Ledger Nano S Review – Is The Most Popular Really The Best?
Before we get started with the ledger nano s review, let us briefly understand the rise of cryptocurrencies. They are everywhere and seem pretty unstoppable at this time. The Bitcoin debuted way back in 2009, but it experienced real recognition around the last couple of years when its value literally skyrocketed.
Such phenomenal success faced by the Bitcoin immediately jump-started the market that is cryptocurrencies and gave them a firm place in the financial sector, with millions of people around the world now actively putting their money at stake for them, and even getting fantastic returns most of the times.
Now if you are interested in investing your money too, fortunately, it isn’t all that hard. Cryptocurrencies have now effectively managed to reach almost all countries and with the advent of so many great trading and exchange platforms, it is actually no more difficult to buy crypto coins than it is to buy your common groceries. All you need to do is log on to one of these websites, create an account if necessary, choose your mode of payment and buy away to your heart’s content.
The other option you have is slightly more complicated and may require you to take some major decisions depending on whether you are comfortable with them or not. The option we are talking about is that of mining for cryptocurrencies yourself. These days, you will easily find a variety of mining rigs available in the market which will easily get the job done.
All you need to do is purchase one of these, along with a decent power supply strong enough to power the rig, get them all home and set them up in a place where you feel it won’t cause much of a problem for the other inhabitants of the house and you are set. However, proceed with this method only if you are ready to brave the power costs that come associated with it, since mining rigs tend to consume a lot of electrical power, thereby obviously having an adverse effect on your electricity and power bills.
What is a Hardware Wallet?
We all know that cryptocurrencies are virtual currencies that are stored in unique addresses. A cryptocurrency wallet, stores these addresses so that you can access your funds whenever you need them.
A hardware wallet is just like any other cryptocurrency wallet, it stores the address where your funds reside. However, unlike a normal cryptocurrency wallet which is extremely vulnerable to thefts, a hardware wallet is a safe haven for your funds.
In order to use the funds in your wallet, you will require the private key of that particular wallet. On a normal software wallet or a paper wallet, you have access to this private key. The only disadvantage of this is, if anyone gets hold of your private key, they can transfer the funds as and when they feel like.
On a hardware wallet, no one has access to the private keys. These keys are stored behind a wallet of security protocol that is impossible to break. Whenever you want to use your funds, you would have to connect the device using an external software and enter a pin on the device to confirm your transaction.
The transaction gets signed with your private key and it broadcasted. During this whole process, your private keys don’t even leave your hardware wallet. Thus, your funds are safe even if you end up using the wallet on an already compromised system.
But regardless of the type you are looking for, the reality is that you will find a wide range of such wallets available in the market, and frankly, it actually gets a whole lot confusing to decide upon one which correctly fits all your needs and is efficient enough to solve all of your cryptocurrency holding problems.
Since there are so many things to look into and consider before making the purchase, it comes as no surprise if a person wishes for a bit of help on the subject, and we are here to provide that help. This article introduces you to one of the most premier players in the world of cryptocurrency wallets, the Ledger Nano S, which is the latest model in a series of wallets launched by the company, Ledger Nano, which markets itself as a wallet company and was founded back in 2014 in France.
The Ledger Nano S is a hardware wallet, meaning that it gives you the flexibility of offline storage and combines that with the prospect of storing your private keys inside an external storage hardware. This external hardware can later be connected to your desktop or laptop computer through a simple USB cable, meaning it isn’t going to be much of a hassle to access or view your coins.
The hardware wallet industry for cryptocurrencies is currently shinier than ever before. People are actively putting their money in such products and public satisfaction is at an all-time high. Whether you attribute this to the success of the Bitcoin or simply a shift in public opinion, the one fact that can’t be denied is that the sector is booming like never before and will continue to do so for a great many years in the future.
All of this obviously brings about a great positive shift in the quality of devices being manufactured. The expectations of the public are rising, and with it, we are bound to experience rapid improvements in the devices themselves. The Ledger Nano S is simply another great wallet built on the same model. It is safe, secure and fast, plus it supports a good range of currencies as well. Bitcoin and Ethereum are simply two of the currencies it deals in, among the many others.
Now the main selling points behind the Ledger Nano S, which have made it achieve the level of success it currently enjoys, are a robust approach towards security and the flexibility of usage. What we mean by the latter is that apart from using the Nano S as a means to store your crypto coins, you can also easily use it to make payments, at various online and offline services which accept cryptocurrencies as payment.
