Today in this Ledger Nano S review, we are going to talk about this hardware wallet. I’ll show you its highs and lows so you can easily know if you really need to buy this one or should seek other options.
Nowadays, it’s easy to buy any cryptocurrency but it’s very difficult to keep it safe or away from hackers. For a layman, it’s indeed a hectic task to choose best way to store his/her cryptographic assets like Ripple, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and the like.
You’ve multiple options like online wallet or hot storage (holding bitcoins or altcoins on an exchange), software wallet, paper wallet, and hardware wallet, to store your BTC or any other cryptocurrency.
But too much options make selection a difficult process. There’s no doubt that hardware wallet is so far the safest way to store a cryptocurrency. In our recent post, we’ve discussed about best hardware wallets available out there. Ledger Nano S is one of them.
In this Ledger Nano S review post, I’ll be showing you highs and lows of this device and also I’ll help you understand why you should use a hardware wallet right now.
Why should we store our coins in a hardware wallet?
First, let me tell you why I’ve chosen a hardware wallet to store my coins.
Like you, when I started investing in bitcoins and altcoins, I kept my coins on exchanges. Though I was aware of other methods to store cryptocurrencies but I preferred hot storage because I was cocksure that no one can hack an exchange due to its A+ grade security.
But it shook me to the core when I heard that some bitcoin exchanges like Youbit got hacked. I realized that it was my misconception that exchanges were hack-proof. Recent eyebrow-raising hack happened in Binance, a prominent exchange, where hackers steal cryptocurrency worth of $40 million.
Promptly, after hearing the news, I decided to move my BTC to a paper wallet. After transferring my BTC to paper wallet, I don’t know why but still I was not feeling relaxed. Perhaps because of risks associated with paper wallet like if your computer is infected and a key logger is running on your computer then your paper wallets’ private keys are not private.
I got stuck. So I left with only one option for the sake of my coins’ security and own peace of mind and that was owning a cryptocurrency hardware wallet.
One problem goes, another comes! After that, following questions popped into my head:
- I’m new to blockchain technology and I don’t know how it works, will I be able to use it (hardware wallet)?
- What are the best hardware wallets available out there?
- Is there any wallet to store multi-coins?
- How to choose a hardware wallet?
- Is it worth buying?
- What if I lost my hardware wallet?
Without trying, how can you know what you can’t do? I did a little research and got to know that three best hardware wallets are Ledger Nano S, Trezor and Keepkey. Out of these three, Ledger Nano S lured me the most. I read some Ledger Nano S reviews and ordered one for myself.
That time I’s not aware that whether my decision of buying Ledger Nano S was right or wrong. But after using it for more than one year, I can proudly say my decision was right. With no time, I’d moved my coins to my Ledger Nano S.
I’d ordered Ledger Nano S without getting answers of many questions. But, you don’t worry! I’m here to help you! Before you read Ledger Nano S review, here are your answers:
I’m new to cryptocurrency world and I don’t know how it works, will I be able to use a hardware wallet?
Yes, hardware wallets like Ledger Nano S are designed in such a way that anyone even a non-techie can use them readily. Ledger Nano S is very easy to use device. All you have to do is just install Ledger Live application onto your mobile or laptop and start using it. It’s very easy to setup.
What are the best hardware wallets available out there?
As of now, the top 3 hardware wallet companies are Trezor, Ledger, and Keepkey.
Trezor is a renowned hardware wallet and first choice of all cryptocurrency investors. On the other hand, Ledger Nano S has started grabbing attention of new bitcoin investors because of its price tag and security features.
Trezor and Ledger Nano S are almost identical in terms of security features and functions. Both has launched next generations hardware wallets for example Ledger has launched Ledger Nano X and SatoshiLabs, inventors of Trezor, has introduced Trezor Model T.
In a separate post, we’ve listed top 5 cryptocurrency hardware wallets.
Is there any wallet to store multi-coins?
I always recommend to buy a hardware wallet that supports multiple cryptocurrencies. If your hardware wallet supports multi-coins then you can easily move your other cryptocurrencies to it. Otherwise, you’ll have to buy a new device to do the same.
Above listed hardware wallets including Ledger Nano S will help you store more than one cryptocurrencies at the same time. Apart from bitcoin, you can store your Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and the like coins into them.
