Amid hacks and other digital mischief, many are searching for the best ways to keep cryptocurrency investments safe.
Why A Hardware Wallet?
Hardware wallets are physical devices designed to store cryptocurrencies.
While many wallets can be exploited with a virus since they are internet connected, a hardware wallet provides extra protection since they can be taken offline once you are done using it.
The benefits of hardware wallets centralize around the ability to easily store multiple (and large amounts of) cryptocurrencies in a highly secure manner.
The Trezor and Ledger hardware wallet come with PIN encryption. They destroy the public and private keys on the device after the third incorrect entry.
Crypto hardware wallets like the Trezor and Ledger ask for authentication of transactions directly through the wallet – not on the computer. As a result, funds are safe if no one’s tampering with the physical device.
While hardware wallets are certainly safer than keeping your crypto in places like Coinbase, not all physical wallets are created equally.
A group of hackers managed to make their way inside the Bitfi wallet back in 2018 after backdooring the device to send the recovery key and user seed to a server.
Trezor and Ledger have cultivated a great reputation as top-tier hardware wallet makers.
It is important to only buy a hardware wallet from a trusted vendor’s official homepage. Never through a third party (even if the price is reduced). You don’t know if there’s been any sort of manipulation to the wallet.
Any hardware wallet user should be sure to keep their recovery words safe, memorize the PIN, and invest in multiple wallets if there’s large amount of cryptocurrency that needs to be stored.
Trezor and Ledger are the most common choices for people looking to buy a hardware wallet.
But which one is the best?
Keep reading for a breakdown of both options so you can make an educated decision on which one works best for you.
Trezor vs. Ledger: What’s Best?
Trezor launched in the summer of 2014 and made waves as the first-ever Bitcoin hardware wallet. The company behind Trezor wallets, SatoshiLabs, is well-known. Trezor and SatoshiLabs founder Marek Palatinus also founded the Slushpool mining pool.
Ledger also launched in 2014. The wallet is the creation of a French company that was originally started by eight experts with experience in the crypto and digital security world.
Ledger’s built a reputation of strict focus towards secure solutions for various blockchain applications.
One of the first questions prospective hardware wallet owners ask is about supported cryptocurrencies.
Both wallets support well-known cryptos like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Dash. Trezor currently supports 1392 coins and tokens. Ledger supports more than 1,200 ERC tokens and 22 crypto assets on their native blockchains.
Ledger offers native support for Ethereum, while Trezor users will have to rely on a third-party tool or application for Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens.
Aesthetics & Design
Both Trezor and Ledger have display screens on their wallets. This is important since a screen makes sure you understand the amount of cryptocurrency involved in a transaction. It also will display the recovery phrase/seed for private keys.
The Ledger is better built than the Trezor, as the Ledger Nano S is crafted of stainless steel versus the plastic design of the Trezor. However, the Trezor does have a bigger screen and is able to be handled with one hand. The Ledger’s USB-like design is going to require two hands to push buttons.
The setup process for both hardware wallets is similar.
General Usability & App Compatibility
App compatibility might not be high up on the list of requirements for hardware wallet users.
The best wallet in terms of compatibility with apps is going to depend on your specific needs. For example, Exodus offers Trezor users a way to manage both wallets from a single interface.
Usability and security for both wallets are robust. The Ledger Nano S comes equipped with secure chips with some of the highest certification ratings.
Trezor wallets are designed without any battery, WiFi, or NFC (Near Field Communications). The creators believe limiting possible avenues of communication is the best way to maintain security.
Overall, both wallets feature industry-leading security components while still providing a smooth user experience.
It’s important to note – for those concerned about security – the Ledger firmware is not completely open source due to manufacture disclosure agreements. Ledger does detail the specifications of their wallet and there’s ways to check and confirm legitimate cryptographic operations with the wallet.
Ledger’s most popular wallet, the Nano S, retails for $59. The Nano X sells for $119.
The Trezor One retails for $55, while the Model T sells for $169.99.
Remember, never buy any hardware wallet from any seller aside from the official manufacturer website to ensure there is no manipulation to your wallet.
Trezor Vs. Ledger, What’s Best For Me?
Both the Trezor and Ledger wallets are great options, especially since the cost for both company’s offerings are the same.
For those who are interested in usability, the Trezor is likely the better choice. It’s easier to see the screen and use the buttons on the Trezor compared to the Ledger.
Those who desire to store more cryptocurrencies should opt for a Ledger wallet. The wallet supports more virtual currencies, and Ledger has a reputation for being more ambitious with adding more coins.
There’s a slight advantage to Trezor regarding wallet software, as transaction info can be synched to Dropbox and users can build hidden accounts through putting passwords on a user’s seed.
Overall, you can’t really go wrong with a Trezor or Ledger wallet. Just be sure to think about what you are looking for in a hardware wallet before you buy, so you understand the features and capabilities each wallet offers.