Trezor Model T Review (2021) – Is This the One?

Introduction

In this The Trezor Model review we will go through what the Trezor Model T is, it is a hardware wallet that is a successor to the Trezor One. This Trezor model T review will go through an in-depth look at thisTrezor hardware wallet’s security, design, useability and functions.

This cryptocurrency hardware wallet allows you to store, share your private key on a gadget and then utilise it to sign transactions. This is in contrast to traditional software wallets which are prone to malware and hacks as they are generally more secure.

The Trezor Model T is designed and launched by Satoshilabs and resides in the European Union alongside their fierce competitor, Ledger. Satoshilabs are based in the Czhech Republic and the Trezor Model T itself is manufactured and designed in Prague.

The way this crypto hardware wallet protects your crypto assets is by prompting a verification process when it shows the sending or receiving address on the screen. You will then need to confirm the transaction by physically confirming it on the touch screen. This hardware wallet offers security features including U2F authentication, SSH login credentials as well as a password manager.

The retail price of the product is at about 149 Euros of $USD170 which is almost a 2x increase over its predecessor , however this Model T Review will go through the additional features and security improvements the wallets are providing.

Packaging

We will also go through the packaging in this trezor model t review. Compared to the prior model of the Trezor One, the walletT comes in a box which is slightly larger and heavier compared to its predecessor. It is wrapped in shrink plastic and once you unwrap the sheet you will notice that the Trezor Model T packaging comes with two main pieces, a sleeve made out of cardboard and a black rectangular box which the hardware wallet is housed in.

If you take a look at the cardboard sleeve on the front, you will see a warning which states that “If you suspect the package has been opened by someone else, keep the box as it is and contact our support at trezor.io/support” This warning is useful as it is fairly obvious the plastic wrapper they had would not be a strong indicator that someone had tampered with the gadget since it can be replicated if someone has enough resources and time.

The package has a magnetic lid which makes it very easy to open and close and there is a sign which states “The safe place for your coins’ ‘ which is placed on the front of the wallet through a see through plastic window. The material of the box is the same as the one that was used on the previous model.

Unboxing

This trezor model t review covers the unboxing portion. Once you unbox the Trezor model T, you will find that the arrangement of the table of contents of the box are actually much more organized than its predecessor. The first thing you will notice is that there would be a quick “Get Started” process instruction on the right side of the cover with three main steps to follow. There will be a hidden 4th step that can be seen once the contents of the box is removed.

Users have reported that the previous designs lacked instructions on the packaging and only provided an online manual. However, the Trezor Model T provides a set up guidance through the package itself.

The moment you lift up the magnetic holder holding the package in place, you will see the hardware wallet on the left and accessories such as the USB cable, a user manual and a recovery seed card on the right inside of a small bax.

Other than the aforementioned main hardware wallet and accessories, other content of the box includes a magnetic dock, a USB A to USB C cable, 2 recovery seed cards and 4 of Trezor’s customer stickers.

Magnetic Dock

The magnetic dock is a great accessory which is a slim magnet holder with 3m self-adhesive tape. What this does is that it allows you to attach your hardware gadget into it and you are able to stick it on places such as under a desk or other surfaces for you to store your wallet. As such this is quite a handy accessory.

USB A-C Cable

The USB A to C Cable that comes with the Trezor Model T is a different USB cable compared to its predecessors. Satoshilabs have decided to include a USB A-C Cable since this type is starting to become the industry standard. However, the USB cable is rather short so you need to take this into account if you want to connect the hardware wallet to your PC to access your crypto assets.

Design and Build quality

This trezor model t review will discuss the design and build quality. Compared to its predecessor, the Trezor Model T is a slightly bigger size but is lighter at only 15 g or 0.52 oz. There are no physical buttons available on the Trezor Model T and the front side depicts the touchscreen as well as the Trezor model on top of it.

One downside of the Trezor Model T is that it is neither waterproof nor shock-proof, it is however still very solidly built for a gadget with touch-screen capabilities. It would be better if future designs provide a more physically resistant hardware wallet that is waterproof and shockproof.

The touch screen on the hardware wallet allows its users to access the wallet by entering the pin that is prompted and also an encrypted password on the gadget without any usage or connections to a PC. This ensures that any data that is entered into the Trezor Model T is not able to leave the gadget through another medium. It is worth noting that the touch screen pad is rather small so people with larger hands may find some difficulties entering their pin and passcode. The physical wallet itself however is ergonomic and does not have any physical buttons. This wallet has no inner batteries and can only be powered through an external power source.

The bottom of the device hosts the USB Type C port whereas the right side offers a Micro SD Slot as well. Once you get your new wallet, you will find that there will be a tamper sticker placed over the port of the USB type C. The sticker however is rather difficult to remove and it may also leave so glue stains on the wallet if not properly removed.

