A brief definition of a hardware wallet. Why use a hardware wallet?

What is a hardware wallet? image
Hardware wallet is a physical form of offline storage; specialized physical device; a cryptocurrency wallet that stores the user's private keys (a critical piece of information used to authorize outgoing transactions on the blockchain network) in a secure hardware device.

Hardware wallets are offline wallets; considered safer than desktop, mobile, or exchange wallets because they are not connected to the internet. In addition, because a hardware wallet is offline, it dramatically reduces the risk of hacking or any other malicious attempt to steal funds as it is impossible to access the device remotely.

Hardware wallets are used in combination with software apps - mobile or desktop, that let you transfer your funds.

The Hardware wallet holds the key to authorize transfers. A user can create a transaction and send it to the hardware wallet. The transaction then needs to be signed by your Password/PIN code. The user is then prompted to confirm whether the amount and the address are correct. Once the transaction is signed and sent back to the software, it is broadcasted to the network.

Although hardware wallets are not entirely secure, they offer far greater security than the other options.

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.

So, 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..