KeepKey vs TREZOR – Bitcoin Hardware Wallet Review

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In the past year or so I’ve gotten to review two Bitcoin hardware wallets – TREZOR and Ledger. I’ve also matched them head to head and compared the differences, but today a new competitor has entered the arena.

KeepKey is the latest crypto hardware wallet. And I say Crypto hardware wallet and not Bitcoin hardware wallet because apparently KeepKey supports Bitcoin, Testnet, Litecoin, Namecoin, Dogecoin, and Dash (although at the moment the Chrome interface only supports Bitcoin).

Unboxing a beautiful design

The first thing you’ll notice when you get your KeepKey is how exciting the whole unboxing process is. You can tell that a lot of thought was put into the packaging and product design. The box comes with a KeepKey seal which shows that no one has opened it before you, indicating that the device is secure.

keepkey box top

When comparing this to TREZOR or Ledger’s packaging you automatically feel that you’re in a different league so to speak. The content of the box includes the KeepKey hardware wallet, a USB cable to connect the KeepKey wallet to your computer, a card to write your recovery sentence on it and a nice leather case to keep that card in.

keepkey box content

Getting started is simple and easy

Just like other hardware wallets it doesn’t take much to get started with KeepKey, you’ll need to download two chrome applications (one for generating a wallet and one for connecting to KeepKey through Chrome) and you’re good to go.

keepkey chrome app

 

It may sound stupid but KeepKey’s sleek design and cool digital animation makes the experience of using it feel so much better than other hardware wallets. The device itself also feels much more durable.

Even though you won’t be able to walk around with it comfortably in your pocket like TREZOR or Ledger, you need to remember that this is a hardware wallet which is used to store large amounts of Bitcoin – so why would you want to walk around with it in the first place.

The device uses the same 2nd screen protection that TREZOR uses which makes it more secure to keystroke spying. The user interface of the Chrome wallet is simple and intuitive.

KeepKey features all of the “standard” Bitcoin hardware wallet features such as Firmware updates, no OS compatibility requirements, message signing, device recovery and more. The FAQ page of the wallet pretty much covers all of the features and also at the moment states that KeepKey is compatible with TREZOR v1.3.3.

But every product has its downsides

KeepKey seems like a pretty solid product, however as a non-technical user I won’t be using it just yet. The reason is that KeepKey as a company hasn’t earned enough “reputation points” in my opinion. At the moment I personally use TREZOR as my hardware wallet, and that’s mainly because they have gotten enough positive feedback form the Bitcoin community. Also, I know the people who run the company and trust them.

As someone who is non-technical and can’t dig deep into the nitty gritty it’s important for me to see that the smartest people in the room approve a product.

Of course KeepKey is open source and everyone who wishes to can read the code, but I don’t really know how to read open source code and I doubt that many people have actually gone through it. So at the moment I will be waiting to see how the community reacts to the company before transferring my Bitcoins to KeepKey’s wallet.

Last but not least, KeepKey’s price used to be more than 2x TREZOR’s price and more than 7x Ledger’s price. When it just came out it was priced at $239 however recently the price has now dropped to $99. So now Keepkey is indeed a very good alternative to TREZOR or Ledger.

KeepKey can be bought through the company’s website with Bitcoin/Paypal or through Amazon.

Conclusion – Great Product at a great price

The guys at KeepKey did a great job with creating a beautifully designed, user-friendly Bitcoin hardware wallet. If you don’t mind the size of the product, this is a cool product to own. Personally, I’m going to wait a while longer until I start transferring my Bitcoins to KeepKey but this has nothing to do with the product itself, it’s more of a reputation thing.

If you already own a KeepKey or any other hardware wallet, I’d love to hear your experience with it or answer any questions you have in the comment section below.

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.

Keepkey

$99
Keepkey
8.3

Design

10/10

    Ease of use

    9/10

      Price tag

      9/10

        Portability

        6/10

          Pros

          • Great design
          • Intuitive to use

          Cons

          • Not very portable
          • Relatively new company

          13 Comments

          1. Trevor Newman on

            Hi,
            great article l own a bitbox and just got my Keepkey the ‘keepkey’ looks like a great product but is let down by some confidence destructive faulty instruction after uploading app via chrome l tried to initialize the keepkey; the instructions were if you do not have the recovery code do not install; however it transpires this instruction does not apply on the initial step, when initializing you are supposed to ignore that instruction and go ahead anyway.Eventually this is what l did and now l can use it but l think l will keep the substantial amount of my money in bitbox just as secure and a lot simpler.
            How many great products are let down by initial faulty instruction however the support crew were good although again not responding to my questions in a logical manner.Keep it simple guys !!!!

            • Hey Trevor, thanks for your feedback on Keepkey, glad you finally managed to get it working. I totally agree that companies should make sure their onboarding process is seamless.

          2. I use a password manager that also allows secure notes such as 1password to store my recovery keys for both Keepkey and Trezor. I can access the secured encrypted notes via dropbox on my imac, windows surface and samsung android.

            FYI I can use mycelium wallet on the android to hookup my trezor via OTG cable. So far nothing yet for Keepsafe on android…

            • Never EVER! store recovery keys online. You will never know when a hack/infection has taken place that captures your screen or hack the password application. The whole point is that the private key and the generated recovery words never EVER come in contact with the internet. Storing them in any form (even digital photographs) will risk exposure and loss of all your coins. If you want to keep copies, just copy by hand with pen or pencil. You can split the recovery keys in parts and store them in separate safe locations.

          3. Good preview! Only i disagree that a hardware wallet is only to store big amounts, i think the biggest advantage of a hardware wallet is that you can make easy and safe transactions. You can take it with you because the pin will protect your coins in case you lose it or it gets stolen. The card with the seeds you have to hide on a very safe place or in a safe.

          4. KeepKey is a handsome but basic bitcoin hardware wallet. Prospective buyers need to be aware of limitations. KeepKey only provides PIN protection. It is not possible to add passphrase protection like Trezor. Also, KeepKey does not work with either iPhone or Android. I own one so I am speaking from experience. Right now the KeepKey sits on my desk and I use a Trezor day to day.

            • KeepKey does offer passphrase protection, and this feature currently works with Electrum. Both Trezor and KeepKey both do not work with iPhone. Please do not spread misinformation. I work for KeepKey.

            • You can add passphrase protection, and yes Keepkey works with Android as well. KeepKey also supports multiple digital currencies with a push of a button on the ShapeShift platform.

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