Although most bitcoin users rely on freely-available web and mobile wallets, recent security scares clearly illustrate the need for safer alternatives. Here, we take a closer look at one device designed to address the problem.The TREZOR hardware wallet is targeted at bitcoiners who wish to maintain a substantial stash of coins, but do not want to rely on third-party bitcoin storage services or impractical forms of cold storage.
Once you amass your stockpile of bitcoin, ethereum, zcash, and so on, how do you protect them from hackers and other thieves? Right now your choices are leaving them on the exchange, a separate wallet that is most commonly installed on your phone, or a hardware wallet. Most cryptocurrency experts would agree that a hardware wallet is the most secure, and companies like TREZOR are supplying that need.
TREZOR as a Bitcoin wallet.
And not just Bitcoin but also:
- Ethereum (+ all ERC-20 tokens)
- Ethereum Classic
- Bitcoin Testnet
Since TREZOR is a USB-connectable hardware wallet, it’s really easy to use.
Convenience and everyday use.
The Trezor wallet tries to reconcile two opposite extremes. On one hand it adds a new layer of security, but at the same time tries to make the user experience as simple as possible.
The device tackles the problem admirably, since there is not a lot of work left after the initial setup.
Using Trezor is not time consuming and a transaction can be approved in a matter of clicks, with minimal interaction with the device. You have to punch in the PIN to access the wallet and each transaction must be approved on the device.
For the time being, the Trezor device can only work with desktop operating systems such as Windows, OS X and Linux. This means you cannot pair it with your mobile phone or tablet, unless you happen to use a Windows 8.1 tablet.
However, Satoshi Labs is working on enabling USB On-The-Go (OTG) functionality, which would enable its use on Android devices.
TREZOR provides top-notch security for bitcoin, protecting against both physical and virtual theft.
TREZOR is an HD wallet where you control the private keys, so an entire wallet can be backed up with the 24 words generated on setup. The original 24-word seed is generated using RNG from the device and the computer. The seed is generated offline and displayed on the TREZOR’s screen, which ensures that the seed is never on an internet-connected device.
A PIN code is required on setup, and required for spending. After each incorrect guess the wait between guesses is raised by a power of two. Making 30 guesses would take 17 years.
You can add a passphrase to the 24-word seed for extra security, which acts as a 25th word. You must remember the passphrase because the seed without the passphrase is not enough to recover the wallet. A passphrase offers more security, but if forgotten the wallet cannot be recovered.
Costs $99 for one, or $276 for three. You can buy with bitcoin from TREZOR’s website.