Trezor vs. Ledger Review
What is the best hardware wallet?
After using the Nano Ledger S for a long time I finally decided to get my hands on a Trezor - Ledger’s main competitor.
The Nano Ledger S and the Trezor are the two big players in the market. At least you should use or test one of them for storing your coins securely.
Basically what you need to know as a newbie, both devices allow you to store your private keys on it.
Quick overview for your valuable 15 seconds
|Trezor (One)||Nano Ledger S|
|Coins supported||9 cryptos: BTC, BCC, ETH, ETC, LTC, DASH, NMC, DOGE, ZEC||20+ cryptos: BTC, BCC, ETH, ETC, LTC, XRP, DASH, STRAT, ZEC etc.|
|Compatibility||Win7+, Mac 10.8+, Linux, Android||Win7+, Mac 10.8+, Linux, Chrome OS|
|Browser||Requires Google Chrome or Firefox||Requires Google Chrome or Chromium|
|Headquarter||Prague, Czech Republic||Paris, France|
|Full Trezor Review||Full Ledger Review|
|Go to Trezor Website||Go to Ledger Website|
What you gonna get
While unboxing both products you will notice that both security tokens will come with a micro USB-B cable, 2 recovery seed booklets, a tiny instruction sheet and a key chain.
Most importantly, make sure that either your Trezor or Ledger is originally packed up and that no seals are damaged.
Setting up the wallets
The Ledger and Trezor are made for non-tech people, thus setting up the wallets is simple and to the point.
- Connect your Ledger: Plug your Nano S with the USB cable to your computer. Just follow the instructions that are shown on Ledger screen. Either you can choose to create a new wallet or to import a Bitcoin/Ethereum account.
- Select your PIN: Select and write down your 4-8 digit PIN. It will be requested each time you connect your Ledger Nano S. 3 wrong successive PIN codes will reset your device.
- Backup your 24 words phrase: Use your recovery sheet which comes with the device. Write down all the 24 words shown on your Ledger onto your sheet. Keep it safely in a trusted place. In case your Ledger gets stolen or lost, you will need those 24 words in order to access your coins.
- Install Apps from Ledger: Once you see “your device is now ready”, you can install Ledger apps on your computer in order to use your wallets. Either use your Chrome or Chromium and download the the standard Ledger Apps: Ledger Wallet Bitcoin & Altcoins, Ledger Wallet Ethereum, Ledger Wallet Ripple and the important Ledger Manager to install and remove Apps on your device. https://www.ledgerwallet.com/apps
- Done: To access your wallet, e.g. open the Ledger Wallet Bitcoin & Altcoins App in your Chrome Browser and connect your Nano Ledger S. Enter your PIN and and select the Bitcoin App on the Ledger Nano S. Then you are able to check your Bitcoin balance, transactions and receive/send coins.
- Connect your Trezor and install software: Plug your Trezor with the USB cable to your computer. Just follow the instructions that are shown on Trezor screen. The latest software will be installed automatically.
- Go to Trezor website: Go to trezor.io/start. Trezor gives you a short intro into understanding the PIN and the recovery seed.
- Device label name: After reading through the general instructions at trezor.io/start, click continue to choose your device label name at the Trezor website. Your device needs to be connected all the time.
- Select your PIN: Select and write down your 4-8 digit PIN. It will be requested each time you connect your Trezor. 3 wrong successive PIN codes will reset your device.
- Backup your 24 word phrase: Use your recovery sheet which comes with the device. Write down all the 24 words shown on your Trezor onto your sheet. Keep it safely in a trusted place. In case your Trezor gets stolen or lost, you will need those 24 words in order to access your coins.
- Done: To access your wallet, connect your device and visit https://wallet.trezor.io/#/. There you will be able to access all your different coins, to do transactions and to see your history.
Usability & Interface
The Nano Ledger S has a sleeker design compared to the clunky Trezor. For carrying the device around I feel that the Ledger is more appropriate since it is substantially smaller than the Trezor.
The Nano Ledger S only has two buttons above the display. All selecting and validating actions will be done with those.
The Trezor has also two buttons just right under the display.
I personally feel like the Trezor is a bit more usable in term of the PIN code you need to enter when accessing your coins. The Trezor shows a numeric pad from 1-9 and you enter your PIN based on the location of each digit at the numeric pad into your browser.
The Ledger Nano S does not need any browser support. The PIN code will be entered only using the two buttons. This may result in a lot of clicking in case you have a longer PIN and higher digits such as 7-9. When using the Trezor right, you save some seconds compared to the Ledger, however the Ledger feels safer as you don’t need to enter your PIN into your browser.
Both interfaces look kind of similar. However, the Trezor is more usable in my opinion. Once you accessed the Trezor wallet in your browser you can simply use the the dropdown at the upper left corner to switch between your different coin wallets. In comparison, when you want to switch the wallets using your Ledger, you need to use your Ledger device every time to open a new wallet App for the appropriate coin.
For ERC-20 Tokens other than Ethereum, you can use your Ledger + Trezor together with https://www.myetherwallet.com.
The Ledger Wallet
The Trezor Wallet
Both devices belong to the safest devices where you can store your crypto-currencies without any big hassle. Both companies support hard forks which means that you can really store your coins for a very long time on your device without doing anything.
Both wallets support “hidden wallets”. In case of physical threat, you can reveal one wallet on your device where you store some coins and the bad guy will be happy. Your main coin account may stay hidden with an extra passphrase.
A passphrase can be any word, phrase, any set of letters or even a sentence, up to 50 ASCII characters long. Your passphrase is never saved on the device; for this reason, you are never actually “registering” any passphrases in your device. Most importantly, for each different passphrase the device generates a different wallet.
Since the passphrase is never saved on the device, this means that there is no wrong passphrase. The device does not know which one you have chosen, and therefore all of them are correct! Given the same seed, for each and every letter combination used as a passphrase, a different wallet will be generated.
Trezor is completely open-source and in summer 2017 some bugs in the code have been detected by the community and it was quickly solved. However, the software of the Ledger is not known to the public and is being kept secretly.
Price Ledger Nano S: 94 EUR
Price Trezor: 89 EUR
I personally paid around 10-15€ in extra shipping fees for each of the products. So in order to save some fees (relatively), make sure you order for all your friends & family. This will be more cost-effective.
In all honestly, I cannot say anything bad about the Ledger Nano S or the Trezor wallet. Personally I am using both devices and I am happy with them as they are great products.
The Ledger is a bit cheaper, more handy and has a cool design and interface. However, their code is not open source and sometimes you have to click too many buttons.
The Trezor costs a bit more and is more clunky. However, I really like their very usable wallet software, the numeric pad for entering your PIN and the fact that their code is open-source.
In my opinion, both products can be seen as a substitute and the differences are only marginally, depending on your personal preferences.