Trezor vs Ledger: Which is Better in 2024?
Understand the best in crypto security with our 2024 guide to Ledger vs. Trezor. Our experts dissect these premier hardware wallets, revealing the ultimate choice for your crypto stronghold. Dive in for sharp insights, harnessing expert wisdom to safeguard your digital assets.
Software vs. hardware crypto wallets
To start, you need to understand the basics of crypto wallets. A crypto wallet is used to store your private keys or backup seed, which you use to carry out transactions. There are two types of crypto wallets - software wallets - also known as hot wallets - and hardware wallets - also known as cold wallets or offline wallets. The easiest way to understand them is to compare the two:
|Generally less secure compared to hardware.
|Considered highly secure due to offline storage and secure chip technology.
|Easy to access and use on various devices.
|Requires a physical device, limiting access to the device itself.
|Vulnerability to malware
|Vulnerable to malware and phishing attacks.
|Not vulnerable to malware since private keys are stored offline.
|Connected to the internet, which may expose them to online threats.
|Typically not connected to the internet, reducing online attack vectors.
|Private key storage
|Private keys stored on the user's device, potentially at risk if the device is compromised.
|Private keys stored securely on the hardware device, reducing the risk of exposure.
|Backup and recovery
|Users are responsible for securely backing up their keys.
|Hardware wallets provide recovery seed phrases for easy backup and restoration.
|Generally free to use or low-cost software options.
|Hardware wallets have an upfront cost for purchasing the device.
|Supports various cryptocurrencies depending on the wallet.
|Supports various cryptocurrencies depending on the wallet.
|Often used for everyday transactions and trading.
|Recommended for secure storage of significant cryptocurrency holdings.
If you’d like to learn more about hot wallets, check out our guide on the best crypto wallets.
What’s the best hardware wallet?
Trezor and Ledger are widely considered the best hardware for wallets for investors. There’s staunch support for both hardware wallets and in many aspects the two are comparable. Both wallets support more than 1,000 coins, have in-built crypto exchange support, and offer models to suit a range of budgets.
However, there are some key differences between the two, and each has both pros and cons. You can use the table below to compare the two easily and read on for a more in-depth analysis of the different features.
Trezor vs. Ledger: Overview
|Type of wallet
|Up to 1456 depending on model
|$59 to $179
|$79 to $279
|On two models
Trezor vs. Ledger: Wallet features
Ledger devices have a sleek appearance resembling ordinary USB storage devices, except for the Ledger Stax, which looks more like a mini smartphone with a touchscreen covering the front. Meanwhile, Trezor devices are lighter, housed in plastic casings, and have unique shapes.
Both brands are compatible with Linux, Windows, and Mac computers, but Trezor can connect to Android devices only via the mobile browser while Ledger provides a mobile app for both iOS and Android.
In terms of display, the Trezor Model One and the Ledger Nano S Plus and Nano X all feature a 128x64-pixel screen. However, the premium models differ. The Trezor Model T offers a color touchscreen with a resolution of 240x240 pixels, while the Ledger Stax has a larger touchscreen with a resolution of 400x672 pixels, although it is grayscale, not color.
For connectivity, both Trezor and Ledger offer USB connectivity, but Ledger stands out with optional Bluetooth capability in its Nano X and Stax models, a feature not available in Trezor devices.
Trezor vs. Ledger: Currencies
When it comes to supported cryptocurrencies, Ledger outpaces Trezor, with Ledger supporting over 5,500 cryptocurrencies compared to Trezor's 1,289 or 1,456 depending on the model.
Popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Dogecoin (DOGE), and Stellar (XLM) are supported by both Ledger and Trezor. However, the Ledger Nano S, Nano X, and Ledger Stax all support the same set of coins, while the Trezor One supports fewer cryptocurrencies than the Model T.
It's important to note that there are several cryptocurrencies not supported by the Trezor One, including Cardano (ADA), Ripple (XRP), Monero (XMR), Eos (EOS), Tezos (XTZ), and Binance Chain (BNB), all of which can be stored on Ledger devices.
Both Trezor and Ledger users have access to built-in cryptocurrency exchanges for buying, selling, or trading coins while using their hardware wallets.
Trezor vs. Ledger: Security
Both Trezor and Ledger are known for their strong security features. They ensure that private keys never leave the device. Trezor devices are built on a single-chip base, while Ledger devices use a double-chip base, with Ledger's second chip being a bank-grade secure element (SE), providing additional protection against hardware-based attacks.
While Ledger uses a unique open-source framework called blockchain open ledger operating system (BOLOS), it is worth noting that Ledger's firmware is closed-source, which means it is not available for third-party review or vulnerability testing. In contrast, Trezor devices require users to enter the password via a keyboard, whereas Ledger users enter it on the hardware.
