Ledger Nano S Review

308
Ledger Nano S Review

Overview

When it comes to storing your Bitcoin, you have plenty of options. The easiest way to do it stores it on an exchange. This is great if you’re new to the world of crypto, or you aren’t storing a lot. The problem is, of course, that you’re putting the fate of your money in someone else’s hands – like a bank. If Coinbase gets hacked, you lose your stuff. Mobile apps are an option too, but people worry about the robustness of an app. There are also a lot of clone apps around, and it’s difficult to tell if you are using a legitimate app or a clone if you’re new to cryptocurrency. 

Hardware Wallets

Ultimately, the safest way to keep your Bitcoin safe is to use some kind of offline device, and this is where hardware wallets come in. Ok, they aren’t free like apps are, but if you’re storing a lot of Bitcoin, then this is really the best option by a long shot.

While a lot of newbies are put off by hardware wallets because they seem complicated, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The Ledger Nano S is probably the easiest hardware wallet to use. You can set it up straight out of the box, and the whole process only takes a few minutes. The first thing you’ll see when you switch it on is a welcome and then a short, automated explanation of the button functions. Basically, you can scroll and click to say yes or no to various options.

Ledger Nano S Advantages

Photo by Marco Verch/ CC BY

There are several obvious advantages to using the Ledger Nano S. The first is that it is extremely easy to use. But despite it being very simple, it is also extremely robust – both physically and regarding security. You’re not going to damage it by dropping it on the floor, and it will survive splashes with liquid too. Regarding security, it is incredibly safe – all good hardware wallets are. This is for a few reasons. Firstly, you never expose your private key to your computer, so it can’t be stolen or hacked. In fact, you aren’t going to get any viruses on your Ledger Nano S, so that’s a great weight off your mind.

While it may cause you a bit of stress having to remember so many PINs, this is a good thing. The extra layer of security should be a comfort rather than a burden. Add that to the fact that unless you are actively using the Ledger Nano S when plugged into your computer, then your wallet – and therefore your money – is offline. It is immune to digital theft. Your only danger is from actual thieves entering your home and physically stealing it, and even then, it is completely useless without the PIN and the 24-word private key.

Now, we’ve mentioned Bitcoin throughout this article, but the Ledger Nano S is also versatile regarding the coins it supports. You can store Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin, Ripple, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Zcash and Dash on the same device. This is a really good spread of the main coins – not all hardware wallets offer such a wide range.

Are There Any Disadvantages?

Regarding the hardware itself, there are no real disadvantages to the Ledger Nano S. It is up there as one of the best hardware wallets around. The company that created it are well-respected and extremely well-funded, and it is used by millions of crypto enthusiasts all around the world. Ok, it isn’t particularly cheap – you’ll generally pay between $80 and USD 100 for one. But think about it regarding security, especially if you’re dealing with a large number of crypto assets. This is, without doubt, the safest method of storage and as close to a guarantee that your money is safe as you’re ever going to get. It’s certainly safer than a bank, as the 2008 global financial crisis proved.

How to Set Up Your Ledger Nano S

The first thing you need to do when you configure your Ledger Nano S is chosen a PIN. Enter a four-digit PIN, and then you’ll get your recovery phrase. This is your failsafe – don’t let anyone get their hands on it. Write it down and store it somewhere completely secure. Write down the 24 random words, and then Ledger will check you’ve recorded them correctly with a quick test. When you’ve passed this test, that’s it! Your Ledger Nano S is set up and ready to use.

The next part of the Ledger Nano S setup is downloading the desktop application that goes with the USB device. Download Ledger Live from the website and follow the instructions on all the resulting menus. Then, when the screen tells you, connect your Ledger Nano S to your computer and set a password. This will stop anyone accessing the programme if they steal your computer. That’s a lot of passwords now – three. Make sure you’ve stored them somewhere and make a backup copy. You don’t want the hassle of losing any of these or having them stolen.

Conclusion – Should I Buy a Ledger Nano S?

The Ledger Nano S is an excellent product. There is no barrier to entry – complete beginners can use it and the desktop software extremely easy. It is reliable, durable and extremely well-reviewed the world over. Of course, it also uses the open source code, which means that it is constantly improved by hundreds of developers worldwide, which is great for the future of your device. Whether this is your first hardware wallet or you’ve been using cryptocurrency for a while, the Ledger Nano S is just about the best wallet on the market.

The product is known to be one of the best when it comes to storing cryptocurrency assets for individuals. Besides, the Ledger hardware is sold in over 165 countries with over 1.3 million units sold.