You’ve been looking for a safe way to store your crypto assets and heard about KeepKey – but you’re not quite sure if it’s the right choice. That’s where this ultimate KeepKey review and guide comes in. We’ll provide you with an honest critique of the wallet, highlighting its features and potential drawbacks to help you make an informed decision.
What Is the KeepKey Wallet?
The KeepKey is a hardware crypto wallet that was launched in 2015. It was one of the first hardware wallets available and quickly gained a reputation for its user-friendly interface and advanced security features.
In 2017, KeepKey was acquired by ShapeShift, a popular cryptocurrency exchange. The purchase aimed to integrate the KeepKey with Shapeshift’s non-custodial wallet, making the wallet one of the best for cold storage in the industry.
As mentioned above, the KeepKey is a hardware wallet, meaning it is a physical device designed to store cryptocurrencies offline, thus providing a higher level of security compared to online wallets or exchanges. The KeepKey wallet is a small, rectangular device with a large, easy-to-read display. It has a sleek and minimalist design, making it easy to carry around.
KeepKey uses advanced technology to generate and store private keys offline, which is considered the most secure way to store cryptocurrencies. It also fairs relatively well against other hardware wallets like the Ledger Nano S Plus, Trezor Model T, Ledger Nano S, Ellipal Titan, and Trezor One.
When investing in cryptocurrencies and crypto assets, you know cold storage is the first step to protecting your portfolio. So, if you are considering the KeepKey wallet, let’s discuss all its features below to decide if it’s a good fit.
KeepKey Wallet Pros
- It is a hardware wallet with a dedicated chip for storing your keys offline
- It comes with advanced security features
- Relatively affordable
- Easy to use
- Supports a range of cryptocurrencies
KeepKey Wallet Cons
- Limited crypto support compared to other hardware wallets
- Poor mobile compatibility
What’s In the Box?
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When you purchase your KeepKey wallet, the package will come with the following items:
- KeepKey hardware wallet
- USB cable
- Recovery sentence backup card
- Quick start guide
- A leather case
- An installation manual
How To Set Up the KeepKey Wallet
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The setup process will be effortless when you get your package and unbox it. However, always double-check if the box is tampered with before you open it or try to set it up. Additionally, quit the setup process if your wallet is already set up.
Here are your steps for setting up KeepKey:
- Turn on your KeepKey and plug it into your computer using the USB cable.
- Connect your KeepKey wallet here. To do so, open the link and click Connect Wallet. Then, from the menu, select KeepKey.
- Once you select KeepKey, click Pair. The software will automatically detect the connected KeepKey and show the connection in a popup window.
- In the popup window, click KeepKey, then Connect.
- You will get a message saying your KeepKey is successfully wiped, but don’t worry; this is just part of the wallet’s security features and does not mean someone previously set up your wallet.
- After reading the message, click Create New Wallet, and you can nickname your wallet for better anonymity. The naming is optional; you can skip it, though the software will save the wallet as KeepKey.
- In the following steps, set up and confirm your wallet PIN, then click Save.
- Once you save the PIN, the wallet will generate your recovery phrase, and you need to write it down in the sheet that came in the box. Ensure you capture every character correctly, so double and triple-check before proceeding to the next step.
- Store the recovery sheet in a secure place, preferably separately from the wallet; remember, you will need that phrase to recover your portfolio on a new wallet should something happen to the KeepKey you are setting up.
- That’s it; when you record the recovery phrase, your wallet is set up, and you can start adding cryptocurrencies. You only need to click Add Account and download the apps you want.
- When you download your apps, store the wallet securely, and never share the PIN with anyone.
Top KeepKey Wallet Features
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If you are still debating whether to buy the KeepKey wallet, here are the features that can help you make the right choice.
When buying a crypto wallet, nothing is more important than security. A hardware wallet guarantees you are unlikely to be hacked and your crypto stolen, but that is if you keep your wallet, in this case, the KeepKey, safe.
Here are the best KeepKey security features:
- PIN protection: The KeepKey wallet is protected by a PIN generated and entered on the device itself, making it resistant to keyloggers and other digital attacks.
- Recovery seed phrase: When setting up the wallet, users are provided with a recovery seed phrase that can be used to restore the wallet in the event it is lost or damaged.
- Encryption and passphrase support: The KeepKey wallet supports passphrase encryption, which provides an extra layer of protection to your wallet. This means that even if someone were to gain access to your KeepKey, they would need to know your passphrase to access your funds.
- Open-source software: The wallet’s software is open-source, meaning that the code is publicly available for review and audit by the community, making it less susceptible to vulnerabilities and backdoors.
- Cold Storage: The KeepKey wallet stores your private keys offline, also known as cold storage, significantly reducing the risk of hacking attempts and unauthorized access.
- Anti-tamper packaging: The KeepKey package is sealed with tamper-evident tape, which means that any attempts to open the device will result in visible damage to the tape.
b) Crypto Support
The main goal of a crypto wallet is to store your crypto safely- and offline in the case of hardware wallets. Besides that, you also want a wallet that allows you to grow your portfolio to buy and store more than one cryptocurrency.
