2018’s Best Bitcoin Desktop Wallets – 4 Wallets Reviewed (Mac, Windows, Linux)

Last updated on February 8th, 2018 at 03:31 pm

Today’s post is about the best Desktop wallets available for storing your Bitcoins. Desktop wallets are wallets that store the private key for your Bitcoins on your hard drive. By nature, desktop wallets are more secure than mobile wallets (since they’re harder to steal).

If you’re new to the world of Bitcoin and wallets please watch this video before reading any further:

 

Of course desktop wallets are still considered “hot wallets”, since they are connected to the Internet. This makes them inherently insecure. However, for small amounts of Bitcoin or altcoin they are a good solution.

For large amounts of Bitcoin ALWAYS use cold storage wallets like a paper wallet or a hardware wallet. Today I’m going to review 4 different desktop wallets that work on all 3 major operating systems – Mac OS, Linux and Windows.

Electrum – The All Around Winner Bitcoin Desktop Wallet

It took me a while to start using Electrum, but once I did, I never looked back. I’ll start with the downside – Electrum is ugly. The interface looks like a 90’s version of Windows. Also, if you’re completely new to Bitcoin I have the feeling you’ll get lost pretty quickly due to the unfriendly interface.

Electrum desktop wallet

However, once you get over the interface issues, Electrum is one of the most robust, effective and secure desktop wallets out there. Also it’s open source, meaning many people have taken part in reviewing and composing the code. This reduces the chance of malicious code inside the software to practically zero.

In times when the Bitcoin network is “crowded” and transaction fees can skyrocket, Electrum is one of the few wallets that allows you to replace the fee you’ve set to an already broadcasted transaction. This feature is very handy when you can’t get your transaction to confirm.

Additional features include address tagging, fee adjustments, encrypting your wallet and signing / verifying messages (this is an advanced feature).

Bottom line, this is an excellent wallet. If you understand Bitcoin good enough to use it, go for it. Electrum is available for Mac, Windows and Linux.

Visit Electrum’s Website     Read our full Electrum Review

 

Exodus – The dumbed down, pretty Bitcoin desktop wallet

If you’re just getting started with Bitcoin and you’re still trying to wrap your head around everything that’s going on, Exodus has got you covered. Exodus launched on July 2016 and since then has gained some serious momentum.

exodus desktop wallet

Again, I’ll start with the downside – it’s not open source. This means that the developers can potentially insert malicious code into the software without you knowing about it. And of course, when it comes to money, having a closed source program can raise some concerns. However, since I suggest you use desktop wallets for small amounts of Bitcoin in any case (closed or open source), then this is not a big issue in my book. I never put an amount I’m not willing to risk in any hot wallet (desktop, mobile or web).

Exodus also allows you to hold a variety of altcoins such as Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash and more. The interface is super easy to understand and even total newbies will get the hang of it. If you find electrum to daunting, this is a great alternative. Exodus is available for Mac, Windows and Linux.

Visit the Exodus Website     Read our full Exodus Review

 

 

Bitcoin Core – A full Bitcoin node wallet for hardcore Bitcoiners

All of the wallets we’ve covered so far are known as SPV wallets or lite wallets. This means that they don’t have a full copy of the blockchain in order to verify transactions – they relay on other computers on the network to give them transaction information.

Bitcoin Core is a full node Bitcoin wallet. This means that once you download the wallet you will also download the whole blockchain to your computer. This can get really messy as the blockchain’s size is over 130GB and can take some time to download.  However, once the Blockchain is downloaded you can now independently verify transactions on the network and do not need to trust anyone else in the system.

bitcoin core

In all honesty, I don’t think it’s worth the hassle. You can gain some educational value by completing this process, but for day to day transactions and use of Bitcoin SPV wallets are just fine. Bitcoin Core is available for Mac, Windows and Linux.

Visit the Exodus Website     Bitcoin Core Review coming soon!

 

Copay – A Multisig Bitcoin Desktop Wallet

Copay is a wallet created by BitPay, one of the largest Bitcoin payment service providers around. The wallet is available for most major platforms (mobile and desktop) and is a multisig wallet. Using Copay’s multisig feature allows you extra security against theft and could be a good option if you can’t afford a hardware wallet.

Copay’s code is open source, available for Windows, Mac and Linux and has been around since 2014.

Visit the Copay Website     Read our Copay review

 

Armory

Armory is a well-known and trusted brand when it comes to Bitcoin security, though the wallet is usually best for more advanced users. If you are looking for a wallet that emphasizes safety and security, Armory should make the short list as the wallet features a variety of encryption and cold-storage options.

Bitcoin Armory

Armory is among the most respected brands when it comes to Bitcoin security.Armory is available for Mac, Linux, Windows Ubuntu and RaspberriPi.

Visit the Exodus Website     Armory Review coming soon!

