Trezor vs. Ledger : Crypto Hardware Wallet Comparison
Trezor vs. Ledger : Crypto Hardware Wallet Comparison
Investing in cryptocurrency has become popular over the past few years, with people developing different cryptocurrencies. Regardless of the currency you choose or your trading skills, having a crypto wallet is key to storing your currency, backing up transactional speeds, and storing your private key.
When choosing a crypto wallet, you can use a software or hardware wallet. Software wallets, like Gemini and Coinbase, are like computer or mobile phone applications that need an internet connection to function.
On the other hand, hardware wallets, also known as cold wallets or cold storage, are physical devices that are not connected to the internet, making them safer. The most common hardware wallets are Trezor and Ledger, supporting over 1,000 coins.
Trezor was launched in 2013 as part of SatoshiLabs and has its headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic. On the other hand, Ledger has its headquarters in Paris, France, and was founded in 2014.
Here is a detailed comparison between the two hardware wallets to help you make a better choice.
Trezor: Pros & Cons
It has a color touchscreen display
Offers Shamir backup
Has open-source firmware with regular updates
Offers high-level security
No Bluetooth connectivity
No mobile application
It comes with a plastic case
It Falls on the more expensive side
Ledger: Pros & Cons
It comes with optional Bluetooth
It has a durable steel case
It has a mobile application called Ledger Live that is compatible with Android and iOS
Easy to set up
It has a user-friendly interface
Good battery life
It has a closed-source firmware
Offers no touchscreen
Has experienced a marketing database breach
It is expensive
Unique Features of Trezor Model T
Trezor Model T wallets come with a microSD card slot. You can use the microSD to encrypt your pin, providing further protection for your data. You can bind your wallet to the microSD card, and nobody can unlock it until you deliberately disable that feature on the factory reset.
If you are still concerned about physical attacks, you can store your SD card in another physical location when not using it. This makes them useless if an attacker steals one of them. MicroSD will also offer the onboard encrypted storage option in the future.
This device also has the option to use a password manager that you can access through the Chrome browser on Linux, Windows, and macOS. You must install the Trezor Password Manager and Chrome extension to use it and sign in with your Google Drive or Dropbox.
While it works similarly to other password managers like LastPass and KeePass, you do not require a master password to handle all your websites for different websites.
You only need to click on your physical device to unlock your password manager. Every password is separately encrypted with a special key, with a signature sourced from a unique private key on the wallet.
While some users might have concerns about third-party access to the data on the password manager, Troezor assures clients that not even they can access the data.
One of the unique features in Nano X not found in other hardware wallets is Secure Element, a chip similar to the one used in passports and payment systems.
Ledger says this makes the device resistant to hacks and tamper-proof because it embeds inbuilt counter measurements against numerous known attacks.
It protects the device against power usage spying and electromagnetic radiation. It also protects you against a fault attack when an attacker tries to upset a circuit as it runs. The device has a simple system with few interfaces, reducing software attack possibilities.
One of the main notable features of these wallets is that Ledger comes with Bluetooth connectivity while Trezor does not. The connectivity allows you to connect your Ledger wallet to iOS or Android devices without cables.
This raises security concerns, but the company advises users not to worry because they only permit sharing public data via Bluetooth.
If an attacker gets to the Bluetooth connectivity, the secure element ensures that you consent before completing any action. You can also disable Bluetooth connectivity if you don’t want to use it.
Another feature that differs in these devices is that Ledger wallets have closed-source firmware. This means that third parties cannot access the wallets to test them for vulnerabilities or review them. Ledger also uses a special blockchain open ledger operating system, an open-source framework.
Trezor vs. Ledger: Design
While both wallets connect using a USB cable, Ledger devices have a sleek design but resemble ordinary steel USB devices. The steel casing makes them more aesthetically pleasing, durable, and shock-resistant.
However, Trezor devices have a lighter plastic case and a unique shape, making them more portable.
Trezor wallets have larger screens, with the Model T having an LCD color touchscreen offering a resolution of 240×240 pixels. This makes things easier to read and displays more text, usually six lines. On the other hand, the Trezoe One has a 128×64-pixel OLED screen.
