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Trezor is a hardware wallet developed in August 2014 by Czech startup Satoshi Labs, making it the first ever cryptocurrency hardware wallet. Trezor is essentially a small, key-sized device that you can easily connect to your computer using a USB cable. The focus is on security, and the wallet’s limited USB connection feature ensures that your coins are always safe, even if connecting to a malware infected computer.
Trezor is available in two basic models: the original Trezor One and the improved Trezor Model T. Most of the wallets’ features are similar, with the major difference being that the Trezor Model T has a color touchscreen, making the device much more user friendly and easy to operate. We’ll take you through all the details right here.
Pros & Cons
Trezor Wallet Overview
How does a Trezor wallet work?
Being a hardware wallet, Trezor helps store your coins in cold storage. This means that your private keys are always kept offline and therefore secures your coins against hackers and any malware that might be on your computer. What’s more, the wallet can also integrate other popular wallets like MyEtherWallet, making it easy to transfer your ether to your Trezor wallet.
Which cryptocurrencies are supported?
Trezor is a multi-currency wallet. As such, you can store various types of cryptocurrency, all at once. This is a great feature if your portfolio contains a variety of digital assets as opposed to the need to store each one in its individual wallet. Currently, Trezor wallet supports the following coins:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Dash (DASH)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- ERC-20 Tokens
- Litecoin (LTC)
- And over 600 more coins and tokens
Trezor gives you the convenience to manage each wallet through the software they provide with their wallets. You can choose between a cross-browser soft package and chrome extension, to help you manage the wallet on your computer. Trezor wallet is also in partnership with MyEtherWallet to help manage ether and ERC20 tokens.
What devices is Trezor compatible with?
Trezor wallets work with Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. This ensures that you access the device, irrespective of the computer you are on.
Having said this, Trezor is a 2.0 compatible device. This means it can perfectly work even when plugged into USB3.0 since they are back compatible (it can be used with any software or hardware used by a previous product). You can also use it on Android devices that have USB On-The-Go.
The platform does not specify the countries supported right now, but as this is a piece of hardware, if you can get it delivered then it will work where you are.
Trezor offers good customer support through its ticketing system. All you have to do is fill an online form and submit it to the support team. However, you are encouraged to look at the FAQ and user manual in case you encounter low-level issues that may be already detailed. Additionally, Trezor also offers a troubleshooter tool that you can use to fix common issues. If this does not help, then it reroutes you to the contact form where you can detail your issue further and submit as a ticket to the support team.
Otherwise, Trezor has an interactive community forum through its website where you can expect to find answers to most unique issues that may have been faced and solved by other members.
Trezor wallet is a small, key-sized device that helps store your private keys offline. It connects to your computer or Android device through the provided USB cable, to help you make secure Bitcoin and other altcoin transactions. It features two basic buttons on the wallet: one for denying transactions and the other for allowing transactions.
Trezor wallet works by sticking to the basic Bitcoin protocols. These protocols work by sending signed payment notes across the Internet. These messages (transactions) are signed with the help of a special algorithm that secures them. For you to sign a cryptocurrency transaction, you will need a special password or key. In this case, Trezor wallet holds that password or key and helps you securely sign in transaction messages.
Moreover, the wallet also stands out due to its native wallet integration with some exchanges like Bitstamp. This basically means that you can withdraw and deposit funds right on Bitstamp without the need to open Trezor’s wallet interface.
Trezor currently supports a myriad of cryptocurrencies. The notable ones include Bitcoin, Dash, Litecoin, Zcash, Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum (+ all ERC-20 tokens), Ethereum Classic, UBIQ, NEM, Expanse, Dogecoin, Namecoin, and Bitcoin Testnet.
How does a Trezor keep my cryptocurrency safe?
Trezor provides you with superior security for your cryptocurrencies and altcoins by protecting against both online and offline theft. This is made possible through the following features:
- Recovery seed. A recovery seed is a mnemonic code, usually made of 24, 18 or 12 words depending on your choice. This is generated the first time you run the wallet and will allow you to access your private keys and transaction history onto a new device in case you ever lose your Trezor. It creates a secure backup of your wallet.
- PIN. Trezor devices enable you to set a unique 4-9 number code when you run the wallet for the first time. This ensures the device is not used by unauthorised persons. You will be prompted to enter this on set up and when spending. Notably, the wait-time between pin-code guesses doubles for each time the wrong pin is put in. For example: if you enter the wrong pin, the platform might make you wait 1 minute until you can try again. Should you enter the wrong pin again the platform will make you wait 2 minutes and so on. This slows down any attempts to access your account by an unauthorised person.
