Ledger Nano S Bitcoin wallet review

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The Ledger Nano S is currently one of the best if not the finest hardware wallet with a screen. It can be used on any desktop computer. Ledger Nano S – unalike the Ledger Nano and Ledger HW – has a screen. And this is important because you can use it even on an infected computer.

Ledger Nano S - The secure hardware wallet

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Why buy a Bitcoin hardware wallet?

The main reason you will store your coins in a hardware wallet is the fact that your keys are kept securely offline. Bitcoins private keys that you store online on your computer can be hacked and stolen by a third party.

Ledger Nano S is based on a dual chip architecture (ST31/STM32, Certification level: CC EAL5+). The firmware integrity is guaranteed by cryptographic attestation.

*** We recommend NEVER buy a Ledger Nano S or any other hardware wallet from eBay or a private person – only from the official store here ***

What’s in the Box?

The Ledger Nano S is packaged in a nice box that contains the followings:

– Ledger Nano S hardware wallet, made of Brushed stainless steel and Plastic.
– One micro USB cable
– A cord for wearing device around neck
– One keychain + key ring
– Recovery sheet for writing your seed

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Ledger Nano S Dimension and weight

Size: 98mm x 18mm x 9mm.
Weight: 16.2g.

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Ledger Nano S Compatibility

Windows (7+) / Mac (10.8+) / Linux or Chrome OS
Requires Google Chrome or Chromium, and one USB port to plug your Ledger Nano S.

Connector: USB Type Micro-B.
Certification level: CC EAL5+.
Chips: ST31H320 (secure) + STM32F042.

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Ledger Nano S price

The Ledger Nano S price is 79 euros including free shipping, TREZOR or KeepKey for example are priced at about $99.

Hardware wallet comparison:

 

 Wallet Released  Price
 Ledger Nano S  2016  79€
 TREZOR 2013  $99
 KeepKey 2013 $99

Protection layers of the Ledger Wallet?

The Ledger Nano S has several protection layers before you can access your bitcoins or sign a transaction:

Gaining accesses the physical Ledger Wallet.
Entering the right PIN code.
Authenticating each transaction by pressing a button on the wallet.

In addition Ledger is a decentralized wallet so you generate the private keys during the initialization procedure, so the company doesn’t know your private keys.

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Ledger Nano S Buttons

The Ledger Nano S has two physical buttons, Like its competitor TREZOR. These add to its security, because in order to confirm a payment you need to physically press both buttons at the same time. This is a very important security feature, because hackers and just hack into your device and confirm a payment.

Left & right buttons are used to select or to go inside a list of items.
Pressing both buttons will confirm an action, go next or select an item in a list.

The Nano S also does not run on batteries and when its not plugged in it is turned off.

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another asspect of its security is the fact that The Ledger Nano S requires the user to create a PIN code on setup. The PIN code will keep your coins safe incase you lost your device and another person has found it. this person would not be able to still your coins because he would not know your 4 digit pin code.

Ledger Nano S recovery phrase

When you setup your Nano S the wallet generates a recovery phrase, that is a complete backup of your wallet. Know that if anyone gets access to your recovery phrase they also have access to your bitcoins.

Ledger Nano S is FIDO® CERTIFIED U2F

Ledger Nano S supports the FIDO® Universal Second Factor authentication standard on Google, Dropbox, GitHub or Dashlane.

Why is a hardware wallet screen Important?

On a regular Bitcoin wallet, like an android wallet, the recovery phrase is displayed on the phone’s screen. smartphones are connected to the internet all the time, so it’s possible that a third party can hack into your phone, getyour recovery phrase and steal your bitcoins.
When you use a hardware wallet like the Nano S the recovery phrase is generated offline and displayed on the Nano S’s screen. this means that the recovery phrase is not online.

 

Which coins, altcoins and tokens are supported by the Ledger Nano S

Ledger Nano S supports Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and altcoins, so you can hold different assets in the same wallet.  supported coins are:

BITCOIN * BITCOIN CASH * BITCOIN GOLD * ETHEREUM * LITECOIN * FIDO U2F * DOGECOIN * ZCASH * DASH * STRATIS * RIPPLE * HELLO * KOMODO * ETHEREUM CLASSIC * POSW * ARK * EXPANSE * UBIQ * PIVX * VERTCOIN * VIACOIN * NEO * STEALTHCOIN.

You can also check the updated list of cryptocurrencies and tokens supported by Ledger here.

Also available on the Nano S: brightness of the screen, color inversion, screen rotation (so you can control buttons with thumbs), firmware info and help instructions.

Ledger Nano S is an HD wallet

It’s an HD wallet, so you can control many accounts for all supported cryptocurrencies. This means that coins stored in the wallet will have the same backup key. Also the seed is generated offline and displayed on the Ledger screen, which ensures that the seed is never on an internet connected device.

 

Ledger Nano S setup guide

Setting up your Ledger Nano S is a simple and intuitive process.

You may have seen Ledger videos online were some boxes have a grey sticker on one side of the box. Note that new boxes do not have this sticker on. Ledger doesn’t attach any tamper proof seal on its boxes anymore. In the box there is a card with a “Did you notice” title, explaining it.

You must initialize your device before using it do your device will be set up with a security passphrase that only you will know. Make sure to “create a new wallet” when you configure your new device.

First, plug in the Nano S to your computer using the micro-USB cable. This will turn the device on. Note that The Ledger can be setup without even being plugged into a computer.

From this point follow the instructions on the Ledger screen.

Ledger Nano S four-digit pin code Setup

You’ll be asked to create a four-digit pin code using the buttons on the device.
Once you chose your preferred pin number, press both buttons on the device at the same time. This will allow you to move on the next number.
Repeat this process to confirm the next numbers.

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Ledger Nano S 24 word recovery phrase

After you’ve set your desired PIN code, you’ll be asked to write down the 24 word recovery phrase. The Words appear one at a time. In order to see the next word, click on the right button. Ledger provides a small paper for that purpose but you can write it wherever you want, as long as it is safe.
When you finish, the Nano S will ask you to confirm by asking for two random words from the seed. If, for instance, it asks for the 7th word of your seed, scroll the words and press both buttons when you see the 7th word.

*** Note, that anyone who has access to the recovery phrase can gain control over your bitcoins. Make sure you don’t share your seed with anyone and keep it in a safe place. ***

Accessing your Ledger Nano S with Chrome application

Nano S comes with a set of Chrome applications. The Bitcoin Chrome app is an award winning wallet featuring multi-accounts. All apps running on Nano S are Open Source.

If you have the Ledger Chrome app you can now access your wallet. at the end of this review you can find detailed guids on how to send & receive Bitcoins with Ledger Nano S Chrome app.

On your Ledger screen scroll down the options and press both buttons on the “B” icon for Bitcoin. Same with other coins.

At this point you should see the wallet interface in the Ledger Chrome app.

You can now receive payments to your Ledger Nano S.

 

User guides and troubleshooting for Ledger Nano S:

Guide on how to send Bitcoins with Ledger Nano S Chrome application >

Guide on how to receive Bitcoins with Ledger Nano S Chrome application >

How to update the applications on your Ledger Nano S device >

If your balance is not right on the Ledger Wallet Bitcoin application click here >

Guide on how to Use Ledger Nano S with Mycelium for Android >

If Ledger Nano S Bitcoin Chrome application doesn’t open try this >

If Ledger Nano S screen freezes try this >

How to protect from “the man in the middle attack” on Ledger wallet >

*** We recommend NEVER buy a Ledger Nano S or any other hardware wallet from eBay or a private person – only from the official store here ***

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