Apart from the aforementioned, some other highly distinguished features happen to be its user-friendliness, easy payments option, effective security protocols and more.
As far as competition is concerned, the Ledger Nano S enjoys almost a single-handed dominion on the cryptocurrency wallet market, or it would have, if not for the TREZOR hardware wallet. Nano S along with TREZOR makes up most of the sales for cryptocurrency wallets, leaving little room for anything else. Although TREZOR has been on the market much longer than the Ledger Nano S, and therefore, should have overtaken the Nano S due to the sheer experience it carries, an intuitive marketing strategy by Ledger coupled with the great features of the wallet have made sure that the competition always remains neck-to-neck.
Whenever a new product comes out on the market, the most accurate response to whether or not the product is worth buying comes from the first buyers themselves. They are ones who are best able to tell whether the product performs as per expectations and whether there are any drawbacks or faults in the design to watch out for.
For the same reason, we went ahead and did a little customer research for you. Here, we present to you what the customers who are already using the device have to say about the Ledger Nano S, and whether or not they would recommend it to someone else. We compiled all of these reviews and prepared a little gist of it, the good and the bad parts, for your consideration.
The Ledger Nano S shines bright like a diamond when it comes to public reviews and opinions. Almost all of the users who purchase the unit have only to sing praises and deem its services beyond perfect. Now the Nano S is a hardware wallet. Hardware wallets are those which can be carried around like a purse and can be connected to your computer at any time using only a simple USB cable.
Since they tend to predominantly remain disconnected from the internet, they are obviously more secure when it comes to online fraud or theft attempts. This is precisely the reason why users tend to store a good portion of their coins in hardware wallets while software wallets tend to carry small amounts. As per some of the users currently in possession of a Ledger Nano S, the device helps them sleep well at night knowing fully well that their coins remain secure inside the confines of the Nano S.
Almost all the users who have ever used a Ledger Nano S are devoid of any complaints about the device, and consider it one of the smoothest working wallets to have ever hit the market.
If there is one complaint, however, that has been heard from a good number of users, it is with regards to the low storage space on the device. For cryptocurrency enthusiasts who tend to store more than one type of cryptocurrency on their wallets, the Ledger Nano S might not be the best choice since the low storage space might not prove suitable for multiple currencies.
The way this works is actually quite easy to understand. Whenever you decide to go ahead and store a new cryptocurrency on the Nano S, you need to download an app that is specific to that particular token. Without the app pertaining to the exact token you wish to store, you can’t proceed any further. However, the way the device is built you can’t possibly install more than three of these apps at a time.
This means that in order to add the fourth currency to your wallet, you will have to uninstall one of the pre-existing apps before you can proceed with the addition of the new currency. Now while this might seem like a complicated task, it is actually pretty simple and is just like installing or uninstalling apps from your smartphone. It can be further simplified if you happen to have access to a computer.
As explained earlier, the Ledger Nano S is as popular as it is because of the user-friendliness it carries. The in-app experience has been designed to be extremely fluid for the average user and the overall setup is quite similar to what most of the wallets on the market today have to offer. Upon starting up for the first time, the device asks the user to set up a password to protect your data. Later on in the process, a 24-word seed is provided which aids the user in the creation of private keys.
With the initial setup taking up as little as three minutes, the Ledger Nano S leaves no stone unturned to keep user satisfaction at the maximum. Depending on the digital currency you are going to deal in, you will need to install the applications necessary for operation upon the completion of the setup. As far as these apps are concerned, they simply act as transmitters or receivers but play absolutely no role in the actual storage of the coins.
If you already have an existing Bitcoin wallet up and running, you don’t need to worry for you won’t need to delete that in order to use the Nano S. You can, in fact, incorporate any existing online wallets with the device. Some of the supported wallets include MyCelium, Electrum, Copay, Bitgo, and MyEtherWallet.
For any person who’s even remotely familiar with how cryptocurrencies work, the Ledger Nano S will feel like a walk in the park. Even for a complete novice, the setup and operations are pretty easy to pick and master in a few days. As for the hardware wallet, there are only two buttons on it, and thus there is absolutely no margin for operating hiccups or errors.
As detailed earlier, if you need to keep your cryptocurrencies secure, then hardware wallets are the way to go. We are not saying that it is entirely impossible for hardware wallets to be compromised, but even if an issue does manage to crop up, there is a pretty high chance it will be user-centric and not due to actual device specifications.
