A quick search online will bring up three options for cryptocurrency wallets: online, software, and hardware. This review provides a brief overview of each wallet type, before comparing two of the most popular hardware wallets currently available: The Trezor One and Trezor T wallets.
Online “Hot” Wallets
A hot wallet refers to a virtual currency wallet that is accessible online, and it facilitates cryptocurrency transactions between the owner and end-users. A collection of private keys stored on a program connected to the internet is used to store and send different currencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, or this blog’s personal favorite coin – WAX.
By storing and securing holdings, digital wallets for cryptocurrency provide accessibility and convenience of financial transactions within a virtual currency economy. Online wallets can be convenient to use for quick transactions, but since they are connected to the internet at all times they are vulnerable to viruses and hacks that can cost you your entire balance. Use at your own risk!
A software wallet is an application that sits on your computer’s hard drive and allows you complete control and great security, because the coins being held are only accessible from your own computer. Software wallets can be installed on your desktop, where the keys to your cryptocurrency are generated and stored locally, giving you full control of your assets. But with self-custody, you are also completely responsible for their security. If your hard drive could becomes damaged, your computer is stolen or stops working from a virus then it’s possible to lose all your coins.
Hardware “Cold” Wallets
Hardware wallets store your coins offline and keep your assets safe even when the computer you’re using isn’t secure. Hardware wallets give you an extra layer of protection against cyber attacks, phishing sites, and malware, and are now considered a staple investment if you are planning on holding $1000 worth of cryptocurrency or more.
“Not your keys, not your coins” is now an old adage within the crypto community, which basically means that if your are choosing to store store your crypto assets on an exchange, online wallet or with any kind of third party custodian then there is no guarantee that you really own those coins and that they can’t be taken away from you.
The Best Hardware Wallet
While there are a number of options when it comes to purchasing and using a hardware wallet, Trezor wallets are frequently claimed to be top of the range, with many users on Reddit claiming that they are the best option.
But even if you have made up your mind to purchase a Trezor, how can you know which model will be the best for you? In this article, we will look at both Trezor hardware wallets, the Trezor One and Trezor Model T, and help you decide which one (or both) you should choose to store your cryptocurrencies and/or valued NFTs.
Both Trezor devices run on open-source code, giving users the option to verify and customize the firmware. The customization possibilities are vast, allowing advanced users to customize their Trezor device to suit anyone’s needs. With Trezor, you can even run your own full-node wallet, totally independent of SatoshiLabs, who produce the Trezor wallets.
Both Trezor devices were designed to enable every individual in the world to access and manage their digital wealth in a self-sovereign and secure way, regardless of their region, citizenship, or level of technical knowledge. So how can someone decide which model would be best for them?
Trezor Running Requirements
First up, let’s make sure you will have everything you need to use either Trezor hardware wallets. Luckily, for both models all you require is a computer (running Windows 7+, Linux, or macOS 10.11+) and a USB cable (which is included in the packaging of both devices). You can also set up and use your Trezor on the go, thanks to its compatibility with Android smartphones. Both devices are also controlled through the Trezor Wallet web interface, compatible with almost every browser.
Setup is straightforward and intuitive on both devices, but Trezor Model T is generally considered more natural to use thanks to its touchscreen display.
A hardware wallet can work with multiple blockchains simultaneously. This allows you to manage Bitcoin, Ethereum, Wax and over a thousand more, all on the same device. All of them can be backed up easily with a single recovery phrase – though it is incredibly critical to secure your recovery phrase as without this you will lose access to all your tokens.
Another critical aspect to using a cold wallet is to ensure that it remains 100% offline at all times. One unlucky Reddit user recently lost $100K of crypto (their entire life’s savings) because they wrote down their wallet recovery phrase in notepad on their PC. They didn’t even need to save the file for a malware application to pick it up and rob them of every satoshi they owned.
While this may sound daunting, so long as you secure your recovery phrase your hardware wallet is undoubtedly the most secure place to store your crypto tokens. If you are concerned about the security of your recovery phrase, then Trezor also offers security solutions for your recovery phrase, such as the badass and virtually indestructible 6mm thick titanium backup system known as the Cryptotag Zeus, or the Cryptosteel Cassette. If the Zeus and Cassette are a little pricey for you, however, then Cryptosteel Capsule may be the peace-of-mind solution you are after instead.
These products all offer a stainless steel physical backup tool for your recovery seed and other private data, without any third-party involvement. Giving you airtight confidence that your coins are safe and secure.
Coins & NFT Storage
Trezor uses MyEtherWallet (MEW) which enables all tokens built on the Ethereum blockchain, including our #1 favorite token WAX, to be stored and visible in your Trezor. In fact, both Trezor models support holding over 1000 different cryptocurrencies and, despite some recent issues on the MetaMask side, can also act as offline storage wallets for Polygon Opensea or WAX AtomicHub NFTs. A new firmware update to rectify an existing connection issues between MetaMask and Trezor is being released in December 2021 but until then downgrading to MetaMask 10.5.2 or lower is the current suggested workaround to facilitate NFT storage in your Trezor.
