Over a decade since their introduction to the market, cryptocurrencies are still taking the global financial system by storm. They bring a level of innovation never before seen, making online transactions much easier, placed at everyone’s fingertips. You would find that the scope of uses of digital currencies is virtually limitless, as seen by their incorporation into areas like crypto gambling, stock brokering, asset management, and many other everyday tasks. Likewise, there are literally thousands of crypto coins up for use, inclusive of several high-end coins too.
Good examples are Litecoin, Ripple, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Dashcoin, Tether, Bitcoin Cash, and the obvious Bitcoin. At the moment, the crypto market is literally blowing the roof, where these high-end coins are experiencing massive value surges. This ultimately makes them good investments.
Now, the process of acquiring crypto coins is quite simple and straightforward, where you can make use of services provided by many online crypto exchange platforms. With them, you can simply purchase the coins you want, using conventional modes of payment.
After making the purchase comes the issue of storage, where the coins must be kept in an appropriate virtual location, safe from external threats. For this, there are crypto wallets, found in their abundance all over. Good examples of these are the famed hardware wallets.
Analysis shows that most have trouble when it comes to selecting the best wallet for them. In acknowledgment of this, we took the most popular hardware wallets there are, and came up with this detailed Trezor Vs. Ledger Nano S review and guide.
What is Ledger?
Ledger is a globally reputed hardware crypto wallet developer and producer, that has been active since around 2014. It is almost the same age as the other subject of this review, Trezor, only having been introduced a couple of months late. The brand has its headquarters located in Paris, France, but has worldwide coverage, with other sub-offices located in Europe and in California, in the United States.
The team behind the development and launch of the Ledger brand consisted of 8 tech and software experts, who dabbled in entrepreneurship, crypto, and the art of embedded security systems. Today, the band consists of up to 130 employees, all aimed at developing the next best hardware wallet. Current standings have the Ledger crew responsible for two major products, the Ledger Nano S and its upgraded version, the Ledger Nano X. Several other product accessories are provided by the company.
What is Trezor?
Trezor is the first-ever hardware crypto wallet, having been launched back in 2014. Its operational base is located in the Czech Republic, where the wallet and the technology behind it were all developed by a native company known as SatoshiLabs.
The company is directly responsible for numerous hardware wallet products and associated accessories, having have sold its high-tech devices to well over 2 million users worldwide. The wallet comes with many features, meant to be the ultimate tool for secure crypto storage, with highly efficient hit rates.
It is completely offline, making it all the way impossible for hackers, of whatever level of experience, to break into the wallet and steal coins. It has a couple of products, where its latest release is known as the Trezor Model T, the upgraded version of the famous Trezor One. It can be purchased online on Amazon and eBay, along with numerous other tech retailers.
Trezor Vs Ledger: Comparing their Features
In-depth analysis shows that these two products are highly competitive in almost all aspects. The developers both put in a great deal of time and effort in each of the products, all in pursuit of making them the best versions of themselves. Here are the main features that can be used to compare and contrast each of these phenomenal hardware wallets.
Note that the Trezor wallet in question here is the Trezor Model 1, the product that was produced and released around the same time as the Ledger Nano S.
It goes without saying that this is an area of importance, as it determines the functional range at which the wallet operates. That said, the Ledger Nano S comes out as the victor in this aspect, having the capability to support well over 1000 different altcoins. Among these are the following high ends coins:
- Bitcoin Cash
- Bitcoin Gold
- Ethereum Classic
In all fairness, the Trezor Model 1 supports all these, save for one, Ripple. Its total coin count is estimated to be capped out at around 750 coins.
Wallet pricing matters very much, particularly if we contrast the price with the number of coins to be stored in that wallet. Both of the companies do quite well to ensure that their products are sold at a standard price in most, if not all stores.
Be that as it may, we take heed of the prices as dictated on the official platform for each, as these are the most trustworthy. That said, this aspect is forced to be concluded with a tie, where both the wallets are seen to be priced at $70. Note that both these price tags are for the complete packages, with no additional accessories added onto either.
We look at size because it determines just how you are going to use the device; if it will be easy to work with, or a bit complicated. The size also has an effect on product aesthetics, where appropriately sized devices are generally more preferred by the general consumer public. That said, the Trezor one comes in at 60 x 30 x 6 mm, and the Ledger Nano S comes in at 56,95 x 17,4 x 9,1 mm. These dimensions are roughly the same, but the Trezor Model 1 is seen to be a bit more sizable in terms of breadth. So is it’s a smaller device that you are looking for, then the Ledger Nano S is your pick.
Just like the size, the overall design has an effect on the overall look of the device. An ideal wallet design should make it user-friendly, easily accessible, and portable. That said, both the Trezor 1 and the Ledger Nano S are made out of plastic. The Nano S is made with a rectangular design, somewhat resembling the standard USB, minus the jack of course.