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35 Comments on "2018’s Best Bitcoin Desktop Wallets – 4 Wallets Reviewed (Mac, Windows, Linux)"

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Ian
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Ian

Exodus charges stupid high fees for their use. It is easy to use just expect 10% or more in fees. Multiple complaints about this and the excuse they give is not true as I did only one deposit in a month. That is why I am at this article. I need a wallet that does not eat up my monthly mining in fees.

Mark
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Mark

Pretty useless article as there are way more crypto coins out there than just the few supported in the above mentioned app.
If you are going to write an article like this, which is generally appreciated, discussing products that cover a decent range on coins (no not all the 1500 that are out there) would be surely be more meaningful.

Brandon
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Brandon

hello everyone i looking for a wallet to store iota and ripple coins any way this is possible???

Steven Hay
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Trusted Member
Steven Hay

Hi Brandon,

I believe Ledger Nano S hardware wallet is the safest choice for storing Ripple. Otherwise use the Rippex software wallet. As for IOTA, you should use their official GUI software wallet. See here for help and download links:

https://iota.readme.io/v1.2.0/docs/general

Ronald Rogers
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Ronald Rogers

What wallet will allow you to store all coins rather than just a chosen few

Steven Hay
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Trusted Member
Steven Hay

Hi Ronald,

No wallet covers all coins, of which there at least 1,300 at this time – likely double that number if you include all those which aren’t publicly traded. I believe that some Ethereum wallets support most of the ERC-20 tokens though.

Indrajith
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Indrajith

Jaxx wallet supports multiple cryptocurrencies

Tomzi
Guest
Tomzi

I downloaded Armory, and created a watch only wallet. I’ve bought some BTC but still have 0 balance. Do I need a “regular” wallet of some sort before i creat a watch only?

Also, the blockchain or database is downloading and is only at 85GB at the moment, do i need to wait for the whole database to be downloaded?

Steven Hay
Guest
Trusted Member
Steven Hay
Hi Tomzi, A watch-only wallet is used for receiving Bitcoin only. You can give out the address to get paid. If the wallet’s online, you can see its total balance update when new funds come in – hence: watch. In order to spend from the wallet, you’ll need to use the private key backup. You should have been prompted to back this up when creating your wallet. If your private key is stored on an offline computer (which I believe is what Armory recommends that you use in combination with your watch-only wallet, for security reasons), then you will have… Read more »
Slipers
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Slipers

The notes about the Bitcoin Core wallet are not totally true. You will need to verify the full 130gb (when you start) but you don’t have to store 130gb on your computer as described here: https://medium.com/@bgcallam/run-your-own-full-node-7949ec5d65a7

Megool
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Megool

Can I add my Ethers to a bitcoin wallet?

Zsofia Elek
Admin
Member
Zsofia Elek

Hi Megool, there are some wallets on the market which allows you to store different cryptocurrencies at the same time. If you are looking for a wallet for Ethereum, I suggest you check out this article about the best wallets on the market: https://99bitcoins.com/best-ethereum-wallet-review/

Fab
Guest
Fab

I downloaded Exodus, but I don’t get how to put money in the wallet.. It makes me retrieve a previous account via backup.. It looks like you need a wallet to use an exchange, but you need an exchange to buy bc to put in the wallet. What I am not seeing?

Zsofia Elek
Admin
Member
Zsofia Elek

Hi Fab, right, first you need to buy the Bitcoins on an exchange then you can transfer the coins to the secure Exodus wallet. On the exchange you can top up your account with money and buy Bitcoins from it, they provide you a wallet address at registration. Here we have gathered several exchanges where you can buy Bitcoin: https://99bitcoins.com/best-bitcoin-exchanges-comparison-review/

Olga lucia
Member
Member
Olga lucia

hola ofir

soy lucy,me colaboras informando porque mi cuenta esta deshabiliatada desde el sabado?

Zsofia Elek
Admin
Member
Zsofia Elek

Hi Olga, please reach out to us using the contact form and we will have a look at your issue with your account. https://99bitcoins.com/contact/

Martin
Guest
Martin
Hi Ofir, I wonder if you can help. I have been using multibit to store 2 BTC and yesterday the password “failed to open” I tried restoring the wallet from the wallet words but after entering them it said “working” but did nothing. I just installed a fresh install of mutibit on another computer and tried restoring the wallet. It went fine and the wallet appeared and the bitcoin was in it but it was grayed out and the password screen appeared on top. I entered the new password I created when installing and neither that or the original password… Read more »
Zsofia Elek
Admin
Member
Zsofia Elek

Hi Martin, KeepKey stopped supporting Multibit last week, it is possible that you have login issues because of that. Here you can read more: https://multibit.org/blog/2017/07/26/multibit-shutdown.html I suggest you follow up with the support team how to resolve your issue, in the post you can also find a link with a walkthrough what to do in case of login issue, maybe you can start with that.