If you want to store bitcoins on your computer, make sure you have an updated antivirus. Regularly scan your computer and perform updates. Of course, no antivirus can protect us 100% from viruses and trojans, but it significantly reduces the risk.
If you use a wallet as an application on your computer, don't forget to encrypt it. Each type of wallet has this option. Even if such an encrypted wallet falls into the wrong hands, it will be useless if you use a strong password (at least 8 characters, upper and lowercase letters + numbers + special characters).
Make copies of the wallet (private keys) and store them in a secure place, preferably several: on DVD, USB flash drive.
One option for storing Bitcoin on your own computer is the Bitcoin Core wallet. This storage involves downloading the entire blockchain history of Bitcoin onto your PC. During installation, the program synchronizes with the network and downloads the chain's blocks with a total volume of over 210 GB.
- Follow the link provided above.
- Click on the orange button to download the wallet. As of July 31, 2018, version 0.16.2 is available for download.
- Choose the appropriate version for your operating system from the options provided, such as Bitcoin Core for Windows.
- Wait for the file to download (estimated size is 12-14 MB).
- Close any other applications that may interfere with installation. It is important that you do not need to reboot your PC during wallet installation.
- Choose a location to store the downloaded blockchain blocks. The system displays information about the disk space required and its sufficiency to store the downloaded data.
- Start the synchronization. The counter displays the remaining number of blocks, the time of the last block, the current progress (total and hourly), and the approximate time until the download is complete. Note that the counter information is often inaccurate. Initially, it may indicate that the download will take more than ten days, but in practice, this process is much faster.
The following parameters affect the synchronization speed:
- CPU power. It is preferable to have at least four cores with a clock frequency of 1.8 GHz or higher.
- Type of hard drive. The best solution is to use an SSD, which is faster than an HDD.
- RAM. There are no strict requirements here. The main thing is that it is not overloaded with third-party applications. If many third-party programs are running, synchronization will take a very long time.
- Internet speed. This is a conditional factor, as the bandwidth is limited.
Bitcoin wallet sync
During the installation process of the wallet, it is acceptable to temporarily disconnect from the Internet, electricity, or turn off the PC if the program is closed beforehand. In this case, when the system is next loaded, it starts downloading blocks from the initial location.
It is permissible to use the PC for other purposes, provided that the processor and hard drive are not overloaded. Before the synchronization process is complete, you can explore the interface of the wallet and understand the principles of its operation. On average, Bitcoin Core synchronization takes 3-4 days (sometimes up to 1.5-2 days).