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Which Hardware Wallet is Right For You?

A comparison between the different models of Ledger and Trezor
So you’ve officially made the jump and want to take your crypto security seriously. But which wallet is best suited to your needs? This article will go over the differences between the two most used hardware wallets available, Trezor and Ledger and help you come to an educated decision as to which one is best for you. All of the wallets in this article provide great security, however, there are some differentiating features.
Ledger Nano S vs. Ledger Nano X
Both of these wallets will accomplish the same thing: secure storage of your cryptoassets. They achieve this by never allowing your private keys to leave the device. However, there are some key differences that may influence your decision to buy one or the other. In short, the Ledger Nano S is great for beginners and costs less. It is more catered towards long term holders who are not transacting as much and just want somewhere to safely store their crypto. The Ledger Nano X is more for active crypto investors who are sending many transactions and using multiple blockchains. These similarities and differences are outlined below.
Cryptocurrencies Supported. Both of these wallets provide the same level of security and support over 1,100 cryptocurrencies, including NFTs.
Browser wallet compatibility. Both models can be connected to your Metamask or other browser wallets and used to interact with crypto applications without your private keys ever leaving the device. This ensures your cryptoassets are secure whilst being able to use applications such as OpenSea or Uniswap.
Application Support. Both have the ability to install various applications on them to be used with various blockchains and also come with the Ledger Live app to manage your assets in an easy to use user interface. These apps include a password manager and 2-Factor Authentication for increased security when logging into websites.
Wired vs. Wireless. As previously mentioned, the Ledger Nano S is more for long term holders who are not transacting very often and simply want a place to store their assets long term. Don’t get me wrong, you can still easily transact with your Ledger Nano S, however, it must be plugged into a computer or phone via an OTG (on-the-go) wire to initiate transactions. The Ledger Nano X has a bluetooth feature enabling you to send transactions without the need for a physical wire. You would only need a wire when charging the Nano X. You could be relaxing on the beach and be trading crypto from your Ledger Nano X and your phone via bluetooth. This is not possible with the Nano S.
Storage. The Nano S can only support roughly up to 6 applications on it. The Nano X can support up to 100. These applications are used to interact with different blockchains and if you are actively using different blockchains, then you may end up having to delete applications on your Nano S to make room for others.
Screen & Size. The Nano S screen is 128x32 pixels while the Nano X is 128x64 pixels. The entire Nano X device is larger than the Nano S.
Compatibility. Currently, the Nano S is not compatible with iPhones, only Android devices. The Nano X is compatible with both Android and iPhones. Both are compatible with Windows, MacOS and Linux. They are both compatible with the same 50+ wallets such as Metamask.
Price. The Nano S costs $59 and the Nano X costs $119
Summary. If you’re just getting started in crypto and only using Ethereum or Bitcoin, then the Ledger Nano S is most likely best for you. It accomplishes many of the same things as the Nano X and is cheaper. If you can deal with the screen being a bit smaller, no bluetooth capabilities, less space for apps and no iPhone compatibility, then save $60 and go with the Nano S.
Next, I will compare Ledger’s main competitor, Trezor.
Trezor One vs Trezor Model T
These wallets also accomplish the same basic necessity of securely storing your crypto without your sensitive private keys ever leaving the device. In comparison to the Ledger, they are quite similar. They have screens and come with an app that allows you to manage your crypto. Where they differ is the user experience and physical build of the device. Choosing a wallet simply comes down to personal preference and what works best for you because at the end of the day, they all accomplish the same thing. Below are the similarities and differences between the 2 models of Trezor currently available.
Compatibility. Both models of Trezor are compatible with the same mobile devices and operating systems. They support Windows, MacOS, Linux and Android mobile devices. They are not compatible with iPhone. They also can connect to the same wallets such as Metamask or Exodus.
Wired. Both models of Trezor must be connected via a wire to a computer or Android (no iPhone not supported) to initiate transactions, there is no bluetooth functionality like with the Ledger Nano X.
Password Management. Both models have password management functionalities that enable you to gain access to all of your passwords with the press of a single button on your Trezor, instead of a master password. You can even use your seed phrase to recover your passwords if you lose your Trezor.
Supported Cryptocurrencies. Unlike the Ledger devices, both Trezors come with full support of all the tokens they are compatible with. Over 1,600 coins, including NFTs. No having to worry about storage limits or installing apps. However, the Trezor Model One lacks a few coins that the Trezor Model T supports. Here is a list of all the coins supported by both devices. Just make sure you get the device that supports the coins you want.
Screen & Size. Both Trezor models come with a screen. However, the Model One’s 128x64 pixel screen is both smaller and monochromatic meaning it is a single color with low resolution. The Model T has a 240x240 full color, touch display. The entire Model T device is also a bit larger in size.
Device Operation. The Model One must be operated from a mobile phone or laptop/desktop meaning PINs, passphrases and device recovery must all happen on an external device. The Model T operates independently and all of these functions can be done from the Model T’s touch screen.
Security. Both Trezor devices offer great security. However, the Model T offers an extra security feature, called Shamir backup, not available on the Model One. Shamir backup is a security feature that allows you to create multiple lists of seed phrases (up to 16) and require a number of them to be input to access your funds. You can then distribute these amongst different trusted people or locations. For example, if you create 5 seed phrases and require at least 3 to access your funds, you would need to input 3 lists of words in order to gain access to your funds. This is not offered on the Ledger Nano.
Price. The Model One is $63 while the Model T is $195.
Ledger vs Trezor
If it is between Ledger or Trezor for you, the main differences are going to be the lack of bluetooth on Trezor, no iPhone compatibility with both Trezors, and cryptocurrencies supported. With the Ledger, you have to install apps for each crypto you want to store. With Trezor, they support all of the cryptos listed, no app installation required. The Trezor Model T also comes with a full color touch screen not available on either Ledger device. Lastly, the price of the Model One and Nano S are about the same, ~$60. The Model T and Nano X have a larger gap with the Model T being $195 and the Nano X being $119.
As previously mentioned, all of these wallets accomplish the same basic thing: secure offline storage of cryptocurrency without your sensitive private keys ever leaving the device. If you’re just getting started and will only be using Bitcoin or Ethereum, the a Ledger Nano S or Trezor Model One will suit you well. If you are planning on getting into many different cryptocurrencies and transacting alot, the a Ledger Nano X or Trezor Model T will suit you better. It simply comes down to personal preference with regards to what features best suit your needs. I hope this article has been helpful in assisting you choose which hardware wallet is best for you.
FYI when you send NFTs to your wallet, they will not show up in the Ledger Live app or Trezor Suite. They will be safely stored, however, will not appear in the app. Connecting your Ledger or Trezor to Metamask or another browser wallet will enable you to view your NFTs in your wallet on a site such as OpenSea.