If you are new to cryptocurrencies and are making your first hardware wallet purchase, the TREZOR vs Ledger debate is probably at the top of your list. Both hardware wallets serve their purpose as a cold storage device and safe place to store your crypto, but which one is best for you?
TREZOR vs Ledger - Coin Support
The question I'm commonly asked is "which hardware wallet should I buy" and my answer is usually, "How many alts do you have?". If you've read our full review of the Ledger Nano S, you'll know that it was the only hardware wallet capable of storing Ripple / XRP at the time. This is a significant determining factor in deciding whether or not you chose the TREZOR Wallet over the Ledger Nano S.
Ledger Nano S
ERC 20 Tokens [OMG, QTM, EOS, GNT]
ERC 20 Tokens [OMG, QTM, EOS, GNT]
As you can see, the Ledger Nano S has the TREZOR wallet beat in terms of coin support. If you are an investor in any of the above altcoins that are not available on the TREZOR wallet, you may want to consider the Nano S instead.
TREZOR is making every effort to step up it's game in terms of coin support with the new TREZOR Model T. You can read our full review about it here.
TREZOR vs Ledger - User Interface
Bitcoin and blockchain are still at early days. If you don't remember plugging in modems and signing into AOL, then you are young enough to remember how complicated the internet was for new users. We take those things for granted, especially when it comes to cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrencies are NOT user friendly at the moment. Sending and receiving a cryptocurrency (especially to a hardware wallet) might seem like rocket science, but trust us, it isn't. Having a good user interface is extremely important to bring in new users, and they want to have a great experience with their hardware wallet.
The TREZOR Wallet utilizes a web based wallet that is extremely user friendly, and has a phenomenal user interface. Simply go to Trezor.io, plug in your TREZOR Wallet to your computer and enter your PIN and away you go. The Dashboard at the home page shows you how much bitcoin you have, what the current price is, and your transaction history.
You can also set up different accounts to keep track of your bitcoin or other cryptocurrency. For example, if you wanted to have a "Savings Account", you could simply send bitcoin to that particular wallet and leave it there so you don't spend it. You could use another account as a "Checking Account" if you plan on spending any of your bitcoin.
Ledger Nano S
Ledger products utilize Google Chrome apps or desktop based apps to access your wallet. The interface is simple and straight forward, but without the bells and whistles of the TREZOR.
You could argue that the Ledger bitcoin wallet is cleaner overall than the TREZOR, but it doesn't have the same dashboard feel. Again, these are still early days for hardware wallets. We suspect that their desktop interfaces will improve dramatically over time due to increased focus on user experience.
TREZOR vs Ledger - Security
Security is the number one reason to buy a hardware wallet. Storing your cryptocurrency in a hardware wallet is the best way to protect yourself from cyber theft. The reason for this is because the device generates your private seed offline, directly onto it's built in screen.
This simple feature is the most important because it guarantees that your private seed has never been exposed to the internet in any way. Using a desktop wallet or wallet on your cellphone sounds convenient, but if your computer or phone is infected with malware then consider your seed exposed.
Both the TREZOR Wallet and Ledger Nano s are strong in terms of their security protocols. Currently there is not a lot of competition in the hardware market space, so it is difficult to make a strong comparison in terms of security. The below quote is taken from our Ledger Nano S review.
“Ledger products utilize a dual chip architecture (ST31/STM32, Certification level: CC EAL5+) which ensures that the firmware integrity is cryptographically secure. What this means is that your private keys are cryptographically stored on the secure environment inside of the Ledger Nano S itself, protecting it from malware.”
The TREZOR website does not go into great detail about security certification levels or chip architecture, but it does make mention of it's "lack of connectedness" to aid in it's security.
“There is no WiFi or Bluetooth, no camera for scanning QR-codes. There’s not even a fingerprint reader for identifying the user. This is all because we want the TREZOR to be as secure as possible. The fewer devices the TREZOR talks to, and the simpler its communication protocol is, the less likely it is to get infected. The TREZOR also has no battery. When it’s unplugged it’s off and your bitcoins are safe from cyber attack.”
TREZOR vs Ledger - Portability
Portability is somewhat of an important feature depending upon how you use your hardware wallet. In the TREZOR vs Ledger debate, The Ledger Nano S is the winner due to its USB flash drive like design. As a keychain, the Nano S feels right at home.
The TREZOR Wallet isn't that much bigger than the Nano S, but its width can make it a little awkward as a keychain or putting in your pocket. I wouldn't want to put my TREZOR wallet as a keychain (unless I had a leather case like this one)because of the potential to crack the screen. I also question its durability relative to the Nano S.
As far as size is concerned, they are nearly identical in length assuming the Ledger not opened all the way. Width is a different story. The TREZOR Wallet is almost twice as wide, making it a little bit more annoying to carry around.
TREZOR vs Ledger - PIN Entry
PIN entry is an interesting topic because it deals directly with the security of the device. . While we may not see facial recognition any time soon, the PIN code will have to do for now.
We really like the PIN entry on the TREZOR Wallet due to the larger screen on the device and the integration with the website. The PIN code will show up on the physical device and look like a number pad. That number pad corresponds with the number pad that shows up on the screen of your computer but with the numbers removed.
This ensures that a hacker cannot get your PIN code even if they have infected your computer with malware that can record your screen. This is why we DO NOT suggest using paper wallets or web based wallets.
Inputting the pin using a mouse is SUPER easy to do, especially when compared to all of the clicking you need to do with the Ledger Nano S. Even inputting your PIN when switching between wallets is a breeze. We will see how this compares with the upcoming TREZOR Model T as a result of the new touchscreen.
Ledger Nano S
The Ledger Nano S has a slightly different approach with regards to the PIN. Inputting the PIN is done directly ON the device. The Nano S comes equipped with two buttons on the side (or top, depending how you're looking at it) that has both scrolling and selection functionality.
For each digit of your PIN, you must scroll through starting from 0, and then click both buttons at the same time to select that digit. You then do this as many more times as your PIN code is in length. If its four digits, maybe it isn't so bad. If it is eight digits, it is going to take awhile. We highly recommend doing more than four digits!
TREZOR vs Ledger - How to Chose?
Ledger Nano S
The TREZOR vs Ledger debate is actually quite simple. It is really all personal preference. If you are going to be getting into altcoin trading and plan on holding, you should really go with the Ledger Nano S because tt has better coin support. You won't find the same amount of coin support on the TREZOR Wallet, but they are working on bringing more coins to their wallet in the future.
If you are looking the buy the cheapest hardware wallet, you should also go with the Ledger Nano S. It is typically cheaper than the TREZOR Wallet if you buy directly from Ledger. You'll have to wait a week or two compared to Amazon, but you might be surprised at how much cheaper it is due to the price fluctuations on Amazon.
If you are willing to pay a little bit more and have a better user interface, with less coin support, then we recommend going with the TREZOR Wallet. It is extremely easy to use and switch between wallets.
TREZOR vs Ledger Overall Winner
If we had to recommend someone a wallet and they just wanted the best all around option, we typically suggest the Ledger Nano S. We highly recommend ordering directly from Ledger because you may be able to get a better price. We paid for expedited shipping and it was here fairly quickly.
You can also expect some shipping delays due to the increased demand for bitcoin.
If you want to get your hardware wallet right away and don't mind paying more, you can always order from Amazon using one of the below links! Thanks for reading our guide on the TREZOR vs Ledger debate!