Trezor and Ledger are the two major hardware wallets that have received a lot of attention for their security. With these types of wallets, you avoid some of the issues with cloud wallets being hacked as well as losing Bitcoins to hardware suddenly failing and losing your wallets stored on hard drives.
If your computer is compromised due to a virus, you might freak out because it now has access to your cryptocurrency wallets as well. However, that isn’t the case with a hardware wallet because it isn’t connected to your computer all the time, and you never have to connect it to the Internet if you don’t want to.
Why Hardware Wallets are So Secure
One of the main reasons is the way that hardware wallets treat private keys. With a hardware wallet, you actually never see your private keys. It’s never communicated or saved anywhere besides the hardware wallet. This means that no one but you and your hardware have access to the accounts. These are all stored in your device.
You can access the crypto wallet with only a pin. You personally set up your own pin just like with your normal bank account. You have to physically into the pin on your device to unlock it as well.
What if You Lose or Damage Your Hardware Wallet?
Hardware wallets actually protect you from this as well. You can restore your wallet using “seed words,” which are set up like security questions when you first start up the device. You have to write down the cards provided in order to get your seed words.
You can store the seed words somewhere safe so that no one has access to them but you. You also don’t want to store the seed words anywhere near the wallet to provide an extra layer of difficulty if somehow your wallet was ever compromised.
History of Trezor Hardware Wallet
Trezor was actually the first Bitcoin hardware wallet. With this wallet, you can store and protect most cryptocurrencies. You can see below for a list of fully supported digital currencies. However, it was first known for only storing Bitcoins.
With this computer device, you can connect to your laptop or computer with a USB cable. Your coins and all private keys are encrypted. With this offline storage, you get the ultimate in security, keeping your coins safe from hackers and DDoS attacks.
Even if your computer were to undergo an attack, the hardware wallet is safely kept within its own device that resembles and works much like a USB stick.
You can use Trezor to send and receive secure transactions. It is protected against address phishing and uses sign and verification messages to keep your account further protected.
It doesn’t matter if you damage or lose your Trezor as it uses a backup and recovery seed card system.
There are also some advanced features that you get with Trezor, including the following:
Send Blockchain Texts
Did you know that Bitcoin supports a unique script called OP_RETURN. This renders an output provanly unspendable, and therefore even more secure against hack attempts.
However, this also allows the OP_RETURN script to write an arbitrary message to a blockchain as well. These messages are limited up to 50 bytes or about 80 characters (alpha-numeric only).
You can compose a message using Trezor by clicking ASF and then ADD OP_RETURN. Here is where you can write your message in the TEXT or HEX field.
This allows you to send transactions in the cheapest way possible to the blockchain. It also relieves the network by removing outputs from the UTXO set. You can also view the transaction on any block explorer that you use.
Set Up Future Transactions
You can use features like nLocktime to send future transactions. For example, if you want to pass your Bitcoin wealth to someone in the event of your death. You can send and hold large amounts of digital currencies. You can use SatoshiLabs’ UI to set up the desired LOCKTIME and sign the transaction in your Trezor device.
While these are some of the more technically advanced features, it’s worth noting how experienced you can get with each of the hardware wallets in case you want to set yours up to automatically transmit transactions to other wallets.
History of Ledger Wallet
Ledger was created to store Ethereum in an offline device. However, now the device supports the most digital currencies, even more than Trezor. The Ledger Nano S is the latest model and allows for offline storage, secure PIN code, backup and restoration, and advanced password options.
There is a lot to love about this hardware wallet. In comparison to Trezor, the Ledger Nano is more resistant to damage and fits in the palm of your hand easily. It looks and acts lust like a USB stick, making it easier to use with any computer.
It is also one of the more affordable hardware wallets that has an OLED screen. However, most users claim that it is not as secure as Trezor as it doesn’t allow for some of the “unspendable” scripts as Trezor does.
Trezor vs. Ledger Hardware Wallets Explained
Both of these hardware wallets have been recommended by experienced miners because of their security and fail safe systems. While the wallets may seem like they store the currencies, it actually only stores the information to gain access to your cryptocoins.
