How does a Bitcoin wallet work

Bitcoin wallet: What is safe?

How secure are hardware wallets?

Software wallets always use an operating system. That is of course vulnerable whenever it goes online. But you can also use a Bitcoin wallet, which never has to go online to receive Bitcoin. Such a hardware wallet, if used correctly and has a backup, is unhackable.
If you want to be on the safe side, you can save your private key offline. There are numerous possibilities here. Combining two of the following methods provides a level of protection that is more than adequate in most cases.

1. Save on a USB stick:
For most people, this is probably the quickest method to implement. However, you should make sure that the USB stick is always stored separately from the PC and not left permanently connected to it.

disadvantage: Accidental deletion and data loss in the event of hardware damage or malware infection are still possible. It can also be infected by malicious software just like your computer.


2. Printing on paper:
If the private keys are printed out and stored securely, the level of protection is automatically increased. To do this, you create a paper wallet. Your key and address are safe here. The data is stored on a non-electronic medium and can therefore not be stolen or destroyed by malware infestation. Creating several copies and storing them in suitable locations is recommended and increases reliability.

disadvantage: Paper wallets are naturally prone to fire and water damage - you should consider this when storing.


3. Engraving / embossing the private key in metal plates:
The principle is the same as with the paper wallet, only that a medium is chosen that is resistant to most potential environmental influences.

disadvantage: If you have no way of engraving or embossing yourself, you would have to give your private key to someone else so that they can engrave the plate.


4. Use a hardware wallet:
These are devices that, for example, save the private key and only release it when the user connects it to the PC and presses a button. The devices are available from around 80 euros.

disadvantage: Not every cryptocurrency is supported by every device. Therefore, find out more before buying a device.

One small disadvantage has the entire offline existence: it may take longer until payments are actually completed. However, this disadvantage should be bearable in most cases if the alternative is the possible loss of the entire wallet through a hack.