For this review, I downloaded and tested Feather Wallet for Monero. Choosing the right wallet for Monero can be confusing. Do you need a mobile wallet or a desktop one? What are the tradeoffs between security and multiple features? And how user-friendly is Feather compared to other wallets? I answer these questions as I explore the features, pros, and cons of the Feather wallet. Having used 17 wallets to date I have a pretty good idea of what to look for.
Let’s dive in.
Overall Verdict: 2/5
The Feather Wallet for Monero stands as an impressive choice for those seeking a secure, transparent, and simple XMR wallet for desktop. The wallet is aimed at those who want a minimalistic design and combines good advanced features for users with more technical knowledge. Its drawbacks are that it is not available on mobile devices and does not support other cryptocurrencies.
Feather is a free open-source Monero wallet in the form of a desktop app. It was inspired by Bitcoin’s Electrum wallet.
Feather is endorsed by the official Monero website at getmonero.org and appreciated by the Monero community. If you read the Reddit discussion people only have good things to say about it.
The wallet works by connecting to a remote node and syncing with it to update your wallet. A remote node is just a computer that has downloaded a copy of the entire blockchain and makes it available for anyone to read. The benefit of syncing with a remote node is that you don’t have to download your own Monero node to your local computer.
- Available to download as a desktop wallet on Linux, Tail, Whonix, Prestium, Raspberry Pi, Windows 10 or higher, and Mac OS 10.14 or higher.
- Language: English only with more planned in the future.
- Available in both Dark mode and light mode
- Supports subaddresses
- Built-in TOR
- Ledger and Trezor enabled
- Sleek interface
- Designed exclusively for Monero (XMR)
- Non custodial
Official Guide available here
#1. Open Source
This means that the wallet’s source code is openly available for anyone to check. You can check for yourself on GitHub here. The benefit of a wallet being open source is that anyone can check the code for vulnerabilities. Feather was released in October 2020 so it has stood the test of time.
#2. Easy to install
Feather is a lightweight wallet which means you will get set up in no time. The interface is pretty basic but intuitive to use. You won’t be losing your way around here.
#3. Compatible with hardware wallets
A nice benefit of using Feather is that you can hook up your Ledger or Trezor hardware wallet. Storing your crypto on a hardware wallet is safer because they are not connected to the internet. This makes it almost impossible for a hacker to access your device.
Feather is a light wallet meaning it connects to a remote node. However, there is also the option to connect to a local node for advanced Monero users who want to download a full node to their computer. The benefit of doing this is that you maintain 100% privacy. Using a remote node means that a malicious node could potentially collect some personal information such as your IP address.
Feather Wallet prioritizes security by encrypting and storing your private keys on your device. This means that only you have access to them. Should you lose your seed phrase them no one can help you. However, this ensures no one else has access.
#6. Customer support
Despite being open source Feather has an enthusiastic team of developers who answer your concerns. They are available to reach on Reddit or over IRC.
Advanced users can choose to set up a multisig wallet. This means that more than one person will need to approve a transaction for it to go through. This offers extra security at the cost of some extra hassle.
#8. Uses Tor
By routing network traffic over Tor, Feather Wallet users can hide their IP addresses, making it more challenging for third parties to track or monitor their online activities. This is especially important for maintaining privacy and security when interacting with cryptocurrencies, as it helps protect users from potential adversaries.
#9. User-Friendly Interface
Feather Wallet’s interface is intuitive, making it accessible to both beginners and experienced users.
#10. Uses Subaddresses
A main feature of the Monero network is that it uses subaddresses that are connected to your main account. Whenever someone sends you XMR to a subaddress of yours the amount will automatically reflect in your main account but no one will know your main address.
#11. No registration required
When you set up your wallet you won’t be asked for any personal information or KYC checks such as an email or address. The only thing you will need to login to your wallet is your seed phrase.
That sums up the pros. Let’s take a look at the drawbacks of using Feather.
#1. Limited to Monero
While perfect for Monero users, Feather Wallet lacks multi-currency support.
#2. Does not Mobile devices
As of now, Feather Wallet is only available as a desktop application, with no mobile version for on-the-go access. Additionally, the absence of mobile support might inconvenience those who prefer managing their crypto portfolio from their smartphones
#3. Sync delays
Sometimes you may have to wait a long time for the wallet to sync with the remote node and Monero transaction to go through. You may also find that you need to sync to a different node to troubleshoot.
#4. Not Compatible with P2Pool
P2Pool is a popular decentralized pool that the Monero community loves as it helps to avoid the concentration of hashrate in one pool. It is also free to use. Unfortunately, Feather is not compatible with it at the time of writing.
How to use Feather
1. Download the software to your computer
2. If you have a Mac and it does not open when you click on the software hold down the Ctrl key and right-click and select Open
3. Next a window will pop up asking you whether you want to connect to your own node. I recommend you choose the default auto-connect to start with.
4. In the next screen it will ask you if you want to use the default settings to route network traffic. Select Use Default settings
5. The next screen will prompt you about whether you are okay with the app connecting to a remote server to obtain pricing data. Click on enable and next
6. To set up a new wallet select Create a new wallet
7. The next screen will show you your 16 seed phrases. Copy this down somewhere safe. Make sure you do not screenshot or paste it into a file somewhere. The safest option is to write it down on a piece of paper.
8. Next you are asked to choose the directory for your wallet
9. Choose a strong password to encrypt your wallet keys
10. You can now use your wallet to send of receive XMR. On the receive tab, you will see all your subaddresses. Click on any of them to reveal their QR code and share this with the sender.
Alternatives to Feather
Here is a list of XMR Wallets that you could use instead of Feather.
Lightweight Monero wallets:
- Cake wallet
- Edge Wallet
Alternatively, you might want to consider the official Monero GUI wallet or CLI wallet which allows you to download a full node.
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