Last update: Jun 3, 2021

Trezor vs. Ledger: Battle Of Hardware Wallets

If you’re just getting started with buying, selling, and trading cryptocurrencies, you probably have a lot of questions. One of the most prominent questions you should be asking is ‘How do I keep my digital currency safe?’

Trezor vs. Ledger

Name Released Cost Currencies Platforms Supported
Trezor 2013 $59~$181 200+ Check List Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS
Ledger 2014 $59-$119 200+ Check List Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS

The last thing you want is to be one of those people you hear about who had their assets stolen, so let’s talk about a way you can keep yours safe.

Arguably the safest method available to you is through the use of a hardware wallet.

Two of the more popular hardware wallets on the market are Trezor and Ledger.

These wallets offer the features and functionality you need to protect your digital coins.

I’m going to review these popular devices and give you all the details you need to make an informed and educated decision about which one makes the most sense for you.

Introduction

Ledger and Trezor are two of the most popular hardware wallets in the cryptocurrency industry. There’s a reason they rank at or near the top of the market. Both offer plenty of features and provide support for a variety of digital currencies. But before we get into all that, let’s take a look at where and when these wallets got their start.

History

Trezor

Trezor History

When talking about the history of hardware wallets, you’ll inevitably have to begin with Trezor.

The device was first designed and developed by Satoshi Labs, which is a Bitcoin-based organization that resides in the Czech Republic.

Founded in 2013, Trezor initially began its work focusing on security and safety for cryptocurrencies.

Trezor’s first device launched in 2014, making it the first hardware wallet for Bitcoin.

The wallet’s name, Trezor, means ‘vault’ or ‘safe’ in many Slavic languages, including Czech.

Since then, Trezor has experienced significant growth, expanding into more than 100 countries less than a year after its initial hardware wallet launch.

Marek Palatinus, the company’s CEO, got his start in the crypto world with Slush Pool.

If you’re familiar with Bitcoin, you know this is one of the oldest mining pools in the coin’s history. Thanks to Marek’s expertise and a strong development team, Trezor has continued to grow, becoming more popular with everyday crypto owners.

In 2016, the company saw its value grow even more as the demand for Trezor wallets surged.

A few years later, Trezor released an updated version of its hardware wallet, the Trezor Model T. While this device has yet to realize the potential of its predecessor, it’s an excellent option for storing your BTC.

Wallet
Trezor

When it comes to crypto hardware wallets, Trezor is among the best there is. It’s easy to set up, secure, and affordable. Trezor hardware wallets allow you to send and receive all your favorite cryptocurrencies while providing the privacy and security you need to keep your digital coins safe.

Trezor is one of the highest-rated hardware wallets on the market, so be sure to visit their website and order your favorite one.

4/5
Visit Trezor

Ledger

Ledger team Since 2014

Headquartered in Paris, France, Ledger launched in 2014. The company was founded by blockchain security experts who enjoy collaborating on their hardware wallets.

Currently, there are two device options, which I’ll cover more extensively later. For now, just know that you can choose between the Ledger Nano S and the Nano X.

Like Trezor, as the market continues to grow and expand, so does the demand for Ledger wallets.

With offices in the United States and France, the company is now a global player in the cryptocurrency wallet industry.

As a result, Ledger sold almost a million units in 2017 alone. These numbers are a stark reminder that the company is making significant strides as Ledger sold only 30,000 devices in 2016.

Additionally, recent interest in the cryptocurrency world has served to continue Ledger’s upward trend.

Investors continue to show support for the company, which is evidenced by the $75 million Ledger raised during its Series B financing round just a few years ago.

Wallet
Ledger Nano S

If you don’t want to mess around with software wallets, you should check out the Ledger Nano S. This affordable hardware wallet is a great way to keep your coins safe and secure. With support for nearly every coin on the market, it’s tough to go wrong with the Nano S.

To get your hands on this high-quality, affordable hardware wallet, visit the Ledger website

3.5/5
Visit Ledger Nano S

How do hardware wallets work?

How Do Hardware Wallets Work?

Remember that cryptocurrencies aren’t stored on the wallet itself.

These permanently reside on the blockchain. Your wallet is used to store your private keys.

It’s your private keys that are used to open up the lock on your blockchain address, which is where your digital currencies are actually located. With your hardware wallet, you can interact with all your coins.

Hardware wallets have two purposes. First, they keep your private keys safe.

These wallets are considered cold storage, which is a way of saying they are offline, isolated from the internet. This helps to mitigate the risks associated with online hacks and attacks.

Second, they provide a way to confirm transactions that occur on the blockchain.

