3 best hardware wallet review- trezor vs ledger vs keepkey
If you have Bitcoins in abundance and you might wary of leaving them on Bitcoin exchange, online wallet, or software wallet. 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 3 best hardware wallet available in the market and will make a comparison between them trezor vs ledger vs keepkey.
Hardware wallet is a USB type device that can be connected to your desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone. Hardware wallet is as secure as any other cold storage like a paper wallet and can be as comfortable in day to day transaction like an online altcoin wallet. Cryptocurrency hardware wallet offers more security than other types of altcoin wallet. They are designed to keep 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 best hardware wallet. Because without knowing the secret pin of your hardware wallet nobody can transfer your cryptocurrency to any other address or device.
How to set up best hardware wallet
When you set up the best hardware wallet in most cases you have to install a 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 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 wallets are Ledger Nano S hardware wallet, Trezor.io hardware wallet, and KeepKey hardware wallet.
- We will do an in-depth analysis of all 3 best hardware wallet and will compare trezor vs ledger 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 2018 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
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 Nano S hardware wallet is made up of brushed stainless steel and plastic.
It weighs only 16.2 grams. It is second most lightweight hardware wallet after trezor in the comparison of trezor vs Ledger vs keepkey.
Ledger nano S uses ST31H320 + STM 32F042 chip. It’s size is 98 X 8 X 9 (mm). It is second most compact and second smallest hardware wallet after trezor hardware wallet when comparing trezor vs ledger vs keepkey. It has a good level of drop resistance. As it has a rotating cover when folded its drop resistance level increases.
Ledger Nano S hardware wallet is compatible with Windows (7+), Mac (10.8+), Linux or Chrome OS. Besides, it requires Google Chrome extension or Chromium extension to be used in order to connect to the hardware Bitcoin/Ethereum wallet.
Ledger Nano S provide a high level of security like all other 3 best hardware wallet. It can be superior but not weaker than none when comparing to trezor vs ledger 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 35 cryptocurrencies second most after trezor one on the list of best hardware wallet i.e. trezor vs ledger vs keepkey
Ledger nano S cryptocurrency hardware wallet operates with its own cryptocurrency wallet interfaces. 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.
Ledger Nano S is the cheapest on the list of best hardware wallet. Priced at 83.60$ it offers the same functionality as other best hardware wallet (in some cases it surpass them). It is a feature-rich best hardware wallet which doesn’t put the extra burden in your pocket.
Note – Ledger comes in one more expensive model i.e. Ledger Blue which we will review and compare in an upcoming article.
How to setup Ledger hardware wallet – watch the below video
Pros of Ledger Nano S hardware wallet
- Compact and stylish device.
- Multi-apps support: FIDO U2F, GPG, SSH
- Supports a total of 35 cryptocurrencies second-most among ledger vs trezor vs keepkey
- Compatible with all major operating software
- Good level of drop resistance as it has 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 vs ledger vs keepkey
Cons of Ledger Nano S hardware wallet
- The Manufacturing quality of Ledger Nano S hardware wallet is not very robust, although it is made up of brushed steel still it looks fragile
Trezor.io wallet is 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.io 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 hardware wallet. 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 device is broken or stolen.
Features of Trezor.io wallet
Trezor.io wallet is most lightweight cryptocurrency hardware wallet and only 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 vs ledger 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 individual construction.
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.
Like Ledger cryptocurrency hardware wallet 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 support more than 500 coins. So almost every possible active cryptocurrency can be stored in the trezor white. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, ZCASH, DASH, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum classic, Namecoin, Bitcoin Testnet, ERC -20 Tokens are few of the top cryptocurrencies supported by the wallet.
Hence in comparison of trezor vs ledger vs keepkey, trezor wallet supports most no of cryptocurrencies listed on the bitcoinexchangestore market
Trezor.io wallet is priced at 109$ which is 10$ more than Ledger nano S hardware wallet. But the huge no of altcoins it supports makes the price difference negligible. Trezor without a doubt is ‘value for money product’. Among trezor vs ledger vs keepkey trezor is one of the most accepted hardware wallets in the cryptocurrency community.
Pros of Trezor.io cryptocurrency hardware wallet
- Compact and premium body.
- User-friendly and intuitive interface
- Top-notch security
- Supports more than 500 altcoins.
- Lightest wallet in comparison of trezor vs ledger vs keepkey
- Support most number of altcoins among all three best hardware wallet.
- Active support
- Using it from last two year. It has been a smooth ride till now.
Cons of Trezor cryptocurrency hardware wallet
- Made up of plastic, not of steel.
Note – There is a newly launched Trezor wallet called Trezor model T which I will review and compare in an upcoming article.
Keepkey is third on the list of top cryptocurrency hardware wallet 2018. 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.
KeepKey is larger in size among all 3 best hardware wallet
KeepKey is made up of Aluminium metal and Polycarbonate so it 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.
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.
- 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 extra security feature of wallet recovery using the cipher.
- It offers hidden/alternate wallet which 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 36 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum crypto, Litecoin crypto, Dogecoin, Dash, and Bitcoin cash. Still few promising cryptocurrencies are missing. KeepKey supports sending, receiving and storing all 36 cryptocurrencies and tokens through one native Chrome app
KeepKey hardware wallet is Priced at $129 which is too much for my liking.
Pros of KeepKey hardware wallet
- Tougher and durable. Full aluminum metal body.
- Large display screen.
- Extremely secure
- 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 investment.
- 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 few of the main-league cryptocurrencies
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.
|Wallet||cryptocurrencies||Specifications||Trezor vs Ledger vs KeepKey||Overall rating & Price|
|BTC, ETH, ETC, XRP, XLM, EOS, USDT, BCH, ADA, BTG, BNB, NEO, NEM, TRX + 21 more||
||Rating - 4.8 / 5|
|BTC, ETH, ETC, XRP, XLM, EOS, USDT, BCH, ADA, BTG, BNB, NEO, NEM, TRX, ZRX, SC, VERGE, OMG, GAME, LTC, DOGE, BNC, +500 more||
||Rating - 4.8 / 5|
|BTC, ETH, DASH, ANT, REP, BAT, LTC, CVC, BNT, OMG, DGD, DNT, GNT, FUN, GNO, EDG, 1ST, INC, RLC, GUP, NMR, MLN, MTL, RCN, SALT + 10 more||
||Rating - 4.2 / 5|
Final verdict ( trezor vs ledger vs keepkey)
Each best hardware wallet listed above are of high 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 wallet marginally top the list. Trezor.io wallet comes second and Keepkey at third. Although, Trezor.io hardware wallet is the most reputable hardware wallet in the comparison of trezor vs ledger vs keepkey. On top of this supports most no of active cryptocurrencies but its fragile plastic body makes it more susceptible to damage.
Ledger still supports all major cryptocurrencies and they are consistently adding new coins to their arsenal. Trezor is also a great 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 (Although I have not used it)
I am still using Ledger nano S and Trezor.io wallet 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 vs ledger vs keepkey wallet stand out in the order: Ledger > trezor > keepkey
Do note that due to the recent surge in demand for Bitcoin and other promising cryptocurrencies. These 3 best hardware wallets are often listed as out of stock on Amazon and other E-commerce websites. Other than best hardware wallet there are two other types of cryptocurrency wallet click here to know more