The KeepKey wallet supports several dApps and more than 40 cryptocurrencies, including:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
- Stellar (XLM)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
While this is an impressive number for new investors, the wallet faces fierce competition from its alternatives, including Ledger and Trezor wallets that support thousands of cryptocurrencies and tokens.
c) Build and Portability
The KeepKey wallet has a solid build that feels sturdy and durable in your hand. It has a sleek, minimalistic design, a large, easy-to-read OLED screen, a single button, and an anodized aluminum case. The device is designed to be easy to use, with a simple and intuitive interface that makes managing your cryptocurrencies a breeze.
The wallet measures 38.0mm x 93.5mm x 12.2mm, which is slightly larger than some other hardware wallets, especially the Ledger wallets. However, this larger size allows for a larger screen and a more user-friendly interface. Despite its larger size, the KeepKey wallet is still portable and can easily fit into a pocket or a bag.
d) Supported Operating Systems
The KeepKey wallet is compatible with a wide range of operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux, making it easy to set up and use the device with various devices.
On Windows, the hardware wallet supports Windows 8 and later versions, including Windows 10. On Mac, the KeepKey is compatible with OS X 10.8 and later versions, including macOS Big Sur. Finally, it is compatible with various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora.
In addition to this broad operating system support, KeepKey supports different web browsers, such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. It also offers a Google Chrome extension, which provides an additional layer of security by verifying transactions before they are sent to the device.
This extension is available for both Windows and Mac operating systems, but be careful to only get it from the official website. According to Shapeshift, there is another fake and malicious extension that would put your investment at risk.
e) Intuitive Screen
When looking for a hardware wallet, it makes sense to want one that makes transactions easy. A wallet will do so by ensuring you can double-check all your entries before making a transaction. And this is where a good screen comes in.
The KeepKey wallet has a large, easy-to-read OLED screen that displays all the necessary information as you manage your cryptocurrencies. The polycarbonate display screen measures 3.12 cm by 1.65 cm and has a 256 x 64 pixels resolution, making it easy to read even in low-light conditions.
You can read information like your security PIN and passphrase on this screen. In addition, the screen will also display information such as your crypto balances, transaction statuses, and confirmation prompts.
If you are a fan of air-gapped wallets, this screen makes this wallet safer. It is big enough to display a QR code when receiving payments. This gives the hardware wallet an advantage over the Ledgers and Trezors, but it is still not as effective as the fully air-gapped Ellipal Titan.
f) Ease of Use
So, we have seen how the wallet is easy to set up and carry around, and undoubtedly, the OLD screen makes it easy to use for any transaction. But, while the screen is so good, it is not a touchscreen, which means you rely on a button below the screen.
The lack of a touchscreen, while not ideal for many, is a good security measure that prevents wrong entries. When using this wallet, you will use the button, and don’t worry- it is also easy to use.
The round button has a minimalistic look and is easy to press repeatedly to enter your transaction details. In addition, the button is almost silent, which makes for a good user experience.
g) Mobile Compatibility
While the wallet is easy to use and very portable, it lacks good mobile compatibility, making using it a bit challenging to use on the move. The KeepKey has a USB cable to connect to your laptop and desktop devices.
Since it lacks Bluetooth capabilities, the only way you can connect the wallet to your smartphone is through the USB cable. Unfortunately, that only limits mobile compatibility to Android and not Apple smartphones.
If you have been researching, you will notice how expensive some wallets can be. The KeepKey is relatively affordable compared to its alternatives like the Ledger Nano X and Trezor Model T. It comes at around $50, while the mentioned alternatives cost about $150 and $200, respectively.
KeeyKey Wallet Deal Breakers
Image Credits: shapeshift.com
While the KeepKey is one of the most secure, easy-to-use, and affordable wallets, it comes with a few shortcomings that, if fixed, would make it the best option for all crypto traders. Let’s see these below:
a) Limited Crypto Support
As mentioned above, KeepKey only supports a few cryptocurrencies compared to Ledger and Trezor wallets. While KeepKey supports around 40 cryptos, the others support thousands of cryptos, thus making them ideal for investors with an extensive portfolio.
b) Mobile Compatibility
In this age of smartphones, it is also best to get a wallet that easily connects to your mobile device to complete transactions on the fly.
Unfortunately, KeepKey does not connect to smartphones unless you use the USB cable, which is only compatible with Android devices. As such, it falls short of wallets like the Ledger Nano S, which has Bluetooth, and the air-gapped Ellipal Titan, which uses QR codes to complete transactions.
As you can see, the KeepKey hardware wallet is a good investment if you are a novice crypto trader. You can leverage its security, ease of use, portability, and affordability and buy it to protect and track your portfolio as you get started with crypto.
However, since it supports only a few cryptocurrencies, you may want to explore other options if you have an expansive portfolio. Wallets like the Ellipal Titan, Ledger Nano S Plus and Nano X, and Trezor Model T allow you to buy and hold more applications and assets.
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