Ledger Nano S Hardware Wallet Review

For those taking the leap into the world of cryptocurrency, it can be a strange and confusing world out there.

While there is much debate around which type of wallet is best, there is one thing that most people agree on, and that is that hardware wallets are by far the most secure, and that is where this Ledger Nano S review comes in!

A hardware wallet is a type of “cold storage” where your currency is kept safe and secure offline.

It usually connects to your computer via USB, and when it is connected, you can download your currencies and keys to the device, unplug it, and rest assured that they are safe from prying or unauthorised eyes.

Most hardware wallets are pocket-sized – some are suitable to be attached to a keyring, others slip into a standard wallet like a credit card – you just need to be careful not to misplace it because unless you have backed it up, once it is gone, it is gone!

The Ledger Nano S in one of such devices and in this review, we will discuss its features, pros and cons, how to use it, and compare it to another leading hardware wallet so you can make an educated decision whether it is the device for you!

Ledger Nano S: Overview

Ledger Nano S - The secure hardware wallet

  • Name: Ledger Nano S
  • Website: www.ledgerwallet.com
  • Type: Hardware Wallet
  • Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Dash, ZCash, Ripple, Stratis, Komodo, PoSW, ARK, Ubiq, Expanse, PIVX, Vertcoin, Viacoin, Stealthcoin, NEO
  • Fiat Currency:
  • Price: €58/$65
  • Rating: 9.3/10.0

The Ledger Nano S is a bit different from some of the other hardware wallet offerings from Ledger, and this is down to the inclusion of its screen.

The Nano S’s screen is a brilliant feature and one that means the wallet can be used on a computer that is infected with Malware.

It can be entirely controlled from the screen and the navigation buttons which means that even if your computer or laptop has keystroke logging software on it, your details and security remains safe.

Other than its screen which is considered a must-have feature in hardware wallets, the Nano S is also known as a great low-cost, reliable and secure offering.

Giving you the option not only to store Bitcoin and Ethereum but a wide range of altcoins as well, it is also renowned for being a great one size fits all option.

As one of the lowest priced devices on the market, particularly when it comes to ones with a screen, it is easy to see why the Nano S is so popular!

Sleek and well designed, small enough to fit on a keyring, and easy to set up in just a few simple steps, the Ledger Nano S is one of the best options on the market.

Ledger Nano S: Cryptocurrency Stored

Ledger Nano S cryptocurrencies offered

The Nano S is not just for Bitcoin and Ethereum – it offers support to a huge range of cryptocurrencies and altcoins such as Litecoin, Fido U2F, Dogecoin, ZCash, Dash, Stratis, Ripple, Hello, Komodo, and the controversial Ethereum Classic.

It is also compatible with many of the leading wallets such as Ledger Wallet Bitcoin, Ledger Wallet Ethereum, Wallet Ripple, Copay, Electrum, Mycelium, MyEtherWallet, GreenBits, and BitGo.

Ledger Nano S: Privacy and Security

Ledger Nano S: Privacy and Security

When it comes to security, the Nano S really has it nailed.

Firstly, the whole point of a hardware wallet is that it is more secure than an online variety – the fact that your currency is stored offline and out of the reach of prying eyes or hackers puts it head and shoulders above any online variety.

The Nano S also requires a four-digit pin code for it to be used, or to send payments. If you enter the pin incorrectly three times in a row, you will find yourself not only locked out, but your Nano S will reset itself and wipe all data.

Nano S also offers a full backup and recovery system which means that even if you lose the device, as long as you have set up the recovery sheet (as mentioned above), then you can retrieve your wallet and download it to another device.

Another security feature which we love is the advanced passphrase feature which lets you add your custom text in your 24-word recover phase.

It is a delicate feature, however, and unless you know what you are doing, we would advise against meddling with it.

The fact that the Nano S has a screen and when it is plugged into a computer, it is controlled via the screen, and navigation buttons mean it is impenetrable to malware and hackers that may be accessing your computer.

Ledger Nano S: Customer Support

When it comes to customer support, your first stop is the Ledger website.

Here you can find FAQs, User Guides, general information, troubleshooting support, and guides to apps and coins.

There is also a forum type area where you can comment and request information from other community members.

Should you not be able to find a solution to your query in this manner, then you can submit a request for assistance through the website.

Ledger Nano S: How To Send and Receive Cryptocurrency

Sending currency to and from a Ledger is a pretty simple and straightforward process.

  1. Connect your Ledger device to your computer and unlock it.
  2. Open the relevant application on your computer, e.g. Bitcoin. Ethereum etc.
  3. Select the applicable cash chain that you want to transact to.
  4. Click on “Receive”.
  5. Copy the “Bitcoin Cash address” which is displayed.
  6. Paste the address where required.
  7. Remember that you can do this while your Ledger device is disconnected as the transactions are recorded on the Blockchain and will be immediately synchronised when you connect the device once again.

Ledger Nano S vs TREZOR

Ledger Nano S vs TREZORWhile the Trezor is an extremely popular alternative, it does lose out to the Ledger due to price considerations.

