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Trezor and Ledger are two of the world’s premier manufacturers of crypto hardware wallets. Trezor was the first hardware wallet ever created. The Ledger Nano S is among the most popular, having sold over 1,000,000 units worldwide.
Hardware wallets like those made by Trezor and Ledger also provide a way for users to bring their wallets online and send or receive transactions. In the case of Ledger, users can also trade cryptocurrencies inside the Ledger Live app.
The most popular hardware wallet made by Trezor is the Trezor One, and the most popular hardware wallet made by Ledger is the Ledger Nano S. The more expensive models include the Trezor Model T and the Ledger Nano X.
We reviewed both companies and their wallets based on supported currencies, security, fees, features, and more so you can decide which is the best choice.
Trezor vs. Ledger: How Do They Compare?
Investing in cryptocurrencies, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), and other Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is highly risky and speculative, and the markets can be extremely volatile. Consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. This article is not a recommendation by The Balance or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed.
At a Glance
|Trezor One||Ledger Nano S|
|Type of Wallet||Hardware (cold storage)||Hardware (cold storage)|
|Currencies||1,000 +||3 at a time, 1,500 + total|
|Device Size||60mm x 30mm x 6mm (2.4in x 1.2in x 0.2in)||56.95mm x 17.4mm x 9.1mm|
Trezor vs. Ledger: Ease of Use
Both wallets made by both companies are designed for beginners and advanced users alike. Getting set up involves:
- Updating the device’s firmware (either through an app or web-based interface)
- Creating a wallet
- Creating a backup seed phrase
- Creating a PIN for the device
Both apps make the process as simple as possible and users are guided along every step of the way. Ledger wallets include the additional step of installing the Ledger Live app, which can be downloaded and installed like any other app and includes a built-in crypto exchange where users can trade different currencies.
Trezor wallets interact with a computer through a web-based interface on MyTrezor.com. The interface has a simple display with different cryptos on the left-hand sidebar, transaction history on the bottom half of the screen, and wallet balance on the top half of the screen.
Some users may find using the Trezor to be more intuitive because of the bigger screen and the web interface. There are also no extra apps to install on the Trezor unless someone wants to use ETH or ERC-20 tokens.
The Ledger wallets, on the other hand, require users to first install an app for each specific cryptocurrency they want to use. If you want to use Bitcoin, you have to install the BTC app. If you want to use XRP, you have to install the XRP app, and so on. The Ledger Nano S only has enough memory to store about three apps at a time, though the Ledger Nano X can hold up to 100 apps.
Trezor vs. Ledger: Security
Both Trezor and Ledger are hardware wallets that hold crypto in cold storage, which means coins are kept offline where they are safest from hackers.
To provide additional security, Ledger uses Secure Element chips. These are the same chips used in passports, SIM cards, credit cards, and similar devices. Ledger wallets are also Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 5+ rated.
EAL is an increasing scale of universally recognized security standards for software or hardware products, and there are different degrees of EAL. There are only two levels higher than EAL 5, and the company claims to be the only company to make hardware wallets with this level of security certification.
Trezor doesn’t use secure hardware elements due to the fact that some of the tech involved is closed-source. The company argues that this goes against the open, transparent ethos of crypto. However, the Trezor One wallet requires users to enter their password using their computer’s keyboard.
While this isn’t a security flaw in itself, it does open up the possibility of a keylogger logging the keystrokes of a user’s password. The Ledger Nano S, on the other hand, lets users enter their PIN directly on the device itself.
In 2019, Kraken Security Labs revealed that both the Trezor One and Trezor Model T have a physical vulnerability. While the wallets are thought to be safe from remote, internet-based attacks, Kraken Security Labs proved that if someone gets their hands on the physical device itself, they could compromise it within approximately 15 minutes.
That said, all of these hardware wallets are still much more secure than any hot wallet.
Trezor vs. Ledger: Features
Both wallets have a display screen, although Trezor screens are larger and can display additional lines of text. Those who struggle to read fine print may prefer a Trezor wallet as they have a large colored display that makes things easy to read and verify.
For Ledger, most of the actions that users take happen in the Ledger Live desktop app (or mobile app). The MyTrezor.com web-based interface or the Trezor app for Android will be required to use a Trezor wallet.
