This February marks seven years since NEO was launched initially as AntShares before rebranding to NEO in June 2017. The cryptocurrency has carried the Ethereum killer tag for a while now thanks to improved functionalities such as support for various development languages, offering developers greater freedom to develop a diverse ecosystem.
Since NEO tokens are quite valuable, the last thing you want is to lose them. New users often find it difficult to select a NEO wallet that will serve their needs. That is why this guide will explore the best NEO wallets in 2021 based on various factors.
Compare The Best Neo Wallets
This section will present our selection of Neo wallets with all their corresponding features and advantages. It will also cover how to choose the most convenient wallet for you and how to get started with the wallet of your choice.
Understanding Neo Wallets
A Neo wallet can either be a software program, hardware device, or a paper printout that holds the keys used to send and receive NEO tokens.
Contrary to popular belief, Neo wallets don't store NEO tokens; instead, they work as a sort of gateway providing the tools you need to communicate with the NEO blockchain. They generate all the information you need to use NEO coins.
Imagine if you wanted to build a brand-new Neo wallet to receive a payment from your friend. The easiest way to do this is by using a crypto wallet program. Wallets come in various forms and each one is suited for different purposes.
In the case of a desktop wallet, the program will generate a set of public and private keys. The public key will be used to generate a unique NEO address. This address can be shared with a friend or third party such as an exchange to send/receive NEO. Remember, the coins never leave the blockchain but are transferred from one address to another. While it's safe to share your address with others, the private key should never be revealed to anyone. If you lose access to the private keys, funds are lost forever and cannot be reclaimed.
The private key is used to sign new transactions and gives you access to your funds, so even if you lose your computer or smartphone, you can use the private key to access your tokens on any other device. The private key can also be used to recover your public key and in turn, the NEO address.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Using a Neo Wallet
How To Choose a Neo Wallet?
There are several factors to consider when choosing a NEO wallet that will serve your needs best. These include security, accessibility, and convenience. A wallet is meant to protect your funds; therefore, security is paramount. Depending on the nature of the wallet, the level of security varies.
For example, software wallets like web wallets offer the least security since they are hosted online. In case the platform is breached, then your funds will disappear.
Software wallets come in three forms; web wallets, desktop wallets, and mobile wallets. The web wallet will allow you to interact with the blockchain using a browser interface without installing or downloading anything on the computer. In contrast, a desktop wallet is a software program you need to download and execute locally on your machine. In general, these wallets are safer than web wallets. There are mobile wallets in the mould of desktop wallets, but they are mobile apps that you can use on your smartphone, offering one convenient access to their funds.
But it's quite convenient for someone that needs to access their tokens, often to trade or conduct regular transactions. Mobile wallets also offer convenience and ease of access to tokens whenever you need them. Still, they pose a security risk since your device will be targeted with malware, which can easily lead to a breach.
The desktop wallet is more secure compared to the other two software wallets. However, since you will often connect to the internet using your PC, there is a risk of being targeted by malicious actors, leading to a breach of the wallet and loss of funds.
Software wallets that connect to the internet are termed "hot wallets". They allow for ease in accessibility of tokens and are quite convenient. However, the biggest problem lies in security since they can be easily targeted. But if you don't plan to hold on to your tokens for an extended period or hold a considerable number of tokens, it's advisable to go for hardware wallets that offer cold storage. Cold storage means they are not connected to the internet, and you have full control of your private keys.
As for hardware wallets, they are physical, electronic devices that use a random number generator (RNG) to generate public and private keys. The keys are stored in the device itself.
Paper wallets are pieces of paper where a blockchain address and private key are usually physically printed out as QR codes. You can generate and send funds to the paper wallet by scanning the QR codes.
3 Steps To Using a Neo Wallet
Step 1: Choose a Neo Wallet
By visiting the official NEO website and clicking on "wallets," you will see plenty of supported wallets. Most serve different platforms like web, desktop, mobile, and hardware and cater to different operating systems.
Step 2: Signing up/Setting up Neo Wallet
Click on the desktop option from one of the wallets that is supported. Download the software. Install it on your machine. Once installed, create a desktop shortcut for ease of use. Click on the "wallet" and select "new wallet database". Choose where you want to save the database for your wallet, set a wallet and confirm.
Step 3: Start using Neo Wallet
Your wallet is created, and you can use the newly generated address to receive and send NEO coins. To send coins, choose the "transaction" tab and then the "transfer" option; click on the plus button on the window that appears and add the recipient's details.
As mentioned above, depending on how often you need to access your tokens and the amount stored, the Neo wallet you opt to store your keys in will vary. If you are a trader who needs access to their coins regularly, then a hot wallet, one connected to the internet full time, makes sense. But, if you are a long term investor or hold a substantial amount of tokens, then a cold wallet is a better option. Regardless of which type of Neo wallet you choose to use, ensure you back them up often as losing access to them can be quite costly. In many cases, this can be achieved by backing up the wallet data file and seed phrases.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Your private keys never leave the secure chip; therefore, Bluetooth communications doesn't expose the hardware wallets to any security threats.
For a hardware wallet such as Ledger, a mobile app allows the user to access their crypto and manage the funds on a smartphone.
It depends on the hardware wallet you choose to use. In the case of Ledger Nano S which has a mobile app, it's easy to access your coins whenever you want, but for other hardware wallets without the added functionality, they will be less convenient.
By setting a strong password and activating the two-factor authentication (2FA).
No. Since this can lead to loss of your funds.
The answer to this question lies in what you need to achieve. If it's safeguarding your tokens for the long term, then use a hardware wallet. If it's trading, go for a hot wallet.
In case you make the mistake of sending tokens to an address that doesn’t belong to NEO, then chances are you will have lost those tokens forever. It’s vital to pay attention when entering the address of your recipient.
Yes, it's possible by entering your recovery phrase on a new device.