Light Monero XMR wallet – Feather Wallet beginners guide
Looking for Lightweight Monero wallet? In this beginners guide let’s take a look at Feather wallet – A free and open source light XMR wallet that is available for Windows, MacOS, Linux as well as Tails. The wallet is easy to use, small and fast. Along with Feather we’ll also share a list of other XMR wallets that are both lightweight and beginner friendly. Now before we see how to setup and use Feather wallet let’s understand what is a light wallet.
Monero XMR wallet
Monero GUI & CLI is the Monero’s official desktop wallet. This is a heavy and computationally intensive non-custodial wallet for those who want to run a Monero full node. Since it involves running a full node to use the GUI wallet you’re required to download the full Monero blockchain.
Now how big is the Monero blockchain? The Monero blockchain is always growing, and there is no fixed size. As of 2023 the full blockchain size of Monero is over 150 GB. If you are running Monero GUI and are running out of space then you can change the Monero blockchain data directory to another disk where you have enough space. Additionally you can also run Monero GUI in pruned mode. Its similar to Bitcoin blockchain pruning. A pruned blockchain takes up less space. But this is not the only issue with GUI wallet.
The problem with running a full node is Blockchain synchronization takes significant amount of time everytime you open the wallet and uses a substantial portion of your computer’s memory. Especially if you haven’t opened your Monero wallet in a long time then it takes ages to synchronize the blockchain. You can use remote node to sync Monero blockchain. This way you can run the official Monero GUI & CLI wallet without having to download the blockchain. But still its not beginner friendly and the wallet itself is not light weight.
Light wallets are user friendly wallet clients where users don’t have to download the blockchain locally to use the wallet. Instead of relying on own node these wallets scan the blockchain from a remote node. They basically allow you to use the wallet without having to download the entire blockchain to your local computer saving you storage space and bandwidth. This makes it easy, quick to sync and interact with the Monero blockchain.
Similar to light Bitcoin SPV clients; Lightweight Monero wallets are quicker, lighter, user-friendly, easy to maintain and operate. You can download these wallets and start using them right way. There is no wait time till wallet synchronization and it doesn’t consume much storage space or bandwidth.
So are there any lightweight Monero wallets? There is no official light wallet available from the developers of Monero. But there are many third party lightweight wallets which doesn’t require downloading the entire blockchain, instead it scans the blockchain from a remote node of your choice. For example wallets like Edge wallet, Cake wallet, MyMonero, Monerujo, Feather wallet, Exodus etc. are all lightweight wallet client where you can securely store your XMR.
Monero light wallets
On this page https://www.getmonero.org/downloads/ you’ll find the latest download link for all XMR wallets including desktop software, hardware, light and mobile wallets. All of them are easy to use, reliable Monero wallets where you can safely store your XMR.
If you are looking for a long term secure storage then look no other than hardware wallets. Hardware wallets such as Ledger and Trezor offer secure long-term storage solution for your XMR.
Other than long-term storage if you’ll also be using XMR to transact frequently then you can maintain a small portion of your coins in a hot wallet to conduct day to day transactions. There are many light weight hot wallets available for both desktop as well as Mobile. They offer superior convenience over hardware wallets.
You can either use multi currency wallets or one that is specifically tailored to the Monero ecosystem.
You have wallets like Guarda and Exodus. Both are non-custodial multi currency wallets available for Web, mobile & desktop and they support 100s of cryptocurrencies including XMR. The wallet is beginner friendly and offers strong security measures. It also offers full control over your crypto, however they are not open-source.
We recommend wallets that are designed specifically for Monero. Following are the list of XMR wallets that are lightweight alternative to the Monero GUI.
MyMonero – MyMonero is the most popular light weight open-source Monero wallet that is maintained and developed by members of Monero development team. It is available for desktop operating systems such as Windows, Mac and Linux. Its also available for Android and iOS and also as a web wallet. This wallet is not only easy to use but it also offers high security, more convenience and features.
MyMonero being a lightweight wallet client makes it easy and quick to sync with the Monero blockchain and you need not have to download the blockchain to use this wallet. You can simply setup a new wallet and start transacting.
If you’re looking for a light weight Android wallet then you can try Monerujo and for iOS you can use the Cake Wallet. Both are light weight wallet that takes up very little memory on your phone. They are also very easy to use and secure as well hence it’s a popular choice in the Monero community.
