The development and introduction of the crypto universe came with unseen shifts all over the internet, where markets and many other stand-alone industries were quick to unite with the new technology, putting it into the best use in each of their respective areas of operation. It goes without saying that the blockchain and cryptocurrencies are probably the best thing to ever happen to the online financial scene. They were seen to make transacting over long distances much more convenient, where the networks also came with numerous other perks; the likes of the anonymity that is afforded to all users, as well as the high speed transmission. To date, there are hundreds of individual cryptocurrencies, some of which gained more user interest than the rest.
That said, one particular area manages to capture our attention. It is seen as a crucial area of the networks, where each and every user and holder of substantial funds and, or other valuable items, generally shows a level of concern toward it. Now, not to say that what the individual networks can provide is not enough, but general fund security is now a major concern in the world of digital finances. To such ends, some developers set out to provide a neutral service that holders can use to keep their funds under consistent security. In recognition of such daring acts of critical thinking, we came up with this complete Ledger Nano Review, a comprehensive and highly accurate look at the specialised crypto wallet that has been responsible for the safekeeping of many users’ crypto for quite some time now.
What is Ledger?
Now, it is important to note that there a countless other crypto wallets on the internet, where people can even make use of accounts that are made with crypto exchanges when purchasing the tokens in the first place. These specialised wallets are spread out to all networks, where virtually every digital currency is accepted. At the same time, some are made to be exclusive, offering their services to certain specific cryptos instead.
That said, Ledger is an international firm that specialises in just about everything that is remotely related to blockchain technology. The founders officially launched the firm in 2014, only facilitating in a couple of small scale service options. Needless to say, the company saw some rapid growth and outreach expansion in the following couple of years. To date, Ledger is one of the most reputed blockchain service provider in the industry, encompassing some 165 individual countries, with a collective wallet sales count projected to be around 1,5 million. The main aim of Ledger is clearly cited on providing global crypto users with services that are safe and secure, adhering to protocols meant to be to the benefit of all. They are quite popular when it comes to hardware development, particularly their famous ‘Nano’ chain.
The Ledger Nano is an entire chain of tangible devices that store crypto funds. The topic of this conversation, the Ledger Nano S, first appeared on the international market in 2016. To understand how the technology behind this works, we have to first take a look at how the purchase, storage and ongoing use of cryptocurrencies works. When an individual purchases crypto tokens online, they generally have two options; to either store their coin in those very exchanges in which they would have made the purchases, or to take the funds and transport them to an external wallet altogether. From these wallets, they can then do as they please, be it to make use of the funds, or to simply place them under that ongoing storage.
Now, crypto wallets work in different ways. There are those whose storage facilities are found right there on the Internet, and there are those that make use of external storage bases. The first are the most common, where holders are required to download specialised applications with which they can manage their funds. The latter are a little difficult to come by, particularly due to additional costs incurred in the establishment of those wallets. Simply put, this is the principle on which Ledger Nano S operates.
The Ledger Nano S is a hardware storage wallet. Its storage facility is in the form of an actual, physical device that is plugged onto a computer. The wallet’s private keys and accompanying fund are effectively exported into the device, and put under cold storage. From this point on, the technology puts the wallet and its contents under offline storage, in the very device itself. When setting up the device, the user is given a short text known as the seed, which will acts as the private key that gives access to the device. It is to be written down and put under secure storage, as it gives the holder complete access to the funds.Retrieval can be done at any time, by simply plugging the device in and going through the standard PIN entry stage.
The main feature is the Ledger Live application, which can be downloaded on whatever device is to be used with the device. It typically works as the interface with which the user can fully operate the wallet and the device. The device itself is nothing special design wise; as it comes in a simple rectangular design, one that only features an LED screen and two navigation buttons. In the name of security, the common interface is established to the featured PIN section, which serves to deny access to any, and all unauthorised individuals.
