The TREZOR hard wallet is the other ‘community recognised’ best option for a Hard Wallet, alongside the Nano S from Ledger Wallet and the KeepKey. Now SatoshiLabs have upped the ante with the new TREZOR T. At first glance very similar to the original (now renamed the TREZOR One), so what are the differences?
The first thing to notice is the omission of any physical buttons on the TREZOR T. All control is now via the touchscreen. The addition of this screen also makes the new wallet slightly larger than the original and gives a more premium feel, although still constructed of plastic. In addition, there is a micro SD slot on the left-hand side of the TREZOR T which will allow for future feature updates and ‘expansibility’ – this is the word used by SatoshiLabs. This should increase the lifespan of the new TREZOR T.
Input into the screen is using T-9 – there is no QWERTY option. This works well in practice and shouldn’t be seen as a negative.
Out of the box a great feature, which enhances security, is that authentication is required before you even plug the TREZOR T into your computer. In addition, a security sticker is placed over the USB port, ensuring your TREZOR has not been tampered with. Once this has been completed you can then access firmware and other functions via your computer. The TREZOR T is delivered without the firmware ensuring the latest authenticated firmware is installed by the new user. Another neat security feature is the number pad moves the numbers randomly into different positions with each use, the layout isn’t fixed as say on a mobile phone screen. This prevents finger residue ‘showing’ the numbers used regularly halting even the best hackers. If an input on this screen is incorrect then a wait is required before a re-try. This wait increases by the power of 2 with each unsuccessful attempt resulting in an 18 hours wait after 15 wrong attempts. Another unsuccessful attempt then wipes the device.
Also with first time use the user is prompted to create a backup. This requires the use of a 12-word seed and it is extremely important to keep this secure. Seed recovery cards are supplied with the wallet and are water and tear proof so a permanent marker will be required. Other services such as cryptosteel can also be used for the ultra security conscious. A full overview of how TREZOR handles security threats can be found on the Satoshi Labs website.
Using the TREZOR T
Performing functions and using the TREZOR Bridge is all very easy and straightforward. Previously Trezor relied on it’s Google Chrome plugin as the interface between your web wallets and the hardware wallet. They have now introduced TREZOR Bridge, an all new improved interface. This is easily downloaded via either Chrome or Firefox. Details of this update and how it affects older TREZOR models is explained on the Company website here TREZOR Bridge.
The new interface is very user-friendly and guides new users through all the set-up and other functions in a very easy to understand way. The touchscreen on the device is small so allowances do have to be made, but for the most part it is easy to navigate and use.
The original TREZOR (now the TREZOR One) has always been one of the 2 most respected hardware wallets and the new model does not detract from that reputation. The biggest downside is the large increase in cost, and to some users it may not be justified. The new TREZOR Bridge will be available for existing users and the TREZOR One so no advantages there. The TREZOR T could have benefited by being constructed from a more premium material such as aluminum, that would have helped to justify the price difference. Those who simply want an improved user experience and the latest model and who aren’t price conscious will love the new TREZOR T.
What are your thoughts – would you spend the extra? Have you already purchased a TREZOR T? Let us know below.
As always do be extremely vigilant when purchasing your hard wallet. The best recommendation is directly from the manufacturer. Click below to go to the TREZOR site directly.