The burgeoning cryptocurrency community was deeply concerned about security even before the Mt. Gox hack brought the industry to its knees in February 2014, the world’s first cryptocurrency hardware wallet.
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It was a real game changer, securing assets offline in “cold storage” and out of the reach of would-be criminals. While the original Trezor wallet is still available, 2018 saw a dramatic upgrade in the form of the Trezor Model T.
It remains one of the most popular and trusted hardware wallets out there – but is it right for you? Here is a review of the Trezor Model T crypto wallet.
Is Trezor a good wallet?
Trezor is not only the oldest hardware wallet. It is also one of the safest, most proven and most popular; However, it is also one of the most expensive. Read on to find out if it’s worth the expense for you.
Cost and compatibility are the only real downsides
Priced at $250, the Model T’s main downside is cost. A comparable device from a competitor called Ledger, which you’ll read about further down the page, costs a full $100 less.
The other major sticking point is compatibility. Trezor supports Android but isn’t compatible with iOS, which means it won’t work with iPhones. It also does not support Windows Phone. Regarding Google device compatibility, Trezor’s website offers this disclaimer: “ChromeOS isn’t officially supported yet, but it should work over Google’s WebUSB.”
The device supports all major computer operating systems.
There are far more pros out there – and oh, that screen
If computer compatibility is enough for you and you’re happy with the cost, the Trezor Model T has no major flaws and a lot to love.
First and foremost is the color touchscreen display, which is undoubtedly the best out there. Typical hardware wallets only have a pair of buttons that require you to scroll through numbers to enter your PIN on a monochrome screen, a tedious and frustrating process that Trezor Model T has made obsolete. The cheaper Trezor One from 2014 has an old-fashioned monochrome display with two buttons.
The Model T also improves Trezor One by adding a built-in password, PIN, and password recovery manager. With Trezor One, users secured their digital identity via a computer or mobile device.
Finally, Trezor Model T supports more than 1,200 cryptocurrencies, can store NFTs and is known for excellent customer service.
Is Trezor better than Coinbase?
Trezor is neither better nor worse than Coinbase, but it is different. Coinbase is a centralized publicly traded cryptocurrency exchange where users can buy, sell, trade, research and store digital assets. Trezor, on the other hand, is a cold storage wallet designed with security in mind.
You cannot lock the Coinbase wallet in your desk drawer
Coinbase does offer a digital wallet, but this is not comparable to the Trezor One or Trezor Model T, as it is a purely digital software wallet. That doesn’t mean it isn’t impressive. Coinbase Wallet offers top-notch security, supports a huge token menu, allows you to store your coins and NFTs in one place, and is a self-custody wallet that gives users control over their keys, data, and identity management.
But it’s a hosted wallet, which requires you to be online and connected to access your assets, which are at the mercy of the Coinbase network. The point of hardware wallets like the Trezor Model T is to keep your assets offline and safe in cold storage. Trezor sums it up: “Online exchanges and wallet providers can disappear, go offline and be hacked.”
Hardware wallets cannot do that.
A Coinbase fear sent customers Trezor’s way
In May, as the 2022 crypto winter freeze set in, Coinbase warned that users could lose their digital assets in the unlikely event the exchange goes bankrupt. It was a startling admission that prompted numerous crypto investors to move their holdings from their Coinbase wallets to hardware wallets like the Trezor Model T.
According to Business Insider, veteran crypto owners have long favored hardware wallets for the extra layer of physical security they offer during events like this.
While it’s easy enough to transfer assets from Coinbase to Trezor — sites like Protrada offer step-by-step guides — Coinbase doesn’t directly support Trezor in the way it has supported Ledger, a competing hardware wallet, since February.
What exchanges are available in Trezor?
Exchanges available in the Trezor wallet include Changelly, ChangeNOW, CoinSwitch, ChangeHero, Fox.Exchange, and MorphToken.
Which is Better, Trezor or Ledger?
Ledger’s flagship product is the Nano X, which has a lot going for it – apart from the fact that it’s directly powered by Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in America. Most notably, the Ledger Nano X costs $150, is iOS compatible, and supports an impressive 5,500+ tokens. The Bluetooth-enabled hardware wallet is highly secure with industry-leading security features that rival or match Trezor devices. Even if the device’s Bluetooth connection is hacked, critical data such as private keys and seed cannot leave the device.
However, the reason for the $100 price difference is clearly evident in the user interface. The Ledger Nano X features a 128×64px monochrome screen with two-button controls that looks and feels primitive and awkward compared to the Trezor Model T’s intuitive and easy-to-use full-color touchscreen.
Ledger also has a lower-end device called the Nano S Plus for $79, but it doesn’t compare to the much more polished Nano X and Trezor Model T.
Has Trezor been hacked?
Trezor wallets were compromised, but only after criminals tricked users into letting them in. When properly secured, individual Trezor wallets have proven to be virtually impenetrable.
In February, technology writer Zhiyuan Sun wrote in Cointelegraph that “as long as a recovery seed is written, a PIN, and a passphrase are installed, it is theoretically impossible to hack the Trezor One that debuted in 2014.”
Security with Trezor Model T
The Trezor Model T is even more secure, but neighboring services are always vulnerable, even if a single wallet is impenetrable. For example, Bloomberg reported in April that software company Intuit was facing a class action lawsuit for failing to secure its email marketing service, Mailchimp. The vulnerability allowed hackers to collect so-called audience data from more than 100 clients, including Trezor.
The breach allowed the hackers to launch a sophisticated phishing attack, sending emails to Trezor users instructing them to download a new version of the app on the pretext that their accounts had been compromised . After the download was complete, those who took the bait were asked to enter their passwords and recovery codes, giving the hackers access to their wallets and digital assets, some of which were stolen.
When investing in crypto, invest in a hardware wallet
Whether or not you decide the Trezor Model T is worth the extra cost, you should consider investing in a hardware wallet. They are the preferred choice of experienced crypto investors for a reason. Cold storage takes your assets and critical data offline and out of reach of hackers while protecting them from errors, bankruptcies or other system failures that could threaten hosted software wallets that exist purely in the digital space.