For desktop users such as Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Raspberry Pi, Tails OS, Whonix and Prestium our top light weight wallet pick is Feather wallet. Now before you use Feather wallet or any light wallet for Monero here is something you need to know about privacy.
Privacy issues with light XMR wallets
Light wallets are specifically designed for speed and convenience while offering same security as a full node wallet. However note that since light wallet works by connecting to a third party operated full node it comes with some privacy issues. For example the node which your light wallet is connected to gets to know your IP address.
Monero as you all know is a privacy focused blockchain that is secure, private & untraceable. Its an advanced privacy cryptocurrency that is designed to protect the anonymity of its users. It obfuscates transaction details which improves the security and safety of a transaction. Unlike traditional blockchain the wallet balance history of Monero users is not publicly available. Monero uses advanced cryptography such as stealth address and ring signatures to obscure sender, receiver and the amount information of every Monero transaction recorded on the blockchain.
Monero users basically prioritize privacy. Being a privacy centric cryptocurrency you should use a wallet that protects your identity. Light wallet that connects to a remote node have the risk of compromising your identity. For maximum privacy Monero recommends that you setup your own node. However not everyone can operate a full node considering the hardware and technical knowledge required.
Anyways users who still want to transact on Monero network without downloading the blockchain can use the light wallets. While these wallets compromises little on privacy, they are fast, simple, easy to use, reliable, secure and most importantly you remain in total control of your private keys.
When it comes to Monero; privacy should be your highest priority. To completely protect your identity we recommend setting up Monero wallets on privacy centric operating systems like Tails / Whonix / Prestium which greatly protects you identity against surveillance and censorship. Anyways the following guide is only for Windows. For Tails / Whonix and Prestium we’ll make a separate guide.
Feather is a free open-source Monero wallet that is easy to use, small and fast. This a desktop only wallet that is available for all major operating systems such as Windows, Linux, mac OS and it even supports privacy OS like Tails, Whonix & Prestium. Other than live operating system it also runs well on virtual machines.
If you’ve used Bitcoin Electrum wallet then you’re going to like the Monero’s Feather wallet because this wallet is heavily inspired by the Bitcoin’s Electrum wallet. Feather is basically an Electrum like SPV wallet client that is designed and adapted to fit Monero (XMR). It’s not a fork of Electrum, Feather was written from scratch in C++ with the QT framework. A free and fully open-source Monero wallet that is 100% community sponsored and its source code is available at GitHub.
- Web: featherwallet.org
- Docs: docs.featherwallet.org
- Git: github.com/feather-wallet/feather
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/featherwallet
- Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/FeatherWallet/
- Explorer: https://www.exploremonero.com/
Feather wallet features:
The goal of Feather wallet is to provide a robust, practical and easy to use Monero wallet for every day use. The wallet is beginner friendly and also caters to advanced Monero users by providing features that are in par with the official CLI wallet.
- It fully supports Windows, Mac and Linux. Also supports privacy OS like Tails, Whonix, & Prestium
- The wallet is Performant and Light Weight
- Features Build in Tor, Xmr.To integration which you can use to send BTC with Monero.
- Coin Control (freeze / thaw / sweep)
- 14 word mnemonic seeds
- Send and receive functionality: No primary address or accounts, just sub addresses and auto prevents address re-use.
- Export labels / contacts to CSV
- CCS & Reddit feed, gives warning when opening external links.
Alright! Let’s now setup and start using Feather wallet.
Install feather wallet
Go to https://featherwallet.org/download/, choose your OS and download the installer file. Being a light wallet you can download the standalone executable file.
After downloading the file do not install or unzip the file. You need to verify before doing that. This is completely optional but recommended for security purpose.
There are two ways to verify the downloaded Feather wallet. You can either verify the signature or the signed hashes which you’ll find on the same page. Here is a guide on how to verify SHA256 checksum of a wallet. To verify signature you can refer to this guide: How to verify electrum signature. The process is quite similar. Along with the file, also download the signature. Then import the developers signing key to Kleopatra certificate manager. Once done you can decrypt / verify the file.
It should say valid signature by firstname.lastname@example.org. Once verification is successful you can delete the .asc file.
After this step you can unzip the file and move it to desired folder. If it is an installer file then install it in a preferred directory.
Light wallet setup
Once installed and unzipped open feather.exe file which will open the wallet setup wizard.