On the other hand, Ledger has a smaller display, with the Nano X model featuring an OLED monochrome display with a resolution of 128×64 pixels.
The smaller display size makes the text scroll across the screen slower than in Trezor wallets. The Ledger Nano S comes with an OLED screen with a resolution of 128×32 pixels.
The Trezor One and Nano S models have OLED displays and two physical buttons, while Nano X is slightly bigger than the Nano S.
The Trezor One wallets are 60 mm by 30 mm by 6 mm and weigh 12 grams while the Model T wallets are 64 mm by 39 mm by 10 mm and weigh 22 grams.
Ledger Nano S wallets, on the other hand, are 104 mm by 58 mm by 5 mm and weigh 16.2 grams, and the Nano X wallets are 72 mm by 18.6 mm by 11.75 mm and weigh 34 grams.
Trezor vs. Ledger: Support for Cryptocurrencies
With the numerous cryptocurrency choice available in the market, you must choose a wallet that supports the cryptocurrency you are trading or investing in.
While both offer over 1800 cryptos and tokens, Trezor offers more than Ledger. Both offer common coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Steller, and Polkadot.
Trezor devices offer some coins, not on the Ledger devices like Cardano, Binance Chain, Monero, EOS, Tezos, and Ripple. Ledger also offers coins, not on Trezor devices like Celo, Avalanche, Graph Token, Ocean Token, Uniswap, Reef Finance, and Yearn Finance.
Trezor vs. Ledger: Security features
Security is one of the main things you must consider when choosing a crypto wallet. Trezor and Ledger are considered more secure than software wallets because the information on them is safe from cyber-attacks.
The tamper-evident holograms on Trezor packages make it challenging to tamper with the device, remove it, or re-assemble it without breaking or damaging the holographic seal.
SatoshiLabs has also signed the bootloader and firmware on the devices, raising warnings if signature checks fail at boot time. This helps detect theft or suspicious activities on the wallet, ensuring that the code remains intact always.
On the other hand, Ledger does not use seals because the company believes they are easy to fake. While Trezor devices have one chip, Ledger devices have two, the second being a bank-grade secure element that offers additional protection against hardware-based attacks.
These chips are similar to the ones used on credit cards or passports. Ledger devices also pass genuine tests whenever you connect them to the Manager in Ledger Live and during onboarding processes.
Both wallets allow you to create a primary account and other hidden ones using a similar 24-word recovery speed. This protects you when attackers request your password or threaten you because you can lead them to one of your hidden accounts with fewer crypto assets.
They also support Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIP39) passphrases, but Trezor model T provides Shamir Backup for better private key security.
If an attacker manages to steal your device, the company will wipe all its contents after three unsuccessful trials of guessing the pin, making it useless.
Trezor vs. Ledger: Price
Ledger Nano S and Trezor One are the standard versions of these wallets with almost similar price points, with the Nano S going for around $59 and the Trezor One going for $72.
Trezor Model T and Ledger Nano X are the premium versions but have notably different price points. Trezor T goes for $225, while the Nano X goes for $149.
While it might be easy to go for the more affordable options, you should consider the features, design, durability, and supported cryptocurrencies.
Trezor vs. Ledger: Ease of Use
Both wallets are easy to use for beginners and expert users. The standard versions are smaller and have a two-button system, which can be challenging if you are used to bigger screens or touchscreens.
They also have accessible interfaces, making them easy to use. All Trezor and Ledger have strict passphrase configuration and account verification, making them easy to set up.
With Ledger devices, however, you must install the Ledger Live mobile app, but you don’t have to do the same for Trezor devices because they use a web-based interface.
While the Nano X devices are slightly larger than Nano S devices with more space between the buttons, they are still more complicated to read than Trezor devices. Trezor T devices are the easiest to use because of their color touchscreen, making it easy to enter and read details like amounts, pin-code, and addresses.
To make the usability for all devices easy over time, you must update the firmware constantly.
Trezor vs. Ledger: Mobile App
You must download the Ledger Live application on your mobile phone or desktop if you are using Ledger devices. It allows you to check your real-time crypto balance, manage accounts, and send or receive funds. You must connect both your Ledger devices to finish the initial setup.