Trezor One is the world’s first hardware wallet, created in 2011 by the SatoshiLabs team. Designed to serve as a simple and easy-to-use bitcoin wallet, it quickly found its audience, and remains one of the most popular hardware wallets to this day.
With its minimalistic design, Trezor One resembles a keychain, making it simple to conceal or carry. Trezor One is only 60x30x6mm and weighs just 12 grams.
From the outside, the Trezor One is protected by a casing made of robust and impact-resistant ABS plastic that protects against minor physical damage. Inside of Trezor One, you’ll find the ARM Cortex-M3 processor running at 120 MHz embedded on a STM32 F2 microcontroller. This popular hardware combination, used by many other manufacturers, provides smooth and secure access to your coins.
The built-in 128×64 pixel OLED display, used by many other manufacturers based on the example of Trezor One, enhances the security and functionality of the device. This Trusted Display allows the user to verify the authenticity of the displayed information, and rule out any potential malicious attempts to manipulate the information displayed on your computer or smartphone.
The Trezor One is available in black or white color, with the price for either coming in at 53EUR (~60 USD). This is an absolute bargain considering you could be holding tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of crypto inside them.
Trezor Model T
Trezor Model T is the next-generation hardware wallet, designed to include the experience of its predecessor Trezor One . SatoshiLabs’ flagship is a perfect combination of a modern and intuitive interface and the powerful hardware. At first glance, you’ll notice a lot of design changes. The only thing that the design of the Model T has in common with its older sibling Trezor One is the signature shape. Everything else is different.
Trezor flagship hardware is hidden inside of a durable casing made from reinforced ABS+PC plastic, enclosed by ultrasonic welding and is rocking a large 240×240 pixel RGB LCD display with touch functionality. This is the main reason behind the Model T’s slight increase in size and weight. However, the size of 64x39x10mm and weight of 22 grams doesn’t change the fact that you can still hide your own bank basically anywhere.
Inside of Trezor Model T, you’ll find the ARM Cortex-M4 processor running at 168 MHz embedded on STM32 F4 microcontroller. In addition, the Model T comes with an SD-card slot and Micro USB-C port and is powered via the USB connecting cable.
From a functionality point of view, the Model T offers everything you can find in Trezor One and a bit more on top. The main advantage of Model T is its touchscreen, which completely removes the need for the two buttons seen in Trezor One. Just like on the One, every action has to be confirmed by the user directly on the screen, but the Model T allows you to perform even the whole recovery process directly via the touchscreen. This provides the user with even higher security than Trezor One, because no sensitive information will be entered on the computer.
The Trezor Model T is only available in black and is a bit more expensive than the Model One, coming it at 189 EUR (~USD). If this seems a bit exxy and you are not in a rush, then you can order the Model T Reserve instead and have it ship within 3 months (vs 3 days for the Model T express) but with comes with a 15% discount on the price.
The Model T supports slightly more coins than Trezor One (though the Trezor One supports over 1000 coins, so is not exactly limited here) and provides additional features such as Shamir Backup, an SD-card slot and can be bundled with the Cryptotag Zeus in the Model T Backup Pack, or with 5 Crytptosteel Capsules in the Shamir HODL pack.
The Shamir Backup is a private key security system that Trezor introduced in August 2019. It’s based on the Shamir Secret Sharing cryptographic algorithm, which Satoshi Labs adapted for Bitcoin in SLIP 39 . The Trezor Model T is the world’s first hardware wallet to support this standard.
In addition to the basic features of any hardware wallet, such as send or receive, both Trezor devices come with a bunch of unique features. One of the most popular features, Password Manager, allows the user to store and easily manage login details for your favorite apps or services.
Both the Trezor One and the Trezor T can also be used as a U2F authentication token, which allows easy and secure login to Twitter, Google, Github, and many more services. Add in the Sign & Verify feature to send and receive signed, encrypted messages, the Exchange and Buy features, allowing the simple purchase and exchange of different cryptocurrencies, and you have a private bank account that fits into the palm of your hand.
Independent, private, and secure, to allow unlimited access to your digital wealth.
It’s impossible to clearly define which device is better, because we all have different expectations and needs; but whether you buy Trezor One or Trezor Model T, you won’t be disappointed. Both devices offer an excellent and simple-to-navigate user interface, a quick setup, and the highest security standards, ensuring that no one except you can access your digital wealth.
The flagship Model T is a full-fledged digital wealth management device, designed for everyday use and uncomplicated access to your coins or digital data.
The Cryptotag Zeus, the Cryptosteel Cassette and the Cryptosteel Capsule all offer rock-solid protection of your recovery key but are considered to be a sound investment to ensure the efficacy of your Trezor.
Whether you’re a hodler, trader, or an absolute beginner in the world of Bitcoin, Trezor hardware wallets and their recovery key security accessories are the ultimate solution to your needs, protecting you from all remote threats to your hodlings.