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Hardware Wallets: Trezor vs Ledger

Basics

Cryptocurrencies can be stored in two kinds of wallets:

  1. Software wallets
  2. Hardware wallets

Hardware wallets are known for their security and protection against online hacks, simply because they are physical devices which are not connected to the internet and also because they come with several security features. Furthermore, they are multi-currency storage devices, meaning that you can store several cryptocurrencies on these devices.

The two best-known hardware wallets are Ledger and Trezor. In this article, we will put these two wallets side by side and attempt to determine which of them makes a better hardware wallet than the other.

What is Ledger?

The Ledger hardware wallets come in two brands: Nano S and Blue; however, the most popular of the two is the Ledger Nano S. It is also the recommended brand for use in storing multiple cryptocurrency keys.

The Ledger Nano S is a hardware wallet which works with the Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems, but functions with the Google Chrome browser. The user will need to download the Ledger Chrome extension before the wallet can be put to use. The Ledger wallet also carries several security features such as the multisig facility and 2-factor authentication (2-FA), with codes being generated using mobile apps, the security card and the screen. The mobile apps are the Ledger authenticator apps for Android and iOs phones, which are used to generate codes for performing 2-FA on the wallet prior to use.

What is Trezor?

The Trezor wallet is branded as the original Bitcoin hardware wallet. It was designed to be the ultimate hardware wallet for cryptocurrency storage. It can be setup with MS-Windows, OSX and Linux. The Trezor wallet is designed to simultaneously hold Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Zcash and Litecoin, with the possibility of adding more cryptocurrencies in the future.

Trezor vs Ledger

When it comes to the hardware wallets, there are certain metrics that are used to gauge which wallet is preferred over the other by users. These metrics have been constructed according to user feedback on these hardware wallets. The metrics used in comparing these wallets are as follows:

Design

When it comes to size, the Trezor wallet is larger than the Ledger Nano S. However, the Ledger wallet is actually heavier than the Trezor wallet, and this is because of the stainless steel flap that protects the plastic component of the Ledger wallet. The Ledger Nano S comes with a smaller screen display than the Trezor wallet. When it comes to design, one cannot really say that one wallet is better than the other. This is because individual preferences of users will come to play. While a user may want a smaller wallet with better physical protection (Ledger Nano S), another user may prefer to have a lighter wallet with a larger display (Trezor).

Installation Process

The installation process is basically the same for both devices. However, if the wrong cable is used for the Trezor device, it will be difficult to confirm the PIN you have set on the device. Some users have complained that it took internet research of about 30 minutes to get a solution to the problem. Ledger had no such issues. So this point would have to be scored in favour of Ledger.

Follow these steps to install Ledger:

  1. Download the Ledger Manager Chrome extension
  2. Activate the appropriate crypto whose keys are to be stored from the extension.
  3. From the device, you can enter the PIN code
  4. Select the cryptocurrency you want to store or use
  5. Perform the transaction/address confirmation

The Ledger wallet can only take about 4 wallets at a time, even though it can support more than 20 wallets.

Trezor’s wallet Chrome extension is pretty much a “plug and play” process and is a lot simpler to use. The device will contain the PIN and other details on the screen, so you simply take the information on the screen, enter it into your computer and you are good to go.

Accessories

The contents of the packages are pretty much the same for both the Trezor and Ledger devices. You get the hardware stick itself, the recovery sheet, USB cable, instructions pack and an attachment to enable you to hang it on your key or around your neck.

The Trezor wallet requires an OTG or USB cable or adaptor to be connected to the laptop or desktop for use. If you do not have this cable or you have lost yours, you will need a replacement to be able to use the device. So without this cable, the Trezor wallet is unusable. In contrast, the Ledger Nano S already comes shaped like a USB stick. Therefore, you may use it directly on the desktop or laptop, or opt to use a USB cable to connect the device to the computer.

Another big difference is that the USB cable that comes with the Trezor device is very short. It may be suitable for laptops, but when it comes to desktop computers with the CPU placed on the ground, it will be a real pain trying to work behind the cables and all attached to the CPU to be able to slot in the cable to the USB port. When it comes to packaging and accessories, the Ledger device trumps the Trezor wallet hands down. Convenience is always a part of the user experience and in this case, the Ledger wallet presents more convenience than the Trezor wallet.

Number of Cryptos Storable on the Devices

Both Trezor and the Ledger wallet are capable of storing several cryptocurrencies. However, Ledger stores many more cryptocurrencies than Trezor. Trezor only stores Bitcoin, Ethereum, ZCash, Litecoin and Dash, whereas Ledger can store Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, ZCash, Bitcoin Cash, DogeCoin, Stratis, LiteCash, Ripple, Ubiq, Pivx, StealthCoin, Stellar, Bitcoin Gold, Quantum, Komodo, etc, and also allows the user to choose which coins can be stored on the device. So on this point, Ledger is way ahead of Trezor.

Facilities for Private Key Recovery in Case of Loss

The facility for recovery is the same for both devices. The recovery phrase that is generated must be entered into the recovery sheet that comes with the device the moment the wallet is active. That way, you can use the recovery phrase, later on, to recover any lost details if the device is lost.

Security Features

Both wallets come with a PIN code function. However, PIN selection process for the two hardware wallets is different. With the Ledger wallet, the user uses the 2 buttons at the side of the stick to select the PIN, while Trezor users have to use the buttons on the device to enter the PIN from the number pad which appears on the screen. The displayed PINs change after a few seconds and are randomly generated.

Cost

When it comes to cost, the Ledger Nano S has a clear cost advantage. The Ledger Nano S goes for 79 Euros presently, while the Trezor wallet costs 89 Euros. So definitely when it comes to price, the Ledger Nano S is the wallet that will give the user some cost savings. However, if a user opts to go for the Ledger Blue, the cost saving disappears, as this device costs 229 Euros. Most users will, however, opt for the Ledger Nano S and will retain the cost advantage over the Trezor wallet.

Conclusion

One cannot really say that there is a best cryptocurrency wallet. Both hardware wallets have their advantages and disadvantages. What one user may see as a disadvantage may actually be the draw for another user. The features of both wallets are summarized below:

Hardware Wallet
Ledger
Trezor
Cost
Cheaper (79 Euros)More expensive (89 Euros
Shape
Slender and looks more like a USB: can be plugged directly or used with a USB.Bigger; can only be used with a USB cable.
The Process of PIN Use
PIN entry process is more complicatedPIN usage process is simpler
Device Usage Demand
More device interaction requiredLess device interaction required
Number of Cryptocurrencies Supported
Supports more cryptocurrencies (>20)Supports only 5 cryptos
Which is More Fragile?
Stainless steel cover confers more physical protection: therefore less fragileMore fragile as it has no external protective casing
The Screen Display
Smaller screen displayLarger screen display

 

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