So, you’re a cryptocurrency millionaire (or not), and now want to know the safest place to store your coins? Or you’re thinking about buying a hardware wallet and would like to know if the Trezor wallet is the one for you?
Either way, this guide is going to tell you everything you need to know!
In this Trezor wallet review, I am going to explain what the Trezor wallet is and what it does. After that, I will then explore its advantages, as well as its disadvantages. This will also include a full analysis of the security features and the Trezor supported coins.
Then, if you do decide to go ahead to buy it, I will also provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to set it up and how to send/receive coins, along with some helpful images to guide you through.
Anyway, let’s get started by finding out what the Trezor wallet actually is!
Table of Contents
- 1 What is the Trezor Wallet?
- 2 Trezor Supported Coins
- 3 Trezor Wallet Advantages?
- 4 Trezor Wallet Disadvantages?
- 5 Security Overview
- 6 How to Setup The Trezor Wallet
- 7 Conclusion
What is the Trezor Wallet?
The Trezor wallet was the original cryptocurrency hardware wallet to be released. It is a hardware wallet which allows you to safely store, send and receive a wide range of cryptocurrencies. The wallet was first released in 2014 by a company called SatoshiLabs, who are located in the Czech Republic.
Being a hardware wallet, the Trezor wallet is much safer than traditional software wallets, as private keys are held on the physical device, rather than on a mobile or desktop computer. The Trezor wallet is never connected to an internet server, meaning that it is virtually impossible for a hacker to access your funds.
I’ll talk about the wallet’s security features in more detail later on. However, to give you an idea as to how popular it is, SatoshiLabs have sold over one million devices! The latest wallet of theirs is the Trezor T (Trezor 2).
The Trezor wallet does come with a price tag though, so you will need to buy it. This means that if you only have a small amount of coins, it might not be worth the investment. On the other hand, if you have a significant amount, it most certainly is!
Trezor Supported Coins
The Trezor wallet is a multi-currency wallet, meaning that it can store lots of different cryptocurrencies. This is great if you have a portfolio that contains a variety of cryptocurrencies, as otherwise you would need to store each one in an individual wallet.
As of June 2017, the Trezor supported coins are as follows.
- Ethereum & ERC-20 Tokens
- Ethereum Classic
As you will notice from the list above, the Trezor Ethereum wallet can store all Ethereum based (ERC-20) tokens. This is great as there are hundreds of different ERC-20 tokens available on the market.
Don’t forget, the Trezor team are always expanding on the amount of coins they support, so it is worth checking their official website regularly to see their new releases. If you send a cryptocurrency to your Trezor which isn’t one of the Trezor supported coins, then you could lose your funds forever. As you will notice from the list above, the Trezor Ethereum wallet can store all Ethereum based (ERC-20) tokens too. This is great as there are hundreds of different ERC-20 tokens available on the market.
Trezor Wallet Advantages?
As you have probably gathered, the biggest advantage to buying a Trezor wallet is that it is the safest way to store your cryptocurrency. To get a better understanding of why it is so secure, I am now going to explain how it works.
The first thing to consider is that your private key is always kept offline, meaning that it never has a direct connection to the internet. This is completely different to storing your cryptocurrencies on a desktop, mobile or web wallet, as hackers are always finding new ways to infect it with a virus or malware.
When it comes to accessing your Trezor wallet, whether that’s to send/receive coins, or even check your balance, you will need to enter your personal PIN number. Only you know should know what this PIN number is, as you have to choose it when you first set up the device.
You are also given a backup passphrase which you MUST write down. If your Trezor wallet was stolen, you would be able to recover your funds by entering your backup phrase on to another device.
Although you might have heard of software wallets getting hacked all the time, the above feature make the Trezor wallet almost impossible to hack!
So, now that you know the positives of the Trezor Wallet, let’s have a look at some of its disadvantages.
Trezor Wallet Disadvantages?
Firstly, it is important to remember that you will need to spend about $99 if you want to buy a Trezor wallet. So, if you hold below $1000 worth of cryptocurrencies, it is probably best to keep them in a free software wallet!
You also need to consider how often you plan on using the Trezor hardware wallet to make transactions. Every time you want to send funds, you will need to plug the wallet in to your desktop device and then enter your personal PIN. This isn’t exactly the most convenient way to access your cryptocurrencies.
When it comes to user-friendliness, a hardware wallet like Trezor can be a little bit complicated for beginners, especially if they haven’t used a similar device before. This is why it is really important to read the instruction manual before using it, otherwise you could make a mistake.
Overall, you have to consider what is most important. Is it security, or other features like cost, convenience and user-friendliness? However, if you are holding a really large amount of coins, it is fully advised that you store them in a hardware wallet like Trezor.
So, now that you have an overview of the wallet’s advantages and disadvantages, I am not going to look at just how secure it really is. Is the Trezor wallet impossible to hack? Let’s find out!
The first question that people normally ask is “What if my desktop computer is infected and I plug in my Trezor wallet”. Well, this is a really good point, so let me explain this in more detail.
Limited USB Connection
Think about the mouse you use to control your on-screen cursor. If there was a virus on the computer, could it affect the mouse? Absolutely not! Even though the mouse has the ability to interact with the internet (because it lets you click on different websites), it cannot be controlled by a virus or malware.
