Best Ethereum Wallets 2018 – Comparison & Reviews

As cryptocurrency exploded in popularity, it has all had price increases and spikes. Currently, Ethereum is second only to Bitcoin with its market cap, and the price has risen from just under $9 at the start of 2017 to up around $50. In general, Ethereum is a complicated and technical cryptocurrency, and you want to keep it secure and safe in your Ethereum wallet.

Because of the complexity of Ethereum, some wallets are not very user-friendly for people who are new to the cryptocurrency world, but you do have options. We’ll go over 10 different Ethereum wallets, and we’ll have examples of desktop wallets, hardware wallets, mobile wallets, paper wallets, and web wallets.

 

Defining an Ethereum Wallet

In the cryptocurrency world, you have to have a place to store your funds, just like in the real world. A wallet is a software that saves any cryptocurrency funds you may have. It allows you to quickly and easily check your balance and make transactions. There are five different types of wallets you can use to store your Ethereum.

Each wallet has a public address or public key associated with it. This address is a randomly generated string of numbers and case-sensitive letters. So, if someone wants to send you Ethereum, you give them this public address, and they transfer the cryptocurrency to you.

Once the currency is in your wallet, it’s protected by a password. Before you can move funds or make transactions, you’ll input your password to release the funds. Depending on the wallet, if you forget your password, you lose your funds because there isn’t an alternative way to access them.

 

Important Wallet Considerations
No matter what type of wallet you choose, there are five key points you want them to have to help ensure that they’re secure and that you can get help if you need it. Those five components are:

  • Backup and Security – You’re able to backup and restore your information.
  • Compatibility – Your wallet should work with multiple operating systems.
  • Development Community – There is an active developmental community for support.
  • Ease of Use – The interface is sleek and well-designed.
  • Private Keys – You have private keys to control your wallet.

 

Ethereum Desktop Wallets

 

A desktop-style wallet will run on your laptop or on your desktop computer. You can choose between light client and downloading the entire Ethereum Blockchain for full client. A light client is generally easier overall, but full client gives you additional security because it doesn’t require nodes or miners to send up to date information. Full client validates itself.

This type of wallet is convenient, easy to setup and use, and it’s secure. You can only access it from the computer you originally downloaded it onto. As it is connected to the internet, you do have to be aware of malware or hackers. Also, if your computer is stolen, you lose your Ethereum.

 

 

 

 

Exodus

Exodus is a desktop wallet that was the first multi-cryptocurrency wallet available, and it is fully compatible with the instant currency exchange, ShapeShift. This wallet gives you the ability to store and save 20 different cryptocurrencies at one time, and the graph on the user-interface will tell you at a glance how many of a specific coin you have on hand.

This wallet has an independent format, and this means that it stores your private wallet key right on your machine, and not on any external server. This feature allows you to have complete control over your cryptocurrency. This wallet does require an internet connection to work.

You’ll enjoy backup and restore features with Exodus as well, and these include a one-click backup email recovery option and the ability to access backup seed keys that let you restore your wallet. These features ensure that your Ethereum is safe and secure, even if something happens.

Features

  • Privacy – Requires a personal email
  • Smart Contacts Support – No
  • Supported Platforms – Linux, Mac, Windows

Pros

  • User-friendly interface
  • Multitude of charting tools
  • Tutorials and videos guide you through setup

Cons

  • Not an open source company
  • Relatively newer – established in 2015
  • No two-step authentication security feature

 

 

 

 

MetaMask

The second desktop-based wallet is MetaMask. It functions as an extension on Chrome, Firefox, and Brave browsers. You don’t need a login, so your private keys are kept right in the browser under password protection. It’s free to use, and it’s very user-friendly for beginners. This wallet uses Javascript and a web3 object that it injects straight into the page you’re working on.

Once you install the extension, it’ll prompt you to create an online vault, and this vault becomes your wallet. It’ll prompt you to come up with and save seed words, and you’ll use these to restore your wallet if something happens. You shouldn’t store large amounts of Ethereum in this wallet as it’s still developing.

