MetaMask is one of the leading open-source browser-based cryptocurrency wallet extensions which let you easily store, transfer and handle numerous amount of other blockchain-based operations on Ethereum, Polygon Matic, Binance Smart Chain (BSC), Avalanche and many other networks. In addition to that, MetaMask let you securely interact with web applications. In this beginner-friendly guide, you will be able to learn how to install and set up the MetaMask wallet. Additionally, you will be able to learn how to add testnets to the wallet and transfer some free testnet tokens for blockchain development tasks.
MetaMask Wallet Installation
MetaMask wallet browser extension supports Chrome, Chromium and Firefox browsers. First, go to Google and search for “metamask” or "metamask download.
Click the “Download” link.
At this step, if you use Google Chrome or Chromium-based browser, you will see the “Install MetaMask For Chrome” blue button. Instead, if you use Firefox, you will see it as “Install MetaMask For Firefox”. Click it to open the related extension installation page.
Click the “Add to Chrome” button.
Click “Add extension” and confirm the extension installation. It will take a few seconds to download and install the extension.
MetaMask Wallet Setup
Once the installation is succeeded, it will greet you with a welcome screen. Click the “Get Started” button.
At this step, you have two options. If you have already been using MetaMask and had a wallet secret recovery phrase, you can click “Import wallet" and restore it. Or otherwise, you can create a new wallet by clicking the “Create a Wallet” button. However, in this post, we are going to focus on the second option or creating a new wallet.
You can contribute to the future development of MetaMask by letting them collect some anonymous information about your usage. As they mention, they only collect anonymous information and they never collect any information about your secret recovery phrase, addresses, transactions, IP addresses. You can either provide information or otherwise, you can simply reject that. If you need, you can change it later as well.
Enter a strong password, you will need this password whenever you unlock the wallet.
Watch this short video and click the “Next” button.
This is the most important step. At this step, it is highly recommended to backup your secret recovery phrase somewhere secure. In case you need to restore the wallet on another device, you need to have this secret recovery phrase. If you forget it, you will never be able to access the wallet. So click the dark box, it will reveal your secret recovery phrase.
If you would like to confirm and verify the backed-up secret recovery phrase, you can click the “Next” button. In the next step, you will have to confirm it. If you decided to backup the secret recovery phrase later, you can skip it for now by clicking the “Remind me later” button.
If you clicked the “Next” button in the previous step, now you will have to confirm it. Click on the words in the correct order. The “Confirm” button will be disabled until you set the correct secret recovery phrase.
Once you select all the words, it will automatically enable the “Confirm” button. Click it.
Congratulations! You have successfully setup your MetaMask wallet. Click the “All Done” button to proceed to your wallet page.
This is your newly created wallet's home page. You can use it to send, receive coins and interact with the blockchain.
Mainnet Vs Testnet Blockchain Networks
Mainnet and testnet are independently operated networks. Usually, mainnets are considered more mature and stable versions available for public use. We can buy, sell and trade coins in the mainnet with other people and cryptocurrency exchanges. Testnet networks are intended to be used only for testing and development purposes. Coins/tokens in testnet have no value. That means you cannot buy, sell or trade testnet coins for fiat currencies or mainnet coins in a cryptocurrency exchange. Also, you cannot transfer coins between testnet and mainnet. Usually, you can claim these testnet coins from testnet faucets (which will be covered later) or you can simply ask someone who has testnet coins.
Add Testnets To MetaMask
MetaMask comes with a few built-in testnets, but these testnets are hidden and we need to manually enable them. In addition to that, we can add custom networks to MetaMask as well.
Enable Built-in Testnets In MetaMask
Open the MetaMask by clicking the MetaMask icon in the browser toolbar. If you need, you can also click the vertical three dots (Vertical Ellipsis⋮) and then click “Expand View” to display MetaMask as a webpage instead of a popup. Then click the circle at the right top corner. After that, click “Settings”.
You will see a page similar to below, click the “Advanced”.
