You must be wondering,
Is Ledger Nano S the best cryptocurrency wallet for me?
If you are into cryptocurrency, sooner or later you will realize that:
A cryptocurrency hardware wallet like the Ledger Nano S, is something that, sooner or later, you will need to buy.
Here’s the deal,
after reading this Ledger Nano S Review,
you will know if the Ledger Nano S is a must buy item or not
and if this is the best cryptocurrency wallet suitable, for your needs.
You and me, already know, that the main issue with cryptocurrency wallets is safety!
The chances of malicious attacks by hackers or other “online” wallets turning out to be scams, are huge.
Which leads people to feel reluctant storing their bitcoins online, since so many risks are lurking behind the internet…
Same goes for me! But…
this is where devices like the Ledger Nano S called Hardware wallets come in to play.
Manufactures like Ledger, have found a solution that will allow
people to make crypto-transactions in a robust secure way!
They have produced and designed the “Hardware” wallet named as
the Ledger Nano S wallet.
This wallet, helps to store and use your cryptocurrencies without the fear of waking up one day and finding out that your precious funds have been hacked or stolen.
So lets start the Review with some important to know definitions,
What is the Ledger Nano S wallet?
Ledger Nano S is a secure cryptocurrency Hardware wallet made by Ledger.
Now, you must be thinking…
What is a Hardware wallet then?
A Hardware wallet is a small device that stores and protects your private data known as private keys.
Those private keys are the certificates of ownership of the cryptocurrencies you own, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Through these private keys you have full access and management of your funds.
Therefore, a hardware wallet like Ledger Nano S,
by storing these private keys offline in the device itself,
it allows you to make secure payments and store your cryptocurrencies,
in the safest way possible, without any risk of your funds being accessible
online to be stolen or lost by anyone.
Where you can buy Ledger Nano S online :
If you are eager to buy the Ledger Nano S wallet and start managing your bitcoins or any other cryptocurrency right now
Now that you know what a hardware wallet is,
lets take a look on
How does Ledger Nano S works :
Ledger Nano S looks and works just like as a USB device.
It connects to any Computer with a USB cable that comes with the package.
It has a small built-in OLED screen where you can check and confirm transactions by tapping one of the two small side buttons.
Here is an example:
In case you made a payment with bitcoin,
on the screen appears a message that asks you to confirm that transaction.
Then, you must give it an answer of “yes” or “no” by pressing the left or right buttons on the device.
Ledger Nano S user interface:
The wallet comes along with its own Chrome extension and a few other chrome application interfaces that work as software wallets, where you can manage your funds on your computer screen.
The Chrome extension is:
- The Ledger Manager
Also, Ledger’s own software wallets that work with the Nano S:
- Ledger wallet for Bitcoin app.
- The Ledger wallet for Ethereum app.
- And The Ledger wallet Ripple app.
The rest shown in the picture below are other compatible software wallets who partner with Ledger.
Without further ado,
lets take a look at what you can do with the Ledger Manager Chrome extension.
Ledger Manager Chrome extension:
– You can download and install it onto your Chrome browser free. Obvious!
-If the Ledger Manger Chrome extension is not installed on the computer where your device is connected, the device will not work!
-While using the Ledger Manager application your Ledger Nano S wallet must stay connected on the device.
-You can browse, install and uninstall the applications that you want to use with your Ledger Nano S wallet.
-You can update the firmware of the device when a new one is released with more interesting features. (new alt-coins, software updates and so on).
Now that you know what Ledger Chrome extension does,
lets take a quick look on how to set up the device.
Ledger Nano S – Set up process:
- Connect the device on your computer.
- Add/Choose the pin code.
- Back up your recovery phrase “the seed” on the piece of paper that comes with the package.
- Download the Ledger Manager Chrome extension…
and you are ready to use your Nano S wallet anywhere and anytime on any computer.
You can start sending/receiving, buying and storing your cryptocurrencies
securely while verifying every transaction using the devices buttons and the
build in OLED screen.
Hardware wallets over Software wallets – Pro’s and Con’s
As mentioned at the beginning of the article,
the reason hardware wallets exist are to avoid the risk of malicious attacks and scams.
Ledger device ensures that by keeping the important data offline, so that no hacker can access your funds.
Your private keys are never shown online and they are stored in the device.
On the other hand, when a device or software is connected on the internet,
no matter how secure they are, there is always a chance of loosing your money.
The only disadvantage Hardware wallets have against Software wallets are a few and not so important!