- Encryption passphrase. This is usually set on top of the PIN to help protect the device in case of seizure. It uses military-grade encryption of the seed on Trezor storage, which basically means that there’s no way to hack the device to find out the private keys.
- Optional: Cryptosteel. When buying your Trezor wallet, you can buy Cryptosteel at the same time. This is a piece of metal a little larger than a credit card that you can store your recovery seed in, through arranging metal panels engraved with letters and numbers. This allows you to store your wallet’s backup in a way that’s damage-proof, but will also add an extra €80 to the price of your wallet.
In case you lose or damage your wallet, you can simply recover the whole wallet using the recovery seed (if used). This recovery can be efficiently done using another Trezor hardware wallet or other compatible wallets like Electrum or Mycelium.
Trezor’s screen also comes in handy to help you confirm that you are sending to the right recipient. Since the buttons must be physically pressed, it cuts down on the possibility of human error.
However, it is important to note that Trezor wallet does not yet protect against phishing. In a case where you need to send someone some coins online, you will need to know their address. Since computers are not necessarily as secure as Trezor is it is possible for addresses to be altered along the way by a malicious attacker. It is therefore advisable that you confirm the Bitcoin address of the recipient through other channels like phone calls or even in-person meeting.
Do I need to download any software to use Trezor wallet?
Before you can use the wallet, it needs to communicate with Trezor (the company), and this can be possible through several ways:
- Trezor Bridge. This is a piece of software that you can download to help your Trezor Wallet communicate. You can get the download link right at the Trezor Wallet website.
- Trezor Chrome Extension. This is an alternative to the Trezor Bridge. As much as the Chrome Extension can work across platforms, it is only compatible with chrome-based browsers. If you are a Linux user, then you may need to perform additional configuration.
- Trezor Manager for Android. As an Android device user, you are best placed using the Trezor Manager which can be easily found on Google Play Store. However, your phone, in this case, has to support the USB Host (USB On-The-Go) and will need to use a compatible OTG cable.
Can I back up my Trezor wallet?
Yes, it is possible to backup your wallet by using various recovery procedures. Remember, Trezor is an hard wallet and so you have full control of your private keys. The whole wallet can be backed up with the 24 words generated using a random generator on setup. This seed is usually generated offline and will be displayed on the little screen in the Trezor wallet. Make sure to note it down (preferably physically and offline) and store it in a safe place.
For extra security a passphrase can be activated, without which the wallet cannot be accessed. If forgotten, however, the wallet cannot be recovered and you run the risk of losing all your funds. In the event that your Trezor wallet gets lost or damaged in any way, you can recover your wallet using the 24-word seed and the passphrase (if used).
Can I use Trezor wallet anonymously?
Yes, as hard wallets, Trezor Wallets are anonymous. When you make a transaction either to or from your Trezor Wallet, all that will display on the blockchain is the wallet address (public key) and the amount of cryptocurrency transferred.
Are there any extra fees for using my Trezor wallet?
No, once you have bought your Trezor there are no more fees for using it. However, you will be charged blockchain transaction fees when moving coins out of your wallet, and these will vary depending on the currency and the transaction frequency in the blockchain at that time. This fee will go into rewarding miners who approve the transactions and is therefore not in any way associated with the wallet.
Are there limits to the amount of cryptocurrency I can deposit and withdraw?
No, there are no set limits for deposit and withdrawal amounts when using the wallet. Basically put, your hardware wallet simply stores your private keys but the cryptocurrency, together with its transaction history remains in the blockchain. This means you can send and receive as much as you like, as the wallet address just acts as proof of where your coins are.
How much does a Trezor cost?
The prices on the website are listed in Euros, with the cost for a Trezor One being €89, and the Model T priced at €149. You can also buy accessories such as a case for your device or extended USB-C cables, alongside being able to purchase Cryptosteel (a damage-proof way of storing your recovery seed) with either of Trezor’s wallets. A Trezor One with Cryptosteel costs €169, or if you upgrade to the Model T it’s €229.
What are the differences between the Trezor wallets available?
Trezor features two basic models in its wallets. There is the Trezor One, which is the earlier model, and the more recent Trezor Model T. The differences between the two are to be found more in the user experience than in the technology that powers each wallet.
The Model T has a colour touchscreen, that makes it much easier to use than the smaller screen on the Trezor One. This touchscreen also replaces the physical buttons that are on the Trezor One. The Model T also comes with a magnetic dock that can be attached to any surface and hold your Trezor Model T securely in place.