Furthermore, you’ll be able to send cryptocurrencies directly from their respective applications.
Ledger Nano S supports almost all evolving cryptocurrencies including Ripple, Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Zcash, Stratis, ARK, Ubiq, Dogecoin, NEO, and more.
How to choose a hardware wallet?
Basicslly, there’s no selection criteria for a hardware wallet. However, while selecting a hardware wallet, you should see/do following things:
- What cryptocurrencies does your hardware wallet support?
- See price: If two devices are offering same security and features then buy cheapest one. After all, who doesn’t want to save money?
- Read reviews of hardware wallet you’re going to buy. This will help you know, “Whether product is worth buying or not?”
Is cryptocurrency hardware wallet like Ledger Nano S worth buying?
Yes, it is. Here on CryptoWonk, I often advise to buy a hardware wallet if you can survive for three months with your bitcoins or altcoins. Otherwise, paper wallet would be a good alternative.
What if I lost my Ledger hardware wallet?
Don’t worry! You can easily restore Ledger wallet using your 24 words recovery phrase or seed key that you get at the time of setting up your Ledger Nano S hardware wallet.
To restore your wallet, you don’t need to buy a new Ledger Nano S (in case you can’t afford new one), you can restore your wallet using any compatible software wallet like Mycelium (smartphone), Electrum (desktop), Bither (smartphone/desktop), Coinomi (smartphone), and MyEtherWallet.
But remember, you cannot restore your wallet without recovery phrase.
Now you can read following Ledger Nano S review to decide if this cryptocurrency hardware wallet is for you.
Ledger Nano S Review 2020
- Small and compact size with LED screen
- Light weight
- Runs on BOLOS (Blockchain Open Ledger Operating System)
- Two secure chips store your private keys with highest level of security
- Best affordable hardware wallet
- Physical buttons to authorize input
- Its latest Ledger Live application makes it very easy to use
- Compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux or Chrome OS, and Android devices
- Send and receive coins without exposing your private keys to the internet
- Storage capacity is up to 22 coins but I got insufficient space error after installing 8 apps.
- You have to keep recovery phrase safe. If someone get access to it then he/she has access to your funds.
- Sigh! To be honest, I don’t have anything more negative to say about Ledger Nano S. Just one complaint and that’s it doesn’t have passphrase option.
Ledger Nano S is made of brushed stainless steel and plastic. The device somewhat looks like a USB pen drive. Due to its small and compact size, you can carry it anywhere. Its aluminum casing makes it durable and stand out from other wallets.
It’s an OLED display to read screen instructions. The Ledger Nano S has two buttons to make selections. It has ST31 (secure) and STM32 chips to store your private keys in an isolated space.
Compatibility and usability
The device is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, or Chrome OS. You can also connect it to an Android device. You can install its free Ledger Live application. This app is very user-friendly and doesn’t require any special computer skills.
Also, you can use other compatible wallets such as Electrum, Mycelium, MyEhterWallet, and the like to access other coins and tokens such as ERC20 tokens.
You can directly send your cryptoassets from Ledger Live app dashboard without exposing your private keys to the internet.
The Ledger Nano S is currently available. You can own it for €61 or $69 or ₹4877 including shipping charges and also be ready to pay customs duty, if applicable.
I strongly suggest to buy Ledger Nano S from official website of Ledger wallet to get a genuine product. Here is a post on how to buy Ledger Nano S from Ledger wallet website.
What is in the box?
Inside the Ledger Nano S box, you’ve one lanyard; to hang it around the neck, two key chains, one USB cable, and one recovery sheet; to write down your recovery phrase. It’s noticeable that new Ledger devices are coming without a seal.
Ledger Nano Security
Security is the crucial part of a hardware wallet. We can ignore its design and appearance but not security. Let’s next discuss how secure Ledger Nano S is.
Ledger Nano S devices are based on dual chip technology to allow you perform transactions within a secure environment. Since the device has its own OLED display so it does not share anything with your computer.
Due to this, you can use it even on an infected computer. Yes, you read it right on infected computer and you funds will remain be intact.
At the top, let’s suppose someone gets access to your wallet but still he/she cannot spend your bitcoins or altcoins because all transactions require physical interference; to complete a transaction, you’ve to press physical buttons.