The Ledger wallets have a smaller screen that doesn’t support color. Ledger text also scrolls across the screen slowly to accommodate for the smaller size, whereas the Trezor screen is large enough to show six lines of text simultaneously. The buttons on the Trezor wallets are also easier to use.
As far as design, Trezor wallets have a somewhat bulkier design to support their larger screens and are made of hard plastic. Ledger wallets look like USB drives encased in a sleek stainless steel shell, making them more durable and aesthetically appealing.
Trezor vs. Ledger: Currencies
The Ledger Nano S supports over 1,100 different currencies. The Trezor One supports over 1,000 currencies, and it’s logical to assume there is plenty of overlap. However, one notable exception is XRP. Trezor does not have support for XRP but Ledger does.
New users looking to trade ETH or one of the many popular ERC-20 tokens might prefer Ledger wallets. That’s because Ledger wallets can interact with these tokens without any additional steps required by the wallet user. Trezor supports over 1,000 currencies, but to use ETH and the many ERC-20 tokens built atop the Ethereum network requires third-party wallet software like MyEtherWallet or MetaMask.
Trezor vs. Ledger: Price
The price for the basic models of Trezor and Ledger wallets is nearly identical: The Ledger Nano S costs $59 before shipping costs and the Trezor One runs $60.
The more expensive models, the Ledger Nano X and Trezor Model T, cost $119 and $187 respectively. Most users will be fine with the cheaper models, although there are a couple of reasons someone might prefer one of the more expensive wallets.
The Ledger Nano X supports a mobile app for both Android and iOS, is battery-powered, supports up to 100 cryptos at once, and has a larger screen. Those who trade on the go and dabble in many different cryptos might prefer the higher price for this model.
The Trezor Model T supports more crypto currencies than the Trezor One, can also be used as a password manager, and also works as a U2F (universal second-factor) hardware token that generates one-time passwords for an extra layer of security on supported apps and websites. These two extra features are interesting but don’t have much to do with crypto directly. They are simply cybersecurity add-ons that can be used in addition to the hardware wallet’s other features.
Trezor vs. Ledger: Mobile App
Ledger and Trezor both have mobile apps available for Android users only.
Both Trezor and Ledger offer affordable wallets that support a large selection of cryptocurrencies. While Ledger is EAL 5+ rated, has a sleeker design, and has an app that can be used to trade crypto, Trezor offers a larger screen, is easier to use, supports more frequent trades, and works with a web-based interface. Additionally, the more expensive option, the Trezor Model T, offers security add-ons.
Beginner users who have no crypto experience and struggle to read fine print should consider the Trezor One. Users who only want to store a handful of cryptocurrencies for the long term, or want a built-in exchange to go with their hardware wallet, should consider the Ledger Nano S.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Trezor and Ledger?
Trezor and Ledger are the two most popular brands of hardware wallets. The main purpose of these types of wallets is to take their crypto off of exchanges and store it more securely for the long term.
How Do Trezor and Ledger Work?
Hardware wallets work by storing the private keys to a user’s cryptocurrency and letting them take those funds offline, into what’s known as “cold storage.”
The way it works in practice is simple. Users create their wallet account and either send crypto to their wallet’s public address or buy crypto directly within an associated app like Ledger Live. Later on, if a user so chooses, they can use their hardware wallet to send transactions as well.
Is the Trezor Wallet Safer than Ledger?
It’s hard to say exactly which hardware wallet is objectively more secure. It comes down to the beliefs about how software and hardware work and which solutions are best.
Those who believe in open-source software as being the safest solution for everything will say that the Trezor is safer. Others who believe in independent security certifications and objective evaluation standards will say that the Ledger is safer.
Who Should Use Trezor vs. Ledger?
Users who have no crypto experience and struggle to read fine print should consider the Trezor One. Users who only want to store a handful of cryptocurrencies for the long term, or want a built-in exchange to go with their hardware wallet, should consider the Ledger Nano S.
When reviewing Trezor vs. Ledger, we looked at features like security, price, ease of use, currencies supported, and device features. We also considered the types of users who might benefit from each wallet along with other features such as the mobile app and device design.