Ledger Products and Services
As came clear in the company overview, Ledger has got quite a broad outreach when it comes to loyal customers. This unwittingly comes with their mandatory expansion of services. Technically, all their services and accompanying products are meant to facilitate in the secure storage of blockchain items. What then varies are the actual storage capabilities, where some store basic blockchain assets like NFT tokens, investment asset data, and so on, all while others simply focus on monetary funds. To such ends, they develop a range of products, tools and accessories, the likes of the Cryptosteel Capsule.
The Ledger Nano chain itself just recently launched a new product, the Nano X, meant to be a complete and total upgrade of the current one. Other products are rather small scare, but are just as important, the likes of the extension cable meant to facilitate in the plugging in and usage of the device, and the Cobo Tablet, meant to facilitate in the physical entry of the wallet’s private key. Note that one of the upgrades found on the Nano X is a Bluetooth feature, which many, or may not render the interface cable useless.
Ledger Live App
The access and continued usage is not as simple as just plugging the device in. As is the case with most other external special purpose devices, there needs to be a common ground on which access to the device can be granted. In other worlds, the computer’s operating system alone cannot run the wallet device. The developers therefore provide the Ledger Live App. It works more or less like other specialised apps such as Fitbit and the like, acting as an interface for the user to access their wallet. Probably the only contrasting aspect is that one cannot use the device at all without acquiring the application first. This is because the app enables the set up and initialisation of the device. Once the device has been purchased, the application is downloaded; it is available in most online app store, for free. Having done this, one can now plug the device in and initiate the set up, providing a preferable PIN code, and writing down the private key. Next, the user can access the Live Manager, with which they can install applications onto the device, depending on the chosen cryptocurrency. From this point, the application can be used however one pleases, given the ability to manage some two dozen crypto coins.
As stated above, the Ledger Nano S facilitates in the storage of quite a number of individual cryptocurrencies. However, the Nano S is a lower version of the Nano X, meaning it comes with some limitations, particularly when it comes to the overall storage capabilities. To such ends, it is seen that any single user of the device can only install two or three separate coins at a given time. That said, the overall capabilities make the device compatible with some 1500 digital currencies – this includes stand alone coins, and hundreds other sub-chain token assets. Quite a number of these are found under the ETH network, the so called ERC-20 tokens. That said, these are the most prominent crypto coins that are supported by the Ledger Nano S:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Binance Coin (BNB)
- Stellar (XLM)
- Polkadot (DOT)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Tether (USDT)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Monero (XMR)
- Cosmos (ATOM)
Generally speaking, the entire Ledger brand is made up of reasonably priced products, especially when put into contrast with some its competitors, the likes of the Trezor, D’CENT and SecuX product models. The Ledger Nano S comes in at a comfy €59 in retail stores, a long shot from the upgraded model, coning in at €119. Put simply, most people tend to view the wallet’s price tag as too High. Admittedly, this is true, to a certain extent. This is solely due to the fact that a large number of the available crypto wallet options are found online, these being software facilities. When using these, the closest thing to extra costs that a crypto holder can ever experience will be in the form of monthly tax charges that are deducted from their accounts; and these are generally negligible in most cases.
The point to this is that most people find it hard to accept that the hardware wallet is more cost effective that its software counterparts. The reason why we use the word “cost effective” is simply due to the fact that, operation and functionality wise, hardware wallets are much more beneficial, and are therefore worth the buy. Note that these price values were at the time of this review, and , therefore, could have changed in the time between then and now.
Ledger Wallet Package
As said before the company known as Ledger is among the leading blockchain hardware and application developers in the world, with services that are used by millions of individuals all over. By now, it should come as no surprise that the brand produces more than the Nano S and Nano X wallet devices, a lot more. Be that as it may, the topical discussion of this review is on their wallet line. Fortunately, the Nano S is not the only one featured here neither, clearly!
Acquiring any of the wallets will not just bring the device on its own, but it will come as a complete package, neatly boxed and sealed for validity, and clearly branded on top, with a few extra details behind. Within this box, the individual can expect to come across a USB Type Micro-B connector cable, a Lanyard, a standard keychain, a backup script, an informative manual and the device itself. These are all used in the ongoing functionality of the wallet. Some purchases even go a step further and ramp up the package by incorporating the Cobo Tablet, a secure pad on which the user enter their PIN and, or, their private key.
