Then a cryptocurrency hardware wallet is the most secure way to take your coins offline altogether, and a permanent solution for the security of your cryptocurrencies.
In this article, we will review the 3 best hardware wallets available in the market and will make a comparison between them Trezor One vs Ledger S vs Keepkey.
A hardware wallet is a USB-type device that can be connected to your desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone.
The hardware wallet is as secure as any other cold storage like a paper wallet and can be as comfortable in day-to-day transactions as an online altcoin wallet.
Cryptocurrency hardware wallet offers more security than other types of altcoin wallets. They are designed to keep the private keys of your currency in an offline setting
Private keys are generated via your wallet when you needed to spend Bitcoins.
Your Bitcoins will always be safe even if your machine gets hacked or someone stole your hardware wallet.
Because without knowing the secret pin of your hardware wallet nobody can transfer your cryptocurrency outside the device.
How to set up the best hardware wallet
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 phrases 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 a 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 to any compromised machine, it will be immune to malware, trojan or any kind of threat that is accessible on the connected machine.
Basically, how the 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.
The 3 best hardware wallets available in the market
- In this post, we are going to discuss the 3 best hardware wallets available in the market.
- These 3 best hardware wallets 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 wallets and will compare Ledger Nano vsTrezor One vs Keepkey
Watch Video On Best Hardware wallets KeepKey vs ledger vs trezor
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 wallets in 2021.
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 wallets 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 wallets 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 to 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 the Google Chrome extension or Chromium extension in order to connect with the Ledger wallet.
3. Security —
Ledger Nano S provides a high level of security like all other best hardware wallets. It can be superior but not weaker than none when compared to Trezor One vs Ledger S vs Keepkey. Security features offered by Ledger are
- 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, the wallet setup is completely isolated.
- Another feature of the wallet is that the recovery seed is not displayed on a 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 1150 cryptocurrencies. Most on the list of best hardware wallets
- Bitcoin currency
- Ethereum currency
- Ripple – the future price of ripple
- Bitcoin Cash
- Ethereum classic
- Binance coin
- Leo token
- Bitcoin SV
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 hardware wallets.
Priced at 63.60$ it offers the same functionality as other top hardware wallets (in some cases it surpasses them).
It is a feature-rich hardware wallet that doesn’t put an extra burden on your pocket.
Ledger comes in one more expensive model i.e. Ledger X Bluetooth enabled secure device. The Ledger Nano X supports an extensive list of crypto assets, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP currency, Litecoin currency, and 1100 more altcoins.
You can connect your Ledger Nano X device with Ledger Live mobile app which enables you to easily manage your all crypto assets and transactions on the go.
Ledger X also comes to a state of an art security model with an encrypted Bluetooth connection.
Ledger X is priced at 139$ on the Ledger wallet official website.
Pros of Ledger Nano S hardware wallet
- Compact and stylish device.
- Multi-apps support: FIDO U2F, GPG, SSH
- Supports more than 1100 cryptocurrencies. Most among Ledger S vs Trezor One vs Keepkey
- Compatible with all major operating software
- Good level of drop resistance as it has a rotating cover and drops resistance increases when folded
- Comes with a two-button controlling system, which allows you to browse the menu and confirm the transaction on the screen.
- Cheapest among Trezor One vs Ledger S vs Keepkey
Cons of Ledger Nano S hardware wallet
The Manufacturing quality of Ledger Nano S is not very robust, although it is made up of brushed steel still it looks fragile
2. Trezor One
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 wallets i.e. Trezor vs Ledger vs Keepkey.
The Czech-built Trezor.io wallet has many similarities with Ledger nano S. In the native language, it translates to “vault”. Because of its unparallel security features, it is also called Bitcoin safe.
Like the other 2 best hardware wallets, the 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 than metal and weighs only 12 g.
Its overall size is 60mm x 30mm x 6mm. Hence it is lightweight and smaller in size compared to the 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, the 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 Windows, macOS, and Linux, and can also be connected to Android devices.
There is also a Chrome extension that allows managing hardware devices 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 the 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 a 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
- The 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 don’t affect it.
4. Cryptocurrency Support —
Trezor Wallet supports more than 500 cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, ZCASH, DASH, Bitcoin Cash, LEO token, OKB, Cosmos, Ethereum classic, Ravencoin, Bitshares, Bytecoin, Namecoin, ERC -20 Tokens are a few of the top cryptocurrencies supported by the wallet.