This is exactly the same as the Trezor Ethereum wallet. The wallet has something called a “Limited USB connection”, which means that even if the computer device is infected, your cryptocurrency is completely safe.
So what about a key logger? A key logger is when a device is infected with a virus and it allows the hacker to get a copy of every single key that you enter on to your keyboard. They can then analyze everything that you type, in the hope that you reveal some private information such as a password.
However, the way the team have designed the PIN number is in a way that every time you enter a number, the order of the numbers changes. Take a look at the image below to understand what I mean:
To ensure that the Trezor wallet remains protected against new threats, the team release regular firmware updates. This is similar to a Windows update and they are designed to protect your device!
Trezor wallet updates are not automatic though, so you will need to make sure you do it yourself when they are released. SatoshiLabs have released full instructions on how to do this, which you can view by clicking here.
Trezor Wallet Hacked?
However, as good as all of the above security features are, there was a reported vulnerability in the Trezor hardware in 2017. According to various crypto-experts, there was a way for hackers to access a person’s 24 word backup passphrase, as well as their PIN number.
Although the vulnrability has since been fixed by the Trezor team, it should be a reminder that in reality, no device is ever 100% safe from hackers. For full details on the previous vulnerability, click here to read the story.
So, now that you have a good understanding of the security features, what do you think about the Trezor hardware wallet so far? If you are looking to buy one (or you already have one), I will now show you how to set it up and use it!
How to Setup The Trezor Wallet
When you first open the box, here is a list of all the items you should receive.
- Trezor wallet
- Recovery seed
- USB Cable
- First things first, you need to plug the Trezor wallet in to your computer’s USB port. Once you do, the Trezor screen should show you an image of a lock and a website to visit. To make things easier for you, click on the link here.
- The webpage will give you further instructions on how to keep your Trezor wallet safe, before re-directing you to wallet.TREZOR.io. If for some reason it doesn’t re-direct you, click on the link above.
- Now you will need to install the Trezor wallet, which will allow your hardware wallet to communicate with the blockchain. You can either install the Google Chrome extension or download it directly on to your device. In my guide I am going to use the Chrome extension.
- You will now be asked if you want to install the latest firmware. Make sure you click Yes, Install.
- You will now be asked to check that the “Fingerprints” on your Trezor hardware screen matches those displayed on your computer’s device screen. If everything looks good, click on Continue (on your Trezor device).
- Now you need to unplug your Trezor wallet from your computer and then re-insert it. Then go back to wallet.TREZOR.io.
- You will now be asked to give you Trezor wallet a name. This can be anything you like and it can always be changed at a later date.
- It’s now time to set up your PIN, which is one of the most important parts to the set up process. On your computer screen, you will see the following image.
- On your Trezor hardware wallet screen, you will see the following image.
- This is where it gets a bit confusing. The position of the numbers that is displayed on your screen is random, which ensures that nobody can find out which keys you are pressing.However, you need to enter the numbers you want on to your computer.For example, if you want to choose “7,1,6,5”, you would need to select the same position in the blank squares displayed on your computer screen. You will need to enter this twice, which ensures you don’t make a mistake.
- Now that you’ve set up your PIN number, your Trezor hardware wallet will now display your 24 word backup phrase. It is really important that you write these down and keep them safe, because if your ever lose your wallet or it is stolen, you will need this to recover your funds. You should have received a 24 lined piece of paper within the Trezor box, so you can write them down on that!
That’s it! You’ve now set up your Trezor wallet! I am now going to show you how to receive funds!
How to Transfer Cryptocurrency to your Trezor Wallet
- First, plug your Trezor hardware wallet in to your computer device and then enter the PIN number you created earlier.
- Now you need to visit your Trezor wallet. This will either be via the Google Chrome extension or the software program you downloaded earlier.
- On the top left hand side of the page, you will see a drop down box. Select the cryptocurrency that you want to send to your Trezor wallet. I will be using Bitcoin for this example, but there is also a Trezor Ethereum wallet and others within the same dashboard.
- Next, click on Receive at the top of the screen. You will now see your unique wallet address for the cryptocurrency you want to transfer.
- Copy the address and then go to the wallet where your cryptocurrency is currently stored. Simply paste your address in and then transfer the funds!
Depending on the coin you are transferring, it will take a few minutes to reach your Trezor wallet. But that’s it! Now let’s look at how to send funds from your Trezor wallet to somebody else.
How to Send Funds from your Trezor Wallet
- Open your Trezor wallet dashboard on your computer.
- From the drop down list on the left hand side, select the coin you would like to send.
- Next, click on Send at the top of the page.
- You will now be asked to enter the wallet address of the person you want to send the coins to, as well as the amount. Once you are happy with the information you have entered, click on Send!
If you have read this Trezor wallet review from start to finish, you should now have a really good understanding about what it is, what is does and how it is different from a traditional software wallets.
You should also have a good idea of the security features which make it so much safer than a desktop or mobile wallet. Even if your Trezor wallet is stolen, you can still recover your funds as long as you wrote down and stored your 24 word recovery password safely!
As you probably now know, it’s not worth buying one if you only hold a really small amount of coins, however, if you have heavy investments then it is definitely worth considering.
So, have you decided whether you want to buy the Trezor hardware wallet? If so, are you going to buy the Trezor, or the latest Trezor T (or Trezor 2) model?
If so, please let me know how you get on with it!