When you set up the best hardware wallet in most cases you have to install software on the connected device i.e PC, laptop, tablet or mobile
It is important to create a backup of your seed keys. This allows you to restore your wallet when the device is broken or stolen.
To do this, you usually have to write down seed keys or recovery phrase somewhere safe or the backup is automatically saved digitally on the device. You can also write down your seed keys or recovery phrase in 3 to 4 places and distribute it.
Then choose a pin or code to protect your wallet from hackers or any unintended access.
How best hardware wallet works
Best hardware wallets keep a portion of your wallet offline or an external pre-installed disk. It works a bit like sofa box that you have to approve all your transaction through a hardware wallet.
This is because all private keys encrypted are stored on your device. So even if you connect your hardware wallet on any compromised machine, it will be immune to malware, trojan or any kind of threat which is accessible on the connected machine.
Basically, how best hardware wallet works are? by connecting the wallet to your computer the transaction is entered into your terminal software which you installed on the computer, but the transaction is then encapsulated in the hardware wallet.
All necessary data are sent to the connected device via USB, Bluetooth, NFC or via other transmission options. This means that your private keys will never leave the device. Hence, no transaction can be done without the approval of the altcoin hardware wallet.
3 Best hardware wallet available in the market
In this post, we are going to discuss 3 best hardware wallet available in the market.
These 3 best hardware wallet are Ledger Nano S hardware wallet, Trezor One hardware wallet, and KeepKey hardware wallet.
We will do an in-depth analysis of all 3 best hardware wallet and will compare Trezor One vs Ledger Nano S vs Keepkey
1 Ledger Nano S
+Ledger Nano S is a USB device with smart card security in a very compact package and ranked first on the list of 3 best hardware wallet 2019.
It was developed in France by three France companies BTchip, Chronicon, and La Maison du Bitcoin in December 2014.
Ledger nano S is a compact USB device with an extra security layer. The smart card provides an additional security layer and eliminates some safety issues that may arise due to any compromised device which is based on multipurpose microcontrollers.
It comes with a tiny screen that means you can operate it independently of your computer otherwise, it can be vulnerable to malware.
The controls are pared back to two buttons on the top of the device, which is used for everything from scrolling through menus to entering your PIN. The Ledger Nano S supports FIDO second factor authentication for use on things like Gmail and GitHub.
Features of Ledger Nano S hardware wallet
1. Appearance —
Although the appearance of cryptocurrency hardware wallet is not their most important aspect. But appearance can give us an idea of some important aspects of usability and durability. Ledger hardware wallet is made up of brushed stainless steel and plastic.
It weighs only 16.2 grams. It is one of the lighter hardware wallet second to Trezor.
Ledger nano S uses ST31H320 + STM 32F042 chip. It’s size is 98 X 8 X 9 (mm).
It is the second most compact and second smallest hardware wallet after trezor hardware wallet in comparison of Trezor one vs Ledger S vs Keepkey.
It has a good level of drop resistance. As it has a rotating cover when folded its drop resistance level increases.
2. Compatibility —
Ledger Nano S hardware wallet is compatible with Windows (7+), Mac (10.8+), Linux or Chrome OS.
You need to install Google Chrome extension or Chromium extension in order to connect with the Ledger wallet.
3. Security —
Ledger Nano S provide a high level of security like all other best hardware wallets. It can be superior but not weaker than none when comparing to Trezor One vs Ledger S vs Keepkey. Security features offered by Ledger is
Ledger Nano S is based on a dual chip architecture (ST31/STM32, Certification level: CC EAL5+). The firmware integrity is guaranteed by cryptographic attestation.
It connects to any computer (USB) and embeds a secure OLED display to double-check and confirm each transaction with a tap on the two physical side buttons
Ledger Nano S ensures only you can access your accounts by requiring a 4 digit PIN code each time it is plugged into your computer.
It supports the FIDO® Universal Second Factor authentication standard on Google, DropBox and GitHub.
Your cryptographic secrets are never exposed to the outside world.
Your private keys are never held or known by Ledger or a third party: they are hard locked in the Secure Element.
