Ngrave vs Trezor 2021: Which is the best hardware wallet for you?

Hardware wallets are physical devices that are used to store cryptocurrencies in offline mode. They cannot run complicated apps and are safe from attacks. In this article, we will compare two mainstream hardware wallets Trezor vs NGRAVE, and help you choose which is the best one for you?

Trezor was founded in 2014 by SatoshiLabs. They are one of the largest hardware wallet manufacturers in the world.

They offer two models Trezor One and Trezor T.  

Ngrave is a digital asset security company that focuses on eliminating the loss and hacking of cryptocurrencies. The primary goal is to provide everyone a secure wallet.

These wallets are built-in association with the world-leading institute of nanotechnology, Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC). Additionally, they are also backed by the world-leading research group of Cryptography Computer Security and Industrial Cryptography(COSIC). They offer a product suite that comprises of Ngrave ZERO wallet, Ngrave LIQUID app, and GRAPHENE.

CategoryNGRAVE ZeroTrezor OneTrezor TWinner
Physical Appearance 
Size125mm x 72mm x 14mm60mm x 30mm x 6mm 64 mm x 39 mm x 10 mmNGRAVE Zero
Display4 inch128×64 240 x 240NGRAVE Zero
ButtonsOne button + TouchscreenTwo ButtonsTouchscreenNGRAVE Zero/ Trezor T
MaterialHigh-end metalReinforced PlasticReinforced PlasticNGRAVE Zero
SensorsFingerprint sensor and Light sensorNoneNoneNGRAVE Zero
Camera640 x 480 built-in cameraNoneNoneNGRAVE Zero
HardwareMulti-Layered Anti-Tempered DeviceEncrypted Flash DriveEncrypted Flash DriveNGRAVE Zero
ConnectivityQR CodesUSB Type BUSB Type CNGRAVE Zero
Battery1200 mAhNoneNoneDraw 
Security
CertificationEAL7, ROHS, and CECE and RoHS CE and RoHS NGRAVE Zero
Supply chain attacksThey provide cryptographic attestation by scanning a QR Code. They use tamper-evident seals. They use tamper-evident seals. NGRAVE Zero
BackupThey provide a high-quality stainless steel solution called the Ngrave GRAPHENE . They use Shamir Backup. They use Shamir Backup. NGRAVE Zero
Cryptocurrency SupportThey support 1000+ ERC20 tokens.They support 1631 coins.They support 1631 coins.Draw
Compatibility with other appsThey offer their proprietary application NGRAVE LIQUID. They offer their proprietary application Trezor Wallet. They offer their proprietary application Trezor Wallet.Draw
Cost$334$57.48$175.69Trezor 

Physical Appearance

CategoryTrezor OneTrezor TNgrave Zero 
Display128×64 240 x 240 4inch
Size60mm x 30mm x 6mm 64 mm x 39 mm x 10 mm125mm x 72mm x 14mm

Buttons: Ngrave wallets have a button on the device’s side to switch on/off the device. 

Trezor One has two buttons. Trezor T is a complete touchscreen device protecting your passwords from keyloggers. 

Screen Size: The screen size of Ngrave wallets are larger than Trezor.There are two advantages of having a larger screen size –

  • It is easier to navigate through the apps. 
  • You get a clearer view of all the transaction details such as an address, amount, and more. The transaction address in the hardware wallet and on the internet-connected device should match.

Material:  Ngrave is dust and water-resistant. Additionally, it has an inner casing, outer casing, and PCB to make it tamper-resistant

Trezor uses reinforced plastic. They use ultrasonic welding to assemble the casing.

Additionally, Ngrave has a 640 x 480  built-in camera, a built-in light sensor, and a 12 x 12 mm fingerprint sensor. 

Physical Appearance: Ngrave
Physical Appearance:  Ngrave
Physical Appearance: Trezor
Physical Appearance: Trezor

Connectivity

For a transaction to be completed, hardware wallets need to be connected to an internet-enabled device. There are many ways of connecting them, such as Bluetooth, USB, Wi-Fi, QR Codes, NFC, and more.