You’ll get a very clean user interface that you can navigate around quickly, and you can customize it with several colors. It allows you to view your public key, export your private keys, copy the wallet’s address to the clipboard, switch between accounts, and choose your network.

Features

  • Privacy – No personal details or email required
  • Smart Contacts Support – No
  • Supported Browsers – Firefox, Chrome, Brave

Pros

  • Very user-friendly and sleek design
  • Works on a variety of systems
  • No personal details required

Cons

  • Still in the developmental stages
  • ShapeShift isn’t available with it
  • Not recommended for long-term storage

 

 

 

 

Mist

The third desktop wallet on our list is called Mist, and it is the official Ethereum wallet. While it is slightly slower to setup the first time, this is because it has to synchronize with every Ethereum node. When it syncs, you’ll get a prompt to make a password. Once you set your password, be sure you remember it because there’s no way to get back into your wallet if you lose this password.

You’ll get a pair of public and private keys when you set up your wallet. Your private keys are stored on the laptop or desktop that you downloaded the wallet on, so there isn’t a security concern there unless you lose your computer. This wallet doesn’t require any personal information, so your cryptocurrencies are safe and secure.

This wallet has ShapeShift built right into the interface so that you can use it for instantaneous cryptocurrency transactions. In addition to this, Mist is one wallet that was explicitly designed around the needs and wants of Ethereum traders. It has a simple user interface that’s easy to navigate and perform transactions.

Features

  • Privacy – No email or personal details are required
  • Smart Contacts Support – Yes
  • Supported Platforms – Linux, Mac, Windows

Pros

  • Stores cryptocurrency on the secure Ethereum platform
  • Built specifically for Ethereum traders
  • Trader has complete control over their funds, passwords, and keys

Cons

  • Must download the complete Ethereum blockchain to use it
  • Can be slow to install and start the first time
  • Might be slightly difficult for anyone not tech savvy to use

 

 

 

Ethereum Hardware Wallets

 

Hardware wallets are some of the most secure, and they act as cold storage for your cryptocurrency. These wallets act like a USB drive that has been specifically designed for cryptocurrency storage. You plug them into your computer when you want to use them, and they can generate keys while being offline. Because they’re not connected to a network unless you plug them in, this makes them immune to cyber threats.

A lot of them have several backup options built-in, as well as several layers of security features including two-factor authentication and a PIN password. Some even have a screen right on the wallet so you can perform transactions from anywhere.

 

 

 

 

KeepKey

KeepKey is one of the most expensive Ethereum hardware-style wallets available. The wallet itself costs around $50, but the installation will cost you another $81. It can secure seven different cryptocurrencies including Ethereum. This is an HD wallet that allows traders to store and generate an unlimited number of private keys. This wallet will integrate with the software on your laptop or computer, and it’s very user-friendly.

To get started, you have to download two different browser extensions. One extension generates the wallet, and one connects the KeepKey wallet to the software. When this is done, you’re now able to exchange or deposit your cryptocurrency.

It has a very simple user-interface that is great for beginners to use. Also, it has several security layers including your private keys, PIN, passphrase, and a recovery sentence. This wallet is slightly heavier than other options, but it’s built to withstand moving it around.

Features

  • Privacy – No registration is required
  • Smart Contacts Support – Yes
  • Supported Platforms – Linux, Mac, Windows

Pros

  • Comes with very high security standards
  • Has a professionally designed and attractive OLED display
  • Very user-friendly and simple interface

Cons

  • Can’t save your setup progress and have to start over if you quit midway though
  • No attached web wallet
  • Slightly bulkier and heavier design

 

 

 

 

Ledger Nano S

This wallet is one of the least expensive hardware-style wallets available. You can use this wallet to make payments or to store your Ethereum, and it has several great security features. To use it, you simply plug it into the USB port on your computer and you’re ready to go. There is some minor installation, but it’s quick and easy to do. There is also a Chrome extension available for this wallet.

