Ledger Nano S Review and In Depth User Guide
The Ledger Nano S is our choice for the Best Cryptocurrency Wallet. In this Ledger Nano S Review, we’ll cover:
- Why We Chose the Ledger Nano S as the Best Cryptocurrency Wallet
- What You’ll Get
- Set Up and User Guide
- Review Summary
When reviewing cryptocurrency wallets, it should come as no surprise that security is our main focus. With that in mind, we immediately turned our attention to hardware wallets.
Hardware wallets, like the Ledger Nano S, are physical devices that store your private keys offline in a secure environment. When using a hardware wallet, your private keys are immune to computer viruses. Hardware wallets are widely considered to be the safest way to store cryptocurrencies, compared to traditional online and software wallets.
When it comes to hardware wallets, there’s 3 main options; Trezor, Ledger, or KeepKey.
So why did we choose Ledger? Not only is the Nano S cheaper than its two competitors, it also supports a greater number of cryptocurrencies. We also like the look and feel of it, especially compared to the Trezor.
When unpacking the box of your Ledger Nano S, you’ll find the following:
- The Ledger Nano S Device
- Micro USB Cable
- Recovery Sheet for writing down your recovery seed phrase (see below for more details).
- Keychain and Key Ring
- Sheet containing link to setup guide.
The image above is a stock image from Ledger’s website, but we did receive everything we were supposed to… We’re just A LOT worse at photography than they are.
To begin setup, plug the Nano S into your PC using the micro USB cable.
The OLED display will welcome you…
… And then ask you to press both buttons to begin.
After pressing both buttons, the following message will be displayed.
“With Ledger Nano S, side buttons are used to interact and control the user interface. Use left/right buttons to change values and navigate through multiple-choice lists. Press both buttons when you wish to confirm/continue or open an application. To begin configuration, press both buttons.”
After pressing both buttons again, you’ll be asked a yes/no question, “Configure as new device?”. Select the check mark indicating “yes”.
The device will tell you to “Choose a PIN code”. Press both buttons.
Your PIN code will be used to access your Ledger Nano S every time you want to use it. You can choose a code between 4-8 digits long. Be sure to remember this code and keep it private from others.
You can use an individual button to scroll through numbers, then press both buttons to choose a number. Repeat this for 4-8 digits. You’ll need to confirm this code, by entering it a second time.
Once you’ve chosen a PIN code, the next step is to write down your 24 word recovery phrase on the recovery sheet. This step is VERY important.
Your recovery phrase can be used to regain access to your cryptocurrency wallets in the event your Ledger Nano S is lost or damaged (or you forget your PIN code). Keep your recovery phrase private and store it securely!
Once you’ve finished writing down your recovery phrase, press both buttons. You’ll then be asked to confirm certain words of your recover phrase, to help ensure you didn’t miss any words. After successfully answering the confirmations, you’re device will have been set up.
This next part may get a bit confusing, but it should all make sense once you’ve finished reading this section.
It’s now time to install ledger apps. As their website says, “The Ledger Apps are free official application interfaces between your Ledger devices and the Bitcoin & Ethereum decentralized networks”. While the physical device securely stores your private keys, it works with apps on your PC to actually interact with the cryptocurrencies’ blockchains.
More specifically, you’ll be installing Google Chrome Applications made by Ledger. While ledger offers its own wallet apps for most of the cryptocurrencies it supports, the Nano S has also been integrated into a number of 3rd party wallets.
- Ledger offers its own Google Chrome Wallet Apps for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin Gold, Dogecoin, Zcash, Ripple, Dash, Stratis, Komodo, Vertcoin, Viacoin, Stealthcoin, Hcash, Digibyte, Qtum, and PivX
- Ledger can be integrated with MyEtherWallet for Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, & Expanse
- Ledger can be integrated with the Ark Desktop Wallet.
- Ledger can be integrated with the Pyrus Ubiq Wallet.
- Ledger can be integrated with the NEO Wallet.
- Ledger can be integrated with the Stellar Account Viewer Wallet.
If you’re just wanting to use the Ledger Nano S to store Bitcoin, Ethereum, and/or Ripple, install their respective apps:
The “Ledger Manager” app can be used to install specific wallet applications for each supported coin.
The “Ledger Wallet Bitcoin & Altcoins” app can then be used to access all wallets, except Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Ripple, Ark, Ubiq, Neo, and Stellar.
As an example, let’s look at the process for setting up a Litcoin (LTC) wallet.
1) Plug your Ledger Nano S into your computer and enter your PIN code.
2) Open the “Ledger Manager” app.
3) Click the green download icon.
4) Close the “Ledger Manager” app.
5) Open the “Ledger Wallet Bitcoin & Altcoins” app.
6) Choose the Litecoin app on Your Ledger Nano S
7) You will now have full access to your Litecoin wallet. Here you can send and receive Litecoin.
To access this Litecoin wallet in the future, you’ll only need to follow steps 5-7, as the app will have already been installed.
The above steps can be repeated for setting up other cryptocurrency wallets.
If you just want to use the Ledger Nano S for Bitcoin, simply install the “Ledger Wallet Bitcoin & Altcoins” app and follow steps 5-7. You do not need the “Ledger Manager” app.
In case it wasn’t clear throughout this review, we’re huge fans of the Ledger Nano S.
As a well trusted hardware wallet, it leads the industry in securely storing cryptocurrencies. When compared to its main competitors, Trezor and KeepKey, the Nano S offers huge advantages. It supports far more cryptocurrencies than both competitors, while also being the cheapest among them.
If you’re looking to get serious about keeping your coins safe, we strongly recommend using the Ledger Nano S.
Ledger Nano S Review
- Supported Cryptocurrencies
- Ease of Use