Lets have a quick look at them.
- Hardware wallets manual set up.
The set up, is a boring manual process that has to be done by you. ie set up pin, recovery phrase etc.
But when done once, you are done with it.
On the other hand,
Software wallets may not be so safe but they are much more fun and easy to use and set up.
2. Unable to transfer small amounts of crypto coins
If you are a miner and mining crypto coins then This is only important for you.
the Ledger Device is not able to process continuous tiny payments ie 1000 payments of 0.00001 btc.
How to avoid that?
Avoid making small payments continually.
These are the only disadvantages I can think off.
Now, you will want to know
what makes the Ledger Nano S special about security?
Ledger Nano S Robust Security Formula
Seed + Screen + PIN
What makes the Ledger Nano S special is that it has 3 very
important tools that ensure certain security.
The screen, the seed and the pin.
Lets have a quick explanation of how these 3 work together,
- Seed phrase with the build-in Screen:
You must look at the seed as the key to your cash, inside your wallet.
If anyone has the seed, it means he can access your funds, even if they do not have the device.
They can use the seed to any other compatible online or hardware wallet they have access to and use your money as their own.
But, here’s the kicker,
the chances of someone guessing your seed are close to impossible.
Even super-computers need more than 200 years to calculate your seed!
In other words,
you do not have to worry for anyone breaching your seed phrase anytime soon.
What you have to worry, is not to lose your seed.
Without the seed, you cannot access your funds. Period!
The seed is a 24-word phrase that it can only been shown on the screen of the device, at the set up process.
That alone makes the device a lot more secure!
This way, you are able to use the device on any computer you want,
without having to worry if the computer is malicious or hacked.
The seed and the screen together work wonders for the safety of your Bitcoins.
But what happens when someone steals your device?
This is where the 4-digit pin comes in.
- The 4-digit pin:
With the 4-digit pin that you set up at the first time you use the Nano S wallet,
you have another extra layer of protection.
In cases, when someone else uses or steels your device.
Remember, the seed is your key to your cash inside your wallet and the pin is your key to your wallet.
Only you know the pin,and if someone tries to use the device, they have to know the pin to access your data.
The Nano S device asks you for the pin every time you connect it on any computer and every time you are executing a transaction.
Also, you can change the pin to a 6 or 8-digit pin for higher security.
It is also good to know,
if the pin is submitted 3 consecutive times wrong,
the Nano S resets and deletes automatically all the stored data.
In case that happens to you, you do not need to worry.
You can use the seed to any other compatible wallet and recover access to your funds and data.
This is how the overall security if the Nano S device works:
- The Screen on the device protects your seed from being accessible to others.
- Your seed protects your funds in the device and
- the pin protects your device in case its lost or stolen.
If you lose the device, you still have access to your funds because of the seed.
No one can access your device unless they have the pin.
The worst-case scenario is when you lose the device and do not have the seed. In this case you cannot access your funds in any way.
That is why, you must stay proactive and keep the seed written in a piece of paper safely at home.
Note that, when you open the box of the Ledger Nano S
you will find inside a piece of paper on which you can write down the
passphrase in order from 1 to 24 words.
Keep that paper at a safe private place.
Ledger’s Company Customer service
As you can see, the Ledger Nano S device has more security features than any other device.
That extra security, compromises some of its user friendliness and convenience.
For the above reason the Ledger Company:
- Have uploaded instructions manuals and “how to’s” that are easily accessible online on their official website.
- The box upon purchase of the device includes a small instruction manual which I suggest you read before you start using the device.
- The company has a really good reputation with customer service and their website, emails and even phone calls are welcome and available 24 hours.
Features List of Ledger Nano S:
- Cryptographic secrets protected by a secure chip
- Bitcoin and Ethereum support (Open Source apps)
- Confirmation of transactions on the embedded screen
- Built-in 4 digit PIN security lock
- Built-in onboarding (seed generation and recovery)
- BIP39 seed (12/18/24 words), easy backup and restoration
- Multi-apps support: FIDO U2F, GPG, SSH…
- USB connectivity
- Fold-able and compact casing
- Passphrase support for plausible deniability or seed backup protection (compatible with BIP39)
- Alternative duress PIN
- Shuffle PIN option
- Token & basic contract support (data field) for Ethereum
- MyEtherWallet integration on Chrome and Opera without third party extensions
- Support for GreenAddress & Greenbits (Android, desktop coming soon)
- Litecoin support
- Ledger Manager: application & firmware updates
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