While there’s no general hard and fast rule which can guarantee your safety from external attacks, but there are a few pointers you must know which will allow you to exercise all the caution you might need. Firstly, you must positively note down your security seed on a piece of paper rather than on a computer system.
This is because computer systems always carry the risk of being infected and a data leak taking place. Secondly, you must make sure that whenever you attach your wallet to a system, the system is fully devoid of any malware or security issues, for a virus might easily travel from a system to your wallet through the cable.
But rest assured, for if you have or are planning to purchase the Ledger Nano S, then once disconnected from the system, this hardware wallet will be next to impossible to track or locate.
The Ledger Nano S might be the cheapest hardware wallet out there right now, but there have been no compromises in terms of the looks of the device. One of the problems with cheap devices is that you might have to compromise on a few features or the build quality. The Ledger Nano S has busted the myth with an impressive design and build quality.
The device is sleek yet very sturdy and can easily fit inside your pocket. The device sports a small OLED screen, a few buttons on the side and a metallic case that encloses the entire device.
You get the device as well as a micro USB to USB cable and a keychain holder. The device in no way feels clumsy in your hand. In fact, the build quality is so good that the device is capable of absorbing a few accidental drops without any problem.
With the presence of a screen, you can easily verify any transaction that you send out before it gets broadcasted. Thus, enhancing the security of the device. All-in-all, the Ledger Nano S is the best hardware wallet money can buy you right now.
Accessibility is another parameter upon which wallets are often ranked. The world is moving at a pretty fast pace. We no longer have time on our hands, anything and everything that needs to be done must be done swiftly. Now since our daily lives don’t permit us to sit at one place for long, it becomes a pretty critical necessity for us to shape our gadgets in a way that they allow us to carry out our activities on the go. Cryptocurrencies as a technology have evolved from this very need; they are designed to make our lives easier and to shape our lives for an easier tomorrow.
Deemed as the currency of the future, this neat little innovation in the financial sector has already simplified a great many of our day to day activities. But for cryptocurrencies to reach their full potential, we need to let go of the limitations of time and space, which is why the Ledger Nano S comes with a design that is equipped to provide the best service anywhere and anytime.
In order to access your coins with the Ledger Nano S, you need to have control of a computer system, since the wallet will need to be connected to one. Once you plug the wallet in with a high-speed USB cable, you need to launch the application software which will then redirect you to your desired information. Now this entire process remains highly simplified and convenient if you are at home. However, it becomes difficult for people who are always on the move since they won’t always have access to a computer.
However, the Ledger Nano S has always marketed itself as a hardware wallet, and hardware wallets by definition aren’t designed for convenience as much as they are designed for long-term storage. For short-term storages where you can easily access your coins on the go and even use them for day-to-day transactions, you might want to software wallets or desktop wallets which are designed specifically to provide services for people on the move, sometimes even at the cost of your security.
But even among the great legion of hardware wallets available in the market today, the Ledger Nano S remains at the top of the line when it comes to accessibility. The coins can be easily deposited, retrieved or checked, the interface is pretty simple to understand and operate and the display screen works just the way it should in displaying all relevant information.
The only thing that works against it in this regard is the fact that you might have to continuously keep installing and uninstalling apps for various currencies depending on which ones you need to access at the moment.
What to Look for When buying Hardware Wallets?
Hardware wallet is the most secure place to store all your cryptocurrency. Especially in a world of increasing cybersecurity risks, keeping your funds safe is extremely important. However, we are in an era where there are so many different hardware wallet, each with their own unique feature. Hence, deciding on which to buy might be a major dilemma for many. Here are some of the features to look out for while buying a hardware wallet.
1- The Supported Cryptocurrencies
Hardware wallets are usually multi-currency wallets. However, with over a thousand cryptocurrencies out there, none of the hardware wallets support all the cryptocurrencies. So the first thing that you want to do is, make sure that the hardware wallet that you intend to buy supports the cryptocurrencies that you use very often.
Additionally, make sure that this wallet also supports a few other cryptocurrencies that you might be interested to buy in the future. Currently, the Ledger Nano S supports the most number of cryptocurrencies.
2- Device price
Unlike software wallets, hardware wallets are not come free of cost. Each hardware wallet comes at a specific price based on the features that they offer. Make sure that the price you pay for a hardware wallet does not exceed the total cryptocurrency that you intend to store on these wallets.
