain access to the wallet — and your funds.
Setting up Trezor One
When you connect this wallet to your computer, you will see a window offering you to enter a PIN-code. This code will be displayed on the screen of the device. Every time you make a transaction using your Trezor, it will generate a new PIN-code. This feature ensures an extra level of protection — if the code changes all the time, a hacker cannot to reach your wallet even if he managed to log in to your PC.
After entering your PIN-code, use your passphrase (it goes without saying that you shouldn’t share it with anyone). If the phrase is ok, you can manage your funds as you wish. Before you send anything, the wallet requires additional confirmation. In blockchain all the transactions are immutable, so think twice here.
According to the manufacturer’s info, the wallet supports 1064 coins. Here are some of them:
Pros And Cons Of Trezor One
- It does not support some popular coins, including Monero and Ripple (XRP);
- The design is rather recognizable. (It may be a pro if you are proud to be a crypto user).
It’s among the best ETH desktop wallets. It offers you is the ability to deal with Dapps based on the Ethereum platform using a browser like Google Chrome or Firefox. To do it, you have to install the Metamask add-on. You can manage many coins this way, including ERC-20 tokens.
The coolest thing about Metamask is that it makes dealing with Ethereum dApps easier. In this way, it promotes the wider use of the technology we all love so much. The opportunity to access decentralized applications directly from your browser plays a key role here. Besides, you don’t need to store a full version of the Ethereum blockchain on your PС. Both features make the entry barrier lower and attract more users.
Other useful benefits the wallet provides are secure identity vault and a very friendly interface. Using it, you can switch between the Ethereum network and test networks like Ropsten or Kovan. This option lets you safely experiment with ETH blockchain.
Setting Up Metamask
As in the previous case, setting this wallet is rather easy.
Go to the Google Chrome Store and install the Metamask extension. The mission completed, now you have to create a wallet to store your cryptos.
Click on the cute fox head in your Google Chrome browser, agree to the terms and conditions, enter your password and click on ‘Create’.
Then, you will receive a set of 12 words. These words you will need to reach your vault. Now, please save this phrase and hide it away from prying eyes. For it, choose ‘Save seed words as file’ option and download this file to a secure place.
Congrats! You have your Metamask wallet set up.
Pros and Cons of Metamask
- You’d better have some knowledge of the Ethereum network to use Metamask;
- Lower security level, compared to cold (paper and hardware) wallets;
- Some users complain it may be slow.
Mist is a wallet created by Ethereum developers themselves. Thus, we recommend using it for dealing with smart contracts. There is one thing to keep in mind, though: to use Mist you have to run a full node. Some people think it’s not a big deal, but in the case of Ethereum blockchain, it takes over 1TB of your space. This wallet is available for all the popular operating systems (Windows, Mac OS, Linux).
Setting Up Mist
Go to the GitHub page and download a Mist version for your Mac, Windows or Linux OS. You will see a long list os Wallets to choose from. Select the one you need and install it.
Enter the wallet and choose Add account and set up a password.
Note that once you create a password, it will be impossible to change it. So, you’d better make it strong from the very beginning. If you want to know more about what a strong password should look like, read our Cryptocurrency Security Guide.
Also, you will enter this password every time you send your ethers. So, learn it by heart and make a backup.
These steps are enough to create a new Mist account. You will have to wait for until synchronization with Ethereum blockchain is over. It may take some time, make yourself a cup of coffee.
To see the complete list of all your accounts with their public addresses, click on Account Overview. When you feel like sending some ethers to your friend, select the account you want to use and click Send.
Pros and Cons of Mist
- ‘Official’ wallet by Ethereum developers;
- Very ETH-friendly (this currency is really easy to buy with BTC or another crypto);
- Open-source code.
- It’s a full-node wallet;
- Currency support is limited to ETH and ERC-20 tokens;
- You have to wait till the sync with the network is complete;
- Not recommended for beginners.
Channels is an innovative decentralized wallet by Exscudo. Using it, you may manage multiple popular fiat and cryptocurrencies, including ETH, BTC, XRP, EON, USD, EURO and the in-house currency EON. Channels has a very high-security level, ensured by the architecture of the Exscudo blockchain. One of the distinctive features of Channels is a unique combination of a wallet and encrypted messenger. Thus, you can make transactions without leaving the chat. The app process all payments in a matter of seconds.
Setting Up Channels
- Install the app version that is compatible with your OS.
Open the app and move your fingertip around the grid on the screen. Based on this random pattern, Channels will generate a unique private/public key pair for your wallet.
- Choose a username and set a 4-digits PIN-code. Enter your phone number to confirm your location. Click on the Wallet icon to view the list of available wallets and all the transactions.
- To start using the chat, click on the Chats icon. Now your contact list is empty, but you can get in touch with your friends by sending them your EON-ID. If they are not on Channels yet, you can permit the app access to your Contact list.
- If you need to change anything, click on the Settings icon. From there, you can permit/deny access to some features and reach the in-app customer support.
Pros and Cons of Channels
- As Channels wallet is decentralized, the users themselves are responsible for the security of their funds. Thus, we recommend implementing all the necessary safety measures;
- The Channels community is still rather small, though this fact does not affect the functionality of the wallet.