You’ll get a user-friendly OLED interface that makes using your wallet and performing transactions easy. Also, when you start this wallet for the first time, it’ll give you a 24 word seed, and you use this to create your private keys. Keep this private because whoever has it has access to your cryptocurrency.

It currently supports seven different cryptocurrencies, and it’s considered to be one of the safest options for your cryptocurrency. However, you do want to make sure that the computer you’re using isn’t infected with malware or hacked before you plug your wallet into the USB port.

Features

  • Privacy – No personal information is required
  • Smart Contacts Support – Yes
  • Supported Platforms – Android, Chrome, Linux, Mac, Windows

Pros

  • Very cost-effective hardware wallet
  • Has a user-friendly OLED interface
  • Supports seven different cryptocurrencies

Cons

  • Relatively unknown and new company
  • Slightly more complicated to set up
  • Passphrase is difficult to set

 

 

 

 

Trezor

Trezor is the oldest hardware wallet, and it was the first hardware wallet invented especially for cryptocurrency. This wallet is considered to be one of the safest options available. It offers the security that comes with cold storage options combined with the functionality of a hot wallet. This wallet is around the size of a car key, and it connects to your computer through a USB cable.

You can access the wallet’s user interface through a Chrome extension or through the TREZOR Bridge. It’s made to connect and provide a fluid user interface seamlessly. It lets you generate an unlimited number of public keys, and you can set a passphrase to make your wallet more secure.

If you forget this passphrase, you won’t be able to regain access to your wallet. Your coins are safe in cold storage until you plug it into your computer, so it’s virtually impossible for people to hack into it. Additionally, you get the security of a passphrase and a private key.

Features

  • Privacy – No registration or information needed
  • Smart Contacts Support – Yes
  • Supported Platforms – Linux, Mac, Windows

Pros

  • Very secure and user-friendly
  • Does not require registration information
  • Supports multiple currencies

Cons

  • Price – more expensive option
  • Complicated recovery process
  • Difficult to use on the go

 

 

 

 

Ethereum Mobile Wallets

 

Light clients, or mobile wallets are very popular with traders. You don’t have to download a full blockchain for them to work, and they rely on nodes to keep their information accurate. These wallets are popular because it gives you access to your cryptocurrency from anywhere you have cellphone reception, but they are easier to hack into.

Jaxx

Jaxx is a relatively new Ethereum wallet but it’s gaining popularity because you’re able to use it on your mobile and desktop devices. This multi-currency wallet has a sleek user interface that is very easy to use and navigate, and it currently supports seven different cryptocurrencies. The wallet was designed with usability in mind, and it’s quick and easy to switch between currencies and navigate the interface.

This wallet stores your private keys directly on your device, and this makes it impossible for third party users to access it. You’re also not required to input your email address or personal information when you create an account. There is also a significant emphasis on customer support.

Jaxx’s support team is available through traditional means like email and chat, but they’re also very active on social media platforms like Reddit and Twitter. It’s also available on a multitude of different platforms, and this makes it easy to find a device to access your wallet from.

Features

  • Privacy – No registration or personal information
  • Smart Contacts Support – Yes
  • Supported Platforms – Linux, Mac, Windows on Desktop, Chrome and Firefox extension, and Apple or Android Tablet capabilities

Pros

  • Compatible with a variety of devices
  • Very sleek and user-friendly interface
  • Supports seven different cryptocurrencies

Cons

  • No two-step authentication feature
  • Recent security concerns
  • Format is easier to hack into

 

 

Ethereum Paper Wallets

The paper-style wallet is one of the safest options for storing your cryptocurrency. It’s a piece of paper that contains your relevant information. Since it isn’t connected to the internet or stored on your computer, it’s safe from hackers. You can carry your paper with you or store it somewhere safe until you want to trade.

You create a wallet on MyEtherWallet, download the provided keystore file, and print it out. The paper contains your public keys, private keys, and scannable QR codes. You can generate new key codes while you’re disconnected from the internet for added security.