5. Pricing —
Trezor.io wallet is priced at 79$ which is 10$ more than the Ledger Nano S hardware wallet.
Trezor without a doubt is a ‘value for money product’.
Among Trezor One vs Ledger S vs Keepkey, Trezor One is the most accepted hardware wallet in the cryptocurrency community.
Pros of Trezor One cryptocurrency hardware wallet
- Compact and premium body.
- User-friendly and intuitive interface
- Top-notch security
- Supports more than 500 altcoins.
- Lightest wallet in comparison to Trezor vs Ledger vs Keepkey
- Active support
- Using it for the last four years. It has been a smooth ride till now.
Cons of Trezor One cryptocurrency hardware wallet
- Made up of plastic, not steel.
Trezor model T (Newer Version)
Trezor Model T is a newly launched full-color touchscreen display model. The color touchscreen enables you to perform all the operations on the wallet interface itself.
The Model T is inherited with all the features of Trezor One.
On top of this, it comes with a batch of handy and easy-to-use additional features such as In built Instant Crypto to Crypto Exchange, and Two Factor authentication.
You can buy and exchange cryptocurrencies, manage your crypto assets, Digital Transactions, and keep your passwords accessible and stored on the wallet interface itself.
The full touchscreen display makes it larger in size compared to Trezor one.
Trezor Model T is priced at 99 EURO on the Trezor official website.
Note – For this article, we are focussing on the basic models of the hardware wallets
3. Keepkey Hardware Wallet
Keepkey is third on the list of top cryptocurrency hardware wallets in 2019.
It offers the same functionality as Trezor and Ledger hardware wallets but at a higher cost.
It has a much larger screen which makes it a 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 wallets in 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 more durable than the Trezor hardware wallet which is made up of plastic.
It weighs more than both Trezor and Ledger Nano S hardware wallets. 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 Windows, macOS, 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 the KeepKey interface, there is no ‘fuss’. This is one place where it excels from both the Trezor hardware wallet and the Ledger Nano S hardware wallet.
It also has an inbuilt shapeshift instant cryptocurrency exchange to exchange assets.
3. Security —
- It offers the same security features as Trezor.io and Ledger Nano S hardware wallet. But it uses a single chip like Trezor hardware wallet whereas Ledger Nano S wallet uses two chips.
- As it has a larger screen so that adds an extra security feature of wallet recovery using the cipher.
- It offers a hidden/alternate wallet that can be accessed via a passphrase
- It generates 12 words Recovery seed which is useful while recovering your wallet information in case your wallet is stolen or lost.
- It offers 4-pin authentication to confirm a transaction.
- Virus- and malware-proof.
4. Cryptocurrency support —
KeepKey hardware wallet supports 40 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Dash, Tezos, Tron, and more
Still few promising cryptocurrencies are missing.
KeepKey also supports sending, receiving, and storing cryptocurrencies & tokens through one native Chrome app
5. Pricing —
KeepKey hardware wallet is Priced at $129 which is too much for my liking.
Pros of KeepKey hardware wallet
- Tougher and more durable. Full aluminum metal body.
- Large display screen.
- Extremely secure
- The elite wallet does give a premium feel.
- Use ARM® Cortex™-M3 processor
- Inbuilt Shapeshift exchange
Cons of KeepKey hardware wallet
- Costly, not suited for the new buyers with small Bitcoin investments.
- Heavy, not super easy to carry
- Off late many negative reviews on Amazon
- Relatively new in comparison to Ledger Nano S and Trezor.
- Doesn’t support a few of the main-league cryptocurrencies
Although a hardware wallet is the safest and most 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 two to three copies of all important codes and passphrases 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 minor differences.
But they all have one thing in common i.e. they are extremely secure and have 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 wallets 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 wallets and you won’t regret your decision to buy it ( But handle it with care)
Keepkey doesn’t justify its high price and its 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 games for the long term then you should buy at least one of the above best hardware wallets.
For me the comparison of Trezor One vs Ledger Nano S vs Keepkey wallet stand out in the order:
Ledger Nano S > Trezor One > Keepkey
Other than hardware wallets there are two more types of cryptocurrency wallets. Click here to know more