Top Desktop Wallets
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Learning and understanding how a cryptocurrency exchange works is a tricky undertaking. After buying some coins, you need a place to store them. Since a majority trade via their PC or laptop – this is where the desktop wallet comes in. A convenient place to have your purchased cryptocurrencies stored at the ready, awaiting your next trade. Desktop wallets differ in a few ways to their hardware and mobile wallets. They also differ from coin to coin, i.e., Bitcoin desktop wallets are different from Ethereum desktop wallets. To help decide if this is the direction you want to go, here is a detailed overview of some of the best desktop wallets.
What Is A Desktop Wallet?
A desktop wallet is a software that a user can download and install on their desktop, to enable them to store their cryptocurrencies. Every purchase of Bitcoin, for example, gives the owner a private key, which, in turn, can be stored on the wallet’s software. Using a desktop wallet can give the user sole access and control over these keys, transactions and their overall balance.
Are Desktop Wallets Safe?
Due to lack of third-party involvement, desktop wallets are often considered to be safer than mobile or online wallets. Different brands and models give priority to different things; some emphasize on security while others anonymity, all in the interest of making customers’ private keys harder to steal.
- Usually free of charge – a crypto investment can be an expensive undertaking, so free storage should not be passed up.
- Generally easy to set up – your cryptocurrency journey should be as stress-free as possible, so a simple setup for your storage space is a bonus.
- No third parties involved – the user has sole access and control over their private keys. However, this also makes ensuring the security of those keys solely their responsibility.
- They can be very large files – some software wallets require downloading the whole blockchain and it can be as large as 160GB, which will take up a lot (if not all) available hard drive space. There are “light” desktop wallets available now, in light of this fact.
- More maintenance and backups required than other wallet types – for the security of your purchased cryptocurrencies, it is best to back up your wallet in the event that your computer is stolen or corrupted.
- Often specific to one type of cryptocurrency – this can be a restricting disadvantage if you want to expand your trading portfolio and/or explore your options on the crypto market.
- Portability issues – not such a problem if you would rather do your trading from Starbucks than your living room, but if you want to pay for a coffee using your Bitcoin, using your laptop isn’t going to be a convenient option.
The primary way in which the desktop wallet differs from the others is the control it gives the user. Cutting out the middleman poses some advantages, but also poses a few problems of its own.
Among these problems, security sits at the top of the list. This is primarily because it is the wallet owner’s responsibility to maintain it. It may not run through a third party, but a desktop wallet is still an online-based software, so still a hacker hazard. It only takes a complacent user to ignore the necessary measures in place, thus leaving a window for a thief to hack into the wallet, get away with their keys and consequently the coins.
Also, beware of the usual risks to your computer. Those such as viruses and malware. A corrupted computer poses just as much threat to your coins as a hacker. The software wallet gets infected, and your purchased cryptocurrency isn’t backed up elsewhere, then it’s gone.
Desktop Wallet Comparison
As mentioned earlier, desktop wallets are often specific to one cryptocurrency, and each places priority in different factors. As such, every brand’s product is unique in some way. Below, are some of the top desktop wallets that go with some of the more popular coins.
Best Bitcoin Desktop Wallet
This brand of a wallet is available on mobile as well as desktop. It relies on ensuring speed by using remote servers to do most of the hard work. It is regarded and trusted as a good choice among beginners and expert investors alike for its simple functionality. A two-stage verification system provides basic-level security.
Also available as an online or mobile wallet. A product of BitPay, its reputation for decent security precedes it. It is a multi-signature wallet, which means it can have more than one user. It is perfect for businesses but not so much for the security-conscious user. Coins can be added as soon as a new wallet is created, done at the touch of a button.
Best Ethereum Desktop Wallet
Exodus >> –It is not only one of the best Ethereum desktop wallets, but also a multi-cryptocurrency wallet. It is the ideal choice for a beginner. Its security center is also complimented, as are its backup features. It is useful in the event of file corruption. Also, it is a multi-signature wallet, so extra overall security is assured.
Best Litecoin Desktop Wallet
Litecoin Core >> this coin-specific wallet offers a simple encryption process for your purchased Litecoin, to prevent others from using your currency. Highly complimented for its anonymity capabilities, it also ensures data protection with the option of offline storage in the form of a paper wallet. It will take only a dedicated expert hacker to break into this.
Best DASH Desktop Wallet
DASH Core – comes with mobile and online versions too. The DASH Core does provide users with full access to the DASH cryptocurrency’s features and their funds. However, there is no ID verification required in accessing those funds, which some may see to be a security risk – especially if the machine falls into the wrong hands.
Leaving Coins On An Exchange
Of course, if you would rather not go through the added hassle of looking for the right wallet to best suit your needs, there is always the option of leaving your purchased coins on the exchange you’re using. For a lot of rookie investors, it is often a go-to thing to do – it’s easier and less stressful for them.
However, this choice is purely a convenience for its own sake. It presents its own list of risks. The main hazard is that cryptocurrency exchanges are big targets for hackers and thieves. Although while their security measures are mostly enough to prevent this, never say “never.” All it takes is for your coins to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Furthermore, in the event of a theft or a fraudulent cryptocurrency transaction, these are virtually impossible to reverse and reimburse. Primarily due to the pseudonymity of the exchange, it is difficult to trace transactions, or even prove that a fraud or theft claim is genuine.
Alternatives to desktop Wallets
Crypto desktop wallets are not the only option for storing your keys as we have already mentioned. To give a full overview of your choices, we have outlined the other three main types of wallet.
These are often considered to be the most secure type of wallet that you can get. They operate offline, and without exposure to your computer, they are essentially impossible to hack into or infect with viruses. In a sense, they offer the security and control of a desktop wallet in an offline device. Additionally, if you’re on the way to becoming a high-rolling crypto investor, a hardware wallet will be a better choice over the software as they deal with multiple cryptocurrencies. However, competent and ensured security measures don’t come cheap. The cost is the only setback of investing in a hardware wallet.
Often a temptingly simple choice for an unconfident newbie. The online or web wallet may be notably easy to use and set up, but there are a plethora of weaknesses to consider. Firstly, consider your coins are solely online. This makes them easy prey for hackers and thieves, despite the wallet providers’ best efforts. Vigilant research and triple-checking everywhere you search is required before settling on a site if you are dead-set on getting an online wallet. Mostly, you are also placing the purchased currency on another person’s server, which gives them the freedom to access and control your coins as well as your account. They can restrict or limit your use at any time, for whatever reason. Again, do your homework and read reviews before making your choice.
Some of the desktop wallet providers have mobile versions compatible with Android and iOS. You should still do your research. Mobile wallets are no less vulnerable to hackers, viruses, and glitches than their desktop counterparts. You also have to take extra care of your mobile device if you’re going to invest in an app-based wallet. An irreparably broken phone will most likely mean lost coins. A phone is also generally easier to steal or lose than a laptop; get your phone stolen, the thief has instant access to your coins – especially if you choose a wallet that requires no ID verification.
In a Nutshell
Desktop wallets are among the better, securer storage choices for a trader to invest in. They really hold the middle ground between the wallet types – they are perhaps not as risk-free as the hardware wallets available, but they are an infinitely better choice than an online wallet. Since they are, for the most part, free, they would be recommended for a start-out investor who perhaps doesnt opt to invest in a hardware wallet. They would also be among the better options for someone who does not wish to invest too much in the crypto exchange and as such will not have too much to lose. But regardless of how little they may cost, the user should be diligent in researching and comparing a number of options before making the purchase.
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