While Trezor does not have an app currently, you can use a Chrome extension or Trezor Bridge that corresponds with the operating system. You can also use Trezor Suite, a desktop app that offers you incorporated exchange and portfolio information.
Both devices also support third-party wallet apps like MetaMask, MyEtherWallet, and MyCrypto. Trezor supports 15 third-party wallets, while Ledger supports 24.
While both wallets are compatible with mobile devices and desktops, Trezor is compatible with Windows 10, Linux, macOS 10.11 and higher, and Android OS. Conversely, Ledger is compatible with Windows 8+, Linux excluding ARM Processors, macOS 10.10+, and Android 7+.
Trezor and Ledger hardware wallets are among the best because they support over 1800 cryptocurrencies, are secure, and are easy to use. However, it would help if you considered things like display, prices, and additional features.
If you want one offering many cryptocurrencies and tokens, more portability, plus a better display, the Trezor model T is the one to go for. However, Ledger is the better option if you want Bluetooth connectivity, access to more popular crypto coins, and a cheaper alternative.
Before making your choice, you should conduct extensive research and consider consulting experts or people dealing with the same cryptocurrencies as you.
What is a hardware wallet?
Hardware cryptocurrency wallets are hardware devices that allow you to store your private keys, crypto assets, and other sensitive information. The main advantage is that you can use them without internet access, making them easy to use wherever you are.
You, however, need to connect them to the internet for the initial setup and transaction confirmations.
They are also more protected from cyber attacks, the most common attacks cryptocurrency users and traders face.
You should pay close attention to the seed phrase your hardware wallet generates. You should write it down and keep it safe, as it will help you generate the private key if you lose your wallet.
What are the benefits of hardware wallets?
Your private keys remain off computers and offline, eliminating the risk of being copied, interfered with, or hacked
Because of their absence on computers or the internet, they are safe from viruses and malware
You must verify transactions on the devices instead of computers, meaning that nobody can access your data or crypto assets without the wallet
You can encrypt your hardware wallet with a long pin you generate, meaning no thief can access it without the pin
How Do Trezor and Ledger Work?
Once you buy your Ledger or Trezor hardware wallets, you must connect them to the internet to set them and your passphrases up.
If you have the Trezor models or Ledger Nano S, you must have a USB cable for an internet connection. However, the Bluetooth connectivity in Nano X devices doesn’t require cable connections.
While the process is almost similar for all devices, you should read the manufacturer’s directions to ensure you do it correctly.
Many people use hot wallets or software wallets together with hardware wallets to transfer crypto from the software wallets to hardware wallets for storage until they want to trade, sell, or move them to digital wallets or an exchange.
Both brands allow you to access your asset portfolio and use incorporated crypto exchanges.
Is the Trezor Wallet Safer Than Ledger?
While both brands offer high-level security for all users, some consider Trezor more secure because of its open-source firmware. This allows you to access and preview the code and report any weaknesses.
Clients trust a platform that welcomes their feedback and opinions and takes any measures to make them feel safer. Trezor T also offers Shamir Backup.
On the other hand, Ledger wallets have passphrases entered on the devices, meaning you never have to use a keyboard. This makes it more secure because it protects them against keylogging security hacks.
While you must enter the passphrases to a web browser when using a Ledger One, attackers still need your passphrase and seed to conduct a targeted attack.
Who Should Use Trezor vs. Ledger?
Ledger Nano S and Trezor One models are similar in price and capabilities, making them a good choice if you are a beginner seeking to hold different cryptocurrencies.
While the Trezor T model is the most expensive, it has a bigger and better display, making it easier to move or add cryptocurrencies and access key details in all transactions.
This is unlike the small displays on the other wallets that can make it challenging, especially when conducting numerous transactions or managing many cryptocurrencies.
While the light and small design of the Trezor wallets make them more portable, Ledger wallets are better if you travel a lot and want to use them anywhere. This is because of their connectivity with Android and iPhones, optional Bluetooth, and mobile applications.
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