Cryptocurrencies Keeping them safe (Trezor + Ledger)

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Cryptocurrencies: Keeping them safe (Trezor + Ledger)

There is one thing you should watch more closely than the evolution of the price of bitcoin and your favorite altcoins. It is the safety of your coins. Everything that has something to do with the Internet is exposed to the risk of being hacked. This is a constant issue both large and small crypto exchanges have to deal with on a regular basis.

In this article, we are going to explore places where you can keep your cryptocurrencies and the safest ways to do so.

Online wallet

Online wallet is the easiest and least secure option. There is a plenty of types of online wallets; this role is also played by various online exchanges or online platforms such as (coinbase) or some other exchanges.

However, when you do your trades you put your trust in third-party servers. Because you don’t have any private key all that you can do is trust a third party to ensure the safety of your coins. The question is not whether the exchange or online wallet will be hacked, the question is when this is going to happen. I know some cases from my neighborhood. Therefore, I recommend that you keep in your wallets small amounts of coins only those that you need for instant transactions.

Software wallet

Software wallet is a bit safer alternative that can be installed on your computer. You can choose a full-fledged software version such as Bitcoin Core, which downloads the entire blockchain i.e. all transactions. It takes plenty of space and requires periodical synchronization, which again takes a lot of your valuable time. Much more comfortable and efficient way is the light version such as Electrum, that does not download the entire blockchain, but only the relevant transactions so the synchronization takes only tens of seconds to a few minutes.

What is important is to set a safe password and backup your wallet and private key in a safe place, ideally to make a hardcopy and to create so-called paper wallet. Using software wallets will not ensure that your coins are fully secured, either. If your computer is infected such as with keylogger (which records activities execute via your keyboard) a third party may find an easier way to access your password.

Mobile wallet

A middle-of-the-road option is to use your handset where you can download the wallet as an application. A private key is stored in an encrypted form and in case of loss you can restore the wallet and/or private key on a different device. This can be done thanks to SEED (12-24 randomly generated English words) that you should write down in a safe place, ideally on a piece of paper.

The advantage of mobile wallets is that you have them with you all the time and that they do not need to download the entire blockchain with all transactions made. When deciding on a type of mobile applications you must first know which cryptocurrencies you plan to trade and which operating system you have, iOS or Android. The same wallet may work differently on two different operating systems. For example, with Mycelium used on Android devices, you see amounts converted into your preferred currency while iOS displays the amount in dollars and euro only.

Three mobile wallets from which you will surely choose:

Mycelium is one of the simplest and hence most popular ways to keep your bitcoins safe. With one seed you can create multiple accounts and import your wallet from a paper wallet. When sending BTC you can choose the size (and also the time) of the transaction fee. Mycelium is compatible with plenty of exchanges or hardware wallets (see below) and supports blockchain-based fiat accounts. So, you can connect Mycelium with a credit card.

Unlike Mycelium, Coinomi enables storing of dozens of various cryptocurrencies under a single seed. The wallet converts the entire portfolio into USD in real time and, owing to ShapeShift, you can exchange various altcoins one for another at the current exchange rate in the application’s interface. You can set the size of the transaction fee and you are a holder of a private key. Another advantage of this wallet is its anonymity. The transactions are not tracked and your IP address is encrypted. A downside is that it cannot be used on a iSO device. However, this version is already underway.

Copay is a wallet for more discriminating users. It makes it possible to create multiple wallets with a private key that you have under control. It even supports multisig wallets, that you can share with up to six users. Thanks to this feature, Copay offers the possibility of verifying the transaction by other people i.e. it offers mutual control to those who keep the cryptocurrency as part of a company or an organization. You can couple the application with a hardware wallet, display amounts in USD and choose the size of the transaction fee. You can also connect Copay to Coinbase to quickly and safely buy or sell bitcoin.