 

 

 

 

ETHAddress

For people who want cold storage for their funds but don’t want to spend a lot of money, ETHAddress is the answer. This particular wallet is an open source project, and this means that you print your keys off at home and store them in a secure place. You’ll get both public and private keys so you can trade quickly and easily.

If you want to increase your security, you can opt-in for encrypted keys, and you print these out as well. Additionally, you won’t need any additional information, and registration isn’t required so there is no way to trace the account back to you.

Features

  • Privacy – No registration or personal is required
  • Smart Contacts Support – No
  • Supported Platforms – Web paper wallet

Pros

  • Extremely easy to use
  • Very cost-effective cold storage
  • Able to generate multiple keys

Cons

  • Doesn’t have two-step authentication
  • Limited transaction capabilities
  • Easy to loose keys

 

 

 

 

Ethereum Web Wallets

Web-style wallets store everything in the cloud, and this means that you can access it from virtually anywhere. They’re also designed to be very fast and responsive. This makes web wallets very popular with traders of all levels, and more people are starting to convert to this form. However, this form of wallet comes with a few concerns.

Your wallet keys are stored online, and a third-party server usually holds them, and this makes them more vulnerable to hacking, malware, and phishing attacks. Also, it’s not technically ‘your’ wallet. A company provides it, and you have very little say in how secure your cryptocurrency stays.

 

 

Coinbase’s Wallet

Coinbase is a cost-effective and popular cryptocurrency wallet, and they’ve recently added Ethereum support. It allows you to store your funds securely, and you can pull them out and use them to trade or purchase your cryptocurrency. This wallet is also very user-friendly, and it has a very straightforward user interface.

All you have to do is create an account on Coinbase and get your public address. Next, you transfer your cryptocurrency into the site’s public address. You’re not ready to store your Ethereum as long as you want. It is recommended that you use this on more a short-term basis.

One drawback with using this wallet is that the private keys are stored in the site’s third-party servers, and this can make it difficult to determine how secure your cryptocurrency actually is.

Features

  • Privacy – Personal information and registration is required
  • Smart Contacts Support – No
  • Supported Platforms – iOS apps, Web wallet, and Android

Pros

  • Easy to use and seamless interface
  • Recently added Ethereum support
  • Easy to trade and transfer cryptocurrencies

Cons

  • Not recommended for long-term storage
  • Keys are kept in a third-party storage
  • Have to register and input personal information

 

MyEthereWallet

This wallet is a traditional web wallet with a twist. This is an open-source wallet, but you control what happens with your private keys, and they’re not stored in third-party storage. This allows you to receive, send, and buy Ethereum when it’s convenient for you. Also, it has a built-in Bitcoin to Ethereum exchange facility.

This wallet is also compatible with the Ledger S Nano and Trezor wallets. When you generate a wallet, the site will automatically create a private and public pair of keys for you to use. This key pair will go into a downloadable file, and you use these keys to perform transactions.

This wallet is very user-friendly, and it has a very straightforward user interface. You get customizable security levels that you can adjust to your needs. You can only access your funds from the device that your private keys are stored on, so you need to think about this when you save them.

Features

  • Privacy – No registration or personal information input needed
  • Smart Contacts Support – Yes
  • Supported Platforms – Chrome extension, web wallet

Pros

  • Very cost-effective and user-friendly
  • Has several how-to videos
  • Compatable with several hardware-style wallets

Cons

  • Big target for phishing and hacking attacks
  • Generates your private key onto the screen
  • Limited transaction capabilities

As Ethereum continues to gain in popularity, more and more companies will start building and offering Ethereum wallets. It is a newer cryptocurrency, and this is why there isn’t a huge spread of wallet options yet. This is changing as we demonstrated by our reviews.

Whether you want a desktop, hardware, mobile, paper, or web wallet to store your cryptocurrency, it’s a good idea to do your research and compare the various models to ensure that your choice fits everything you need it to do.