The Ledger Nano S is one of the most well-known hardware wallets in the cryptocurrency space. Hardware wallets are a type of wallet specifically designed for the storage of cryptocurrency.
They are constructed in a way that protects all sensitive components like the private key. The only way for information to be shared when using this device is through button presses, keeping your funds safe from internet hackers. Other safety measures include the 6 digit pin code, and 24 word back up phrase.
Priced at 79 Euros, the device comes with free shipping and has a beautiful and simple user interface. The Ledger Nano S comes with a clear screen, and 2 buttons on the top of the device, which are used to navigate the settings of the device.
There are a total of 3 inputs you can do, which are left button press, right button press, and a double button press. The double press is typically used to confirm or say “yes” to an option while the left and right are used to navigate.
After unboxing your device, plug it into a computer using the cable provided.
As with all hardware wallets, you can receive transactions without connecting your wallet to your computer. However, if you want to send Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies you have to have your wallet connected to your computer.
This is because your private key needs to be used to sign your transaction, and as your private key is securely tucked away on your device, that can’t be done unless your chrome extension has access to you Ledger wallet via USB.
Also, it’s worth noting that another case where you’ll want to connect your device to your computer is when you want to update the software of your device. Other than that, you can let your device stay disconnected.
The Ledger Nano S hardware wallet comes with standard rectangle sized cardboard packaging. Aesthetically, it gives off the appearance of a quality product.
There is tamper proofing like you’ll find with Ledger, which deters most third-party vendors with malicious intent.
However, you’ll only find one plastic strip at the top of the box, whereas the Trezor’s package has two plastic strips: one at the top and another at the bottom.
Inside of the box, you will notice the actual device, USB cable, and a manual which provides more information.
Arguably the greatest feature of the Ledger Nano S is that it’s compatible with all major computer operating systems, Android, and even iOS devices. Desktops can communicate with the device through a chrome extension, while android and apple phones have tailored wallet management apps.
For $79 Euro, the Ledger Nano S sells at a relatively lower price than Trezor. This makes a lot of sense considering that Ledger has a minimal hardware design that foregoes the use of a dedicated CPU and a graphical screen. Either way, it’s fair to say that a lot of the price is contingent on the brand name because of the reputation that is associated with Ledger products.
The Ledger Nano S ships with an approach to its hardware that tries to strip it down to its bare bones. You’ll find this approach in many of the device’s design choices.
For one, the chip that is used is made as self-contained as possible – meaning that it’s not meant to be a mini computer that’s marketed as a Bitcoin wallet.
The chip was designed with Bitcoin specifically in mind. As in all things related to computer security, the fewer hardware features that a device has, the easier it becomes to secure.
With this design philosophy in mind, the Ledger Nano S makes the secure storage of Bitcoin significantly easier for itself than most other hardware wallets.
You can find a list of open source Ledger software on the home page. These include:
This year’s Defcon 25 brought light to potential hardware wallet vulnerabilities. But to ledger’s credit, the wallets that were shown to be the least secure were the ones that included at actual CPU as a hardware feature.
The Ledger Nano S, on the other hand, uses secure element chips that are not as vulnerable to the type of hack disclosed at the hacker conference.
Either way, hardware wallets are far more secure than any other type of electronic Bitcoin storage medium. But in terms of available hardware wallets, the Ledger Nano S is the upper end of the pack in terms of security.
One of the ways in which Ledger wallets stand out from competing devices is the open source software ecosystem that caters to developers of all kinds.
Ledger has an open source repository for a ‘high-level’ ledger wallet API, to allow for automated transactions. The ledger team also laid out an extensive Github page that lists all open-source resources for the project. These include the development environment, an SDK, and tools for Python development.
All in all, the open source development of Ledger software is likely another contributing factor to the high-end security of the device. Open source software development does not only improve the quality of code bases, it also increases the likelihood of a needed user interface feature to be implemented sooner than later.
After all, if users really seek to have a feature included in the software, a developing customer always has the option to make that addition.