When you initiate a transaction, you’re signing it using your private key, which shows ownership of your tokens. Since your private key is your own, there’s no way for someone else to sign off on a transaction without it.

Transactions are easy to perform. Just plug your physical wallet into any device that has internet connectivity.

Type in your PIN, initiate the transfer, then confirm that you’re sending your funds to the appropriate address. This makes it possible for you to send your digital assets while storing your coins offline.

Safe and secure

You use your wallet to protect your private keys, which are secured through a passphrase and a PIN code.

If someone should happen to steal your device, it will be almost impossible for that person to gain access to your keys.

Your private keys aren’t exposed to an internet connection, which means hackers don’t have access to them.

That’s why hardware wallets are referred to as cold storage devices.

If you happen to lose your crypto wallet, you can use your single seed phrase to recover your assets.

This phrase, also known as a recovery phrase, is a list of words you use to recreate your private keys.

With your recovery seed phrase, you can recover your private keys on a different wallet.

Not all physical devices are the same, but for the most part, using them will be a similar process.

Start by plugging the device into your computer and unlocking it using your PIN. Initiate a transaction, then confirm the information on the device dashboard.

That’s it! You can move your assets with the peace of mind that your private keys are safe and secure.

Password encryption

Trezor Wallet Password Encryption

With Trezor wallets, your passwords are entered through a connected device, like a laptop or PC, which means it’s open for hackers to access it.

On the other hand, Ledger wallets have the password linked to your PIN, which you type in using the keys.

Trezor also offers its Chrome extension, called Trezor Password Manager, or TPM. With this extension, you can sign in to your wallet using Dropbox or Google Drive.

Or, you can connect to your wallet by entering your PIN and then turning on the Password Manager on your device.

Ledger vs. Trezor comparison

Pros and cons

These physical wallets aren’t perfect, which means they each have their advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a quick look at the pros and cons of Trezor and Ledger wallets.

Trezor

Pros

  • Top of the line security features
  • Regular firmware updates
  • Portable design
  • Wireless and Bluetooth functionality
  • Support for a wide range of digital coins and ERC-20 tokens
  • Works with multiple operating systems
  • Easy backup and recovery process

Cons

  • Costs more than other hardware devices on the market
  • Has experienced data breach in the past
  • Not as durable as other physical wallets

Ledger

Pros

  • Sleek stainless steel design
  • Robust and durable
  • Supports many cryptocurrencies and ERC-20 tokens
  • Compatible with multiple operating systems
  • Portable design
  • Beginner-friendly devices
  • Secure and protects digital assets

Cons

  • Small buttons make navigation tedious
  • Non open-sourced software

Comparison of Ledger vs Trezor Hardware wallet

Display

Both of these wallets offer display screens, which you can use to view your recovery phrase or send your digital assets to other wallets.

Between the two, Trezor has a larger display, which makes using the device a little easier and more convenient. Additionally, the Trezor Model T has an easy-to-use color touchscreen, which makes it a bit more appealing.

Material

Trezor hardware wallets consist of hard plastic, whereas Ledger hardware wallets have stainless steel bodies.

If you want a device that offers a stylish and sophisticated look, go with the Ledger. Plus, its stainless steel exterior makes it more durable than its counterpart.

Size

Of the two, Trezors are more often bigger than Ledger devices. If you want to carry your device in your wallet or your pocket, Ledger might be the way to go since it’s smaller.

The size of the devices doesn’t have an impact on the way they perform, but a more portable option may come in handy.

Buttons

Both wallets have two buttons that allow users that manage their digital currencies through the device software.

However, one thing to note is that Trezor’s buttons have a decent amount of space between them.

Ledger’s are spaced closer together, which makes it easy to press both buttons at the same time by mistake.

Operating System

Ledger OS

Ledger wallets use their own proprietary operating system called BOLOS. That means that you can’t see what goes is installed on the device or the firmware that runs it.

But, Ledger publishes its specifications so that anyone interested can view them. Plus, all cryptographic operations use determinism, so the device has all the necessary information.

Trezor

On the other hand, Trezor wallets use open-source software and firmware. That means users have access to all the ins and outs of the device and its goings-on.

Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to using open-source software. For example, but can be quickly and easily identified, but the software comes with additional security risks.

Currencies supported

One of the most important factors in deciding which device to select is cryptocurrency support.

However, bear in mind that you can always use both wallets if you need to if that’s what you need.

Trezor

Trezor Currency Supported

If Trezor is your wallet of choice, you can use it to hold a wide variety of digital assets.