Create new wallet and click next. The next screen will display your 16 word seed which is your only wallet backup. You can generated new seed or copy the one shown to you.
Remember you’ll need this to recovery your wallet in case of computer failure so write down your seed and store it in a safe location. You can also extend the seed with a passphrase, click option and check that to enable passphrase.To know more check out the difference between recovery phrase, passphrase, password & PIN.
Once you have backed up the seed click next. On the next screen you can name and choose the directory for your wallet file. Click next and choose password to encrypt your wallet keys. While the seed word is to restore your wallet completely, the password which you set now encrypts your wallet and you need to enter this everytime you start the wallet. Once this is done click create / open wallet. That’s it! You’re done with the wallet setup and your light Monero wallet is ready to use.
Note: If you have hardware device you can also create wallet from hardware device. Feather wallet supports Ledger Nano S, Nano X and Trezor T.
Light Monero wallet
As you can see the wallet is pretty straightforward and self explanatory.
The home screen shows your XMR wallet balance, the price of XMR, the price of BTC and the value of XMR/BTC pair. It also displays Monero reddit feed and other useful news and information. At the bottom of the wallet it shows the connection status, node settings and proxy settings.
To further configure the wallet according to your preference go to file >> settings.
First of you have appearance where you can change the wallet theme to dark and light, choose amount precision, change date / time format, change balance display format and also choose your preferred fiat currency for displaying your XMR value.
Go to networks tab to change node and proxy Tor settings. The default wallet setting works best so you don’t have to alter anything here. Just select “Let feather manage this list” and “Let feather start and manage a Tor daemon”.
Go to storage tab to know the wallet directory, config directory and application directory. You can change the wallet file location anytime. That’s it. Once you’ve made the desired changes click apply setttings.
Using the light XMR wallet
To start using the wallet all you need to know is how to receive and send XMR.
View the receive tab and you’ll see a list of receiving address. You can label them as you like. Click copy address and share it to the sender to receive payment. If it is a self transfer from exchange then you can paste this in the exchange withdrawal address field.
Other than just sharing the address you can also create payment request with amount, name and description and share the QR code image to the sender.
By default the wallet displays only 10 address. You can create as many new addresses you want. Also note that the wallet auto prevents address re-use. If the address which you previously used is not shown on the list then click show used and show hidden to reveal the old address.
To send XMR from feather go to Send tab and enter the recipient pay to address. Then enter amount that you want to send and click send. The wallet will construct transaction and display the preview of your transaction.
Verify the address, amount and fee again before you click send. View advanced to know the size of the transaction, ring size, number of inputs and outputs.
Once you’ve verified all the information click send to send XMR to the recipient address.
You can view both the sent and received transaction history under the history tab. Double click the transaction to view the transaction ID, the fee and amount used and the status of the transaction.
That’s it! You now know how to use the Feather wallet to send and receive XMR.
Drop down tools for the following functions: To sign / verify message, to verify transaction proof, to load unsigned transaction from file and to pay to many address in a single transaction.
Drop down wallet menu to know your wallet information, to change wallet password, to reveal seed and to export wallet history and contacts as CSV. Note to reveal seed you need to enter your wallet password. Also go to wallet >> accounts to create a new account. You can create as many new wallet accounts and manage as many addresses you want.
The wallet also has a in-built calculator, exchange and an option to mine XMR. For more control drop down view and show everything such as coins to view change address, calc, exchange, mining and search-bar. All these tabs should now show up just below the wallet main menu.
Use the calculator menu to convert the value of XMR to major fiat and crypto.
Tools: For more conversion check our out crypto to crypto converter and crypto to fiat calculator.
Next navigate to Exchange tab if you want to buy / sell Monero. Feather wallet has LocalMonero integration. Local Monero is the largest, most trusted and well-established Peer 2 Peer Monero trading platform in the XMR community. There are no KYC checks. Just create an account to start buying / selling Monero anonymously, quick and easy.
The wallet also has a mining functionality in-built. This is not a miner by itself and you need XMRig to configure and start mining XMR. Once you’ve downloaded and done with the XMRig configuration you can start XMR mining using your Feather wallet. First allocate CPU threads for mining, next you can either connect to a mining pool or start mining solo.
That’s it! We’re done with the guide. Hope you’ve find out what you were looking for: A light weight Monero wallet that is fast, robust, secure and easy to use.