Of the dozens of mobile wallets available in the market, each has some pro and con. When choosing a wallet, try out more types. I am sure you will find one meeting your expectations. Lots of bitcoin wallets have their light versions such as for Litecoin, Ethereum etc. so if you hold various coins you will most likely need more than just one application. Don’t forget that wallets can be used for keeping smaller amounts for instant use. Hodling large amounts of coins is a job for a different device.

Hardware wallet

The safest way to avoid hacking is to move your private key from online to offline. Hardware wallet is a device that helps your private key be safely kept for several types of cryptos (see below). With a small stick similar to your flash disc connected to your PC the actual confirmation of your private key will be done outside the PC protecting you from malware such as a keylogger. Below you can see a few hardware wallets to choose from:

Trezor

Released in October 2020, this product boasts the title “the first hardware wallet”. We can be proud even more because it is a Czech product developed by two guys standing behind, Martin “Slush” Palatinus and Satoshi Labs. Bringing a revolutionary change to the world of cryptocurrencies, last November they introduced its second version under the brand Trezor T available in the market since January 2020.

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When connected to your PC, Trezor will download Trezor Bridge to be used for communication with the online wallet MyTrezor. Like in traditional wallets, it is used for sending and receiving cryptos. Log in to Trezor via your PIN displayed on Trezor’s screen in a 3×3 table. Using a “blind keyboard”, hover the cursor of your mouse over the table and fill it out. This method represents outstanding protection against hackers denied to watch you work with your keyboard.

Trezor supports Windows 7-10, OS 10.13 + and Linux. Using seed, you will create the backup (you can choose more English words than standard 12 words). These words enable you to restore your private key on a new Trezor in case of loss, theft or destruction of the old one. Also, you can strengthen your protection by adding passphrase encryption, a password without which the seed would not work.

Trezor supports the following cryptocurrencies (as of January 2020): Bitcoin, Litecoin , DASH, Zcash, Bitcoin Cash / Bcash (BCH), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), ERC-20 Tokens, Expanse (EXP), UBIQ (UBQ), NEM (XEM), Namecoin and Dogecoin.

Ledger Nano S

Coming from France, Leger Nano S is, among all hardware wallets, the main competitor to Trezor. It bears reminiscence of a traditional flash disc. Ledger was the first hardware wallet to support Ethereum. Nano S is the third version released in 2020, with an embedded display that allows you to use it, like Trezor, on your computer infected with keylogger.

Ledger supports Windows 7-10, OS 10.13 + and Linux. Transactions are verified through the app Ledger wallet. When first working with the ledger you must create and enter a four- to eight-character PIN. To protect you from external threats, after three wrong entries the ledger will delete the whole content, which can be restored on another device by using a recovery phrase.

You can make a backup of the ledger by using 24 English words (that you must write down after your first login). The ledger is delivered in a package protected with a tape. Therefore, if you find out that the tape is damaged you’d better send it back; it’s the indication of someone having tampered with the device.

Ledger supports the following types of alternative currencies (as of January 2020): Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), Dogecoin (DOGE), Zcash (ZEC), Ripple (XRP), Dash (DASH), Stratis (STRAT), Komodo (KMD), Ark (ARK), Expanse (EXP), Ubiq (UBQ), Vertcoin (VTC), Viacoin (VIA), Neo (NEO), Stealthcoin (XST), Stellar (XLM), Hcash (HSR), Digibyte (DGB), Qtum (QTUM) and PivX (PIVX).

Duel: Trezor vs. Ledger?!

Compared with Trezor Ledger has a disadvantage in not supporting passphrase encryption. On the other hand, it’s cheaper by around USD 20 (depending on e-shop). As to the dimensions, it is more compact but more user-friendly with a more elaborated virtual wallet. Also, the storing capacity is bigger.

Bottom line:

As said before, dealing with cryptos means always a risk. Safety first is the rule you should be aware of all times. If you decide to put your trust in a third party you should repeat that the question is not whether an exchange or online wallet will be hacked, the question is when this is going to happen The same rule (of keeping small amounts of coins needed for instant transactions) at exchanges or online platforms applies to hardware wallets.