So no one can spend your funds unless he/she has physical access to your Ledger wallet.
To send a payment, physical input through buttons is required.
This a first layer of security you add to your Ledger hardware wallet.
You’ll have to setup a PIN code to unlock your device. Therefore, if you lose your hardware wallet then still no one can misuse it. If someone enters three wrong PINs then your device will automatically wipe out itself and to restore Ledger Nano S you’ll have to enter your recovery phrase.
Privacy – Private keys are isolated
You private keys are stored in your device only. Even Ledger’s server cannot read your private keys. Therefore, there’s almost zero percent chance that someone can get access to your private keys. However, if you’ll have to keep your 24 words recovery seed somewhere safe.
Temper proof seal
It’s very important that you receive your device intact. For that purpose, make sure to buy it from official website of Ledger. Click on buy link above to visit official website of the wallet.
The box consists two temper proof seals. When you receive the device make sure these seals are not tempered. If some looks suspicious then don’t use the device and contact to Ledger support team.
No matter who durable this device is chances of being destroyed are still there. Therefore, at the time of setting up this device you get 24 words recovery seed. You can use your recovery seed to recover you wallets if your Ledger Nano S gets damaged.
You recovery seed is actually your private key that contains all your wallets. If you lost it along with your device then there will be no way to restore your wallets. Therefore, store it somewhere safe.
Ledger Nano S supported coins
You can store multiple cryptocurrencies at once using your Ledger hardware wallet. Ledger Nano S supports almost all prominent coins and tokens such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Tron, Ripple, Ethereum, and the like. As of now, its supported crypto assets list is very vast, 1100+ coins and tokens including ERC20 tokens.
What are the advantages of having Ledger hardware wallet?
- Ledger Nano secures your cryptographic assets with best possible security.
- You can receive different cryptocurrencies even if your Ledger wallet is offline.
- You can easily send coins from your Ledger wallet to other bitcoin addresses.
- It gives you peace of mind that your Bitcoins or altcoins are safe.
- You can store multiple cryptocurrencies in your Ledger wallet.
- There is only one backup key for all wallets.
- You can easily restore your wallet using recovery seed; if you lose it.
- You can store unlimited coins by creating more than one wallet address for a particular cryptocurrency.
No passphrase feature
Ledger Nano S as a hardware is one of the best but still it lacks some features for example passphrase feature. Just like Trezor, another famous hardware wallet, passphrase feature should be added to Ledger wallet too.
Usually recovery seed contains 24 words but passphrase feature lets you add 25th word to it. This way if somehow gets access to your recovery seed then he/she will not be able to spend your coins without that 25th word. Usually you don’t write that word, you just remember that. This way only you can restore your wallet, if required.
Ledger Nano S maximum coin storage capacity mentioned by the company is 22 but this limit varies depending upon the wallet apps you install. For example if you install stand-alone apps such as Bitcoin then you’d be able to install up to 8 apps at a time.
I tried on my wallet and after 8 apps, it shows insufficient storage error. So to install a new app, I uninstall an existing app (for your knowledge, you can install and uninstall wallet apps on Ledger devices and your private keys will be intact which means if you uninstall an app your coins will remain be intact).
As of now, hardware is a best and only reliable way to store your cryptographic assets. If you’re still skeptical then let me make you understand by citing an insurance example. This example might be absurd but I assume you can understand my intention.
Most of us are reluctant to pay insurance premiums because we think we’re not going to visit a hospital. But in reality, everyday thousands of people face injuries or fractures. When we visit a hospital then we take a sigh and pat on the back that we’ve an insurance policy to pay the hospital dues. But think, what would happen with them who do not have insurance?
In the same way, we hesitate to pay for a hardware wallet but it’s worth buying.
Just imagine your cryptocurrency exchange got hacked (just like Binance, a prominent exchange, lost $40 millions cryptocurrency after a hack) and you lost all your investments. Then you’ll regret later and tell yourself that you’d have bought a hardware wallet.
Company’s next generation hardware wallet, Ledger Nano X, is more in demand due to its latest features and high-storage capacity, up to 100 coins at a time. You should also think of Ledger Nano X.
I’ve come up with this Ledger Nano S review to help you decide whether to buy this device or not. If you’ve any question then feel free to ask in the comment box.