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Caring for and keeping your cryptocurrency investments safe has never been more important than it is today. Thankfully, there are many established organizations and startups that have provided the public with some great cryptocurrency storage options you can count on.

The two products that stand out in today’s market are Trezor and Ledger.

Trezor vs Ledger

Why use a Hardware Wallet?

We went into detail about Hardware wallets in our Best Bitcoin Wallets article, basically – by choosing to use a hardware wallet you are adding an extra layer of safety to protect your cryptocurrencies in the event that your computer is compromised by a virus or malware which could steal your private keys by way of a key logger. They also protect you against scams such as fake websites which use “phishing” to try and take your private keys. With a hardware wallet, even you do not see your private keys, they are stored in the device and you gain access to your crypto wallets by using a pin that you set up and have to physically enter on to the device.

If your hardware wallet ever became damaged or lost, its easy to restore your wallets by way of a list of “seed words” which you create on setup of the device and write down on the cards provided. These seed words should be stored somewhere safe, away from the wallet and preferably in two locations as a means of extra redundancy.

If you have any sort of investment in cryptocurrencies, it makes sense to use a hardware wallet – they are by far the safest means we have at the moment of protecting your investments.

Getting to Know the Wallets

Both products are greatly respected by the cryptocurrency community for the security and peace of mind that they provide. It should be noted that they do not actually store the currencies themselves. Instead, Trezor and Ledger simply follow coin information on the blockchain, while the physical equipment acts as protection for private information and data that are used to access digital assets.

Trezor

Trezor is essentially an offline bitcoin wallet designed to help users keep their cryptocurrency within arm’s reach and extremely secure. It operates as a very secure cold storage device, meaning it is always offline. However, it provides great flexibility and connectivity when the need to trade or exchange cryptocurrencies arises. It’s noted by many to be the most trusted and secure way to store bitcoins.

Trezor

Ledger

Ledger is a cryptocurrency hardware wallet that comes in the shape of a USB drive. It’s designed with robust safety features in mind and is excellent at storing digital assets and providing a safe way to execute digital payments. Ledger is compatible with any modern-day computer.

Ledger

Appearance of the Systems

Trezor devices are constructed out of plastic. By contrast, the Ledger USBs are made encased in stainless steel, providing for maximum damage resistance. While both are fairly resistant to damage, it is safe to say that Ledger’s stainless-steel body provides more safety in this regard. Plus, the Ledger looks way more stylish than the Trezor, and it’s also less clunky.

Both devices come with two buttons that are used to manage crypto wallet software. Each of the devices come with miniaturized USB ports and screens. It should be noted that Trezor’s screen is larger than the one that the Ledger sports. In addition to screen size, Trezors are larger than Ledgers; however, this does not necessarily have any impact on performance. Since both storage devices have their ups and downs regarding their physical appearance, it will be helpful to dig deeper and analyze the two even closer.

Whats in the Box ?

If you purchase one of these devices, you might be interested to find out what exactly you will receive with each one.

Trezor

Trezor Box

The Trezor comes in a small square box which has a safety seal on it so you can be sure the product hasn’t been tampered with. Inside you will find the device encased in black foam with a strap for hanging it up. Also includes a USB cable for connection to your computer, a user manual card, 2 recovery seed cards and a number of Trezor branded stickers ( although I’m not sure why you would want to use these to advertise the fact that you own one! ).

Box Contents:

  • Trezor
  • Strap
  • USB Cable
  • Instruction Card
  • x2 Recovery Seed Cards

Ledger

Ledger Box

With the Ledger you will receive much the same, it includes a USB Cable for easily connecting it to your computer, a Key Chain and a Lanyard should you need to keep the device on your person and also instructions and a card for your seed words.

Box Contents:

  • Ledger
  • USB Cable
  • Key Chain
  • Lanyard
  • Instruction Card
  • Recovery Card

Using the Devices

Trezor is compatible with desktops and hand-held devices. It supports MacOS, Windows, and Linux, and it’s also compatible with all Android devices. To some interested users, this may be a huge plus. There are also Google Chrome extensions available for Trezor that will help with managing the gadget and the data placed in it.

