Ledger Nano S Review

August 30, 2018


Ledger Nano S Review

The success of software cryptocurrency wallets has been punctuated by hacks and theft; hence there has been a growing need for safer alternatives. Despite software wallet’s extreme versatility, hackers can easily steal coins if they find access to the wallet’s private keys. Luckily, hardware wallets arrived on time with the ultimate solution. To avert these risks, therefore, you have to acquire a physical hardware wallet like Ledger Nano S or TREZOR. This means that your wallet has to be physically available when making transactions. There is a range of hardware wallets you can choose from. Such wallets are particularly interesting because they keep private keys offline, away from networked devices such as computers and Smartphones. Leading hardware wallet providers are constantly working to improve their services due to customer’s fast-changing needs.

Ledger Nano S is a hardware wallet developed by Ledger Wallet and a startup based in France. It gained substantial popularity owing to its security, ease of use and reasonable price.  The hardware wallet is a battery-less device with a sleeky European design. Ledger Nano S supports up to 9 cryptocurrencies including; Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, DogeCoin, ZCash, and Dash.  Ledger Nano S has robust security features making it a good choice for storing cryptocurrencies and making payment.

Built-in display

Ledger Nano S has an easy to use OLED interface that is easily navigated using two buttons on the side of the device. The screen helps with quite a number of things; When setting up the device, it displays a recovery phrase on the screen which is a solid backup of the hardware wallet. The screen also provides an extra layer of security when making transactions. It also makes it easy to confirm a payment amount and destination address unlike the other models without a screen.

Secure Pin code

It requires a 4-character pin code during setup which guarantees the security of your coins in case of loss.  The pin code wipes itself out after three unsuccessful attempts.

Advanced Passphrase option

New models come with advanced passphrase options that allow you to customize the 24-word recovery phrase.

Tamper-proof seal.

The wallet ships with a tamper-proof seal around the package. This ensures that no one tampers with it before it gets to you.

Backup and restoration

Nano Ledger S is quite easy to setup and use. Unlike Ledger’s other hardware wallets, you can use the Ledger Nano S on a computer affected by malware.

If you wish to buy one, order it directly from the official Ledger website or Amazon. Here is what you’ll find in the package when your order arrives;

  • Hardware Ledger Nano S device
  • A micro-USB cable
  • Neck Lanyard
  • Recovery sheet (used for writing down sheet)
  • User manual

Ledger Nano S Wallet setup

The Ledger Nano S wallet is quite easy to set up. Using a micro-USB cable, plug the wallet into your computer to turn it on. The device will prompt you to make a 4-digit code. You can easily select the code by sliding the numbers upwards or downwards using either button. Once you have the correct number, select it by pressing both buttons at the same time. Confirm your pin code by repeating the same process.

Once you have set the pin, the device prompts you to write down a 24 words recovery phrase on your recovery sheet. One word shows up at a time; use the right button to open the next word. The device will then require a confirmation of the recovery phrase. It will ask you to enter two random words in the phrase (seed). For instance, if it asks for the 8th word, navigate through the phrase and press both buttons once you get to the 8th word.

Users with a Ledger Chrome application can also access the wallet on their PCs. However, you can set up your Ledger Nano S  wallet without plugging it into the computer. Nano S works well with Electrum desktop wallet and Mycelium android wallet.

Backup and restoration

This process is relatively straightforward. If you lose your wallet, simply buy a new one and pick the ‘restore’ option when setting up. Enter your 24-word recovery phrase and you have your coins back!

Ledger Nano S retails at around $95 USD, making it one of the cheapest hardware wallets with a screen.

Overall, I didn’t find anything bad about this hardware wallet; it does a wonderful job of securing your bitcoins. The wallet’s recovery phrase is generated offline and displayed on its screen to ensure it never gets to a connected device. Nonetheless, exercise more caution when using your wallet. Look out for shoulder surfers who could steal your code, Steer clear of public networks,

workplace LANs and even have your Bluetooth off. If anyone accesses your recovery phrase, they could easily steal your bitcoins.

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