Scroll down until you see the “Show test networks”. Turn it on to enable testnets. Now you will be able to see the enabled testnets by clicking the “Ethereum Mainnet” oval button at the right top.
Add Custom Testnet Networks To MetaMask
Go to the MetaMask Settings page and select “Networks”. Click the “Add a network” button.
For this example, we are going to add the Polygon Matic testnet network. Usually, you will need the name of the network, RPC URL, chain ID. Also optional symbol and block explorer URL. Click “Save” to add the network.
Now you will be able to see the newly added Polygon Matic Testnet.
Add Binance, Huobi, Avalanche, Arbitrum and Harmony Testnet Networks
The following list contains Binance Smart Chain, Huobi ECO Chain, Avalanche, Arbitrum and Harmony testnets. Add the necessary testnets to MetaMask as described earlier.
|Network Name||RPC URL||Chain ID||Symbol||Block Explorer|
|Ethereum Ropsten Testnet||https://ropsten.infura.io/v3/9aa3d95b3bc440fa88ea12eaa4456161||3||ETH||https://ropsten.etherscan.io|
|Ethereum Rinkeby Testnet||https://rinkey.infura.io/v3/9aa3d95b3bc440fa88ea12eaa4456161||4||ETH||https://rinkeby.etherscan.io|
|Ethereum Goerli Testnet||https://goerli.infura.io/v3/9aa3d95b3bc440fa88ea12eaa4456161||5||ETH||https://goerli.etherscan.io|
|Ethereum Kovan Testnet||https://kovan.infura.io/v3/9aa3d95b3bc440fa88ea12eaa4456161||6||ETH||https://kovan.etherscan.io|
|Binance Smart Chain Testnet||https://data-seed-prebsc-1-s1.binance.org:8545||97||BNB||https://testnet.bscscan.com|
|Huobi ECO Chain Testnet||https://http-testnet.hecochain.com||256||HT||https://testnet.hecoinfo.com|
|Avalanche Fuji Testnet||https://api.avax-test.network/ext/bc/C/rpc||43113||AVAX||https://testnet.snowtrace.io|
|Polygon Testnet Mumbai||https://matic-mumbai.chainstacklabs.com||80001||MATIC||https://mumbai.polygonscan.com|
|Arbitrum Testnet Rinkeby||https://rinkeby.arbitrum.io/rpc||421611||ARETH||https://rinkeby-explorer.arbitrum.io|
|Harmony Testnet Shard 0||https://api.s0.b.hmny.io||1666700000||ONE||https://explorer.pops.one|
|Harmony Testnet Shard 1||https://api.s1.b.hmny.io||1666700001||ONE||https://www.harmony.one|
|Harmony Testnet Shard 2||https://api.s2.b.hmny.io||1666700002||ONE||https://www.harmony.one|
|Harmony Testnet Shard 3||https://api.s3.b.hmny.io||1666700003||ONE||https://www.harmony.one|
Claim Free Testnet Tokens From Faucets
As explained earlier, testnet tokens can be obtained for free from faucets or someone who has them. Use the following list to claim some free testnet tokens.
Ethereum Testnet Faucets
- faucet.ropsten.be (Ropsten)
- faucet.rinkeby.io (Rinkeby)
- ethdrop.dev (Kovan)
- goerli-faucet.slock.it (Goerli)
- faucet.goerli.mudit.blog (Goerli)
- usdcfaucet.com (Goerli)
Polygon Matic Testnet Faucets
Avalanche Fuji Testnet Faucets
Binance Smart Chain Testnet Faucets
Arbitrum Testnet Faucets
Huobi ECO Chain Testnet Faucets
In this beginner-friendly yet comprehensive guide, we learned how to install and setup the MetaMask wallet extension in your web browser. Then we learned about the differences and similarities between “mainnet”, “testnet” and their use cases. After that, we added Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, Huobi ECO Chain, Avalanche and Polygon testnets. Finally, we learned how to claim free testnet tokens for development purposes. Did we miss something interesting about this topic that you know or have anything to share with us? Let's discuss them all in the comment section.