The Trezor wallet interface is clean and well designed, it enables you to view transactions with send and receive tabs at the top. The only thing to note, is that you will see at the top left is a drop-down to switch between cryptocurrencies – I didn’t notice this at first and accidentally sent some Litecoin to a Bitcoin address. The probably was fixed though as they have an online tool for switching currencies between wallets.

The Ledger is compatible with MacOS, Linux, Windows, and even Chrome OS. However, it requires the use of Google Chrome or chromium to function properly; extension downloads are also required to use the Ledger.

The Ledger interface is again, very nicely designed and easy to use with all the information and tools you will need clearly labeled.

What I like about using these devices is the fact you can have most ( if not all ) your cryptocurrencies in one place and accessible from one screen – its a lot better than having several pieces of wallet software installed and having to use different ones to send and receive. The fact that both the interfaces for Trezor and Ledger are so clean and attractive to use is a big bonus – using one of these will make a big difference to the way you use and interact with your investments – it all feels more polished and user-friendly.

Cryptocurrency Support

Cryptocurrency support is probably the most important factor in determining which gadget to use. Keep in mind that nothing is stopping you from using both if that is right for you.

Trezor

Trezor can be used to hold a huge variety of digital coins and support for more digital coins is being added all the time. However, it should be noted that Trezor does not provide full support for certain cryptocurrencies due to hardware constraints.

List updated Jan 2018

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • DASH
  • Zcash
  • Bitcoin Cash / Bcash (BCH)
  • Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • ERC-20 Tokens
  • Expanse (EXP)
  • UBIQ (UBQ)
  • NEM (XEM)
  • Namecoin
  • Dogecoin

Ledger

Ledger has full support for Bitcoins and Ethereum and other currencies through its Google Chrome extensions. The device can satisfy standard requirements of cryptocurrency users. At this time Ledger supports a lot more currencies than the Trezor, here is the up to date list as of Jan 2018.

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • Zcash (ZEC)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • Stratis (STRAT)
  • Komodo (KMD)
  • Ark (ARK)
  • Expanse (EXP)
  • Ubiq (UBQ)
  • Vertcoin (VTC)
  • Viacoin (VIA)
  • Neo (NEO)
  • Stealthcoin (XST)
  • Stellar (XLM)
  • Hcash (HSR)
  • Digibyte (DGB)
  • Qtum (QTUM)
  • PivX (PIVX)

An interesting thing to note when comparing the two devices is that Trezor is actually the first ever physical storage utility for Bitcoins. To keep things interesting, Ledger became the first physical storage utility with full support for Ethereum. Both devices constantly go through software updates and adding new functionality and coin support. Picking a device based on crypto support is quite challenging, which is why some users simply take advantage of both.

Setup

The setup process for both devices is quite similar. Trezor and Ledger require you to set up a pin code as an added security measure. If anybody steals your device, he or she will have quite a difficult time accessing it due to the pin code reinforcement. If someone makes more than three incorrect attempts, the device deletes all the data stored on it. Full support for recovery seeds is also implemented in the devices in case that occurs. As an added security measure, the devices show a user’s seed; however, it is never displayed on a computer screen. Therefore, scammers and thieves will be futile in their attempts at stealing your precious bitcoin wallet seed.

Trezor Screen

Most of the operations are controlled by the buttons placed on the Ledger and Trezor devices. The buttons can be used to scroll through menus or used to select items. Both devices make it impossible to access any data without connecting them to a computer via a flash drive connector and inputting the correct pin code.

Ledger Screen

Conclusion

Both devices can be used to send or receive coins, view all information and operations, and monitor on-screen transactions. It’s important to note that the cost of a Ledger device is around $60, while the cost of a Trezor device is closer to $100. Trezor has slightly better wallet software, even allowing transaction information to be synced with a DropBox account. There are options to create an endless amount of hidden accounts by password protecting a user’s seed. Trezor also has a password directory that is easily accessible.