The platform is adding support for more currencies on a regular basis. You can find the entire list of cryptocurrencies and ERC-20 tokens here.

However, keep in mind that there are certain digital coins that the platform does not support due to hardware limitations.

Here are just a few of the cryptocurrencies Trezor supports:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Stellar (XLM)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • Decred (DCR)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • ZCash (ZEC)

Ledger

Ledger Currency Supported

Like Trezor, Ledger offers support for Bitcoin and a range of other altcoins, including ERC-20 tokens.

Here’s a shortlist of digital coins that the wallet supports, but you can find the complete list on the company’s website.

  • Bitcoin (BCH)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • ZCash (ZEC)
  • Neo (NEO)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • Stellar (XLM)

Something interesting to note about these two devices is that they were each pioneer in their industry.

Trezor was the first wallet to offer a physical storage option for Bitcoin, while Ledger was the first to provide physical support for Ethereum.

Both companies regularly update their software to add support for new coins and additional features and functionality.

Selecting one of these devices for the cryptocurrencies it supports is a bit of a challenge. That’s why many people simply choose to purchase both devices.

Supported operating systems

Trezor works with desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets, so no matter what you’re using, you’ll have access to your cryptocurrencies.

The device supports Linux, Windows, macOS and is compatible with any Android or iOS device.

Users can also install a Google Chrome extension, which provides a way to manage your wallet and the data you have on it.

Ledger devices support Linux, macOS, Windows, and even Google’s Chrome operating system.

Keep in mind that you have to use Google Chrome or Chromium for the extension to work correctly.

Security comparison

Certified Hardware Wallet

It probably goes without saying that one of the main reasons you are considering a hardware wallet is for the additional security it offers.

Of course, security is a top factor you should think about when you compare these two top-of-the-line devices.

Other than the essential design of a hardware wallet to protect your private keys, there are other security features to think about when comparing these two top-of-the-line devices.

Keep in mind that both Ledger and Trezor are very secure, but remember that Ledger is not entirely open-source.

As a result, you’re not able to see what firmware is on the device or the code that makes up its software.

That means if Ledger wanted to inject malicious code into its firmware, they could.

This could be something as simple as transferring all your crypto to an address the company controls.

While this isn’t a likely scenario, it’s something to bear in mind if you’re choosing between the two wallets.

Trezor is completely open-source, which means anyone can look at the code and make changes. This is a double-edged sword as it allows developers to find and eliminate bugs quickly but makes its wallets a little more susceptible to potential hackers or other nefarious parties.

Compatibility with other apps and wallets

Your Ledger physical wallet works with apps like Ledger Live, Copay, Electron Cash, MyEtherWallet, Electrum, Magnum, Binance, MyCrypto, GreenBits, and many others.

Similarly, Trezor is compatible with MyTrezor, Copay, GreenBits, Mycelium, MyEtherWallet, MultiBitHD, Electrum, and GreenBits.

Both of these wallets work with a variety of other apps and wallets. I’m sure you noticed that the two devices have a lot of these apps in common.

When it comes time to choose, compatibility with the right app could make the difference.

Available models

Trezor and Ledger both have two models in their lineups. Let’s take a closer look at what these devices have to offer and how they compare with one another.

Ledger

Ledger offers its Nano S and Nano X models.

Nano S

Nano S

The Ledger Nano S was the first device in Ledger’s lineup and launched in 2014.

Its exterior consists of stainless steel and comes with high-quality microcontroller chips.

This wallet is a little smaller and lighter than its counterpart, the Nano X. The screen size is on the smaller side, checking in at 128 x 32 pixels.

Additionally, there are two buttons on the side of the unit to control and manage your assets.

Only wired transactions are supported by the Ledger Nano S, which means the device doesn’t have its own battery.

However, Ledger does include a micro USB cable with the wallet. The device isn’t designed for performing mobile transactions.

You’re much better off using a laptop or PC to perform transactions.

Unfortunately, the device does not offer a lot of storage space, which means it won’t hold more than 10 apps at a time.

If you want to use more than that, you’ll have to remove one and replace it with the other. However, the Ledger Nano S is still reasonably priced, which makes it one of the more popular physical wallets on the market.

Wallet
Ledger Nano S

If you don’t want to mess around with software wallets, you should check out the Ledger Nano S. This affordable hardware wallet is a great way to keep your coins safe and secure. With support for nearly every coin on the market, it’s tough to go wrong with the Nano S.

To get your hands on this high-quality, affordable hardware wallet, visit the Ledger website

3.5/5
Visit Ledger Nano S

Nano X

Nano X

The successor to the Nano S is the Nano X.