It comes with a slick, metallic rotating cover, meant to encase the plastic device when not in use, protecting the screen, as well as most the ‘fragile’ body from potential harm. The Mode 1, on the other hand, comes with a more forthcoming design, resembling a remote car key.
Admittedly, this design gives a better feel within the cup of the hand, making for a potentially better user experience. Now, the decision on the overall design is up to the user. All that we can say is the Nano S would seem more practical and compatible, while the Mode 1 shows promise to be easier to handle when in use.
The display is the main operational area for both devices. From here, you will get data like the private passkey, the crypto in use, and the steps of functionality. Even the basic device setup is initiated from the main display. The Trezor Model 1 comes with a 128 x 64-pixel monochrome display, capable of providing up to 6 lines of text from which you can read short details to transactions. Meanwhile, the Ledger Nano S comes with a 128 x 32-pixel OLED display, with an additional function that allows you to adjust the backlight brightness.
Both devices need to be initialized before they can be used. To set up the Trezor One, you need to establish a connection by way of using the provided USB cable. You then need to make your way to the Trezor.io/start website, where you will select Trezor 1 as the device in use. This will initiate a download of the Trezor bridge, an interface between your computer and the device.
When the bridge finds the device, click on ‘Install Firmware’ and wait. When this is done, click on ‘Create New Wallet’, then create your seed back up, after which you enter your preferred PIN. After this, the set is completed, and further transactions can be initiated via the Trezor.io online interface.
To set up the Ledger Nano S, first, connect the device using the USB cord. then download the Ledger Live App from the main platform. Use the app to select the preferred display. You then need to select ‘Initialise as a new device’, then choose the Ledger Nano S. Use the buttons to navigate to ‘Setup as New Device’, after which you then press on both buttons to select your preferred PIN. Press then once more to re-enter and complete the PIN setup. Continue and make the seed backup, then finalize the security checks on the app to complete the setup.
This is yet another key factor, determining how well the user interacts with the device. The Trezor 1 is very easy to use, made that way by its compact design. The user can make use of software add-ons, the likes of fee estimations, and wallet labels. The Nano S comes with an understandable menu, with clear text. However, their advanced security systems can be a bit of a drag on the general fluidity.
The Model 1’s interface application is fully compatible with Android, Apple, and Windows operating systems. This means that users can access the device from most mobile phones, tablets, and laptops. Likewise, Ledger Live is compatible with Android 7 and onwards, iOS 9 onwards, and Windows laptops from 8 onwards.
Trezor 1 is quite secure, made so by its open-source framework that is virtually impossible to hack. On top of this, the device is protected by the secure PIN phase, which activates the recovery mode after 16 consecutive failed attempts. Each fail is followed by a delay period before opening up or another entry. The device also comes with an automatic malware detector that warns against suspicious addresses.
With the Nano S, you can create dual pins, one for common confirmations, and the other for the offline storage base. The device initiates a full wipe after 3 failed attempts, only accessible via the 24-word private key.
The main differences
The following are recognized as the main distinctions between the two:
- The Nano S has a much broader crypto support range, capable of storing a lot more large-cap digital currencies.
- The Nano S initiates the automatic wipe after only 3 failed PIN attempts, while the Trezor 1 does it at 16 attempts.
- The Trezor 1 is compatible with Windows 10 only, while the Nano S supports Windows 8, and even includes Linux.
- The Nano S comes with a metallic slide case, serving to protect the device. The Trezor 1, on the other hand, is basically unprotected
- The screen on the Trezor 1 is twice the size of the one on the Nano S.
Why should you choose a hardware wallet?
Well, a hardware wallet is better than an online wallet in many ways. The most obvious is security, where the offline status of hardware wallets makes them impossible to hack. They are also less vulnerable to malware, another factor that is attributed to its offline status.
Physical Wallet Security
A brand new device should be appropriately boxed and finished off with a tamper-proof box seal. Once in use, it is best to keep the device hidden, more so the private seed. The seed can be made more secure by using special accessories that allow you to engrave the keys, rendering them proofed of just about anything. Never place the device under unnecessary pressure, where it may end up breaking.
Trezor Vs Ledger: Final Thoughts
From this review, it is clear that the Ledger Nano S stands in front of Trezor 1 in quite a number of aspects. However, the latter is unmatched in terms of transactional reliability and general security of sensitive data. That said, the ultimate decision on the Ledger Nano vs Trezor debate comes down to individual users.
In spite of this Ledger vs Trezor comparison, it is quite clear that both are incredible hardware wallets. In response to continued technological advancements, the developers even take an extra step to introduce newer upgrades of each, aiming to correct all prior ‘issues.’
These two hardware crypto has helped the easy accessibility of coins, and they offer top security, which has resulted in them becoming two of the most trusted hardware crypto wallets. With the popularity of crypto ballooning, we wait to see what’s in store for us from these two.