How to get started with Ledger
How to set up the Ledger wallet
The device start up is quite straightforward, but it is quite easy to get lost if one does not pay enough attention to what they are doing. Nonetheless, only a few steps stand in the way of an individual actually using the wallet to store their crypto funds. These steps are listed below:
- The first step would be to hook the device up with a computer, using the given USB cable. The device automatically recognised the link, at which point a prompt will pop up, requiring confirmation if the user would like to connect it to the machine. The button on the right makes this confirmation.
- The next step would be to wait as the device uploads the relevant information and virtual drivers onto the desktop/laptop.
- When this is done, a standard pin would have to be entered, and the device automatically gives the prompt to enter one. A four digit pin would do it, a secure one at that.
- After this, the device takes the user though a quick verification procedure, meant to provide a secure backup for when/if the user losses their PIN. The code, otherwise known as the private key, consists of 24 individual words, displayed one after the other on the screen.
- This is the last step to setting up the Ledger Nano S wallet, after which full access to the device is granted.
For much clearer explanations, the box comes with a basic user manual, which also gives roughly the same short guide to setting up and using the wallet.
Sending and Receiving Coins
This procedure is quite harder to execute, especially for the new users with no experience at all. However, anyone who once managed to purchase crypto in the first place should not have much of a problem with this.
- The first step is to download and install the Ledger Manager program, available in many online app stores. This install also comes with the installation of the crypto application of choice – where cryptos generally come with such applications.
- Laughing this application, the user would then have to provide their Ledger wallet, along with the relevant PIN.
- This will bring up a prompt, asking the user to choose their preferred account type, either a Segwit one, or a Legacy one. By our analysis, the Segwit wallet type is by far the better options.
At this point, the user can then make the decision to either send or receive funds.
- To send crypto, the user would have to return to the wallet application itself.
- Once in, the user can then enter the receiving virtual address and the respective amount.
- They can also cycle through their fees option, where the overall speed of the transaction will take a bit longer as the fees lessen.
- This procedure is completed by clicking on the ‘’SEND’’ button.
- Now, receiving requires the use to select ‘’RECEIVE’’ instead of the send option above. Before hand, the procedures are all the same.
- Another button is found after this, labelled ‘’Display Address on Device.’’
- This brings up the wallet address, which can then be copied and placed in the send options of the other wallet.
- By entering the amount and confirming the Receipt, the coin is transferred to the wallet.
So far, there haven’t been any major reports against the Ledger service at all. However, users who do encounter any problems can always make use of the contacts featured on the product documentation pamphlet, or otherwise return to the retail store in which the item was purchased.
Is Ledger Safe?
The developers behind the Ledger products plan to make them secure at all times. To such ends, the wallets themselves are even branded by their High levels of safety. This is accomplished by one simple thing, making the wallet offline. This makes it completely hacker proof, added on top of the PIN protection.
Well, the answer to this is quite simple; There aren’t any…As long as the wallet’s private key is exported and kept offline and hidden, there should be no way for one to gain unauthorised access.
- Slick design
- Total online security
- Supports thousands of tokens
- Storage limitations
Why choose Ledger?
Well, Ledger safety is like no other. The user’s only priority would be to safeguard the private key, as the wallet itself is impossible to hack wirelessly. Unlike its competitors, this device comes with a compact design, making it very portable and easy to handle.
How long does it last?
The device is quite durable, where many users have reported to have been using it for many years now, some even since its initial launch. Generally, one can use the device fully as long as they; at least until a new version comes in.
What is the upgraded version?
In all fairness, the Nano S comes with a few flaws, and most of these flaws have since been addressed in the development of the new Nano X version, made with much better storage, wireless interfacing capability, and a better quality screen. The design is still the same though, more or less….
The age of digitalisation is upon us. Many markets, online and physical, are now incorporating cryptocurrencies into their day to day operation, were the token values themselves are seen to continuously rise. With this massive expansion also comes significant risk, especially that of hacking and theft of funds. What better way to be prepared for this that the Ledger Nano S crypto wallet?