Store and transfer cryptocurrency with the bitcoin wallet TREZOR — review
Trezor is a secure way to keep your cryptocurrency safe from hackers and malware.
The Czech word for “vault,” Trezor includes several security measures that are sure to keep your bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies safe. But how easy is it to use?
What is TREZOR?
TREZOR is a hardware bitcoin wallet that functions as a USB dongle, allowing users to safely access their cryptocurrency even on insecure computers. It operates on a Zero Trust approach, which advocates for multiple layers of security to minimise the ways it can be compromised by a third party. Calling itself the “Bitcoin safe,” TREZOR includes key security features:
- PIN protection. TREZOR is protected by a PIN code you choose. Each time you enter the wrong pin, the wait time until you can re-enter it increases by a power of two. And there’s no starting the timer over — you simply have to wait it out.
- Recovery seed. TREZOR provides you with a randomly generated 24-word code that you can use to recover your wallet if your TREZOR is stolen or lost.
- Single-purpose device. A bitcoin wallet only, there are no apps or downloads available for the hardware that could potentially compromise security.
- Limited attack surface. TREZOR limits its communication with other devices. It has no batteries, cameras for scanning, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. When the USB device isn’t connected, it’s turned off.
How do I receive bitcoin on my TREZOR?
To add bitcoin to your TREZOR, follow these secure installation steps:
- Download the myTREZOR plug-in. Go to the TREZOR wallet site and download the plug-in. First-time users will create a PIN and save their recovery seed.
- Click on the account in your browser. Go to the Receive tab to get your first bitcoin address.
- Look for the eye icon. This icon features an address that should match the one appearing on your TREZOR hardware screen. Don’t transfer if the eye doesn’t show a matching address — it could be the sign of a phishing attempt.
- Confirmation. Until a transaction is complete (about 15 minutes), the Timestamp column will show “Unconfirmed.” Once you see a date and time in this column, the money is yours.
See what’s in the box
How do I make payments?
Unless you’re hoarding cryptocurrency, you’re going to want to make payments using your TREZOR. You can do this through the myTREZOR plug-in.
- Click the send tab on the plug-in. Enter the address for the transaction and the amount you’re sending. You can choose to enter the transaction amount in BTC or fiat currency. The exchange rate is calculated by CoinDesk.
- Enter your PIN. Enter your PIN to unlock your device. The pin will unlock your TREZOR until it’s unplugged.
- Confirm the transaction. The amount of the transaction and the address to which it’s being sent appears on the TREZOR screen. Either confirm or cancel the transaction from the hardware.
- Watch the progress of your transaction. Track your outgoing transaction from the Transactions tab.
Pros and Cons
- Security. Limits the ways your TREZOR can be accessed and protects it from hacking.
- Multiple currencies. Supports several currencies other than bitcoin and can convert transaction amounts to and from fiat currency.
- Easy-to-use interface. The myTREZOR browser plug-in makes it easy complete transactions.
- Complicated PIN. It takes time to set up the plug-in, and you must re-enter your PIN using an obscured keypad every time you plug in the TREZOR.
- Limited transaction opportunities. Because it’s a hardware wallet, the TREZOR must be plugged into a computer to make transactions, unlike mobile or paper wallets that can be used on the go.
- High cost. You’ll pay around US$300 or more for the high security TREZOR provides.
If you’re looking for a secure way to store bitcoin and other cryptocurrency, TREZOR could be for you. However, if you’re looking for constant access to your cryptocurrency stashes or need to make daily transactions, you might want to look at other options.