If you decide to “hodl” a large number of coins, buy a hardware wallet. No matter which brand you choose – Trezor, Ledger or any other “cold storage” such as KeepKey or Bitlox – hodl your crypto offline out of the reach of hackers.

Author

More about the author J. Pro

Unlike Stephen (the other author) I have been thinking mainly about online business lately. I wasn’t very successfull with dropshipping on Amazon and other ways of making money online, and I’d only earn a few hundreds of dollars in years. But then binary options caught my attention with it’s simplicity. Now I’m glad it did because it really is worth it. More posts by this author

Ledger Nano vs Trezor – Which is the Best Crypto Hardware Wallet?

How do I keep my cryptocurrency as safe as possible? What is the best bitcoin hardware wallet?

When we are talking about assets that one day could be worth millions in an unregulated market, that’s a smart question. The good news is that there are companies that specialise in keeping cryptocurrency safe.

Most would agree that the safest way to store your crypto is on a hardware wallet . We’ve compared the two hardware wallet market leaders head to head to see which one comes out on top. Contender one will be the Ledger Nano S and contender two will be Trezor. Who will reign supreme?

Why Should I Use A Hardware Wallet for Cryptocurrency?

Hardware wallets store your private keys and do not expose them to the outside world. This defends against malicious attacks such as keyloggers and phishing scams. With hardware wallets even you do not know your private keys, instead they are stored in the device and are secured with a device PIN number.

Any crypto thief would have to know your PIN number and be in possession of your hardware wallet to access your crypto. Alternatively they can guess away at your 20 word recovery seed – good luck to them.

Right now there is no safer way to store your cryptocurrency than a hardware wallet. This is why so many have taken the plunge and invested in one.

How Does it Look

Trezor feels cheaper as it’s made out of plastic and is lighter than Ledger, weighing in at 12g. Ledger looks more like a conventional flashdrive, feels more robust with its steel casing and weighs in at 16.2g.

Both devices are robust, but we prefer Ledger because its outer steel casing gives us more confidence in it resisting scrapes and bumps. Trezor does have a larger screen size than Ledger, but we do not feel as if this impacts on usability at all.

We love the look of Ledger and feel the style appears more business like and can be easily overlooked as a flash drive or other USB device.

Verdict : In the looks department we give the edge to Ledger.

Supported Cryptocurrencies

This is probably the most important factor for people choosing a hardware wallet. After all, what is the point of choosing a hardware wallet if it doesn’t support the cryptos you wish to store? As Alt Coin Investors we really love the sheer number of cryptos that Ledger supports and feel this gives users more flexibility. It should be noted that both Ledger and Trezor do add support for new coins frequently, so keep your eyes peeled for new additions.

Verdict : We have to give this to Ledger. Ledger is the most future proof hardware wallet available due to the sheer number of supported cryptocurrencies.

Important Fact About Ledger : Be aware that Ledger only has enough memory to store 5 apps on the device at a time. So if you plan on storing a lot of different cryptocurrencies on your device, be aware that you will have to spend time uninstalling and reinstalling apps. The other solution is to buy two Ledgers.

Software

Both Ledger and Trezor have very clean, easy to use software. In terms of which software is better; it’s honestly too close to call. Both Ledger and Trezor have excellent software, but there are some differences in terms of compatibility.

  • Ledger Compatible Operating Systems: Windows, MacOS, Chrome OS and Linux.
  • Important: Google Chrome is needed for Ledger to work properly and wallet apps require Chrome extension downloads. Ledger also does not officially offer mobile support.
  • TrezorCompatible Operating Systems: Windows, MacOS, Android and Linux.
  • Important: Trezor also offers Chrome extension downloads to help manage the device.

There is a difference between Ledger and Trezor in terms of entering your PIN to the device. On Ledger you just punch in your 6 to 8 digit PIN into the device, scrolling through each number on your device. On Trezor you will get a 3×3 grid on screen with randomised numbers and asked to enter your pin. This means that on Trezor you can access your device in only a few clicks. On Ledger accessing your device might take 20 button pushes.

