How do I keep my cryptocurrency as safe as possible? What is the best bitcoin hardware wallet?
When we are talking about assets that one day could be worth millions in an unregulated market, that’s a smart question. The good news is that there are companies that specialise in keeping cryptocurrency safe.
Most would agree that the safest way to store your crypto is on a hardware wallet . We’ve compared the two hardware wallet market leaders head to head to see which one comes out on top. Contender one will be the Ledger Nano S and contender two will be Trezor. Who will reign supreme?
Why Should I Use A Hardware Wallet for Cryptocurrency?
Hardware wallets store your private keys and do not expose them to the outside world. This defends against malicious attacks such as keyloggers and phishing scams. With hardware wallets even you do not know your private keys, instead they are stored in the device and are secured with a device PIN number.
Any crypto thief would have to know your PIN number and be in possession of your hardware wallet to access your crypto. Alternatively they can guess away at your 20 word recovery seed – good luck to them.
Right now there is no safer way to store your cryptocurrency than a hardware wallet. This is why so many have taken the plunge and invested in one.
How Does it Look
Trezor feels cheaper as it’s made out of plastic and is lighter than Ledger, weighing in at 12g. Ledger looks more like a conventional flashdrive, feels more robust with its steel casing and weighs in at 16.2g.
Both devices are robust, but we prefer Ledger because its outer steel casing gives us more confidence in it resisting scrapes and bumps. Trezor does have a larger screen size than Ledger, but we do not feel as if this impacts on usability at all.
We love the look of Ledger and feel the style appears more business like and can be easily overlooked as a flash drive or other USB device.
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👍 Verdict: In the looks department we give the edge to Ledger.
This is probably the most important factor for people choosing a hardware wallet. After all, what is the point of choosing a hardware wallet if it doesn’t support the cryptos you wish to store? As Alt Coin Investors we really love the sheer number of cryptos that Ledger supports and feel this gives users more flexibility. It should be noted that both Ledger and Trezor do add support for new coins frequently, so keep your eyes peeled for new additions.
👍 Verdict: We have to give this to Ledger. Ledger is the most future proof hardware wallet available due to the sheer number of supported cryptocurrencies.
Important Fact About Ledger : Be aware that Ledger only has enough memory to store 5 apps on the device at a time. So if you plan on storing a lot of different cryptocurrencies on your device, be aware that you will have to spend time uninstalling and reinstalling apps. The other solution is to buy two Ledgers.
Both Ledger and Trezor have very clean, easy to use software. In terms of which software is better; it’s honestly too close to call. Both Ledger and Trezor have excellent software, but there are some differences in terms of compatibility.
- Ledger Compatible Operating Systems: Windows, MacOS, Chrome OS and Linux.
- Important: Google Chrome is needed for Ledger to work properly and wallet apps require Chrome extension downloads. Ledger also does not officially offer mobile support.
- Trezor Compatible Operating Systems: Windows, MacOS, Android and Linux.
- Important: Trezor also offers Chrome extension downloads to help manage the device.
There is a difference between Ledger and Trezor in terms of entering your PIN to the device. On Ledger you just punch in your 6 to 8 digit PIN into the device, scrolling through each number on your device. On Trezor you will get a 3×3 grid on screen with randomised numbers and asked to enter your pin. This means that on Trezor you can access your device in only a few clicks. On Ledger accessing your device might take 20 button pushes.
For those that simply do not trust third parties, Trezor’s software is open source, whereas Ledger is not. This means that it is much easier to audit Trezor than Ledger.
👍 Verdict: We love the software for both Ledger and Trezor. However, Trezor has a bit more going for it in terms of compatibility, mobile support and ease of unlocking the device. For that reason we have to give this category to Trezor and see it as slightly more user friendly than Ledger.
What Do You Get In The Box?
The Trezor box comes with two security seal stickers on it, so you can be assured that no one has tampered with the device.
Trezor Box Contents:
- USB cable
- Instruction sheet
- Two recovery seed cards
- Trezor stickers (we are not exactly sure why you would want to advertise that you own a Trezor)
The Ledger packaging actually feels very similar to an Apple product. However, there are no security seals and for this reason we recommend you buy directly from the manufacturer. There have been scams in the past where vendor sells second hand Ledgers as new and include a recovery seed card with all your recovery words on it. Please be aware that all recovery cards will be blank. If yours is not, don’t use the device and return it.
Ledger Box Contents:
- USB cable
- Instruction sheet
- Key ring
- Recovery seed card
👍 Verdict: Not much to choose from here. We would give Ledger the edge as the packaging looks really cool and feels higher quality than Trezor.
Which Is Easier To Setup?
The process is similar for both devices. This will involve:
- Setting up your pin.
- Writing down your 20 or so recovery seed words.
- In the case of Ledger, deciding which Apps you need and installing them on your Ledger.
With both devices, 3 incorrect pin entries will cause the device to erase all data and require you to recover your funds using your recovery seed. Just make sure you enter your pin in carefully.
Both devices have two buttons to interact with the device and scroll through menus. In the Trezor wallet, just be aware that clicking Bitcoin wallet in the top left corner will enable you to select other cryptocurrency wallets on the Trezor.
👍 Verdict: Tie. Both devices have similar setup processes and the devices should be ready to go in around 10 minutes.
Conclusion – Ledger Nano vs Trezor
Both Ledger and Trezor are the safest means available to store your cryptocurrency. Both options give you the ability to view your wallets, interact with them, protect your private key, send and receive crypto. We think both devices are great and are happy to recommend both. Just remember to check which coins Ledger and Trezor support before you buy.
Ledger does come in at around €94.80 (including European tax) and offers free shipping, whereas Trezor costs €128.26 (including European tax and shipping). For the extra money you spend on Trezor you get a larger screen that enables you to see wallet addresses on a single screen. With Ledger, wallet addresses scroll across the screen as it’s too small to display full wallet addresses.
👍 Verdict: You won’t go wrong with either a Ledger or a Trezor. But if we were forced to choose between them, we would opt for Ledger. Our main reasons would be that Ledger is slightly cheaper, supports more coins and mobile support is not important to us.
Which one is right for you? You decide.
€94.80 (including European tax and free shipping)
€128.26 (including European tax and shipping)