Like the S, the Ledger Nano X is made of stainless steel, which top-of-the-line microcontrollers.

However, the Nano X also comes with wireless chips and built-in Bluetooth functionality.

The Nano X is heavier than its counterpart, but it also offers a larger screen.

Measuring at 128 x 64, the display on the Ledger Nano X provides more real estate for showing important information.

There are two buttons on the device, one on each side, which makes it convenient and easy to use, and more durable.

A USB type C cable comes with the Nano X, which you can use to charge its 100 mAh battery.

Additionally, the device offers much more stores than the Nano S, as it can handle more than 100 different apps with ease.

If you prefer wireless and Bluetooth support, along with the ability to access your cryptocurrencies anytime you want, the Ledger Nano X is a popular option.

Wallet
Ledger Nano X

Ledger produces some of the best hardware wallets in the business, which is why you should give the Nano X serious consideration. This sleek device, with an intuitive user interface, and multi currency support is an excellent option for managing all your digital assets.

For all the security afforded with a hardware wallet, head on over to the Ledger website and order your Nano X today!

4/5
Visit Ledger Nano X

Trezor

Trezor’s hardware wallets come in two models: The Trezor One and the Trezor Model T.

Trezor One

Trezor One

The first-ever hardware wallet designed and launched by SatoshiLabs was the Trezor One.

This popular physical wallet has two buttons, along with a 128 x 64-pixel display. At first glance, the device looks a lot like a keychain.

It doesn’t hurt that the Trezor One is compact and lightweight, which makes it portable.

While the device isn’t stainless steel like Ledger’s physical wallets, it is made of ABS plastic, which is robust and impact-resistant.

The casing protects the device against minor physical damage. With an ARM processor that clocks in at 120 MHz, you’re sure to have a smooth and enjoyable experience anytime you need to access your digital currencies.

This Trezor wallet offers a variety of features, like its Password Manager, which lets you store and manage your login information for multiple apps.

There’s also a U2F authentication feature, which provides easy login access to social media platforms like Google, Twitter, Facebook, and others.

Trezor One is an excellent physical wallet if you’re on a budget but want to protect your digital assets.

Wallet
Trezor

When it comes to crypto hardware wallets, Trezor is among the best there is. It’s easy to set up, secure, and affordable. Trezor hardware wallets allow you to send and receive all your favorite cryptocurrencies while providing the privacy and security you need to keep your digital coins safe.

Trezor is one of the highest-rated hardware wallets on the market, so be sure to visit their website and order your favorite one.

4/5
Visit Trezor

Trezor Model T

Trezor Model T

Trezor’s second-gen wallet, the Model T, is a newer, more secure, and updated version of the Trezor One. With a faster processor and upgraded casing, the Model T is an excellent physical wallet for advanced crypto user.

You’ll get a 240 x 240-pixel touchscreen color display that supports a multitude of digital currencies.

The only way to enter your PIN code or your recovery phrase is through the screen, which makes it less likely that someone will gain access to your digital coins and tokens.

It doesn’t hurt that the screen is bigger than most other physical wallets on the market, which makes it much easier to use.

You’ll quickly discover that the Trezor Model T is designed with mobility and portability in mind.

It comes with mobile and Bluetooth connectivity, a slot for an SD card, and is compatible with most operating systems.

Plus, the wallet offers its own web interface, which is perfect for transferring your favorite ERC-20 tokens.

Wallet
Trezor

When it comes to crypto hardware wallets, Trezor is among the best there is. It’s easy to set up, secure, and affordable. Trezor hardware wallets allow you to send and receive all your favorite cryptocurrencies while providing the privacy and security you need to keep your digital coins safe.

Trezor is one of the highest-rated hardware wallets on the market, so be sure to visit their website and order your favorite one.

4/5
Visit Trezor

Price

One last factor to think about when considering the Ledger Nano devices and the Trezor wallets is their price.

For the first-generation devices, the Nano S and the Trezor One, you’re going to pay $59 for both. However, the more premium wallets, the Nano X and the Model T will run you $119 and $181 respectively.

Considering the Ledger Nano X offers Bluetooth and wireless functionality features, it’s tough to justify spending more on the Trezor Model T.

That doesn’t mean the device isn’t worth it. You’ll get plenty of features with the Trezor devices. It’s up to you to decide whether or not these features are worth the extra money.

Avatar of andrejilisin
author Andrej Ilisin

A serial entrepreneur working primarily with digital assets. He's the CEO of Sharp Capital, a company that focuses on growing online businesses. Andrej is also huge crypto, chess, and CrossFit enthusiast.