Both devices cover a lot of cryptocurrencies with more being added all the time. The Ledger currently supports more currencies so you should check the list above to make sure your desired coin is covered.

If a wallet has been lost or corrupted, it can be recovered without having to connect the Ledger device to a PC. However, the firmware and integrated wallet software aren’t as advanced as Trezor’s. There is also no support for shrouded accounts, nor is there password administrator functionality implemented.

It’s quite difficult to designate the better device. Both will definitely give you their money’s worth. The price tag on each isn’t wildly different, either. Making a purchasing decision will ultimately boil down to which device supports the coins you own and beyond that personal preference over the look and design of the wallet and the software user interface.

Visit Ledger

Visit Trezor

Posted by Oliver Dale

Founder of Kooc Media, A UK-Based Online Media Company. Designer, WordPress and Crypto Enthusiast.

36 Comments

  1. Hey, is it safe to use these wallets on a public computer?

    Reply

    1. In theory yes, as your private keys are not exposed. I would not recommend you use a public computer for anything related to managing your cryptocurrencies though – It is not worth the risk.

      Reply

  2. Thank you for the great comparison! Curious on your thoughts, if I hold multiple coins, etc do I need to get a wallet for each? Is there a reason to?

    Reply

    1. It’s fine to hold multiple currencies in one wallet, personally I would purchase 2 of whichever you choose. That way you can restore your account using the seed words to the spare if anything ever happens to the main one.
      Hope that helps!

      Reply

  3. Trezors fees to send payments are atrocious $15 to send $35 Im taking all my bitcoin out

    Reply

    1. ^^ that’s not due to the Trezor, that’s the Bitcoin blockchain for you. The price per transaction has consistently risen over time as mining becomes more and more energy intensive. Bitcoin is no longer particularly efficient for smaller transactions.

      Reply

  4. Bonjour,
    dommage que la crypto NXT ne figure pas dans ses 2 hardwares car j’ aurai investis dedans.

    Reply

    1. I really hope this reply comes out right – Je connais une telle honte sp plusieurs crypto manquant – peut-être attendre jusqu’à ce qu’ils fassent l’addition

      Reply

  5. Thanks for the great comparative review, but my question is.:
    Why is it that none of the hardware wallets work on iOS products?

    Reply

    1. They do. I use Ledger Nano S on iMac. Make sure you are running the Apps on Google Chrome.

      Reply

  6. You missed stella lumens out on the ledger nano s list dude!

    Reply

  7. If I decided to go with Trezor and I wanted to buy some Ripple XRP, because Trezor does not support XRP, I would probably have to open a Ripple wallet and purchase the XRP there, correct? Also, because Ripple is different than Ripple XRP, can I assume that the Ripple you use in your Ledger example above, is actually Ripple XRP, or is it just Ripple? For example, if you go to coinmarketcap, you will see the price for “Ripple,” not “Ripple (XRP)”. Is the price you and others use when referencing “Ripple” actually XRP? Thank you for being here to answer questions! Hope your Xmas and New Years is the best ever for you and all!

    Reply

    1. Ripple and XRP are the same thing

      Reply

  8. Thanks for the comparison – is it true that Ledger Nano S only has the capacity to hold 4 crypto currencies at any one time? If so, is this also a limitation on Trezor ?

    Reply

    1. no, trezor support all the currency listed at the same time

      Reply

    2. No Ledger Nano S holds many Coins/. You have to delete and restore the apps on the device. But they never delete your coins when you delete an App. You can install and uninstall frequently the coins will always be there.

      Reply

  9. When using a hardware wallet like these how do you get forked currencies when they occur?

    Reply

    1. One word private key

      Reply

  10. How about better compatibility with new forks?

    Reply

  11. What do you mean by “Trezor does not provide full support for certain cryptocurrencies due to hardware constraints.”?
    And, how is Ledger better in Ethereum. Isn’t there any limitation on Ethereum support of Trezor?

