2017’s Best Bitcoin Desktop Wallets – 4 Wallets Reviewed (Mac, Windows, Linux)

Last updated on July 28th, 2017 at 02:06 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!

Ofir Beigel

Owner at 99 Coins ltd.
Blogger and owner of 99Bitcoins. I've been dealing with Bitcoin since the beginning of 2013 and it taught me a lesson in finance that I couldn't get anywhere else on the planet. I'm not a techie, I don't understand "Hashes" and "Protocols", I designed this website with people like myself in mind. My expertise is online marketing and I've dedicated a large portion of 99Bitcoins to Bitcoin marketing.

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25 Comments on "2017’s Best Bitcoin Desktop Wallets – 4 Wallets Reviewed (Mac, Windows, Linux)"

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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
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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
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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
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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
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Olga lucia

hola ofir

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

Zsofia Elek
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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
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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
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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.

robb
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robb

Hello Ofir.

Should I take action or am I safe?
I have my BTC in ARMORY offline. Today I discovered Armory is now defunct?

Should I move my BTC out of ARMORY to someplace else? And if I keep it there, would I receive BTC Cash thru Armory automatically.

Days before the split… any advise… or stay put?
Thanks!
Love your page.

Zsofia Elek
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Member
Zsofia Elek

Hi Robb, not sure what do you mean by Armory being defunct. You can read more about the hard fork in this article: https://99bitcoins.com/segwit2x-uasf-and-the-upcoming-fork-guidelines-heres-what-you-need-to-know/

Julio
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Julio

Hi I just noticed that MultiBit is no longer supported, and I just sent a transfer from Coinbase to MultiBit, I’m wondering if my transaction won’t be completed and or if I will lose my btcs :(

Nikola Radunovic
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Member
Nikola Radunovic

I personally use Jaxx, I used Exodus for a long time, but I changed my PC and didn’t know how to take my wallet with me and so i tranfered all to my Jaxx wallet and I love that I can have it on my phone as well!

Cliff
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Cliff

Newbie on the block. I’ve done the lessons, Ofir, but I’m missing something. I’m in Australia and decided to use Independent Reserve as my exchange and a Ledger Nano S for my wallet. So, who provides the Private and Public keys and do I get the wallet first so that Independent Reserve have an address to forward the Bitcoins to?

manuel
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Member
manuel

i need buy bitcoin witch my paypa account can you tell me how?

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