Ideally, people prefer to spend only 10% of the value of the crypto holding on a hardware wallet. Additionally, compare the features offered by several hardware wallets and only after weighing all the pros and cons, buy a particular device.
3- On device display
Having a small display on the hardware wallet adds an extra layer of security for your funds. You can verify the amount of crypto that you want to transfer and the address that you would want to transfer it to before actually broadcasting the transaction.
While having a display is very useful, not all hardware wallets have displays. Cheaper hardware wallets are as simple as a USB drive. Try to avoid such devices as the security features on these devices are not very good.
4- The development team
This is another important aspect of any hardware wallet. The development team of a particular wallet plays a vital role in shaping a great product. Not only are they responsible for adding support for new cryptocurrencies, but also fixing the bugs that inevitably pop up from time to time.
Make sure that the hardware wallet that you ultimately decide to go with has a very active and enthusiastic development team to back it up. Even if a hardware wallet does not support many cryptocurrencies, with a solid dev team, you can be ensured that more cryptocurrencies will be added in the near future.
5- Build quality
When you buy a hardware wallet, you would obviously want it to last a lifetime. However, like all electronic instruments, even these small devices cannot last for such long time. However, by choosing a hardware wallet that is rugged, you can ensure that your device can easily take a bump or two along the way.
A device that is sturdy will certainly give you longer life than the ones that are not build properly. Ledger Nano S is a small but extremely rugged device as opposed to its competitor, Trezor that feels very plasticky.
6- Setting up the device
Whenever you buy a new device, you would want the initial set-up process to be seamless and easy. The same applies to even hardware wallets. Most hardware wallets are very easy to set-up and start using.
However, a few newer wallets requires you to follow certain procedure that is a little more complex. Try to choose the wallet that has a easy setup procedure. Thereby, you won’t have to waste much time understanding the working of the device.
7- Customer reviews
This is a must do before you buy any product in the world. If you are buying something for the very first time, then you obviously have no clue about what you are actually going to get. Luckily, the internet is here to help you out with this.
You can easily search and find the reviews of various hardware wallets, online. By reading the reviews posted by other users, you can be sure of what to expect for a particular hardware wallet. This will surely help you filter out all the unwanted hardware wallet. Thus, making it easy for you to choose from the few good wallets.
The Need for Wallets
But once you are past all of that and have decided on a good enough channel to buy cryptocurrencies which aptly fits your needs, the next thing you need to worry about is where you are going to store the coins you buy, and for that, you need to look for a wallet.
Wallets or e-wallets are storage mediums which let you store or hold different types of currencies. While they started out with providing services for real-world currencies, with the huge following that cryptocurrencies have come to be associated with, the developers soon felt the need for e-wallets built exclusively for cryptocurrencies.
Wallets: Need to Know
And so today, we have managed to conceptualize and build a number of wallets which can be used to store Bitcoins, Litecoins, Dash and a lot more, with each of them having a good range of features you can tinker with. But before you actually step out to buy one, we are pretty sure it would serve you good if you a gather a bit of background information.
For example, did you know there are two distinct categories of cryptocurrency wallets, namely hot wallets, and cold wallets? And no, the names have nothing to do with the actual temperatures of the wallets but are in fact an indication of whether or not the concerned wallet is connected to the internet.
Cold wallets are those which are predominantly disconnected from the web and therefore are much safer in comparison to hot wallets. Being disconnected might seem like a bad thing at first, but actually, it really is not. It gives such wallets the hidden advantage of being totally safe from all kinds of virus attacks or security-related issues since most of them tend to originate from the web.
Hot wallets, on the other hand, are almost always connected to the Internet, which means they can be much easily used to carry out transactions or trades, as compared to the disconnected cold wallets. Generally, it has been seen that cryptocurrency buyers and sellers tend to have both kinds of wallets in possession. While cold wallets are used for storing the vast majority of their cryptocurrency possessions, hot wallets tend to hold small amounts and are preferred for short-term safekeeping purposes.
The Ledger Nano S is a wonderful device. It is full of intuitive features and is rich enough to satisfy the most hardcore cryptocurrency enthusiasts while also remaining simple enough to be operated easily by novices in the field. That is a balance that a lot of other competing cryptocurrency wallets out there in the market fail to maintain. With its clean and clear user interface, easy coin accessibility and strong security protocols, it is no surprise that the Ledger Nano S is the market leader in the world for cryptocurrency wallets right now.