    Reply

  12. How do I cash my money out of the hardware wallets? Need to be sent back to the exchange? (coinbase)

    Reply

    1. Yes, you will need to do that on Coinbase. Other methods here – https://blockonomi.com/cash-out-cryptocurrencies/

      Reply

  13. I just had a real bad experience trying to buy a Ledger Nano S from the company itself.
    I made the purchase on December 16, 2017 with a credit card. I received an order confirmation number at the time of the purchase. Then after a few days i asked about the status of my order. I figured I would have been sent a shipping confirmation or some sort of correspondence. To make a long story short I finally received a reply on December 29 asking if my issue had been resolved. I responded Hell no! I simply want to know the status of my order. The next time I heard from them was today January 4, 2018 stating that my order was cancelled because the two payment attempts made with my card failed or expired.
    Are you serious!! You took so long to process the order that I’m guessing my credit card company timed out. And on top of that it took Ledger three weeks to notify me. But only because I kept sending emails to their inept customer support team and they finally replied to one. I’m a Trezor customer now.

    Reply

    1. Just about every Crypto site is struggling under a huge influx of new users – exchanges are closing registrations, customer support times are slow and so on.
      This is probably the same case with Ledger, the demand for everything crypto is unprecedented at the moment!

      Reply

    2. Until you find out that TREZOR is under the same pressure and they let you down. Welcome to the outrageous growth of Crypto.

      Reply

  14. OK.

    Calm down Jerry …

    Reply

    1. Agreed. I was really kissed when I wrote that. I’m still learning to chill.

      Reply

  15. Does anyone know if XEM (NEM) is an ERC-20 token, and if either Trezor or Ledger support it?

    Reply

  16. No, it has its own wallet you can download here –
    https://nem.io/downloads/

    You can use it alongside the Trezor, Ledger doesn’t seem to support at this time.
    https://blog.trezor.io/announcement-trezor-integration-nanowallet-nem-xem-cryptocurrency-feature-803e7ffbf023

    Reply

  17. Many thanks, Dale. I’m sure I’m speaking for others when I say I really appreciate the time you are putting into this.

    Reply

  18. Hi there, it would be very useful for many rookies to have a similar topic about the on-line wallets: which one is easier to set up, if they are free or not, which one is safer (and why!) and so on.

    Reply

  19. Hi Oliver, thank you for this most helpful and informative review. I just purchased a Trezor direct from the company on New years Eve and they processed it on 2nd Jan and delivered it via DHL on the 3rd Jan to me in Cambridge UK.

    My question is that I don’t see some of the currencies you refer too in my drop-down currency box, just the 3 Bitcoin variations, Dash, Litecoin, ZCash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic – not Dogecoin or Namecoin or ERC-20 Tokens.

    I am using Firefox browser as Trezor not compatible [fully] with Safari on an new iMac – is this something to do with the browser choice? as I’m using latest firmware loaded from their site a few days ago.

    I found the Trezor very easy to use and bought BLT via Bittylicious as gave up with Coinbase after 4 days of failure to verify ID.

    Thanks again for your help as I wish I knew Trezor dosn’t do Ripple when I bought it – any recommendation for Ripple Wallet? – thanks John

    Reply

    1. Hi John,

      For Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens it works in conjunction with myetherwallet. Im not sure about Dogecoin – you would need to contact them to check, they do list it as supported here :
      https://doc.satoshilabs.com/trezor-faq/overview.html#which-coins-are-currently-supported

      The Ledger wallet supports Ripple – https://www.ledgerwallet.com/apps/ripple

      Reply

  20. Until my ledger wallet comes, its back ordered until March 2018, where is a safe place to store my bc, ether? I was told to use mycelium, copay, bread-wallet, or airbitz. Can a free app be secure?

    Reply

  21. Hi Oliver,much thanks for this super info on cold wallets.i am about to purchase a wallet and this was quite helpful in my decision. Do you have any advice on on storing IOTA safely (as possible )?

    Reply

  22. Hello, I wanted to ask that can Trezor store Tron(TRX) and Cardano(ADA), and all all the alt coins ERC-20?

    Waiting for kind reply!

    Thanks!

    Reply

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