It offers 24 words recovery seed which helps in recovering wallet data in case your wallet is stolen or broken.
It also offers AutoLock. This enables Ledger Nano S to automatically lock itself after a certain period of inactivity.
Ledger Nano S hardware wallet can be set without being connected to any system or internet. Hence, wallet setup is completely isolated.
Another feature of the wallet is that recovery seed is not displayed on computer screen. Hence, even if you used your wallet on the compromised machine your recovery seed will only be known to you.
4. Cryptocurrency support —
Ledger nano S supports more than 1100 cryptocurrencies. Most on the list of best hardware wallet i.e. Trezor One vs Ledger S vs Keepkey
Ledger nano S operates with its own cryptocurrency wallet interfaces like Ledger Apps (free Google Chrome applications).
You can also use other compatible software wallets like Ledger nano S wallet Bitcoin, Ledger nano S wallet Ethereum, Ledger nano S wallet Ripple, Copay, Mycelium, Electrum, MyEtherwallet, Greenbits, BitGo.
Ledger is architectured around the BOLOS platform, a powerful and flexible Operating System allowing the secure execution of multiple Open Source applications in full isolation.
5. Pricing —
Ledger Nano S is the cheapest on the list of best cryptocurrency hardware wallet.
Priced at 63.60$ it offers the same functionality as other top hardware wallets (in some cases it surpass them).
It is a feature-rich hardware wallet which doesn’t put the extra burden in your pocket.
Trezor One wallet was the first cryptocurrency hardware wallet launched in August 2014.
It is founded by a Czechoslovakia company satoshi labs. One of the company’s founders is Marek “Slush” Palatinus, who also created the first mining pool for Bitcoin (founded in 2010).
Trezor One wallet is the most reputed cryptocurrency hardware wallet among all 3 best hardware wallet i.e. Trezor vs Ledger vs Keepkey.
The Czech built Trezor.io wallet has many similarities with Ledger nano S. In native language, it translates to “vault”. Because of its unparallel security features, it is also called as Bitcoin safe.
Like other 2 best hardware wallet, Trezor.io wallet comes with a Bright OLED screen ( 128×64 pixels) and can be used for password management and document signing.
It generates 24 words recovery seed and 9 digit pin which can be used for recovering the private key in case the device is broken or stolen.
Features of Trezor One wallet
1. Appearance —
Trezor One wallet is the lightest cryptocurrency hardware wallet available in the market. It is made up of plastic rather metal and weighs only 12 g.
Its overall size is 60mm x 30mm x 6mm. Hence it is lightweight and smaller in size comparing to Ledger Nano S hardware wallet.
So if you love a compact and smaller size device then trezor.io ranked first in the comparison of Trezor one vs Ledger S vs Keepkey
Trezor.io also has two buttons designed to manage wallet software, same as in Ledger Nano Swallet.
Although, Trezor is made up of plastic and Ledger Nano S is made up of brushed steel but still, both devices have the same level of drop resistance because of their specific design.
2. Compatibility —
Trezor.io wallet is compatible with both desktop and mobile devices. It can be connected to Window, MacOS, Linux, and can also be connected to Android devices.
There is also a Chrome extension that allows managing hardware device and information stored in it. It can be connected to android apps like Trezor, Mycelium (Bitcoin Android wallet), and Multibit HD.
3. Security —
Like Ledger nano S, Trezor also comes with two physical buttons.
But these buttons are placed on the front panel, unlike Ledger nano S wallet where buttons are placed on the side panel. These buttons are used to confirm the transaction and to get any other kind of authentication.
You can instantly wipe your Trezor device in case of an emergency.
Trezor.io wallet generates 24-word recovery seed which can be used to recover all your funds in case your device is stolen or broken.
Private keys are stored in an offline environment.
It offers 4 digit pin authentication code
Trezor uses a 120 MHz embedded ARM processor (Cortex M3) to run the supported applications
Encryption passphrase can be set on top of the PIN. This protects the device in case of a seizure.
It’s using military-grade encryption of the seed on trezor.io wallet storage, so even torturing the device in a laboratory won’t leak your private keys.
