In my MyEtherWallet review, I’ll assess all aspects of MyEtherWallet, helping you to decide whether or not it is the right Ethereum wallet for you.
Is it safe? Is it as credible as they say?
I’ll unravel all, but let’s begin with the basics.
So, What is MyEtherWallet?
In short, MyEtherWallet (or MEW) is an online interface that allows you to interact with the Ethereum blockchain. It’s a user-friendly (well, as user-friendly as crypto gets…) platform that enables the management of your Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies.
The cryptocurrencies you can store, send and receive with a MEW-generated address are Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and Ethereum-based tokens (ERC-20 tokens).
Even though MyEtherWallet is accessed through a web browser, it’s not the same as other web wallets, such as Coinbase. It’s decentralized rather than centralized.
Meaning that when you create a private key using MEW, your private key is not stored by the owners of MEW, or on any other centralized server. This means it is only you who has access to your private key, giving you full control and responsibility over your funds.
But due to this, there are of course some security measures that you must follow if you want to keep your cryptocurrencies safe when using MEW. Don’t worry though, as I’ll cover all of this further into the review.
Ways to Use MyEtherWallet
Next, here are a few of the most common ways in which you can use MyEtherWallet.
Generating a Private Key (Essentially a Wallet)
MyEtherWallet allows you to generate a new Ethereum private key (or wallet). You can use this wallet to send, receive and hold Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and Ethereum-based tokens (ERC-20 tokens).
For a step-by-step tutorial on how to generate your private key with MEW, see our How To Create An Ethereum Wallet Using MyEtherWallet guide.
You can also use the MyEtherWallet web interface to view and manage funds from any Ethereum private key.
This means that you can use private keys that weren’t generated directly on MyEtherWallet too, including:
- An Ethereum private key generated from a software wallet
- An Ethereum private key generated from a hardware wallet (such as a TREZOR or Ledger Nano S)
- An Ethereum private key generated from a paper wallet
To clarify: MyEtherWallet interacts directly with the Ethereum blockchain, which means that you can use MEW to access any Ethereum wallet that you own.
Providing that you have access to the private key, of course…
Participating in ICOs
Last but not least, one of the most popular use cases for MyEtherWallet is ICO participation. With MEW, you can participate in ICOs that are being launched on the Ethereum platform.
When you are logged in to your Ethereum wallet on MEW, you can then send Ether to your desired ICO address. The tokens that you purchase will be sent to your Ethereum address, which corresponds with the private key you used when you sent your Ether.
Is MyEtherWallet Safe?
The next part of this My Ether Wallet review discusses MEW’s security.
There are a few different views regarding the security of MyEtherWallet. Some people believe it’s dangerous, whereas others proceed with caution and have no problems.
So, is MyEtherWallet safe or not? After using MyEtherWallet for over 18 months, I can indeed confirm that MyEtherWallet can be safe. However, this is only if you strictly access it from either your hardware wallet or Mist/MetaMask.
This means that when you go to open your wallet, you never use options such as ‘Private key’, ‘Mneominc phrase, or ‘Keystore/JSON file’.
Instead, you stick to a hardware wallet or chrome extension (MetaMask/Mist).
There are several reasons for this, one of the most common being phishing attacks.
(Note of forewarning: phishing attacks are conducted by hackers, not swarms of giant salmon)
Well, not exactly.
But hackers have still found a way to steal your precious MyEtherWallet funds.
On multiple occasions, these pesky fraudsters have created fake sites to mimic MyEtherWallet. They use a similar URL too, so that if you end up on it accidentally, you may not think twice before entering your private key and accessing your wallet. If you do that, boom – your funds are gone.
That’s why accessing your wallet via private key is super unrecommended.
But while isn’t really something that can be helped by MEW itself, it’s its biggest vulnerability. And to be fair to MEW, it does everything it can to help its users avoid falling victim to phishing.
If you don’t want to use a hardware wallet or Mist/Metamask, here’s what they recommend…
How to Avoid MyEtherWallet Hacks
- Go to https://www.myetherwallet.com/ using Google Chrome, and bookmark the page to your browser.
- When accessing MEW in future, use your bookmarked link.
- Whenever you’re on the MyEtherWallet site and are about to access your wallet, double check the SSL Certificate and make sure it matches the below image.
You should do this regardless of your method for accessing your wallet, however, remember that phishing can also be avoided simply by accessing your wallet using Mist/Metamask or a hardware wallet instead.
Here’s how you can do just that…
Using MyEtherWallet with a Hardware Wallet
If you own an amount of cryptocurrency you cannot afford to lose, I advise that you buy a hardware wallet as soon as possible. As these are physical devices that store your private keys offline, the safest available storage method by a long way.
MyEtherWallet can be accessed using two of the most trusted hardware wallets around: TREZOR and the Ledger Nano S.
To log in, you simply:
- Plug in your hardware wallet (via USB)
- Select the option to log in via your chosen hardware wallet
- Hit Connect to TREZOR/Connect to Ledger
Voila — you’ve just accessed MEW using the safest method available in 3 easy steps.
If you would like to learn more about these two hardware wallets, see our guide here for a full comparison — Trezor vs Ledger.
How to Make Payments Using MyEtherWallet
Sending tokens using MyEtherWallet doesn’t need to be painful or time-consuming. Just follow these simple steps and your transaction will be complete before you can say, ‘Vitalik Buterin’…
Step 1: Go to the Send Ether and Tokens page and choose how you would like to access your wallet.
Step 2: Enter the public address of the payment received in the field marked To Address.
Step 3: Choose the Ethereum Token you wish to send. In most cases, this will be Ether (for obvious reasons!) but numerous other denominations are available, including an Add Custom Token function.
Step 4: Enter the amount you would like to send or choose Send Entire Balance.
Note: The Send Entire Balance button does precisely that. The author of this review will be held in no way responsible if you decide to give away your entire life savings to a stranger…
Step 5: Set the Gas Limit. This is essentially the maximum transaction fee you’re willing to pay to complete the payment. MEW will recommend an appropriate amount to get the job done but you can set it higher, if you wish the transaction to be processed faster, or lower if you’re not in a hurry. However, set the Gas Limit too low and you’ll risk the transaction failing to go through at all.
Step 6: Click Generate Transaction. Your browser will now generate the transaction.
Step 7: Several new fields will appear, select the blue Send Transaction icon.
Step 8: A pop-up will appear asking you to confirm the details of the payment (amount, coin and address). Select Yes, I am sure! Make transaction (unless you’re not sure, in which case, take a break and have a word with yourself!).
Your transaction is now on its way to the blockchain to be verified and confirmed.
Next, you’ll see your transaction ID (TX ID), which will remain visible on the blockchain forever.
The MyEtherWallet Review Round-Up
MyEtherWallet is the perfect platform for all Ethereum and ERC-20 token holders. It is an easy-to-use platform and, although you must be cautious when using it, it provides a great sense of convenience for multiple use cases.
If you are concerned about the security of your cryptocurrencies while using MyEtherWallet, make sure you read all of the security precautions recommended by the site. This way, you shouldn’t experience any problems.
Ultimately, the exclusive use of a hardware wallet or recommended chrome extension will prevent any known threats. So, if you’d rather not risk it, you know what to do.
Finally, if you have any of your own MyEtherWallet reviews of your own to share, please feel free to do so in the comments down below. I’d be keen to hear your thoughts!