Although the device is fitted with a tamper sticker, the security features such as this are only psychological and any individual with enough resources is able to intercept your package, tamper with your wallet and proceed to replace any tampering security features in place.

With this in mind, it would be more convenient if the tamper sticker is placed on the box and not onthe gadget itself since it would leave residue on the wallet and any attempt to clean it off needs to make sure that the means used would not damage the wallet in any way.

Extra: The SD Card slot

This trezor model t review will also cover the SD card slot that comes with the product. As mentioned previously the Trezor Model T has a SD Card slot on the right side of the wallet, although this is the case, Satoshilabs did not indicate the purpose of this SD Card slot for the Trezor Model T on its website that sells the model.

When the SD Card slot was first announced to be on the Trezor Model T, it was initially planned to be used for data storage encryption and it is possible that this allows any private keys to be exported into the SD Card. But this is yet to be confirmed.

List of Trezor Model T review Supported coins
As of today, the supported coins that the device can store on its hardware wallets are Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, Zcash, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, ERC-20 tokens, Expanse, UBIQ, NEM,Namecoin, Dogecoin and Bitcoin TEstnet.

Although the wallet supports fewer coins than other cryptocurrency hardware wallets, Trezor has planned to add additional support to crypto assets such as XRP or XMR but only to the newer Trezor Model T.

Trezor t Review – Getting Started On the Crypto Hardware Wallet

As opposed to the earlier design, the wallet comes with a clear and concise instruction package which will help you to access and initialise the hard wallet quite quickly to get it set up without much modifications. Once you have removed the tamper sticker on the USB C slot, you should first connect the wallet to your PC using the USB cable.

The hardware wallet itself comes with a bootloader and no pre-installed firmware on the gadget. As such, you are required to connect the device to the internet in order to install the firmware from Trezsor’s official website. Trezor has stated that the reason why no firmware came pre-installed with the wallet is so that they are able to protect customers from any unauthorized third party firmware installation. This is because the only way you can get the official firmware will be to download from Trezor’s website.

The first thing you will see when plugging in any of Trezor devices into your PC would be a welcoming screen that is informing you to proceed to Trezor.io on your browser. You will then be prompted to download a small plugin called “Trezor Bridge” which allows the connection and communication between the wallet on your browser as well as any Trezor crypto asset storages. So the Trezor bridge plugin one mandatory plugin to proceed

On the page there will be two options which are the Trezor 1 option and the other is the Trezor Model T that you will be selecting. Do Not select the wallet as it is currently in beta mode and a warning pop out would appear if you do select this wallet

You will then be able to proceed when the system gives you the option to install the firmware. It is more advisable to not use the beta firmware as you would not want any anonymized data collection on beta firmware.

Once you have selected the option to install the firmware, the wallet will automatically start downloading and installing the contents straightway. The wallet will automatically verify and confirm the manufacturer signature to install the firmware. One of the security features that Satoshilabs has implemented on their hardware wallets is that if your Trezor One or Model T wallet comes with a pre-installed firmware not signed by Satoshilabs, you will see a warning.

The whole process takes about 30 seconds and progress of the verification and installing of security features are shown on the screen. Once this is done the gadget automatically restarts.

Creating a Trezor wallet

Creating a wallet on Trezor’s hardware wallets would be the most important step on a private key set up. If you already have an existing key with access to crypto assets then you can import it to your Trezor wallet, however it is recommended to create a new one to prevent security breaches especially if your old key was created online or a mobile phone crypto assets storage

All you need to do first will be to create new and then a pop up screen will appear that shows the features of the Trezor cryptocurrency storage and also provides a few tips. You would need to select the “Create a backup in 3 minutes” option and a warning will be shown by Trezor that you need to confirm.

One set of 12 randomly generated words for crypto assets will be created, Trezor will generate it for you and you will need to write it down and not lose it. You can use the recovery seed booklet that comes with the Trezor crypto hardware device.

The random generating of words work by mixing an entropy from Trezor’s internal hardware number generator and also your computer to provide a private key for you to use. The mix of number generating from your system and the cryptocurrency hardware enables better randomness and reduces risk of a backdoor.

The private key that will be generated acts as a master key for all your future crypto assets that you will store and is not entirely special to only your trezor gadget. It can be used to import to other cryptocurrency hardware storages as well as long as the itt is compatible.

You should take good care of your key and also your backup and make sure to double check every word before recording it down. It is inadvisable to take a picture of your key or store it in the cloud as it would be prone to theft.