Trezor and Ledger work the same way. They only store the information on the blockchain. The device actually serves as a way to protect your investment and private information so that you can access your digital coins alone without saving any of your keys or other account information on your computer or in a cloud.
Trezor Hardware Wallet
Simply put, Trezor is an offline storage vault for your cryptocurrency account information. You can keep your digital currencies safe and within reach without ever storing any information online. This means that your private keys are also protected and can’t be affected by viruses or DDoS attacks on your computer that may leave you vulnerable to losing everything.
You can simply plug in your Trezor and download information into it, then keep it stored in a safe location.
Ledger Hardware Wallet
Ledger is shaped a little different than Trezor but offers the same services. Ledger looks exactly like a little USB drive. It has all of the safety features that you want in a wallet and is easy to use. You can use it with any computer system, including Windows, Linux, and Mac hardware.
Differences in Appearance
Trezor devices are made out of plastic. However, Ledger USBs are actually made from stainless steel, which provides an extra layer of protection against any damage sustained from dropping your wallet or heat issues.
While both wallets are resistance to most damage, you can expect that a stainless steel USB is far more safe for storage than something made from plastic. In addition, the general ionion of the Trezor wallet is that it’s not as stylish as Ledger.
Both wallets have a digital display on the outside and two buttons that you use to manage your crypto wallet. Each wallet has miniature USB ports.
In general, Trezor has a larger screen and body style. However this does not mean that Trezor holds more cryptocurrency than Ledger. Both store equal amounts of data.
What’s in the Box?
Both Trezor and Ledger have interesting packaging. The companies do a great job of supplying everything you need in a small package with instructions. So which one is better or more comprehensive than the other one?
Trezor Wallet Box Review
With Trezor, you get a small square box that has a safety seal. You know that if the seal is broken, then the device has been compromised. Once you open the box, you should find it encased in black foam. You can use the strap that comes with the wallet to hang it up near your computer. You also get a few other things in the Trezor box, including:
- Trezor device
- USB cable
- Recover seed cards
Leger Wallet Box Review
Ledger comes in an equally small box as Trezor. However, the USB cable is more easily stored and can be used more simply than Trezor. It includes a key chain and lanyard as well, so you can keep the device with you if you would like.
With a Ledger box, you’ll receive the following items:
- Ledger device
- USB cable
- Key chain
- Instruction card
- Recovery seed card
Differences in Using Trezor and Ledger
While both hardware wallets work essentially the same, there are some differences in compatibility and interface that you should note.
Trezor is compatible with all devices. It works on Windows, Linux, and MacOS products. You can also use it with Android mobile devices. If you want to have access to your account information from anywhere, this is considered to be a huge plus for flexibility. Trezor also has Google Chrome extensions that can help with crypto management.
On the inside of the wallet platform, you get a nicely designed interface that lets you view all of the transactions with your cryptocurrencies. You can also switch between different cryptocurrencies to track earnings uniquely by each one.
The Ledger is almost as compatible with devices as Trezor. It works with Windows, MacOS, Linux, and Chrome OS. However, you must use Google Chrome or chromium in order to use the Ledger interface, which means that you might have to download extensions in order to use Ledger appropriately.
The interface for the Ledger is easy to use and has similar tools to Trezor. However, the details in Trezor’s platform make it a bit easier to see each of your currencies and switch between them without fearing that you will send one currency to the wrong wallet.
The Best of Both Worlds
With these hardware wallets, miners and Bitcoin traders can easily keep all of their digital currencies in one place. You can access your accounts at any time using the hardware wallet. You don’t have to install several pieces of software or worry about anyone hacking into your computer to steal bitcoins either. Both have pretty user-friendly interfaces and a lot of functionality for those who trade in several cryptocurrencies.
Which Hardware Wallet Provides the Best Customer Support?
You may not care about customer support, but if your wallet ever fails or there’s an issue with your coins, you are probably going to want a customer support team that is accessible and responsive. Not all cryptocurrencies have complete support between the two hardware wallets.
Here is a deeper look into the customer support behind Trezor and Ledger.