It is CE and RoHS certified (quality, reliability and environmental standards).
It’s absolutely safe to take your Trezor white with you on the airplane. The X-Rays doesn’t affect it.
4. Cryptocurrency Support —
Trezor Wallet supports more than 500 cryptocurrencies.
Note – For this article we are focussing on the basic models of the hardware wallets
Keepkey is third on the list of top cryptocurrency hardware wallet 2019.
It offers the same functionality as of Trezor and Ledger hardware wallet but at a higher cost.
It has a much larger screen which makes it little inconvenient to carry.
But KeepKey’s large display gives clarity to every digital asset leaving the device.
Each transaction must be manually approved using KeepKey’s confirmation button.
Like other top cryptocurrency hardware wallet 2018, KeepKey works with the wallet software on your computer by taking over the management of private key generation, private key storage, and transaction signing.
KeepKey generates the private key using its hardware-based random number generator, combined with randomness provided by your computer.
Once your private key is generated, you can write down a backup of your KeepKey in the form of a twelve-word recovery sentence.
Features of KeepKey hardware wallet
1. Appearance —
KeepKey is larger in size among all 3 best hardware wallet
KeepKey is made up of Aluminium metal and Polycarbonate so it is tougher and durable than Trezor hardware wallet which is made up of plastic.
It weighs more than both Trezor and Ledger Nano S hardware wallet. Its dimensions are 38 X 93.5 X 12.2 mm.
But larger size doesn’t really mean you can’t carry it, but it is obvious, it is more inconvenient to carry in the pocket.
2. Compatibility —
KeepKey hardware wallet can be connected to Window, Mac OS, Linux and also to Android devices. It can be connected to other software wallets like Electrum, Mycelium, and MultiBit.
It is very easy to navigate on KeepKey interface, there is no ‘fuss’. This is one place where it excels from both Trezor hardware wallet and Ledger Nano S hardware wallet.
It also has inbuilt shapeshift instant cryptocurrency exchange to exchange the assets.
Although hardware wallet is the safest and secure way to store your altcoins.
But there is a downside of hardware wallet if you lose access to your Recovery phrase, password, and security pin then there is no way you can recover your security information.
So it essentially means you have lost your Bitcoins as someone has stolen them from you.
It is important to make a two to three copy of all important codes and passphrase and save them two to three different locations from where you can access them in case of mishappening.
Using some prudence and a bit of common sense can help you to enjoy the world of cryptocurrency while being safe and secure the entire time.
Final verdict ( Trezor One vs Ledger Nano S vs Keepkey)
Each hardware wallet listed above is of the highest quality with the minor differences.
But they all have one thing in common i.e. they are extremely secure and has been trusted by the cryptocurrency community.
For me, Ledger nano S marginally tops the list, Trezor comes second, and Keepkey third. Ledger supports all major cryptocurrencies and they are consistently adding new features to their arsenal. It is one of the cheapest hardware wallet with enough security features.
Although, Trezor is the most reputable hardware wallet in the comparison of trezor vs ledger vs keepkey. But its fragile plastic body makes it more susceptible to damage.
Overall Trezor is also one of the best hardware wallet and you won’t regret your decision to buy it ( But handle it with care)
Keepkey doesn’t justify its high price and larger size makes it quite inconvenient to carry. Trezor model T is quite expensive to my liking.
I am still using Ledger nano S and Trezor One and they both serve their purpose well.
So if you are thinking to involve in cryptocurrency game for the long term then you should buy at least one of the above best hardware wallet.
For me the comparison of Trezor One vs Ledger nano S vs Keepkey wallet stand out in the order:
Hello, I am Harsh Vasistha B.tech (IT) from New Delhi, India. Owner and chief author of the Coinexpansion (An Altcoin & Exchange Hub) and Cryptopickup and also run a YouTube vlog https://harshunveiled.live. In fact, I am not a techie but got infatuated with blockchain technology. Coinexpansion is the product of my cryptocurrency learning lust.
Hobbies - An avid reader, knowledge seeker, sports addict, and obsessed with learning diverse stuff.