Trezor Wallet Explained: What It Is and How to Use It

Learn more about the Trezor hardware crypto wallet, its features, and key benefits.

  • December 3, 2022
  • 9 Min Read

The global crypto hardware wallet market is expected to reach $877.69 million in value by 2026, and one of the popular hardware wallet manufacturers is Trezor. With multiple models, a helpful Wiki page, and easy setup, Trezor is a solid choice for crypto enthusiasts who want the most security possible for their funds.

Since there are no federal protections that insure your cryptocurrency accounts in the way that your savings accounts are FDIC-insured or NCUA-insured, hardware wallets like Trezor are a secure way to have complete control over your coins. In the case of a cybersecurity attack, hardware wallets, unlike software wallets, are more safeguarded.

What is Trezor?

Started by SatoshiLabs in 2013, Trezor is a hardware crypto wallet that gives users the power of security and coin custody. Trezor hardware wallet is a physical device that stores the keys to a user’s cryptocurrency and connects to a proprietary interface that lets users review, manage, send, and receive crypto. It has its own wallet address that can send and receive crypto, and by using Trezor Suite, users can also trade and swap coins directly from their wallets.

How does Trezor work?

Trezor hardware wallets work just like any other crypto wallet. The wallet has its own address that is used to send and receive funds. The main difference between a Trezor hardware wallet and a software wallet is how the funds are stored. Hardware wallets store crypto on a device that’s not connected to the internet, which is also known as cold storage.

  • USB 2.0/3.0 connection: Both the Trezor One and Trezor Model T solely use USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 connections. The packaging for both models comes with a USB cable (one uses a USB type B cable, and the Model T uses a USB type C cable) for users to connect the wallet to their devices. There is no Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection, which is a deliberate choice from the company to limit security risks.
  • PIN safety: When you first set up a Trezor wallet, you have the option to set a PIN, which safeguards against physical access by unauthorized users. The order changes for the PIN input layout, so even if keystrokes were monitored, it can’t be easily deciphered.
  • Trezor Suite: Trezor Suite is the desktop or web browser interface that allows Trezor wallet users to view and manage their crypto funds. As stated, it’s accessed via a downloadable desktop app or by connecting your Trezor wallet with Google Chrome browser. With the Trezor Suite, you can connect multiple wallets, view your dashboard, trade and swap crypto, as well as manage device security settings.
  • Android compatibility: You can connect Trezor wallets to an Android phone using WebUSB, and then visiting the Trezor Suite web browser application on Google Chrome. However, it’s recommended to use a wired USB connection to connect a wallet to the Trezor Suite.

Trezor pros and cons

Pros

Over 1,000 supported tokens

LED touchscreen display (Trezor Model T)

Desktop app or Chrome connectivity

Cons

Open-source

No mobile app

Plastic device case

Trezor pros

Trezor is one of the leading crypto hardware wallets, and for good reason. It features everything a crypto enthusiast would need to safely store their coins. Here’s an in-depth review of the Trezor hardware wallet benefits and features:

More than 1,000 supported tokens

The Trezor One and Model T both support a long list of cryptocurrencies, more than what any user would need to develop an impressive portfolio. Keep in mind that while there are hundreds of supported cryptos, the One does not support a couple of the popular coins, namely Cardano and Tezos. If you plan to hold those coins, the Model T supports them.

LED touchscreen display

The Trezor Model T features a full-color touchscreen display, which can enhance the experience of using a hardware wallet for many crypto investors. This high-tech display also makes it easier to use the device and view your funds.

Desktop and browser compatibility

Trezor has two methods that you can use to connect your device, view your crypto funds, and send or receive crypto. You can either download the Trezor Suite desktop app and set up your new wallet, or connect via Chrome browser to accomplish the same thing. If you don’t want to download the desktop app, then using a browser works, as well, giving users a little more freedom with their devices.