Both brands support BIP39 (Bitcoin Improvement Proposals) passphrases, but only the Trezor Model T offers Shamir Backup for enhanced private key security. It's worth mentioning that Ledger faced a security incident in 2020 when a marketing database breach exposed user contact information. Similarly, Trezor hardware wallets were hacked by Kraken's security division during vulnerability testing.
Trezor vs. Ledger: Pricing
Trezor offers two devices, while Ledger offers three. The Trezor One and Ledger Nano S Plus have different price points, with Trezor priced at $59 and Nano S Plus at $79. The main difference between these devices is that the Trezor One supports fewer coins than the Nano S Plus. Investors holding Ripple (XRP), Monero (XMR), or Cardano (ADA) may prefer the Ledger Nano S. The Ledger Nano X, priced at $149, adds Bluetooth connectivity over the Nano S Plus.
In the premium category, Trezor and Ledger both offer devices with touchscreens. The Ledger Stax features a larger screen, but it's grayscale, not color, while the Trezor Model T has a color screen but is smaller in size. The Trezor Model T is more affordable at $179 compared to the $279 price tag of the Ledger Stax.
For crypto investors looking for an affordable hardware wallet for cold storage, the low-cost options are the Trezor One and Ledger Nano S. If Bluetooth connectivity is desired, the Ledger Nano X is a suitable choice, while those seeking a touchscreen may prefer the Trezor Model T or Ledger Stax.
Trezor vs. Ledger: Ease of use
Setting up both Trezor and Ledger devices is relatively straightforward, involving account verification and passphrase configuration. Lower-end models have two physical buttons and smaller screens, which may require some adjustment for users accustomed to touchscreens and larger displays. The experience between the Ledger Nano X and Nano S Plus is similar, with the Nano X being slightly larger and featuring more spacing between the physical buttons. The addition of Bluetooth in the Nano X eliminates the need for a physical cord connection.
While the Trezor Model T boasts a color touchscreen, the Ledger Stax offers a larger greyscale screen. The larger screen on the Ledger Stax may enhance ease of use, as it allows for more accurate presses and better readability. Additionally, the Ledger Stax offers Bluetooth, which the Trezor Model T lacks.
Trezor vs. Ledger: Mobile app
Ledger devices are compatible with the Ledger Live application, available for download on desktop and mobile devices. This app allows users to manage accounts, check real-time crypto balances, and send and receive funds. To complete the initial setup, all Ledger devices must connect to Ledger Live.
In contrast, Trezor does not have a dedicated mobile app. Instead, users can install either a Chrome extension or the Trezor Bridge corresponding to their operating systems. Additionally, Trezor offers the Trezor Suite as a desktop app, providing access to portfolio information and an integrated exchange.
Both Trezor and Ledger support third-party wallets and other crypto applications, including MyEtherWallet, MetaMask, and MyCrypto. However, Trezor connects with Exodus, while Kyber Network users must opt for Ledger. Overall, Ledger supports a wider variety of third-party wallets, with 15 options compared to Trezor's six, in addition to other types of applications.
Trezor vs. Ledger: Pros and Cons
|Colour touch screen available, open source, Shamir backup
|Bluetooth on most models, mobile app, steel case
|No mobile app or Bluetooth, plastic casing
|Closed source, no colour touch screen, large scale hack in December 2023 due to security vulnerability
Which is better in 2024: Ledger or Trezor?
It very much depends on your budget and preferences for features. If you prioritize connectivity and mobile support, Ledger will likely be the best hardware wallet for you. However, for many users, the closed-source software combined with the recent large-scale Ledger hack and the Ledger Recover feature controversy will be enough for them to opt for Trezor as the best hardware wallet.
Your frequently asked questions...
Can Trezor or Ledger be hacked?
Yes, but they’ll need to be a very skilled hacker. Ledger was hacked due to a security vulnerability relating to dApps, with more than half a million lost even though it was caught and fixed within hours. Meanwhile, a Trezor device was physically hacked by a cybersecurity team.
Why is Trezor safer than Ledger?
In terms of security, the devices are comparable. Some would argue that Ledger’s history of hacks, the Recover feature controversy, and additional connectivity features make it more vulnerable to hacks and exploits, while others would point out that Trezor devices use a single-chip base and Ledger devices use a double-chip base to provide additional protection against physical attacks.
What is the Ledger controversy?
Ledger introduced the ‘Recover’ feature in the latter of 2023. This feature is aimed at helping users recover their private keys. While helpful in theory, it was met with widespread criticism from investors due to security and privacy concerns. Put simply, Ledger digitizes private keys to do this and this will no doubt become an appealing target for hackers. As well as this, many investors have serious concerns over any other party having their private keys, even if it is for a theoretically helpful feature.
Is Ledger Recover optional?
Yes. Ledger Recover is a paid opt-in service so users can choose whether they’d like that feature activated on their device or not.
Can you store XRP on Trezor?
Yes, you can store XRP (Ripple) on both Trezor devices.