Everything you need to know about Trezor wallets
On our blog, we don’t just focus on Probinex, but we also want to bring you the most important information from the world of cryptocurrencies. It’s a dynamic market and an unpredictable industry. One of the main principles is to keep your cryptocurrencies safe. In this text, we will introduce you to the Trezor hardware wallet, which is at the forefront of reliable cryptocurrency safekeeping solutions.
What’s the Trezor? How do hardware cryptocurrency wallets work?
The Trezor is, as we’ve hinted at, a hardware wallet. It is, essentially, a type of flash drive that stores digital currencies. Hardware wallets differ from both paper and software ones in several ways we’ll explore.
Trezor is the brainchild of SatoshiLabs, an innovative Czech start-up, and is based on a concept devised by local visionary Marek “Slush” Palatinus in the olden days of cryptocurrencies. This is just one of many Czech crypto-inventions, among such hits as bitcoin ATMs or mining pools (allowing even people without powerful hardware to join forces and mine cryptocurrencies collectively).
Trezor has two major advantages.
- Safety, obviously. Translated into English, the word “trezor” literally means “a safe” and the Trezor is widely considered the safest option out there for storing cryptocurrencies. Sure, you could store them on a phone or laptop, but have you ever heard the saying “don’t put all your eggs into one basket”? If your phone gets stolen, at least your crypto remains safe. Trezor also isn’t connected to the internet, meaning it’s impervious to viruses and other malicious software.
- Trezor allows you to store just about any cryptocurrency in existence. The two most common models are the Model One and the Model T. The latter supports virtually every cryptocurrency in the world, while the former lacks support for Cardano, Tezos and other smaller blockchain networks and their respective coins and tokens. However, Ethereum, Bitcoin and other staples of cryptosphere are available on both.
Did you know you can use Trezor to store any tokens on the supported blockchains? That’s why PBX, running on Binance Smart Chain, has full Trezor support. Detailed how-to will be the topic of another article.
Of course, nothing is black and white. Trezor also has downsides, some may even consider them dealbreakers.
- The user interface is more complex than most software wallets. Trezor is also a small device about 3x5 centimeters in size, making it difficult to use the tiny screen. Moreover, Model One only has 2 buttons and may have a steeper learning curve than Model T with its touch screen.
- Safety comes at a price and we mean that literally. Model One sells for around $85 USD, while Model T will, due to its number of features, cost you more than three times that at $265 USD.
Are hardware wallets for you?
A hardware wallet is an amazing tool, but do you need one? If you are, for some reason, worried about your crypto, a hardware wallet will definitely ease your troubled mind. It is also practical if you’re prone to forgetting or losing stuff. We get it, you’re busy being awesome.
Also, if you find yourself in possession of a large sum of money in the form of crypto, you should definitely get the Trezor regardless of your memory or habits. The safety of your millions (or more? if so, could you send some our way?) is definitely worth what’s essentially just spare change to you.
You probably already know there are two types of keys. The “public” one, identical to your address, allows you to receive payments. The “private”, on the other hand, lets you access your funds. If you lose your private key, you lose everything. This key usually takes the form of a string of words called a “seed”.
It may sound silly to hear someone has “lost their crypto”, but did you know that around 20% of all the BTC ever mined has already disappeared into the digital void? That’s whooping 3,700,000 BTC. At the time of writing, that’s more than 170 billion USD! Most of these belonged to the early adopters who didn’t take — at the time very cheap — Bitcoin seriously and lost their seed/private key.
Step-by-step guide on Trezor setup
Setting up a device like this can seem complicated. It can also be especially stressful when your money’s on the line. But don’t worry, we’ll walk you through the process every step of the way, so you can keep your crypto safe and sound.
Step One: It is imperative that you check your Trezor arrived intact. The seal on the package should be, well, sealed. If it isn’t, your device may have been compromised. If your package exhibits any signs of damage and/or tampering, contact the official Trezor support at once.
In the attached photo you can see the broken seal. If this is what yours looks like when you receive the package, please contact the Trezor support immediately.
Step two: If everything is in order, unpack the device and check the contents of the box. Our example uses Model One. Inside the package you should find:
- Trezor Hardware Wallet
- Two cards for writing down the seed we talked about earlier
- Key fob for easier manipulation
- A leaflet with short instructions and safety recommendations
- USB cable to connect the Trezor to your computer
Step Three: Now it’s time to set up the wallet itself. With our guide, the process shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes. To get started, plug the Trezor into your computer using the USB cable.
Step Four: A screen will light up, prompting you to visit the Trezor’s website. Open it in your web browser.
Step Five: There’s a button to download a companion app for the Trezor. Download the corresponding version based on your OS. In this tutorial, we’ll work with the Windows 10 version.