Trezor Model T
- The more expensive of the two wallets (€149)
- Features colour touchscreen
- Can carry out all functions (PIN and passphrase entry + device recovery) directly on the device
- Can view transactions on screen
- More premium feel
- Can hold hundreds of cryptocurrencies and ERC20 tokens
- Secure backup options
- Less expensive option (€89)
- Monochrome display and two physical buttons
- Must be connected to a device to input PIN and passphrase, or enter the recovery key
- Can view transactions on screen
- Holds hundreds of cryptocurrencies and ERC20 tokens
- Secure backup options
Extra Trezor features
Trezor hopes to optimize its user interface through various other extra features. This includes the following:
Buttons used to sign transactions
Both versions of the Trezor wallet features two distinctive buttons that help in cancelling or approving commands. The Trezor One has physical buttons while the Trezor Model T uses touchscreen buttons. This removes the risk of online interference.
Trezor’s wallets are RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) and CE certified, meaning they meet the required reliability, quality and environmental standards. Just like most modern electronics, you can safely carry it with you on the airplane without the risk of the device being damaged.
Model T Firmware
The premium model has an open source firmware, dubbed the Trezor Core, which allows for upgrades and expansion for future growth, such as compatibility with different cryptocurrency tokens.
Overall, Trezor is undoubtedly a reliable hardware wallet if you are looking to deal with large sums of cryptocurrency, or handle many different coins and tokens at once. The company has optimised its product to include the latest security features, and the backup offered through each wallet’s recovery seed also means that you can fully protect yourself against your wallet being lost or damaged. Coupled with the 4-9 digit PIN, you can ensure it’s impossible for any malicious intruder to get access to your coins, even if they get access to your Trezor Device.
Usually there is a trade-off between convenience and security, but Trezor offers the best of both worlds. This is thanks to their wallets’ combination of an easy-to-use physical design, compatibility with all major operating systems, and the security features of the software that powers each wallet. The Model T provides the best user experience, but both wallets are straightforward to use.
The security offered by Trezor’s limited USB connection keeps your coins secure at all times. The technology that supports these wallets means your private key will be safe, even if you are unknowingly connecting your Trezor to a computer infected with malware.
Trezor’s price may be a little on the higher side compared to other hardware wallets, but looking at the easy user interface, security set up, and ability to handle any cryptocurrencies, the company does a lot to justify the cost of its products.
How to set up a wallet with Trezor
Setting up a Trezor wallet is a pretty straightforward process if you follow the right procedure. Before you open the box, however, here is a list of items you should expect to find in there:
- Trezor wallet
- User manual
- Booklets for noting down recovery seed
- USB cable
- Set of stickers
- Magnetic mount (for Model T only)
To set up the Trezor wallet:
- Plug the Trezor wallet into the USB port on your computer. Once you do this, you will be met with an image of a lock with a link to the Trezor website.
- Open the Webpage. Here, you will get further instructions on how to stay safe with your wallet. It will then redirect you to the wallet set up.
- Install the Trezor wallet software. This will allow for communication between your handset wallet and the blockchain. Here, you have two options: install the Google Chrome Extension or download it to your device directly. For the sake of this guide, we will use the chrome extension.
- Install the latest firmware. You will be prompted to do this, just click ‘Yes Install’. Your device will enter what is called ‘bootloader mode’ for this.
- Check your computer recognises the device. Confirm that the ‘Fingerprints’ noted on the screen of your hardware match those on the computer screen display. If this is the case, on your Trezor device, click on ‘Continue’.
- Unplug. Disconnect your wallet device from your computer then insert it once more. Now go back to wallet.Trezor.io.
- Give a name to your Trezor wallet. This could be anything, feel free to get creative.
- Set up your PIN. This should be the most crucial part of the setup. You will be met with a ‘pin set up’ image on your computer while your Trezor device’s screen will also feature a 9 –digit pattern of letters from 1-9 for you to choose from for your PIN. Please note, the positioning of the numbers on your screen is random. This ensures that no one gets to know which keys you are pressing. You will be asked to enter this twice just to be sure.
- Note down your recovery seed. Keep this safe, as it will come in handy to recover your funds in case you lose or damage your Trezor device. Your wallet will generate these words randomly. Write them down on the 24-lined piece of paper that comes within the Trezor Box (and then set up your Cryptosteel if you bought it with your wallet).
- Get using your Trezor. Your wallet is now ready to receive and send cryptocurrency!
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