After using TREZOR for a very long time I finally got my hands on a Ledger Wallet – TREZOR’s main competition.
It’s basically a device that allows you to store you private keys on it. If you follow this blog you probably know already that I’m a big TREZOR fan – the first widely spread Bitcoin hardware wallet. I’ve also reviewed the wallet in the past. But since up until today there was no real competition to TREZOR I jumped on the opportunity to review this cool new device and compare the two.
From TREZOR vs. Ledger Review – 2 Things You HAVE To Know Before Choosing
The Ledger wallet on the right and the TREZOR on the left.
Ledger has style better style than TREZOR
When you open up Ledger’s package you immediately notice that it comes in style. Other than the Ledger flash drive itself you also get a PU leather wallet, a ledger security card which kind of looks like a credit card and a chain strap the ledger to your neck if you wish.
TREZOR’s device is kind of clunky compared to Ledger’s sleeker design. It’s also much easier to carry the Ledger around since it’s substantially smaller than TREZOR.
Setting up the wallets – Simple and to the point
Installing and setting up your Ledger requires the use of a Chrome application. Once you fire up the application from Ledger’s website you will be presented with a setup wizard. In the past Ledger wallets didn’t have a second screen like TREZOR, but the Nano S is fully equipped with its on screen.
By utilizing a small screen on both TREZOR and Ledger it’s possible to set up the device even from a compromised device which makes me feel much more at ease. Here’s an example of how this works with TREZOR:
Setting up your security – PIN code and recovery seed
The PIN code is an added layer of security to make sure that even if someone stole your Ledger from you they will still have a hard time logging into your account. Enter a wrong PIN code 3 times and the device wipes itself clean.
Once you’ve set up your PIN code it’s time to move on to the recovery seed. A recovery seed is a set of words that when put together in a certain order can help recover your private keys in case the device is broken or lost.
This means that even if you completely trash your Ledger you’ll still be able to recover all of your lost Bitcoins through this seed. It’s also why it’s very important to write it down in a safe place where no one can access it since if someone gets a hold of this – they can access your funds.
The process is pretty similar to in both devices. Both show the seed on the device itself and not on your computer screen so no hacker can remotely copy it.
Here’s a screenshot of my Ledger’s recovery seed. Once I post this it means I will have to reset this Ledger device since anyone can steal my funds at the moment.
Using TREZOR and Ledger – short and sweet
Once the setup is complete you can start using your Ledger. Just replug the flash drive, enter your PIN code and you’re good to go. The interface is extremely intuitive and doesn’t require much explanations.
Most of the interface is done through buttons on the device itself. Buttons can be used to scroll between menu or pushed simultaneously to simulate “select”.
TREZOR uses a similar interface of two buttons but they are built in a more subtle way into the device. Not a big deal but makes it easier to not push them accidentally
Since there’s no way to access your wallet without the flash drive connect to your computer it creates a much safer environment to send and receive Bitcoins. This means that even if someone knows your PIN code he can’t access your coins because he doesn’t have the physical device.
It also means that even if the computer that you’re using to send Bitcoins from is compromised, since you’re using what’s known as two Factor Authentication (2FA) you’re still less likely to be exposed to any sort of threat (especially Man-In-The-Middle attacks).
The verdict – who’s better? TREZOR or Ledger?
Both of these wallets will give you your money’s worth, only the Ledger Nano S does it in a cheaper manner. Currently it costs about $30 less than the TREZOR. In the end I guess it boils down to who you prefer better in terms of design and reputation.
Ledger is sleeker, but TREZOR had been around for a longer time. It’s your call.