For those that simply do not trust third parties, Trezor’s software is open source, whereas Ledger is not. This means that it is much easier to audit Trezor than Ledger.

Verdict : We love the software for both Ledger and Trezor. However, Trezor has a bit more going for it in terms of compatibility, mobile support and ease of unlocking the device. For that reason we have to give this category to Trezor and see it as slightly more user friendly than Ledger.

What Do You Get In The Box?

Contents of Trezor box

The Trezor box comes with two security seal stickers on it, so you can be assured that no one has tampered with the device.

Trezor Box Contents:

  • Trezor
  • USB cable
  • Instruction sheet
  • Strap
  • Two recovery seed cards
  • Trezor stickers (we are not exactly sure why you would want to advertise that you own a Trezor)

The Ledger packaging actually feels very similar to an Apple product. However, there are no security seals and for this reason we recommend you buy directly from the manufacturer. There have been scams in the past where vendor sells second hand Ledgers as new and include a recovery seed card with all your recovery words on it. Please be aware that all recovery cards will be blank. If yours is not, don’t use the device and return it.

Ledger Box Contents:

  • Ledger
  • USB cable
  • Instruction sheet
  • Key ring
  • Lanyard
  • Recovery seed card

Verdict : Not much to choose from here. We would give Ledger the edge as the packaging looks really cool and feels higher quality than Trezor.

Which Is Easier To Setup?

The process is similar for both devices. This will involve:

  • Setting up your pin.
  • Writing down your 20 or so recovery seed words.
  • In the case of Ledger, deciding which Apps you need and installing them on your Ledger.

With both devices, 3 incorrect pin entries will cause the device to erase all data and require you to recover your funds using your recovery seed. Just make sure you enter your pin in carefully.

Both devices have two buttons to interact with the device and scroll through menus. In the Trezor wallet, just be aware that clicking Bitcoin wallet in the top left corner will enable you to select other cryptocurrency wallets on the Trezor.

? Verdict : Tie. Both devices have similar setup processes and the devices should be ready to go in around 10 minutes.

Conclusion – Ledger Nano vs Trezor

Both Ledger and Trezor are the safest means available to store your cryptocurrency. Both options give you the ability to view your wallets, interact with them, protect your private key, send and receive crypto. We think both devices are great and are happy to recommend both. Just remember to check which coins Ledger and Trezor support before you buy.

Ledger does come in at around €94.80 (including European tax) and offers free shipping, whereas Trezor costs €128.26 (including European tax and shipping). For the extra money you spend on Trezor you get a larger screen that enables you to see wallet addresses on a single screen. With Ledger, wallet addresses scroll across the screen as it’s too small to display full wallet addresses.

Verdict : You won’t go wrong with either a Ledger or a Trezor. But if we were forced to choose between them, we would opt for Ledger. Our main reasons would be that Ledger is slightly cheaper, supports more coins and mobile support is not important to us.

Which one is right for you? You decide.

€94.80 (including European tax and free shipping)

Need help getting started? Our guide shows you how to set up & use your Ledger Nano?

€128.26 (including European tax and shipping)

Confused with how to set up and use your Trezor? We have you covered.

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Trezor vs Ledger Review: Which is the best Hardware Wallet?

As you’ve probably heard time and time again, security is (or should be) your number one concern when it comes to your cryptocurrencies. Keeping your assets safe isn’t always easy, but there are two great products that have made it easier.

Let’s have a look at these two cryptocurrency storage options that together have kept tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies safe from the predations of hackers.

Who Needs a Hardware Wallet

The short answer is that hardware wallets provide you with the highest level of security when storing your cryptocurrencies. It will protect them in the event that your computer somehow becomes compromised with malware or some virus that could cause your coins to be stolen right out from under you.

They will also protect you from so called “phishing” websites that masquerade as legitimate cryptocurrency sites, but are actually set up by scammers to steal your private keys and your coins.

