Trezor Review

Trezor is known as “the original and most secure hardware wallet”, providing “the best protection at no cost to your convenience”. Trezor, as a brand-name, is almost completely synonymous with the concept of hardware wallets – which comes to no surprise, considering how it has been serving as a go-to cold storage method since 2014.

How to Use

To use use your Trezor, you’ll have to set it up first. Luckily, it’s straightforward process that has been streamlined even for the least tech-savvy people.

  • First install the Trezor chrome extension
  • Connect your Trezor via USB
  • Trezor will wipe everything on your new device and download the latest firmware onto your device to ensure that the software on your device is up-to-date.
  • Your Trezor will prompt you with a recovery seed. Make sure to write it down so you can recover your funds in case your Trezor is lost or stolen.
  • Once your Trezor has been set up, you will be able to monitor the funds on your hardware wallet from the online Trezor dashboard while keeping your private key (the key to your funds) completely secured and offline.

Receiving Bitcoin on your Trezor can’t be any simpler. Your online dashboard has the public key to your wallet, which you can give to the party that wants to send Bitcoin to you. The best part about this method is that your Trezor does not have to be connected to your computer to go through with this process. In other words, you just connect your Trezor once to set it up, and as long as you don’t want to change or update the firmware on your Trezor, or want to send Bitcoin from your Trezor, you will never have to connect it again. Considering that having your private key stored on a device that is connected to the Internet significantly decreases the security of your wallet, this is arguably the best feature of a hardware wallet like Trezor.

Packaging

You might be wondering why it’s relevant to discuss the packaging for Trezor. The reason is, however, that it’s important to be able to tell if someone tampered with the box that you ordered before you received it. After all, if somebody intercepted your order from Amazon or the Trezor homepage, unpacked the device, exchanged the software or hardware, and then repackaged the device and sent it to you (a physical man-in-the-middle attack), then the middleman would have just as much control of your funds as you do. That’s why Trezor uses tamper free packaging that makes it exceedingly difficult for anyone to tamper with while it makes its way from the factory to your home.

Compatibility

Trezor can be used with almost any operating system. For your desktop or laptop, you can use Linux, Mac and Windows. Unfortunately though, you’re limited to Android for your phone as there is no iPhone support. Apparently you can use Trezor with your iPhone with ‘crazy emulation workarounds’, but that’s far beyond the scope of the average hardware wallet consumer.

Price

$99 USD. When the device was first released, the price sat towards the lower end of hardware wallet options, but now that the space has considerably grown, $99 USD resides on the upper end of the hardware wallet spectrum.

Technical Details

Hardware design philosophy

Trezor comes with many hardware features right out of the box – which is why some users like to call it a self-contained computer. That design choice comes to Trezor’s marketing advantage, as the hardware wallet boasts more features than most other devices that are offered on the market. Considering that Trezor is the SatoshiLab’s flagship product, it makes sense to ship it with all features that might be desired by the end user. However, that also comes with possible security downsides. After all, the more hardware features are included in a product, there more avenues are made available to malicious hackers who get hold of your device illegitimately. Either way, on the face of it, Trezor wallets can’t be feasibly broken, meaning that the extra features don’t really come at any significant cost of security – which is great news for anyone planning to buy a Trezor wallet.

Hardware Specifications

  • Case shape: Rounded trapezoid
  • Case dimensions: 60mm x 30mm x 6mm
  • Screen: 128 x 64 pixels
  • Buttons: Two buttons below the screen
  • Weight: 12g
  • CPU: 120 MHZ ARM (Cortex-M3)

Software

Supported Apps

Trezor provides a comprehensive table of supported applications. Below you can find the gist of existing Trezor compatible apps – just keep in mind that not all Trezor features are supported by the software listed below.

  • TREZOR Wallet
  • Chrome Extension
  • Sentinel
  • Mycelium
  • Etherwall
  • Electrum (+ DASH and LTC version)
  • Copay
  • Blockonomics
  • ArcBit

All in all, there is wide support for Trezor and plenty of ways to make payments from both your desktop, laptop or phone.

Firmware

Make sure that the first thing that you pay attention to when you connect your Trezor to your computer, is that no firmware warning shows up on the display. Trezor allows for firmware flashing (replacing the software on the device), but makes sure to show the user that the firmware has been flashed every time the device is started from that point on. This security feature prevents unwitting users from using a Trezor whose software has been tampered with. All in all, the firmware warning servers as a great feature to let you know if your device has malicious software installed. So if you see that warning when you turn the device on for the first time, make sure to return it to the seller and demand a new device or a refund.

Security

In terms of the user interface, Trezor requires the user to enter a pin whenever you connect to your pc or phone to access your funds via the online Trezor dashboard. The go-to term for this feature is “Malware proof pin entry”, which some consider a misnomer because it could still be tampered with if your computer is infected in a detrimental way.

Hacking Incidents

Although the very reason for buying hardware wallets depends on the reputation of unfeasibly breakable security, this is not always the case. Over the last year, knowledgeable Trezor users have identified security flaws that can be exploited in very specific scenarios. That doesn’t mean that hardware wallets are inherently flawed. What we do learn from this though, is that the next generation devices will require upgrades to meet the standard of security that SatoshiLabs advertises. Also, it emphasizes the need for the customer to be aware that the security practices revolving around the use of Trezor as a cold storage solution is more stringent than assumed by most.

Team

One noteworthy feature of the Trezor ecosystem is its team. SatoshiLabs makes a big point of showcasing the team at the bottom of the landing page. With a cast of 21 team members, as well as the “most qualified Jack Russell in the world”, you’ll find a dedicated team backing the hardware wallet as their flagship product. Most importantly, the fact that the brand makes a point of showcasing the team members is a sign of positive company integrity.

Summary
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Reviewed Item
Trezor
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