The Ledger Nano S is cheaper, and personally, I much prefer the design and usability. While the Trezor is smaller than the Ledger, it is not quite as pleasant to look at- something that can be a real issue or tipping point.

Regarding setting up the device, they take about the same amount of time, and they both have a screen and buttons on the device meaning it is secure and safe from any computer that may be infected with malware.

TREZOR costs €89/$99 – read our TREZOR review for more details.

Ledger Nano S vs KeepKey

Ledger Nano S vs KeepKey

Again, the Ledger comes out top when it comes to price and that it doesn’t sacrifice any features or quality to keep the cost down.

It offers the same screen and the same secure set up as the Ledger and it also comes with a micro USB.

Quick to set up and easy to use, the KeepKey is a viable option, but at a higher price than the Ledger, it doesn’t offer any additional functionality to warrant it.

While Trezor and KeepKey well know favourites in the world of cryptocurrency, they don’t bring anything unique or original to the table.

Unfortunately, while they do enjoy a well-known name and reputation, when it comes to features vs cost, the Ledger Nano S comes out on top.

KeepKey costs almost $200 – read our KeepKey review to find out more details.

Ledger Nano S: Setting Up Guide

The Ledger Nano S is quite easy to set up, and in a matter of minutes, you can be ready to store your cryptocurrency.

Step 1 – Connect Ledger to Your Computer

Connect Ledger to Your Computer

Once you have purchased your Ledger Nano S, you need to plug it into your computer via the included USB cable. Look at the Ledgers screen, and you will see a series of instructions upon it which you need to follow.

You can create a new wallet or import an existing Bitcoin or Ethereum account. Whichever one you choose; the on-screen instructions are succinct and easy to follow, and you can navigate via the two buttons on the display screen.

Step 2 – Select a PIN Code

Ledger Nano S Select a PIN Code

Next up you need to select a PIN code comprising of four digits. Be savvy and follow best practices by not choosing a code you use for something else or something easy to crack such as your year of birth.

Once you have chosen and inputted it into the device, you will need to confirm it and then be sure to memorise it.

Remember that if you input the code incorrectly three times, your Nano S will be reset, and you will lose any and all data that is on it, including your currency!

Step 3 – Retrieve the “Recovery Sheet”

Ledger Nano S recovery sheet

Now you need to retrieve the “Recovery Sheet” that can be found inside the Nano’s box.

On this sheet, there will be 24 words which you need to enter in the order that they are listed on.

This is the way you recover your wallet in the case of loss or theft, so be sure to complete this step in full.

Step 4 – Install Ledger App

Install Ledger App Ledger Nano S

Once the message “your device is now ready” appears on the screen, you know that your Nano S is configured. All you need to do now is install the Ledger Apps on your laptop or PC to use your wallet.

Head to Chrome and download the free Ledger Wallet Bitcoin Chrome app or the Ledger Wallet Ethereum Chrome app depending on what currency you will be storing. These are free to download, easy to install and all upgrades are also completely free of charge.

Step 5 – Start Using The Ledger

You are now ready to use your Ledger Nano S!

Ledger Nano S: Why Should You Buy Ledger?

Ledger Nano S - The secure hardware wallet

There is no doubt that the Ledger Nano S is the most affordable wallet of its type on the market.

Well known for its usability, excellent security features, and for having a screen yet retaining its low-cost price tag, it is easy to see why it is one of the worlds most popular and in-demand hardware wallets.

While there are similar options on the market, such as Trezor and KeepKey, the Ledger offers a better value for money alternative with its features which are identical, but at a lower price.

When it comes to purchasing the Ledger Nano S, be savvy about it.

Avoid sites such as Amazon and eBay where you could end up paying twice as much or receiving a poor imitation, and instead head to the Ledger website where you can purchase it directly, and at the correct price.

When it comes to pros and cons, the good far outweighs the bad, and as far as I can see, the only minus point with the Nano is that its reputation is not as established as its competitors – a factor that has no bearing on its technical or security capabilities.

It offers support for all the leading crypto and altcoins, as well as being adaptable and integrating with a range of software wallets.

It is easy to set up and easy to use, even for beginners and the extensive FAQs and help sections on the website will be able to solve pretty much any query.

If you are looking for a low price, top quality, reliable, and sleek hardware wallet, then the Ledger Nano S is the only serious option that you can consider!

And if you’re still not sure which wallet to choose after reading the Ledger Nano S review, read our guide to the best hardware wallets for comparison.

Ledger Nano S

€58/$65
9.3

Cryptocurrency Offered

9.5/10

Security & Privacy

9.0/10

Customer Service

9.0/10

Design

10.0/10

Price

9.0/10

Pros

  • Design
  • Price
  • Security
  • Altcoin Support

Cons

  • New on the market

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Megan is a self-taught blockchain enthusiast. She enjoys combining finance with technology, from a less-techy perspective. BiteMyCoin is her most recent project underneath the umbrella of an international digital marketing agency ANCHOVY.