Trezor cons

While Trezor is a leading crypto hardware wallet company, there are a few downsides that potential customers should consider before determining if it’s the best hardware wallet for them:

Open-source

Trezor doesn’t have a history of any notable security hacks or breaches of the wallets themselves, but there was a recent phishing scam involving a MailChimp data breach that affected many Trezor users. That said, Trezor is an open-source product, so anyone can review and analyze the device software and firmware for security holes. The open-source nature lines up with the decentralized finance philosophy, but it could cause some users to pause.

No mobile app

Some on-the-go crypto investors will be disappointed to find out that Trezor doesn’t have a mobile app companion for its wallets. Since Trezor wallets are not Bluetooth- or Wi-Fi-enabled, which is done to “limit the attack surface,” this inherently excludes the products from connecting via mobile app. Trezor wallet users are limited to using the desktop app, Android smartphone, or Chrome connections.

Plastic hardshell case

At the price point Trezor sets its models, you would think that it would spring for high-quality, durable device casings. That’s not the case, however. Trezor uses a reinforced plastic casing for the One and Model T hardware wallets. While this is still pretty durable, other hardware wallets use stainless steel casings instead.

Trezor One vs. Trezor Model T

Trezor Model TTrezor Model One
Dimensions64 mm x 39 mm x 10 mm (2.52 in x 1.54 in x 0.39 in)60mm x 30mm x 6mm (2.4 in x 1.2 in x 0.2 in)
DisplayLED touchscreenMonochrome display + 2 buttons
ConnectionUSB 2.0 and USB 3.0USB 2.0 and USB 3.0
Price$214$77

How to set up your Trezor

Trezor provides a handy Wiki site that walks users through everything they might need to set up and start using their Trezor wallet. Between the Trezor Model T and Trezor Model One, the set up is pretty identical.

Step 1: Unbox and verify your Trezor

Once you have your Trezor hardware wallet, either the Model T or the Model One, check that the tamper-evident holographic seal is untouched. The Trezor Model T has a holographic seal over the USB connection port and the Model One has it on the packaging. If you have any doubts about the validity of the holographic seal, then reach out to Trezor support with questions before continuing.

Step 2: Install Trezor Suite

Trezor Suite, formerly known as Trezor Bridge, is the software that connects your device to your computer and allows you to interact with your wallet to send and receive crypto. To install the latest version of the Trezor interface, head to Trezor Suite download page and download the installer for the desktop app.

Step 3: Connect your Trezor device

Once you have Trezor Suite downloaded, you can connect your Trezor device via USB and install the latest firmware available onto the device. All Trezor devices come without anything pre-installed to ensure security and that the most up-to-date firmware is installed. Click the “Install Firmware” button to complete this step.

Step 4: Create a new wallet

Once the firmware is installed, you can set up a new wallet on your Trezor hardware wallet. You can click “Create new” to set up a new wallet.

While this signals the end of basic wallet setup, it’s highly recommended to create a backup with a 12-word recovery seed phrase (written down, in order, and kept in a secured location to be used in the event your wallet is lost), name your wallet, and create a PIN.

Final thoughts on Trezor

Despite the recent phishing attempts culminating from a MailChimp data breach, Trezor wallets remain one of the best crypto wallets that users can buy. Before you dish out the cold, hard cash for cold storage, consider Trezor’s pros and cons, and whether managing a hardware wallet is right for you. Trezor’s Wiki manual helps users walk through the setup and provide guidance on best security practices.

While there are plenty of key benefits to note, it’s still necessary to exercise proper security measures like disconnecting your wallet from exchanges after trading, keeping PINs and seed phrases safe, and safely storing the physical device. Always do your own research, verify connections, and evaluate your risk comfort when trading in cryptocurrency.


Contributors

  • Avatar of Courtney Mikulski

    Courtney Mikulski specializes in cryptocurrency, personal finance, and credit cards. Her work has appeared in publications like Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, and CreditCards.com.

  • Avatar of Angelica Leicht

    Angelica specializes in crypto and personal finance content. Her work has appeared in publications such as Bankrate, Forbes, The Motley Fool, The Simple Dollar, The Houston Press, Dallas Observer, The Village Voice, and others.