The Ledger Nano S is one of the most popular hardware wallets. Over 1.5 million units have been sold.
Should you buy one?Short answer: almost certainly, although we prefer the Ledger Nano X. The Nano X has more storage space, meaning you can deal with more cryptocurrencies easily.
What Is It?
It’s a digital safe.
It looks like this:
The Ledger Nano S is a security device used to store your private keys. It plugs into your PC or Mac via a cable is used in conjunction with Ledger Live, a software wallet. It is used to safely store your private keys offline, away from the internet.
If you’re controlling your own crypto, you should use one to help prevent loss.
How Is It Used?
Before you can send crypto from your wallet, you attach the Ledger S to your computer via cable, enter a PIN number and authorise the transaction.
Even if someone else gains access to your computer, they can’t send crypto out of your wallet as they are unlikely to have access to the Ledger S. Even if they did, they would still need to correctly guess the PIN code.
Store the Ledger in a secret location, away from your computer.
Is It Difficult To Use?
It’s pretty straightforward.
Follow the onscreen prompts. I found Ledger support to be very responsive, so if you need help, it’s there. You can also follow the Ledger user group on Reddit.
Here’s a step through of what happens when you send crypto:
Select application. In this case, Bitcoin:
Enter the address you want to send the Bitcoin to in Ledger Live on your Mac or PC:
Approve the transaction on the Ledger:
What happens if I lose the Ledger X?
You can buy another one.
When you set up the Ledger, it will create a seed list. The seed list is a long list of words used to generate a unique private key. You write these words down and keep them in a safe place. If anything should happen to your Ledger device, you can get another one, re-enter the seed list, and gain access to your crypto. Some people buy multiple devices and use the same seed list with each, thus creating back-up devices.
If you couldn’t get hold of another Ledger, you could use another hardware device that is BIP39 compatible.
How much does it cost?
Around $80 US.
You should buy one direct from Ledger . Avoid buying one from a third-party whom you don’t trust.
Do I need one?
You don’t need one.
You could store your crypto on a third-party exchange, like Coinbase. You could use a paper wallet, which means writing down your crypto address along with keys on paper. You could just use a software wallet on your computer without using the Ledger device. You could just remember all the information!
However, a Ledger provides an elegant, easy to use security solution.
Are there competitors?
The closest competitor is the Treznor.