Naming your Trezor device

We will cover details on how to name your device in this trezor model t review. Trezor allows you to name your device which allows you to provide one unique name to the device. The unique name helps to prevent you from attacks through an “Evil maid” in which an attacker replaces your current device with a fake one which could be fitted with a wireless transmitter. Once you input your pin into the fake device thinking it is yours, the pin could be transmitted to the attacker elsewhere.

Even if you do not want to name your device, there are simpler ways to mark you device physically such as marking it with a permanent marker.

Pin settings

Another Trezor wallet security feature is the pin code which only allows a numeric value of 0-9 and also a maximum digit of 9. The details will be covered in this trezor model t review

Once you start setting up the device, you will be prompted to choose the PIN and then proceed to confirm it. You will be prompted with the Pin security device every time you plug in and want to access your Coins. Be careful in this aspect as Trezor only allows 16 PIN attempts, and if the final attempt is incorrect, the data on the device will be wiped completely. The backup of which you can only get from the recovery seed. You will then be able to perform a recovery of your crypto coins from your device.

Performing transactions on the Trezor hardware wallet
The transaction tab that is available in the gadget features a full transaction history of all the withdrawals and deposits that are related to your addresses for your Trezor gadget. Further information is provided below in the trezor model t review

If labeling is required, you will need to connect your Trezor gadget to a DropBox and then manually add a label for each unique transaction. You can then subsequently use a search bar for ease of use to allow you to search for any one particular transaction. The new Trezor gadget allows you to export these transactions as CSV or PDF unlike most cryptocurrency hardware wallets.

This trezor model t review will cover all you need to know about receiving and payment payments

Receiving payments

This Trezor gadget allows you to receive payments by navigating to the “Receiving Tab” and after confirming that the address is correct, select “confirm” on the device. This Trezor gadget also allows you to present the address as a QR code on the device to be scanned.

Sending payments

In order to send payments using your gadget, you are required to go to the second tab and then proceed to either scan a QR code or input important information into the fields provided.

Trezor has a well-working fee estimation system and also provides you the option to confirm several payments at once by selecting the “Add recipient” button. Every transaction will need to be physically approved by you when you hold a button on the touchscreen though.

Trezor has also placed security measures to prevent attacks from a “man in the middle”. This works by Trezor providing you the correct amount, fees and also address to you even if your PC is infected with any viruses or malware.

Signatured and verification

Another security feature that will be covered in this trezor model t review is that this feature by Trezor to prove that you are actually the one correct owner of an address is that Trezor lets you verify any messages that are signed on your gadget. This one feature is convenient as the only way to prove that you are the one owner to any Trezor gadget is to sign it and provide any proof that you own it. In this case, Trezor team will sign the message and no confidential keys will leave the device.

Basic device settings
The basic device settings allows you to edit the label if you want to change the name of your Trezor device which is displayed on the web gadget and also the Trezor gadget screen. Further elaboration is provided in this trezor model t review.

The basic settings here also let’s you change the pin which will prompt after you select “Change Pin”. You will be asked to confirm your old PIN and then input a new one. The pin can be disabled under the advanced settings tab.

Homescreen

Trezor let’s you customize your Trezor gadget through a pre-selected screen image or one image that is uploaded by yourself. You can change the screen image in order to distinguish your Trezor gadget but this can make it confusing if the screen image you are sharing is very creative, ‘Trezor only allows a 144 x 144 pixel photo to be uploaded.

Security

The first time you look at the Trezor newer version compared to the older one, it would seem as if there were actually not a lot of improvements over the prior version, with only minor updates from a safety perspective. Further features will be covered in this trezor model t review.

The device however, is actively updated and developed and Satoshilabs have actually fixed and announced any problems that came with the Trezor gadget transparently.

The safety wall around this Trezor gadget is also significantly raised when you know that the PIN and Passphrase can be entered physically on the gadgets itself.

On criticism to be made on the safety of this gadget would be that improvements could be made on an open-source microchip to store confidential keys instead of the main micro’s flash.

Trezor Model T Review – The Summary

The Trezor gadget is an open-source hardware storage device that is supported well from the manufacturer and also its user community.

The Trezor gadget has amazing compatibility with mobile crypto storages and clients and it would be an added plus if Satoshilabs developed their client and mobile app more. To sum up, Trezor did not disappoint with their latest version and the Trezor gadget is extremely reliable and is definitely one of the most secure and safest hardware storage gadgets.

Frequently Asked Questions – Trezor Model T Review

Q: What coins does this Trezor gadget support?
Trezor supports over hundred coins and tokens which include Bitcoin and Ethereum

Q: Is this Trezor gadget worth it?
It is a great piece of hardware with a significant feature being touch-screen enabled which is an added layer of protection since sensitive data will be input directly into the gadget instead of through a PC

Q: Has Trezor been hacked?
Trezor gadgets can be hacked but only though specialized hardware to extract any confidential keys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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