When you use a hardware wallet no one sees your private keys, not even you. They remain stored on the hardware wallet and can only be accessed by physically entering the PIN code on the device. That’s something no hacker can do from afar.

It’s even possible to restore your wallet on a new device if the current hardware wallet is somehow lost, broken or stolen. By using the seed phrase created during the setup of your hardware wallet you can restore your coins in the future, and avoid the heartbreak of losing your coins because of some mishap.

If you have any meaningful cryptocurrency investment you should be using a hardware wallet. It is quite simply the most secure cryptocurrency storage option, and one of the best things you can do to protect your crypto-assets.

Two Excellent Hardware Wallets

The Ledger and Trezor are both highly respected within the cryptocurrency community for providing solid security. The devices are both excellent at storing and safeguarding your private keys and all the supported digital assets.

Trezor

In essence the Trezor is an offline, cold storage wallet that is designed for security and to provide users with peace of mind, knowing their cryptocurrencies are close at hand and secure. Even when it is used in conjunction with your computer, it keeps your private keys away from prying eyes and shady characters. It’s been noted online by many users that it is the most secure and trusted way to store cryptocurrencies. Have a look at our detailed Trezor review for more information.

Ledger

The Ledger is another secure hardware wallet, made specifically to keep your cryptoassets secure. It has the form and look of a USB drive, so will feel familiar to most users. Its safety features make it ideal for storing cryptocurrencies, and it can be used securely to make cryptocurrency payments. Like the Trezor, we’ve reviewed the Ledger previously if you want to have a look.

Hardware Wallet Appearance

The Trezor is the smaller of the two devices, although it has a larger display screen. It is also made of plastic, where the Ledger has a stainless steel casing for maximum physical resilience. Certainly the Trezor is also damage-resistance, but it seems safe to say that the Ledger’s stainless steel case gives in the edge in physical strength. I also feel like the Ledger looks better, and its USB-like shape is superior.

Both devices have two physical buttons that are used to approve transactions, and to control the system software. Both have display screens and mini-USB ports for connection. Overall, both devices have their plusses and minuses when it comes to appearance, but for me the Ledger is more appealing.

What comes in the Box

Both devices come with a similar set of items included with their purchase. Let’s look in the box.

Trezor Box Contents

The Trezor is packaged in a small bow that has been safety sealed to prevent tampering. Inside the box, along with the device itself, you’ll also find the following items:

  • A USB cable for connecting to a computer
  • A lanyard for ease of carrying the Trezor
  • A User manual
  • 2 recovery seed cards
  • A number of Trezor branded stickers

Ledger Box Contents

You’ll find much the same in the Ledger box, including the safety seal on the outside to prevent tampering. Besides the device itself you’ll get the following:

  • A USB cable for connecting to a computer
  • A lanyard and keyring for ease of carrying the Ledger
  • A User manual
  • A recovery seed card

Hardware Wallet Usage

The Trezor is compatible with desktop and laptop computers running Windows, MacOS and Linux, and it also support the use of mobile devices running the Android operating system. This could be disappointing to Apple iPhone users. You can also use a Google Chrome extension to manage your Trezor Model T.

Using the wallet is simple, and the user interface is cleanly designed and intuitive. You can tab between send and receive in the transaction view, and switching between cryptocurrencies is done via a drop-down on the left of the screen, or through the Trezor online tool.

When it comes to the Ledger, you will find hardware support for computers running the Windows, MacOS, Linux and Chrome OS. Cryptocurrencies are managed through apps on the Ledger, and the Google Chrome browser with some extensions is needed to properly manage these apps.

The Ledger user interface is also well designed, clean and easy to use. Ledger Nano S also recently added a feature called Ledger Live, which allows you to manage all your cryptocurrencies stored on the Ledger from a desktop application.

The Trezor is great because it allows you to keep all of your cryptocurrencies in one location. The Ledger does limit you to 18 different coins, which could mean some of your coins have to be stored elsewhere if you’re a serious cryptocurrency collector.

