Crypto Cold Wallet Review – Ledger vs Trezor

Here you will find a quick but thorough review of the two most popular cold storage devices for your crypto. 

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Why do I even need a ‘cold wallet’? Which is the best?

Ledger and Trezor are two of the most popular crypto hardware wallets on the market, but there are many differences between them – which one is right for you?

In this article, I’ll break down all the details so you can make an informed decision on which to buy. But first we will quickly review the differences in Cold vs Hot crypto wallets.

What is Cold Storage?

When it comes to securing your crypto assets, nothing is more important than protecting your private keys. This can be done through cold storage also known as cold wallets or offline wallets. A cold wallet does not use an internet connection, meaning it’s completely safe from hackers who could potentially steal your valuable coins and tokens. There are a number of cold storage options including paper wallets and hardware wallets like Ledger Nano S and Trezor; each one has its own unique benefits and trade-offs so it’s best to understand these pros and cons before deciding on which one to choose.

What is Hot Storage?

Hot storage refers to any cryptocurrency wallets that are connected to a network. These can be accessed by your private keys at any time. Private keys are used to sign transactions, so if you do not have them stored safely in a cold wallet, anyone with access to your hot wallet (such as a computer with internet connection) will be able to send cryptocurrencies from it. Many crypto investors opt for this way to keep their crypto as you essentially have access to your coins anywhere you go because they are connected to an app on your smartphone or computer. However, there is no way of retrieving those assets once they have been sent. This is why it is important to protect your private keys with a device like Ledger’s hardware wallets or TREZOR’s hardware wallets when storing cryptocurrencies in hot storage.

Examples of Crypto Exchange hacks resulting in millions of dollars of crypto being stolen include

  • Upbit – 342,000 ETH (November 2019)
  • Bitrue – 9.3 Million XRP & 2.5 Million ADA (June 2019)
  • Bitfinex – 120,000 BTC (August 2016)
  • Bitstamp – 19,000 BTC (January 2015)
  • Mt.Gox – 850,000 BTC (March 2014)

Cost Comparison

The basic model of both the Ledger Nano Scost US$59 and Trezor US$63 (at time of publication). Therefore cost is not the deciding factor for these devices. They both have a similar design and slight differences in functionality that may make one more suitable than the other depending on your usage preferences and needs.

Ledger Nano S vs Nano X?

Ledger is a company founded in 2014 and based in France. They produce two of the most popular cold crypto wallets on the market – the Ledger Nano S and the Ledger Nano X.

Ledger Size comparison - Ledger Nano X (Left) and Nano S (Right)
Ledger Nano X (Left) and Nano S (Right)

The Ledger Nano S is the base model.

  • Costs US$59
  • Has the ability to install up to 3 apps at a time
  • Industry leading security with a Certified secure chip (CC EAL5+)
  • 24-word recovery phrase for backup
  • Smaller screen size (128 × 32 pixels)
  • Slightly lighter and smaller than the Nano X (56.95mm × 17.4mm × 9.1mm and 16.2g)
  • No bluetooth capability

The Ledger Nano X is the more advanced option

  • Costs US$119
  • Allows you to install up to 100 apps at a time
  • Industry leading security with a Certified secure chip (CC EAL5+)
  • 24-word recovery phrase for backup
  • A larger screen (128 x 64 pixels)
  • A batter that lasts (8 hours in standby mode)
  • Slightly bigger and heavier than the Nano S (72mm × 18.6mm × 11.75mm and 34g)
  • Bluetooth which can be connected to the Ledger Live Mobile

Overall, the Nano S is their most sold product and is a great option for those starting out in the world of crypto. For those with more advanced needs the Nano X is likely the best options if you can stomach the almost double in price.

Have a look at the comparison table below.

Ledger Nano S vs Nano XComparison of the Ledger options
16.2 grams
34 grams

Trezor One vs Model T

Trezor (owned by the company SatoshiLabs) was founded in 2013 and is based in the Czech Republic.

They produce 2 options for crypto cold wallets – The Trezor One (basic model) and the Trezor Model T (Premium model).

Both these devices allow you to maintain your crypto in an isolated environment for offline transaction signing and generating addresses. When a transaction needs to be signed, you connect your computer to it via USB and enter your pin number in order to activate it. Once activated, you use it just like any other software wallet to sign transactions (the difference is that you don’t need internet access). Private keys are generated on device and are never communicated with your computer; they remain safely encrypted inside of it at all times. They can be later retrieved (encrypted or decrypted) from your Trezor via another pin number as well as recovered via passphrase entry if lost due to device failure or death of owner.

Trezor One (left) and Trezor Model T (Right)

The Trezor One is the base model.

  • Costs US$63
  • Trezor Model One supports more than 1000 coins
  • Has a monochrome display with 2 buttons
  • U2F authentication
  • Encryption via GPG
  • Slightly lighter and smaller than the Model T (60mm x 30mm x 6mm and Weight: 12 g)

The Trezor Model T is the more advanced option

  • Costs US$119
  • Supports all Trezor One coins
  • A full color touchscreen (Bright color LCD – 240×240 pixels)
  • Pin and passphrase entry is performed on the device itself, rather than on a computer
  • Slightly bigger and heavier than the One (64 mm x 39 mm x 10 mm and Weight: 22 g)
  • CPU – 168 MHz embedded ARM processor (Cortex-M4) running a custom developed system, the Trezor Core.
  • Utilises recovery seeds (BIP32, BIP39, BIP44, SLIP39) enabling you to recover your entire wallet using a 12-word recovery seed if you lose your device
Trezor One vs Model TComparison of the Trezor options
12 grams
22 grams

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