Step Six: The download takes a few seconds. Once it’s complete, install the app. All it takes is two clicks and a brief moment. Once the installed, the app automatically turns on. If not, double-click the icon that should have appeared on your desktop. Select whether you want to help Trezor improve its products by sharing your data anonymously.
Step Seven: Before Trezor lets you set up your device, it will ask you a few security questions. Whether the seal was intact, whether you purchased it from a trusted retailer, and whether anyone but you tampered with the packaging. Assuming everything is in order, continue by clicking “Setup Trezor”.
Step Eight: As mentioned, the app is how you use your Trezor. To do so safely and smoothly, Trezor’s internal software, called “firmware”, needs to be updated from time to time. This is what the app will ask you to do when you first launch it. Press “Install firmware”.
Installation takes a few minutes at most. Once complete, Trezor will prompt you to disconnect and reconnect the device. Make sure you don’t accidentally press any of the wallet’s hardware buttons during the entire process. If nothing happens when you reinsert the Trezor, simply try again. Confirm the installation with the “Continue” button.
Step Nine: Finally, cryptocurrencies! Clicking “Create new wallet” creates a, what a shocker, new wallet.
Step Ten: Choose how to back up your Trezor. You can see a various number of options depending on your platform, OS and model — we only got the option “Standard seed backup”. Let’s click it. The program will prompt you to confirm the action using Trezor’s physical buttons. This combination of software and hardware controls minimizes the chances of your device being compromised: even if someone hacked your computer, they wouldn’t have access to the physical device and thus couldn’t do anything.
The device is set up, let’s continue with backup. Before the app lets us proceed, we must confirm we understand the security instructions by clicking the respective prompts. Remember, this is your savings we’re talking about! These are no “terms & conditions” to skim through, make sure you read everything carefully.
Step Eleven: Your Trezor will begin generating the seed now. The first word is going to appear on its screen. Press the right button to reveal the next one. There’s a card you should use to write this string of words down (see step 2.2). Make sure to carefully mark everything, as the words will only appear twice and if you lose the seed, you will need to create a new wallet again.
Step Twelve: Now it’s time to create a PIN. ATTENTION! For security purposes, Trezor will generate a random numpad on its screen. On your PC you’ll only see blank keys corresponding to the numpad on your Trezor. So just remember, the numbers aren’t where you’re used to them being. If you forget the pin, you’ll have to restore the wallet from your seed.
PIN creation interface:
When the process completes, click “Continue “.
Step Thirteen: Trezor will ask you to select the cryptocurrencies you wish to activate. Take your pick and proceed by clicking “Finish Setup”.
Step Fourteen: Your Trezor is ready for use. The app functions as an interface for the physical device, and it works similarly to any software wallet. It contains info about your wallet, your accounts, settings and allows you to make transactions. To do so, press the “Wallet” button up top. Among other things, it contains your public address for receiving payments.
The interface is intuitive, but it doesn’t work unless the Trezor is connected. On top of that, all actions must be confirmed by pressing the physical buttons on the device.
Security basics: how to take care of your Trezor and cryptocurrencies
We want your cryptocurrencies to be safe. So here are some useful tips to follow, whenever you use your new hardware wallet.
Never share your seed with anyone, not even your family
We know, we already said so, but this is a point worth repeating. Never share that string of words with anyone, it will result in the loss of all your savings. In case of a very large sum, you may want to visit a lawyer and make the seed part of your inheritance.
Don’t store the seed digitally
Whether it’s your phone, computer, or cloud storage, don’t store your seed phrase in digital form. The point of hardware wallets is that they keep your keys offline. Having the seed saved on an electronic device with access to the internet would defeat the whole purpose of Trezor. Therefore, only use physical notes, preferably the cards enclosed in the Trezor package.
Be careful with the wallet
The app we installed does not work without hardware. Be careful how you use it. Don’t connect to it in the middle of a busy street, see if someone isn’t looking over your shoulder etc. With its randomized numpad, Trezor does its best to keep you safe, but ultimately, the responsibility rests on your shoulders.
Trust only what the Trezor shows you
When sending cryptocurrencies, always check the address you see on Trezor’s display. No bank or authority will return you your money if you make a mistake. Consider all transactions final and irreversible.
Keep it (the seed) secret, keep it safe
Wherever you’ve written the seed, keep it in a safe place that only you know about. Try to think of a place that is inaccessible to others, but easy for you to remember in case of emergency. If you inadvertently lose it somewhere, you’re in for a painful treasure hunt that may not be successful.
That concludes our Trezor guide. We’ve covered everything you need to know to keep your cryptocurrencies as safe as possible. If you have any questions, join us on Telegram. We’ll gladly discuss anything related to digital currencies, blockchain or our project. And what’s more, our friendly and open community is always ready to lend a hand, as are the members of the Probinex team.