The Ledger Nano S
I believe hard wallets are extremely important and not just for larger Bitcoin investors. If you have more than 2 weeks wages invested in cryptocurrencies, then you should without a doubt invest in one. If you buy Bitcoin, you want to keep it safe. You could opt for a paper wallet and keep it locked away if you’re planning on holding your coins long term. However, if you need quick access to your coins, then a hard wallet like the Ledger Nano S is a far better option than a desktop or mobile wallet.
In this review we will try and cover all aspects of the Ledger Nano S, however, more focus will be placed on security features, coin compatibility, and usability of the Nano.
The user interface of the Ledger Nano S has been designed with a fluid user experience in mind. It will take you no time whatsoever to get the Ledger setup and ready for action (set-up instructions will be covered in more depth later).
Using the Nano is similar to most other hardware wallets on the market, and the process is straight-forward. When the hardware wallet is set up for the first time, you will have to select a pin, a 24-word seed for the creation of your private keys.
Whats Coins Does The Ledger Nano S Support?
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCC)
- Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Dash (DASH)
- Zcash (ZEC)
- NEO (Will work with NEON Wallet and supports GAS)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Stratis (STRAT)
- Expanse (EXP)
- Komodo (KMD)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Stealthcoin (XST)
- ERC20 Tokens through MyEtherWallet
Whats In The Box
The Ledger Nano S comes nicely packaged and includes the following items:
- Ledger Nano S device made from brushed stainless steel and plastic.
- 1 micro-USB cable
- Lanyard for wearing device around neck
- One keychain and key ring
- Sheet for writing down 24-word recovery seed
Ledger Nano S Pricing
Out of the three most well-known hard wallets on the market – Ledger Nano, Trezor, and KeepKey, the Nano has the best price point coming in at 79.00 €. You can also get accessories for the Nano S, including the OTG Kit, which contains all the cables and adapters you need to connect your hardware wallet to your Android phone or USB Type‑C laptops (Apple MacBook compatible).
Ledger Nano S Security
- Chip and Screen: The Ledger features a separate chip and screen to mitigate the potential security flaws of certain apps that take random screenshots of mobile and laptop screens. Ledger Nano S is based on the industry standard EAL5+ smartcard, a high-level security standard utilized for financial processes, passports, healthcare systems and governmental data.
- Physical Buttons: In order to confirm a payment you need to physically press both buttons at the same time. This makes it so no hacker could hack into your device and confirm a payment (See image earlier in the guide for button layout).
- Pin Code: A 4 digit pin code helps prevent the loss of bitcoins in case you lose your device. Even if your Ledger is stolen, the theif will not be able to access your coins unless they know your pin code.
- Cold Storage: When you use a hardware wallet to store your private keys and coins, they are essentially being stored offline and out of reach from hackers.
- Anti-Tamper Packaging: The device ships with tamper-proof tape around the packaging. If this tape looks like it has been tampered with in any way, contact support asap and do not use the device.
- FIDO U2F authenticator: This 2FA mechanism replaces SMS or OTP codes such as Google Authenticators or Authy, and is not only much more secure but also really practical to use.
- 24 Word Recovery Phrase: If you lose your Ledger Nano S or it gets damaged, your coins are not lost. You can use your 24-word recovery phrase to recover your coins.
- Plausible Deniability feature: Since the Nano S 1.3 update, you’ll find an ADVANCED security mode in your Nano S to manage different passphrases in the same wallet. With this option, you will manage 2 PIN codes, the first code gives access to your main wallet, like a basic account with low coin amounts. A second PIN code, that is linked to a specific passphrase you need to set up, opens a hidden account – which will hold the bulk of your coins. The plausible deniability feature are delicate to manage – read all the instructions very very carefully.
How To Setup The Ledger Nano S Wallet
You will be asked to create a 4 digit pin code on the device’s screen. Using the buttons on the device, you will be able to move the numbers higher or lower. Be sure to pick a pin code that you will remember. Avoid your own date of birth which someone who knows your identity could have access to.
Once you have got the desired number on the screen, press both buttons simultaneously to select the next number. Repeat this process to for the remain numbers and to confirm your pin code.
After you have created this pin, you will need to write down the Ledger’s 24-word recovery phrase (on the sheet pictured above). The words will show up one by one, you need to click the right button to see the next word. Do not click the right button until you have written down the word.
The Ledger Nano S will next ask you to confirm your recovery seed by asking for 2 random words from the 24-word seed.
When, for instance, the device asks for the 5th word in your seed, scroll through the words and press both buttons when you see the 5th word of your seed. If you have the Ledger Chrome application installed you can now access your wallet.
On your Ledger Nano S’s screen scroll through the options and press both buttons on the “B” icon that says “Bitcoin”. Once you do this you should now see a wallet interface in the Ledger Chrome app. That’s it, you’re all done and ready to start using your hard wallet.
- Very affordable device
- Compatible with a large number of cryptocurrencies
- Uses the high-level security standard
Lacks passphrase security at the moment.The plausible deniability feature in update 1.3 has addressed this issue.
Thanks for reading my review. If you found this content useful, please consider visiting the Ledger Nano S website using my link below.