Trezor Vs Ledger - Which Is Better?
What are Trezor and Ledger?
Both Trezor and Ledger are hardware wallets. A hardware wallet is a physical device that is used to store cryptocurrency. They are USB devices that securely store your private key - they are much more secure than web wallets and software wallets.
Created by SatoshiLabs in 2014, Trezor Model One was the world's first hardware-based, "cold" wallet. The gadget instantly became popular among crypto enthusiasts, providing excellent asset security.
Prior to the Trezor Model One, the only way to store keys offline was to use a paper wallet.
Ledger Nano S was developed in 2016. With support for many popular altcoins at the time, it became the second most popular crypto wallet.
Today, despite the competition from new hardware wallets, the Trezor Model One and Ledger Nano S are still popular first-time buyers. The manufacturers have tested the robustness and functionality of their devices over the years.
Since the early days, Trezor and Ledger have gone beyond just storing bitcoins (BTC). They have added new features, such as storing non-exchangeable collection tokens (NFTs), passwords, etc.
What is Trezor Model One
Trezor, established in 2014 in the Czech Republic, is one of the most reputable and trusted cryptocurrency security companies. Trezor-branded cold wallets are developed and manufactured by SatoshiLabs, which was founded by crypto veteran Marek Palatin.
Trezor Model One is the first ever hardware wallet for cryptocurrency storage.
The Trezor wallet operates on a 'zero-trust' principle. This makes the device one of the safest ways to store crypto keys.
The main distinguishing feature of Trezoer hardware wallets is that the software is based on open source code and has been verified by independent experts. If you are using a genuine device, the private keys are created on your side and remain inside the wallet, eliminating the possibility of outside interference. This way, even the manufacturer of the Trezor Model One is unlikely to gain access to its contents.
What is Trezor Ledger Nano S
Ledger Nano S is one of the most popular crypto wallets on the market. Ledger was founded in 2014 in France, by experts with experience in hardware security development. It took two years to develop the company's first cryptocurrency wallet. The popularity of Ledger Nano S has long been due to the fact that it supported a much larger number of cryptocurrencies than Trezor.
Despite the variety of crypto-assets supported, the main drawback of Ledger Nano S is its limited internal memory. It allows you to install up to 3-5 different cryptocurrency wallets (depending on the size of the wallet applications). Ledger Nano S is a great hardware wallet for storing several types of coins (like BTC and ETH). It is also ideal for storing your entire altcoin portfolio.
Trezor Model One vs Ledger Nano S
In this review, we will compare two of the most popular hardware crypto wallets Trezor Model One and Ledger Nano S. First, let's start with their comparative characteristics in the table below.
Trezor Model One
Ledger Nano S
120 MHz embedded ARM processor (Cortex M3) running a custom developed system
ST31H320 (secure) + STM32F042
60mm x 30mm x 6mm
56.95mm x 17.4mm x 9.1mm
Trezor Model One device, micro USB cable, 2x recovery seed card, Trezor stickers
Hardware wallet, USB cable
Matte Black, Saffon Yellow, Flamingo Pink, Jade Green, Lagoon Blue, Transparent
Each of the wallets under consideration has its own distinctive features. Let's look at them in order.
Ledger Nano S has a built-in secure chip that is isolated from external attacks. Since the private key is stored in this secure element, it is physically isolated from both the outside world and the network environment, minimising the number of attacks. The wallet is built on a two-chip architecture.
Trezor Model One doesn't use a chip of this level, instead, Trezor incorporates a write-protected bootloader and firmware verification to protect the keys, alerting you if it's compromised.
To hack into the Trezor wallet hardware, a hacker needs to steal it. He must have a specialized device and about three weeks of work. During this time, you can have the seed phrase to transfer all your savings to another device.
Ledger and Trezor also use PIN protection to prevent unauthorized access.
The Ledger Nano S's PIN code must be entered on the hardware wallet. The maximum length of the code is eight characters. After three unsuccessful attempts to enter, the wallet is reset.
At Trezor One the code is entered through a personal computer into a blind matrix. This area does not show the numbers on the monitor screen, they are displayed by the wallet. This is necessary for security, if an intruder watches your screen, he will not be able to determine the pin code you enter.
If you enter the wrong code, the time to re-enter it increases exponentially.
After entering fifteen incorrect codes, the wallet is reset.
Comparing the security of the devices, it is found that both manufacturers offer robust protection against various attacks.
Both devices have a built-in display that shows the recovery phrase. The Ledger Nano S can change the screen brightness, text orientation and invert colours in the settings. The screen size of Trezor Model One is larger, due to this public addresses of crypto wallets entirely fits on the display. On Ledger, you have to scroll through the address, which is not very convenient.
The gadgets work with the BIP39 standard to generate seed phrases. Therefore, they support mnemonic phrases consisting of 12, 18 and 24 words. Activation and recovery of the Ledger Nano S wallet is done directly on the device. In the competitor's case, the phrases can be entered via web application.
To check the seed - phrases on the Ledger Nano S, it is necessary to install an additional application
LedgerLive, which is available for iOS and Android computers and smartphones.
To check the seed - phrases on the Trezor Model One, you can use the web app or install the Trezor Suite app on your computer.
All settings on the Ledger Nano S are in the device itself. On the Trezor Model One, the settings can be changed in several ways:
The Lenger Nano S can be cleared in two ways: via the settings app, or by entering an incorrect pin code three times. The wallet automatically resets itself to zero.
The Trezor Model One can also be cleared in two ways: via the web interface, or by pressing the two keys on the wallet and connecting it to a PC.
To transfer coins in both wallets two confirmations are required. In the first step you confirm the sending address and amount, and in the second step you agree to the fee.
Ledger Nano S does not have the ability to send coins to multiple recipients at once. A competitor has such an option. The "sent to money" option in the web interface allows you to select multiple recipients and send them coins in a single transaction.
Advantages and disadvantages of wallets
If you frequently switch between computers or use public PCs, owning a hardware wallet can make your life much easier, especially if you need to access your portfolio regularly.
Without a hardware wallet, accessing your portfolio across multiple computers can be difficult at best, and simply dangerous at worst. If you are serious about security, a hardware wallet is your choice.
Like any physical device, hardware cryptocurrency wallets can break down. Even though the Ledger Nano S is quite rugged thanks to its aluminium casing, it still doesn't protect it from heavy drops, water damage or fire damage. Therefore, it is highly recommended to always keep the hardware wallet in a case. Ideally, one that is also waterproof. For example, a variety of silicone wallet pouches are available on the Trezor website.
Hardware wallets, such as the Ledger Nano S and Trezor One, provide cryptocurrency investors with an easy way to secure their portfolio in a cold storage environment, which is considered the most secure way to store it. Both wallets are secure and support a large number of cryptocurrencies and tokens. Because they have some distinctive features, everyone can choose the wallet that best suits their needs.