Ngrave wallets are standalone devices that are entirely “air-gapped.” They are not connected using Bluetooth, NFC, USB, or Wi-Fi. This reduces the digital attack surface.

Ngrave wallets use a USB-C port for wall charging. All the firmware updates are safely transmitted over USB. The updates are verified in an isolated partition, which is fully sandboxed from the remaining operating system. The updates happen in that section of the operating system, which is not responsible for security. Ngrave does not involve rewriting the whole firmware. The updates are differential; that is, they add and remove only specific features. All the updates are signed, and some of them will also be open source. You must ensure that the device is rebooted before updating.

The connection between ZERO(offline) and LIQUID(online)
The connection between ZERO(offline) and LIQUID(online)

The NGRAVE LIQUID application is connected to the blockchain that communicates with the hardware wallet using QR Codes. The private keys never leave the wallet.

Trezor uses USB to connect to an internet-enabled device. Trezor One uses Micro-B, whereas Trezor T uses Type – C USB. 

Battery

Ngrave offers a 1200 mAH (Ultra-Efficient Low Power) battery. It uses a USB compatible battery charger. 

Trezor does not require a battery. They consume power through a USB connection. 

Ngrave vs Trezor: Hardware

Ngrave offers a multi-layered anti tempered hardware device that uses high-end material. The metal casing helps in reducing the range of private keys while performing a brute force attack. Additionally, it also guards the radio frequencies that could be picked by an attacker. 

They use custom firmware verified by security experts. Additionally, they are planning to open-source the firmware for community review.

Trezor uses ARM Cortex-M3 processor @ 120 MHz, with custom software. It has a micro SD card slot. Trezor Model T consists of one chip or micro-controller for storing and generating the private keys.

Security

Certification 

Ngrave wallets are EAL7, ROHS, and CE certified. EAL7 is the highest security assurance and certification in the world. They use STM32MP157C (2019) MCU/MPU. 

Trezor wallets are CE and RoHS certified. 

Supply Chain Attacks

Ngrave provides cryptographic attestation to ensure that your device has not tampered physically by scanning a QRCode.

Trezor uses tamper-evident seals to prevent supply chain attacks. They are sealed using industrial glue. If anyone tries to tamper with the device and seal it again, it will be evident that the wallet has been compromised. 

Storage of Recovery Seed Phrase

Ngrave provides two ways to secure your wallets. The first method is to choose a 12,18 or 24-word recovery seed phrase. The second way is to create a customized key, also known as the “NGRAVE Perfect Key.” The “Perfect Key” is a 64 character hexadecimal equivalent of the 256-bit master seed. 

The process involves the following steps-

  1. You have to select a four-digit pin code. 
  2. To secure your private keys, Ngrave uses biometric data. The camera uses light from the built-in light sensors. To increase the randomness and the strength of the key photons, it measures the surrounding light. An interior chip processes all the information to form a key that changes in real-time. 
  3. Ngrave allows you to interact with the key making it impossible for anyone to know. This removes any possible backdoor to the keys by either Ngrave or the chip manufacturer.

Ngrave allows you to start and stop the keys changing in real-time by toggling between “freeze” and “unfreeze.” The shuffling and highlighting of certain parts of the keys make the entire experience intuitive and fast.

Ngrave Perfect Key
Ngrave Perfect Key

Ngrave provides a high-quality stainless steel solution called the Ngrave GRAPHENE for backup. It’s a highly durable cryptographic puzzle capable of withstanding shock, water, housefires ( 1660 °C / 3020°F), corrosion, or any extreme situation. It is an encrypted non-electronic solution. It consists of two plates, which are suggested to be kept in different locations. The key can be found only if both the plates are together.

A hole has to be made in the GRAPHENE for every character by using an automatic embossing pen. The characters on the primary plate are arranged differently for each customer. There are 1024 holes in the primary plate with 1078 possible configurations. This key is split into two plates to eliminate a single point of failure.

Ngrave GRAPHENE
Ngrave GRAPHENE

If you lose the upper plate, there are two options –

  1. Ngrave attaches an order number to every package delivered to its customer. The upper plate configuration can be known by using the order number.
  2. Ngrave customer support stores offline records of all the orders. You can restore information after sharing your KYC data.