Both have very nice, clean and easy to use interfaces, making either hardware wallet easy to use. The Chrome app for managing the Trezor is a nice addition, but the Ledger Live app for the Nano S feels far more professional and polished. Plus it does make managing the assets on your Ledger a breeze.

Cryptocurrency Support

Depending on which coins you hold and how many coins you hold, cryptocurrency support could be the determining factor between choosing a Trezor or choosing a Ledger. Or you could go all in and just use both. Let’s see which cryptocurrencies are being supported by each hardware wallet.

Trezor

Trezor supports more than 500 coins and tokens including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, Zcash, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Ethereum (+ all ERC20 tokens), Ethereum Classic, Expanse, UBIQ, NEM, and Bitcoin testnet. Refer to trezor.io/coins for the complete list of supported cryptocurrencies. While not currently supported, the rezor team is working on support for the following popular coins:

Ledger

Ledger currently has support for 712 different cryptocurrencies. However, it does not currently support Monero, Cardano or Tezos, and most of the cryptocurrencies supported by the hardware wallet are not supported in the desktop Ledger Live app. Plus, as I mentioned before, you are limited to storing no more than 18 different cryptocurrencies at a time on the Ledger.

It’s an interesting historical note that Trezor was the very first hardware wallet for storing Bitcoin, but Ledger became the very first hardware wallet for storing Ethereum. Both wallets are continually seeing software updates, and support for coins being added as well as new functionality. Choosing one of these devices based on cryptocurrency support can be a challenge.

One determining factor would have to be the 18 cryptocurrency limit for Ledger. You might also consider the lack of support for some coins on either device. At the end of the day it’s a very close race between the two for this factor.

Device Setup

Both hardware wallets have similar setup routines, and most users will be able to setup their Trezor or Ledger in 10 minutes or less. Both devices also make use of a PIN code for device access as an added security measure, and accessing the device will be extremely difficult for anyone who doesn’t have this PIN. There is even a feature that deletes all the data on the wallet if three incorrect PIN attempts are made.

There is full recovery seed support if needed, and for added security the seed will be shown on the device screen, but not on the computer screen. This makes it increasingly impossible for any hackers or scammers to steal your cryptocurrencies.

Nearly all operations are controlled by the buttons on the Trezor and Ledger devices, although the Trezor Model T also comes with a touch screen. The buttons are used to scroll through menus and to make selections, as well as confirming transactions. In both wallets it is impossible to access any of the data contained on the wallet without first connecting them to a computer via USB and then inputting the correct PIN code.

In Conclusion

Both the Trezor and the Ledger work very well as cold storage wallets, and both can be used to send and receive coins. They also include the ability to monitor on-screen transactions and to view all of your transaction and operation history. In this way they are equal.

They are not equal when it comes to their software, with the Trezor having an edge in usability and features, including the ability to synch with a DropBox account. The Trezor also gives you the ability to create an unlimited number of hidden accounts, and has a password directory that can be accessed easily by the owner. There is no comparable functionality with the Ledger.

Both the Ledger and the Trezor can store hundreds of different coins, although the Ledger does have support for more than the Trezor. Offsetting that is the fact that you can only store a maximum of 18 different cryptocurrencies at one time on the Ledger. If you have a specific coin you’d like to hold in your hardware wallet you should definitely check the lists of supported coins to see if yours is supported.

Finally, it’s important to note that the Trezor Model T has a price tag of €149, while the Ledger Nano S is just $99 (on sale as of October 21, 2020 for just $79). If you’re cost conscious you’ll probably agree that without some hugely compelling reason to get the Trezor, the Ledger is a much better deal at half the price.

Price aside it’s not easy to say for certain which one is a better device. You’ll certainly get solid cold storage of your cryptocurrencies no matter which one you choose. Ultimately it might just come down to which coins you need support for, or which wallet you like the looks of better. Some will certainly prefer the familiar USB drive look of the Ledger, while others will appreciate the larger screen and buttons on the Trezor.

The most important point is that you get a hardware wallet that keeps your cryptocurrencies safe and secure from bad actors.

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