A “wallet” is basically the Bitcoin equivalent of a bank account. It allows you to receive bitcoins, store them, and then send them to others. There are two main types of wallets. A software wallet is one that you install on your own computer or mobile device.
Your choice of wallet will determine how safe and secure your coins are. It may determine how much you pay in transaction fees and whether you get any choice in the matter (you can actually submit transactions with no fee at all, it’s just that they will take ages to get processed by miners and may even be ignored forever in extreme circumstances). It will determine whether you can access your coins from anywhere or just your home computer. Because your wallet is the place you go to whenever you want to use Bitcoin, it will also be the biggest factor in your day-today experience – whether using Bitcoin is easy or hard, fun or unpleasant. And of course there are also many wallets which will offer you extra bonuses and advanced features which you won’t get elsewhere. As a result, getting the best wallet – or more accurately the right wallet for you – should almost certainly be your highest priority once you’ve decided to start using Bitcoin.