A Comparison of Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallets

Ledger Nano S Vs. Trezor

With cryptocurrency growing in popularity and value then there is a need to really think about how secure any that you hold, is.

Keeping your transactions safe is highly important as you may find that it could be compromised in a number of ways, perhaps by a virus, malware or even via direct theft.

There are also phishing scams where users are tricked into losing their cryptocurrency savings. In general, high-value online transactions always pose a risk of being intercepted.

This means that it is important to think about what you are doing to keep your cryptocurrency payments and transactions safe.

There are lots of things that you could potentially do to keep your payments safe. Investing in a hardware wallet is probably the best way to secure your cryptocurrency investments.

This is because, not only is it something solid, which can be difficult to compromise should someone physically steal it from you, but there are also layers of encryption on most hardware wallets such as a PIN, so even if someone steals it, it’s nearly impossible to access one without knowing the pin code.

You may then ask yourself what would happen if a wallet is lost or stolen as you would then lose your cryptocurrency funds. To mitigate against this most hardware wallets come with seed words that you create when you setup the wallet for the first time and you can use these to restore your balance.

For example, if you were to lose your Ledger Nano S, you can restore your cryptocurrency savings by purchasing a new device and entering your seed words into it. Or you could restore your balance by using software wallets such as Mycelium or MyEtherWallet.

Features such as this make cryptocurrency hardware wallets the most secure way to keep your cryptocurrency safe and therefore if possess any large amounts of cryptocurrency, it is wise to consider getting a hardware wallet.

As well as their security advantages, hardware wallets tend to allow you to keep a selection of different cryptocurrencies on them which means that you may not need a device for each different coin.

You can access the data and information on your cryptocurrency holdings offline, which is not only more secure but gives you added flexibility as to when you can look at the information stored on your hardware wallet.

Hardware wallets, such as the Ledger Nano S and the Trezor tend to be easy to set up and use which is a great advantage, especially for people who aren’t tech-savvy.

There is a selection of different brands of hardware wallets and it’s worth getting to know more about each one so that you can purchase the wallet which will be perfect for your needs.

Hardware wallets do come at different prices, but they also have different features and this means that you will need to think about which aspects you think that you will need and therefore which hardware wallet will suit you.

Ledger Nano S

The Ledger Nano S is designed like a USB drive.

It is compatible with all computers and possesses robust safety features, which will give you peace of mind that it will keep your cryptocurrency safe.

Trezor

The Trezor is an offline hardware wallet which plugs into a computer via a USB socket. Despite being offline, it is flexible and easy to use when you are trading or exchanging your currency. It is also compatible with many devices.

Appearance

The Trezor device, resembles a miniature remote control – rectangular at the top and triangular at the bottom. It is constructed from plastic. In comparison, the Ledger Nano S is manufactured from stainless Steel meaning that the electronics inside are protected from malfunctioning due to physical damage, such as being dropped onto hard surfaces or scratches and dents and it is also water resistant.

Although both devices are made of hard and sturdy materials, the Ledger Nano S does look and feel more built to last. If you are worried about your hardware wallet getting damaged and want something that is as strong and rugged as possible this is something to bear in mind, however, most hardware wallets tend to be locked in a safe or a drawer most of the time and aren’t carried around everywhere like a mobile Phone, so the likelihood of the device being damaged due to it being dropped is unlikely.

If the style and look of a hardware wallet are important then you may prefer the Ledger Nano S as it has a sleeker and polished look when compared to the Trezor.

Both hardware wallets are operated via rubber buttons, which are used to manage them. They have small screens as well as USB ports. The screen and buttons on the Ledger Nano S are larger than on the Trezor which could be important for anyone who has large fingers or shaky hands and poor eye sight.

The Trezor screen measures 128 x 64 pixels and it features a bright OLED screen. If possible, it could be worthwhile trying out both devices at the same time, if you believe screen size could be an issue for you.

What they come with

The Trezor comes in a box with a selection of accessories.

The box is safety sealed for your peace of mind and the device itself comes in a protective foam.

There is a strap which can be used to hang the device around your neck and a USB cable to connect it to your computer. There is also a card which acts as the user manual and two cards which contain seed words, which are used for recovering the device, if you forget your pin. Finally every Trezor package comes with some Trezor stickers.

All Ledger Nano S come with the device and a USB cable. In addition users recieve a keychain and lanyard so you can wear it around your neck It also has detailed instructions and a card for your seed words.

Both hardware wallets are similar but they differ in their prices. The Ledger S will cost $60 and the Trezor is dearer at around $100. It’s therefore recommended to research at what each device is capable of doing, in order to help to decide which one will be the best to purchase.

Using your Wallet If you have chosen the Trezor wallet then you will find that it works with all desktops and mobile devices such as Mac, Windows, Linux and Android. The Trezor device can even be synced with a DropBox account.

There are even some extensions to Google Chrome which can help you with managing it and the data held on it.

The design is neat and lets you see transactions that have taken place and you have the option to receive or end. There is a drop down button to switch between currencies so that you can manage all of your different cryptocurrencies on separate screens.

It is simple to see what is going on and easy to use. The Ledger Nano S works with Windows, Macs and Linux but it requires Google Chrome to work properly.

You will also need to install extensions, to be able to use it correctly. It is also neat and sports a minimalist designed so that it is easy to use.

There are easy labels so you can work out what to do if you get stuck when using the device.

The Ledger Nano S allows you to look at multiple cryptocurrencies you own at the same time unlike hardware wallets which often only support one type of currency.

Both the Ledger Nano S and the Trezor are comparatively easy to use, which makes operating the devices simple.