Trezor Customer Support
While you can hold any number or type of digital coins with Trezor, it doesn’t support all of the different cryptocurrencies as completely as other wallets. Here are the current cryptocurrencies supported by this platform:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- ERC-20 Tokens
- Expanse (EXP)
- UBIQ (UBQ)
- NEM (XEM)
- Bitcoin Cash / Bcash (BCH)
- Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
You’ll notice that some of the newer digital currencies like Monero are still not supported on this list.
Ledger Customer Support
Ledger is one of the wallets that fully supports Ethereum and Bitcoins through various Google Chrome upgrades. Currently Ledger is updating its list of compatible currencies much faster than Trezor and supports many more digital currencies. Here is the full list:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Zcash (ZEC)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Stealthcoin (XST)
- Stellar (XLM)
- Dash (DASH)
- PivX (PIVX)
- PosW (POSW)
- Expanse (EXP)
- Ubiq (UBQ)
- Vertcoin (VTC)
- Viacoin (VIA)
- Neo (NEO)
- Hcash (HSR)
- Digibyte (DGB)
- Qtum (QTUM)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Ethereum Tokens (ERC-20)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Stratis (STRAT)
- Komodo (KMD)
- Ark (ARK)
While Trezor was the first storage for Bitcoins, Ledger was actually originally only used for Etherum. Now the two can store multiple digital currencies. Both devices are frequently updated and adding more currencies, however Ledger seems to add currencies at a more rapid pace.
Setup Differences: Trezor vs. Ledger
You can set up Trezor and Ledger hardware wallets in a matter of minutes. The convenience is part of the charm.
The first step is the same for both devices. You need to set up a pin code that prevents anyone from accessing your device just by plugging it in. You have to have this pin code in order to access any of the account information stored on the device.
This is a great security feature because it prevents a thief from being able to plug in the device and collect all of your coins. Both hardware wallets prevent multiple incorrect attempts. However, you do have to be careful. If more than three attempts are made on the device without a successful login, all of the data stored on the device will automatically delete.
You can use the recovery seeds included with both hardware wallets to recover information and restore your device in the event that you do have to do a wipe. The wallets also show the user’s seed access, but it doesn’t display on any computer that you plug the device into. This protects you should any thief try to steel your hardware wallet, they won’t be able to access it at all without the right pin and seed cards.
Both hardware wallets have buttons that let you navigate through the screen. You can use these buttons to go through menus and select items. Both devices make it impossible to connect to any data without first plugging into a computer through a USB and having the right pin code to unlock the device.
Differences in Price: Trezor vs. Ledger
Bitcoin miners and experienced traders know that it all comes down to the cost of the hardware. However, both the Ledger Nano S and Trezor have a similar price point. You can typically purchase a Ledger Nano S for €79 or $98 USD currently.
A Trezor costs about the same at €80 or $99 USD. However, you may find that the design and appearance of the Ledger Nano S is more valuable than Trezor, which is currently made of plastic.
Other Hardware Wallet Options
If you are not satisfied with either Trezor or Ledger Nano S, you can also look at KeepKey. However, it only works with software wallets like Electrum, MultiBit, and Mycelium. It also doesn’t work with the same amount of cryptocurrencies as Ledger and Trezor. Currently, KeepKey only supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Dogecoin, and Namecoin.
KeepKey works similar to Trezor and LEdger, but it is made almost exclusively for Chrome users. KeepKey also does not have offline storage like the other two.
While both Trezor and Ledger are reputable hardware wallets with offline storage, Trezor has been around a bit longer and stores only verified bitcoins. Ledger is a newer wallet that is constantly adding new digital currencies to its compatibility list.
Cryptocurrency investors should use a hardware wallet because it provides the utmost in safety. You can secure your digital currencies and transactions using an offline device like a Trezor or Ledger Nano S.
Most consider hardware wallets to be the more advanced, secure option over software and paper wallets, especially if you do not know opsec/infosec. The complex nature of which these hardware wallets secure their customer’s bitcoin accounts make them superior to the other options available currently.
If you invest in a lot of different coins, you will probably like the ease of use with Ledger a bit better. It supports more currencies, uses most of the same security protocols, and has a great user interface.
For those who want more of a security reputation and only trade the larger digital currencies, you should Trezor because it has more security options and greater customer support. In addition, you can set up unique security protocols with scripts that you can’t do on Ledger.