The Ngrave team will only store your order details if you would like them to. If you don’t choose this feature, you will never be able to recover the upper plate configuration. You are advised not to take pictures of these plates or make a digital copy. 

The plates have posthumous continuity. The locations might be stipulated in a traditional or blockchain notary and a will. If you have been inactive on the application for a certain time, notifications will be sent.  If these notifications do not receive any response, it can trigger smart contract logic that shares the plates’ location with some attached conditions. 

Ngrave wallets use an integrity verifier within the ARM®TrustZone®  module. If the wallet identifies that someone is trying to access the hardware, it’ll wipe all the information. 

Trezor wallets use a password manager that works with Chrome. It supports Windows, macOS, and Linux. To use this, you have to install the Trezor Password Manager Chrome extension (TPM) and sign in with Dropbox or Google Drive. The Trezor device can also be connected by entering your PIN and then enabling Password Manager on your Trezor device.

Trezor seed phrase
Trezor seed phrase

While initializing your device, you will receive a 24-word recovery seed phrase.  All your funds can be restored using this if your device is stolen or lost. Hence, the seed phrase must be stored offline and in a secure place.  They provide you a recovery seed card for writing down the seed phrase. You should never make a digital copy of this card. It must be kept safe from theft and fire. 

Trezor wallets automatically initiate their devices with Shamir backup. This method splits the recovery seed phrase into multiple unique shares. This backup method generates up to 16 recovery shares, which are sequences of 20 or 33 words. They use different wordlist than BIP-39. 

For recovering the wallet, a specific number of shares have to be used. You have to set a threshold, which is the predetermined number of shares needed to recover the wallet. For example, if you are using four shares to create a Shamir Backup, your threshold can be more than equal to two and less than equal to four. You cannot use one share to set a threshold. 

Trezor vs Ngrave: Cryptocurrency Support

Ngrave supports 1000+ ERC20 tokens. The popular ones being  Bitcoin, EOS, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Neo. 

Trezor wallets support 1631 coins. It supports ERC20 tokens available on the Ethereum network. The popular ones being Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tezos, Litecoin, Ripple, and many others.

Compatibility with other apps

Ngrave provides its proprietary application known as NGRAVE LIQUID. There is a QR code in the wallet to download the Ngrave mobile wallet. All your accounts on the device can be synced to your app.

All the communication between the app and the wallet will be through QR codes. The wallet interacts with the LIQUID, which in turn communicates with the blockchain. Your private keys cannot be accessed. It fetches the real-time data of all the transactions giving us a robust mobile application experience.

Ngrave LIQUID
Ngrave LIQUID

Trezor provides its proprietary application Trezor Wallet. It has a user-friendly interface that allows you to manage and transfer your funds easily.

It is also compatible with many independent cryptocurrency wallets such as Electrum, Exodus, Mycelium, Walleth, and many others. Additionally, it is also compatible with four watch only wallets: bitWallet, ArcBit, Blockononmics, and Sentinel. The user can also use third-party online services such as Bitex, Coinmap, Bitstamp, Cryptee, and more. 

Trezor App
Trezor App

Price

CompanyModel NamePrice (USD)Price( EUR)
TrezorTrezor One57.4848.76
TrezorTrezor T175.69149
Trezor Ultimate PackTrezor Model T, The Trezor Model One, and a Cryptosteel Capsule.293.42247.11
Ngrave Ngrave  Zero334.00278,00
Ngrave Ngrave ZERO and GRAPHENE418.00348,00

Ngrave vs Trezor: Conclusion

Ngrave and Trezor are well-known hardware wallet manufacturers. Ngrave wallets are relatively new but are offering unique features. Ngrave leads Trezor in physical appearance, security, hardware, and connectivity, but it is costly. Therefore if you are for a high-budget secure hardware wallet with additional features as discussed, Ngrave steals the show. On the opposite hand, if you want to opt for a budget-friendly one, Trezor wallets can do the needful.

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