Ledger Nano S & Trezor supported coins

 Cryptocurrency Trezor Ledger
Bitcoin (BTC) Yes Yes
Litecoin (LTC) Yes Yes
DASH Yes Yes
Zcash Yes Yes
Bitcoin cash/Bcash (BCH) Yes Yes
Bitcoin Gold (BTG) Yes Yes
Ethereum (ETH) Yes Yes
Ethereum Classic (ETC) Yes Yes
ERC-20 Tokens Yes
Expanse (EXP) Yes Yes
UBIQ (UBQ) Yes Yes
NEM (XEM) Yes
Namecoin Yes
Dodgecoin (DOGE) Yes Yes
Ripple (XRP)   Yes
Stratis (STRAT)   Yes
Komodo (KMD)   Yes
Ark (ARK)   Yes
Vertcoin (VTC)   Yes
Viacoin (VIA)   Yes
Neo (NEO)   Yes
Stealthcoin (XST)   Yes
Stellar (XLM)   Yes
Hcash (HSR)   Yes
Digibyte (DGB)   Yes
Qtum (QTUM)   Yes
PivX (PIVX)   Yes

You can see that Ledger Nano S supports far more coins, although there are some that Trezor supports which the Ledger doesn’t. However, both devices are continuously adding more coins that they support and therefore the list of cryptocurrencies that the Ledger Nano S and Trezor support, will grow in the future. Obviously you will know what currencies you hold or plan to hold and will want to choose a device that supports them all.

Some people choose to buy both the Ledger Nano S and the Trezor to make sure that they have the best chance of having support for all of the cryptocurrencies that they own.

Setting Up

Sometimes setting up a new device can be confusing and tedious. In order to avoid this kind of situation, users need to ensure that prior to purchasing a hardware wallet , that it will be easy to setup and use. Thankfully, both the Ledger Nano S and the Trezor are simple to set up and understand, even for people who consider themselves to be tech-illiterate.

Both devices require users to set up a PIN to add a layer of security which means that if the device is lost or stolen it is much more difficult for anyone to access the data on it.

If three incorrect attempts are made to enter the pin code both devices will delete the data stored on them.

This means that it is wise to set up a easy to remember PIN and keep note of the PIN code and store this information in a secure and safe location.

Both devices come with recovery seed words which enable users to retrieve the data.

There are buttons on the devices which are used to scroll through menus and choose options.

Both the Ledger Nano S and Trezor have to be connected to a Computer and the correct PIN number to be entered before the data can be accessed. However if lost or corrupted, the Ledger Nano S data can be recovered without it being connected to a PC.

When compared with the Ledger Nano S, the Trezor has more advanced software and firmware.

Ledger Nano S Vs. Trezor Specifications

LEDGER NANO S TREZOR
CPU ST31H320 – 29MHz ARM Cortex-M CPU 120 MHz embedded ARM processor
SCREEN 50mm Bright OLED – 128×64 pixels
SIZE 98mm x 18mm x 9mm 60mm x 30mm x 6mm
WEIGHT 16.2g 12g
MATERIALS Brushed stainless Steel and Plastic Plastic
CONNECTOR Micro USB Micro USB
COMPATIBILITY Windows (7+), Mac (10.8+), Linux or Chrome OS Windows, macOS, Linux

Other Hardware Wallets

There are other hardware wallets available and you may wish to look into these as well before deciding which one to purchase.

A few examples are listed below.

Digital Bitbox is a hardware wallet which has minimalist features. It works offline and is easy to switch between different wallets when using it.

Users are provided with private keys which never go onto your computer or the Internet for security reasons.

With no browser extensions needed; it massively reduces and risk of the device being hacked into or compromised. The case is made from the same material as bullet proof glass, which helps to keep the Digital Bitbox strong and the private keys are kept on a high security chip which has a fifty year lifespan.

There are no cables or batteries provided with the device.

The Digital Bitbox is simple to set up and can work with iOS and Android apps using two factor authentication if required.

The Digital Bitbox works with Bitcoin and Ethereum ETH, ETC and ERC20 with the company planning on adding other cryptocurrencies in the future. Keepkey can be used for:

  • Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Dogecoin
  • Dash
  • Namecoin

It keeps the transactions private to ensure that everything is protected. It uses a random number generator to generate its private key and users can write a backup using a twelve word recovery sentence.

The key is solely stored on the device and it is Pin protected so if the Digital Bitbox is lost or stolen, data cannot be accessed from it. But users can recover your data from it.

The Digital Bitbox offers virus and malware protection and works on PC, Apple Mac, Linux and Android devices.

Comparison and Conclusion

There are different options available for people if wishing to store their cryptocurrencies on a hardware wallet. It is important to think carefully about which device to buy as users need to ensure that they purchase a hardware wallet that supports the particular cryptocurrency that you own and any others which likely to buy it in the future.

It can be difficult to predict this, so you may feel that you are safest going with the one that currently supports the most cryptocurrencies which is the Ledger Nano S.

However, you could prefer the fact that the Trezor is water resistant and sturdier, with a bigger screen and buttons. The Trezor is more expensive though, so if cost is a significant issue this could be a factor in your decision.

It is worth giving the points described above some thought and perhaps seeing if anyone you know has either or an alternative hardware wallet that you could look at to see how you feel you would get on with it.

Also look for any reviews you can find and this could help you make up your mind as well. Some people however go out and buy both the Ledger Nano S and the Trezor so that they have more flexibility with regards to which cryptocurrencies they own. However, this is only a worthwhile investment to make if you own a large amount of cryptocurrencies and want to store your purchases across different devices, in order to ensure peace of mind and to protect yourself if one of the devices were to break down or be stolen or hacked.