The ledger Nano S has an extensive FAQ list under the support section of the website. Most of your questions should be answered by the guide found on your page. If your question is more specific you can refer to the ‘click here to get help’ button which prompts you with an email form that can be used to get in contact with their support team.
Conveniently, there are individual forms for orders and technical inquiries – a positive feature because it prevents your technical question from being lumped in with other people’s order inquiries.
All in all, the support infrastructure seems like a standard effort, albeit rigorous effort to solve customer problems.
So, you want to test a Ledger Nano S Bitcoin hardware wallet with other coins (altcoins) besides Bitcoin? We researched for you and we came up with this list of other coins that Ledger Nano S supports (we will keep this updated as Ledger continues to add more new coins!):
Litecoin was the second coin added for the Ledger Nano S software/hardware.
Ethereum 2nd after BTC in the world coin rankings so it is support by Ledger due to HUGE!! customer demand.
Bcash, sometimes referred to as Bitcoin Cash, was offered in Ledger Wallet to split but now remains to use. So it was a good sign that Ledger will support Bitcoin splits because you can get free money when Bitcoin splits and convert to get more BTC!!!
Dogecoin couple years ago was very popular, but not anymore! But still supported by Ledger Nano S wallets!
Zcash is supported by Nano S.
Ethereum Classic was requested and added very soon after release.
Dash can be stored in your Nano S.
You can store Ripples (XRP) in your Ledger Nano S or also the Ledger Blue which is still not available to order but just a heads up!
Well getting altcoins can be confusing because you almost ALWAYS need to buy Bitcoins FIRST!
What to do after buying the bitcoins? Well just go to Changelly and swap your BTC for ANY other coins!
After reading about different hardware wallets, you might find yourself stuck choosing between the Ledger Nano S and other options. This comparison will help you make the right choice, as keeping your coins is a priority for us too.
The Ledger Nano S currently sells for 79€ (~$90) and has free shipping. Keepkey sells for $129 + shipping and taxes.
While cost can be an important factor, you shouldn’t let a $50 difference decide which wallet you purchase.
The Ledger Nano S supports the following currencies + ERC20 coins.
Keepkey supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Dash, Dogecoin, and ERC-20 tokens: Aragon, Augur, Basic Attention Token, FunFair, District0x, Golem, Gnosis, OmiseGo, SALT, Bancor, ICONOMI, Melon, SwarmCity, Wings, iExec, Status, Numeraire, DigixDAO, Metal, TenX, Qtum, 0x, FirstBlood, Ripio Credit Network, SingularDTV, Edgeless, WeTrust, Matchpool, and Storj.
Depending on what your favorite cryptocurrency is, one wallet might be better for you. Most people will use a hardware wallet to support Bitcoin, which can be supported on both.
Keepkey has Shapeshift.io built into the device, allowing currencies to be swapped from the comfort of your own wallet.
From a pure aesthetic viewpoint, it is a pretty close call. I personally prefer the Ledger Nano S appearance as it is small, and the screen only shows information thats needed.
If you are a user or investor in cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, Litecoin, etc.:
You must have encountered a sense of insecurity in view of the various news about the theft and stealing of the cryptocurrencies, numerous malwares, etc. Now, you have a number of products and offerings to deal with such threats with the use of cryptocurrency hardware wallets.
We review two of the most popular cryptocurrency hardware wallets i.e. Ledger Nano S and Trezor in a professional and unbiased style. The various features, characteristics, and pros/cons of Ledger Nano S and Trezor are as follows:
Trezor is a pioneering cryptocurrency hardware wallet launched by Satoshi Labs. Trezor provides ultimate security and ease of use. It is based on modern cryptography and community-driven open-source environment. It works on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android.
Trezor currently supports Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash/Bcash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, ERC-20 Tokens, Litecoin, DASH, Zcash, Namecoin, Dogecoin, and Bitcoin Testnet. They can be stored on Trezor at the same time. You can also send or receive your coins or tokens securely through Trezor.
Trezor offers you various facilities, many of them are similar to those of Ledger Nano S, such as: