If you are a veteran crypto enthusiast you already know the importance of having a secure crypto wallet. However, beginners tend to underestimate how essential a reliable crypto wallet can be. This is why Hardware wallets are usually used by experienced traders, which is understandable.
However, using a hardware crypto wallet is now easier than ever. Not only this but they have become easily accessible in terms of price too! When it comes to crypto hardware wallets for beginners, the Ledger Nano S is one of the most popular options.
In this Ledger Nano S review we will be talking about everything that makes the Ledger Nano S great… and not so great. Don’t get us wrong, the wallet is great! But like everything in crypto, it might not be the best choice for everyone.
If you are considering moving away from your software wallet, you came to the right place. In this Ledger Nano S review we will be taking a look at the following aspects of this wallet:
- What is the Ledger Nano S?
- Who manufactures the Ledger Nano S?
- What are the Ledger Nano S’s technical specifications?
- How does the Ledger Nano S work?
- What cryptocurrencies does the Ledger Nano S support?
- Does the Ledger Nano S charge fees?
- Does the Ledger Nano S offer good customer service?
- What features does the Ledger Nano S offer?
- Is the Ledger Nano S Secure?
We believe you will be able to make an informed decision with this information. After all, trying a new software wallet is as easy as installing it… But a hardware wallet has to be paid upfront, which makes researching beforehand essential.
What Is the Ledger Nano S?
Let’s get started with this Ledger Nano S review by talking about what this device is. The Ledger Nano S is one of the most popular hardware wallets in the crypto world. The device provides a safe place to store your crypto to ensure no third party can access it.
If you are not familiar with what a hardware wallet is, we recommend checking our Ultimate Crypto Learning Resource. However, here is a small refresher if you already did:
A hardware wallet is a device that is not connected to the internet and stores your private keys in an internal chip. This ensures your crypto can’t be accessed without having the device, providing an extra layer of security.
While widely considered not as convenient as software wallets, hardware wallets are still easy to take with you on the go. The Ledger Nano S is a device the size of a pen drive, which means it fits in your pocket if needed.
The wallet supports multiple cryptocurrencies, comes in different colors, integrates with multiple platforms, is highly compatible with different OSs, and is easy to use. These characteristics make it one of the most versatile hardware wallets, offering an easy transition to new users.
Who Manufactures the Ledger Nano S?
Another big aspect of the Ledger Nano S is the company that makes it: Ledger. The company was founded back in 2014 by a team of experts in the crypto and cybersecurity industries. The mission of the company was to create secure storage solutions for the upcoming revolution cryptocurrency would bring.
Since then, Ledger has remained one of the leading manufacturers of hardware crypto wallets. This advantage is the result of its use of the latest technology when it comes to hardware and software features, as well as its proprietary OS. In addition to this, the company has a bug bounty program that further adds to the security of its products.
Ledger has now grown to have more than 300 employees in offices around the world (Paris, Vierzon, New York, Zurich, and Singapore). It has also sold more than 3 million ledger wallets to users in more than 200 countries, which is quite an achievement.
The company also puts a lot of effort into educating crypto enthusiasts. They offer a great learning platform with multiple resources on crypto and blockchain. Known as Ledger Academy, this platform ensures you get all the information you need when investing in crypto and using their products.
When looking at Ledgers products, customer service, history, and resources, it is easy to see why it has grown so much. We believe the company’s reputation is well deserved, which in turn translates to its products.
What are the Ledger Nano S’s Technical Specifications?
Let’s get back to the topic, this is a Ledger Nano S review, after all. The Ledger Nano S might be small and the first product designed by Ledger. However, this doesn’t mean it lacks power or it has fallen obsolete as its technical specifications still make it a competitive product.
Dimensions & weight
- Unit Size: 56.95mm x 17.4mm x 9.1mm
When it comes to its size, the Ledger Nano S is as small and convenient as it gets. With a weight to match, you are unlikely to even notice if you are carrying it with you… Which means you should make sure to keep it safe.
This small size and weight combines perfectly with the fact that you can use the Ledger Nano S with your phone. Something we will talk more about later on.
Microcontrollers & connector
- Connector USB Type Micro-B
- Certification level CC EAL5+
- Chips ST31H320 (secure) + STM32F042
The Ledger Nano S uses the most advanced technology to ensure the safety of your crypto. This is reflected by its CC EAL5+ certification level, which means it has been tested and designed using semi/formal methods that have been verified.
Unfortunately, the Ledger Nano S’s use of a USB-type Micro-B port didn’t survive the stand of time. With USB type-c becoming increasingly popular, this is something that could be better when it comes to the Ledger Nanos.
However, this isn’t a deal-breaker with the existence of adapters and with type-B still widely being used.
- Brushed stainless steel and plastic.
- No battery is required.
The Ledger Nano S uses good materials to ensure the durability of the devices. It is also worth noting that your device can be customized to 1 one of the 6 colors available.
As the device needs to be connected to operate it, it doesn’t have an internal battery. However, it is pretty easy to connect to any USB outlet if needed, which means its portability is not compromised.
- 64-bits desktop computer (Windows 8.1+, macOS 10.14+, Linux) excluding ARM Processors.
- Also compatible with Android 7+ smartphones. You will need an OTG kit to connect your Nano S to your desktop or smartphone.
- The device is not suitable for mining.
The Ledger Nano S is highly compatible with most modern devices.
Not only will you be able to use it with any major Operating System on your computer, but also with Android devices. As we mentioned before, this will be the most useful feature if you need to check or interact with your crypto while on the move.
- 1 hardware wallet
- 1 USB cable
- Welcome envelope
When you buy the Ledger Nano S, you will receive the device and a USB cable… That’s it. If you need any other add-in or tool, it will need to be bought independently.
How Does Ledger Nano S Wallet Work?
Like with other hardware wallets, your private keys are stored on a tamper-resistant chip when using the Ledger Nano S.
This chip is known as a secure element chip and has been specifically designed for this device. When combined with the use of a proprietary operating system, the security of your keys is exponentially enhanced. This means no third-party software can access your keys, even when connected.
Let’s talk about the setup process for the Ledger Nano and how you would actually use it. First, you will need to connect your Ledger Nano S to your computer or phone using the USB cable. You will then see some options on the screen, which you can navigate through using the buttons on top of the screen.
When you turn on your ledger wallet for the first time, you will be required to choose a pin code. This will be your key to use the wallet, so make sure it is secure and you remember it. Something you want to keep in mind is that if you or someone fails to input the PIN code a certain number of times… all data will be self-destroyed.
This will ensure the security of your crypto.
The device will then generate a passphrase which will be used to recover your wallet if you lose your Ledger Nano S for some reason. Make sure to store it safely as whoever owns it will own your wallet and crypto. You will be required to confirm the recovery phrase, a process that can be bothersome but will ensure everything goes smoothly.
Congratulations! You have now successfully set up your Ledger Nano S…. Well, kinda.
To use it, you will need to install the applications of your choice on the device. Without these apps, you can’t store cryptocurrencies. Each network will have its own app, so you will need to know which cryptocurrencies you are interested in storing. If you don’t, don’t worry, you can always install and uninstall applications in the future.
You will now be able to receive crypto in your wallet, even if your wallet is not connected. Remember that a hardware wallet (or any other type of wallet) stores your private keys, not the crypto itself.
That being said, when sending your crypto to another wallet or contract, you will need to use the Ledger Live App. This app will also be used to initialize your device after confirming the passphrase, as well as to install the apps.
When you install the ledger Live App on your phone or computer and have connected the device, you will need to set a new password for the App itself. Now, you can use the app to install apps in your ledger, as well as to transfer crypto!
You can think of the Ledger Live App as a crypto software wallet that will only operate when your Ledger Nano S is connected. Your Ledger Nano S is the key required to operate with your cryptocurrency. This means even if someone hacks your Ledger Live App’s password, they can’t steal your crypto.
The app effectively operates as a cryptocurrency wallet that requires your Ledger wallet to work. Just think of your Ledger wallet as a key you need to insert to authorize transactions. Is as easy as that!
What Other Features Does Ledger Nano S Wallet Have?
Let’s talk about the features the Ledger Nano S has to offer in addition to ensuring your cryptocurrency’s safety.
As we said in the previous section, the Ledger Nano S will allow you to install different apps. While most of them will allow you to interact with a network or determined currency, some can also be more advanced.
This means that you have access to a portfolio of services that will provide you with the ability to trade, borrow or lend, manage NFTs, stake, swap crypto, access DeFi services, and more. Let’s take a look at the services Ledger Nano S supports at this time and the features they offer.
- 1inch: DeFi and exchange services
- Aave: DeFi services including crypto borrowing and lending
- Changelly: Crypto exchange
- Coinify: Buying and selling of crypto
- Compound Protocol: DeFi services including crypto borrowing and lending.
- DeversiFi: DeFi and exchange services
- Lido: Staking and DeFi tools
- Paraswap: DeFi and exchange services
- Rainbow.me: Managing crypto, NFT visualization, DeFi services
- Wyre: Buying crypto
- Zerion: DeFi as well as buying, selling, and managing crypto
You need to keep in mind that the Ledger Nano S will support up to 6 apps installed on the device. How many you can install will depend on the app’s size. This should be more than enough for most crypto investors but if you are an advanced user, you might need something more powerful such as the Ledger Nano X.
In addition to all of these services, there are other native features that will provide you with increased value when using a Ledger Nanos S. One of our favorites is its FIDO U2F capabilities, which allow you to use it to access multiple accounts with a single security key… As long as the platform supports it
What Cryptocurrencies Does Ledger Nano S Wallet Support?
The Ledger Nano S supports more than 1800 cryptocurrencies, which is more than most crypto software wallets! This means that no matter which cryptocurrency you want to store, it is likely to be supported by the wallet.
The list of cryptocurrencies supported by the Ledger Nano S is too big for us to provide you with it here. However, you can go and check it here if needed.
Top 50 Supported Coins
That being said, this is a list of the 50 most popular currencies supported by the Ledger Nano S:
|Bitcoin (BTC)||Ethereum (ETH)||XRP | Ripple (XRP)|
|USD Tether (ERC20) (USDT)||Bitcoin Cash (BCH)||Polkadot (DOT)|
|Litecoin (LTC)||Binance Coin (BEP20) (BNB)||EOS (EOS)|
|Tezos (XTZ)||Stellar (XLM)||LINK Chainlink (LINK)|
|Compound (COMP)||Cardano (ADA)||Tron (TRX)|
|Leo Token (LEO)||Monero (XMR)||HuobiToken (HT)|
|Ethereum Classic (ETC)||Dash (DASH)||Zcash (ZEC)|
|MakerDAO (MKR)||Dogecoin (DOGE)||Algorand (ALGO)|
|FTX Token (FTT)||BAT (BAT)||Curve DOA Token (CRV)|
|Paxos Standard (PAX) (PAX)||Digibyte (DGB)||Uniswap (UNI)|
|Binance USD (ERC20) (BUSD)||Bitcoin Gold (BTG)||Decred (DCR)|
|Qtum (QTUM)||Quant (QNT)||Synthetix Network Token (SNX)|
|TrueUSD (TUSD)||Kyber Network (KNC)||Augur (REP)|
|Dai Stablecoin (DAI)||Digix DAO (DGD)||Bytom (BTM)|
|BitTorrent (TRC10) (BTT)||Yearn Finance (YFI)||Komodo (KMD)|
|NEXO (NEXO)||Aave (ERC20) (LEND)||Horizen (ZEN)|
|Golem (GNT)||ChiliZ (CHZ)|
As you can see, all of the major cryptocurrencies are supported by the Ledger Nano S. You also should keep in mind that any ERC-20 and BEP-20 compliant tokens are supported!
Ok, here comes the caveat. While all of the more than 1800 cryptocurrencies can be stored and sent/received using the Ledger Nano S, there are limitations for some in terms of buying, swapping, and staking.
While the buying and selling aspects of the coin will also depend on the currency itself more than on the wallet. For example, XRP can be swapped, stored, sent, and received but not staked or bought using your wallet…
Cardano on the other hand can be sent, received, stored, and staked but not bought or swapped.
Coins You Can Buy
When it comes to buying Crypto, the options of supported currencies are limited to 30.
These are the coins you can buy using this feature:
|Bitcoin (BTC)||Ethereum (ETH)||USD Tether (ERC20) (USDT)|
|Bitcoin Cash (BCH)||Polkadot (DOT)||Litecoin (LTC)|
|Stellar (XLM)||LINK Chainlink (LINK)||Compound (COMP)|
|USD Coin (USDC)||MakerDAO (MKR)||Dogecoin (DOGE)|
|BAT (BAT)||Curve DOA Token (CRV)||Paxos Standard (PAX) (PAX)|
|Uniswap (UNI)||Binance USD (BEP2) (BUSD)||Synthetix Network Token (SNX)|
|Dai Stablecoin (DAI)||Yearn Finance (YFI)||Aave (ERC20) (LEND)|
|Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC)||UMA (UMA)||StableUSD (USDS)|
|WETH (WETH)||Celsius (CEL)|
Some of these currencies will also have native wallet support, which means they can be integrated with them. For example, Cardano (ACA) has support for Yoroi Wallet and ADALite while Bitcoin supports Ledger Live and Electrum.
These are the apps you can install in the wallet to interact with a specific currency.
As we said, you can check for specific currencies in Ledger’s official article. The website will allow you to look for a specific currency or feature, which is a great way to find what you are looking for.
One last thing… While this might sound obvious to some, it isn’t the case for everyone. The Ledger Nano S doesn’t store cryptocurrency. While some exchanges and wallets allow you to have a balance in fiat currencies, that is not the same concept as storing. Make sure to always keep that in mind!
Does Ledger Nano S Wallet Charge Fees?
The Ledger Nano S itself won’t charge you any fees for using it. Once you buy it, you will not need to pay for a monthly subscription or additional charges when using it. However, you will need to pay network fees when transacting with crypto, which is the case for all wallets and crypto services.
Many new users will complain about fees when using their Ledger Nano S for the first time. It is important to understand that these network fees are not charged by Ledger but the network itself.
If you are charged $10 worth of ETH, the Ethereum network will be the one to receive that ETH. That being said, Ledger will allow you to choose custom fees if the network supports it, letting you decide the priority of your transaction.
Now, the Ledger Nano S has support for the purchase of cryptocurrencies using the Ledger Live app. However, this service is powered by partners like Coinify and Wyre instead of Ledger itself. In such cases, the fee will depend entirely on the partner that is providing the service.
Sadly, we must say that in most cases it will be worth buying your crypto using other services. The fees charged by Ledger’s partners are usually pretty high when compared to other platforms.
Does Ledger Nano S Offer Good Customer Support?
In addition to Ledger Academy and all the educational resources Ledger offers, it also has a lot of support articles to make the best out of your Ledger Nano S. This includes videos and articles, as well as a big community that is always ready to give a hand.
However, it is possible you might find yourself in need of further assistance (which hasn’t been our case so far). In such instances where the documentation is not enough, no matter if your issue is technical or logistical in nature, you can get in touch with Ledger using social media or their ticket system.
Ledger has been known for its good customer service as they have a skilled support staff that can help with most issues without much problem.
However, the support provided via social media and tickets can be considered slow by some users as it can take about 24 hours depending on the demand. While this is not abnormal for most big cryptocurrency companies, it can be disheartening for some.
While you might see a “Chat” option when looking at Ledger’s support page, this is actually not a live chat with an agent. Ledger is currently using a chatbot that might be able to help you through some issues… If not possible, it will create a ticket for you.
Overall, Ledger’s customer support is pretty good for a space with so much demand. As we said, you are not likely to need it. However, it is good to know they got your back!
Is Ledger Nano S Wallet Secure?
The Ledger Nano S remains one of the most secure ways to store cryptocurrency despite being in the market for a while. There have not been reported cases of it ever being hacked, which is quite an achievement for such a popular product.
While it is easy to attribute this to its physical nature, the truth is that there is so much to it. We already mentioned in this Ledger Nano S review that the device uses a proprietary Operating System and chip. Well, there is more to it.
What If Someone Steals Your Ledger Nano S?
The Ledger Nano S is capable of holding the keys to multiple wallets.
This is convenient not only for you to better manage your portfolio but also for security reasons. Many users are worried about having their crypto stolen in person, with the thief demanding them to provide them with the PIN.
For this reason, many opt to create a decoy wallet using a different PIN, if someone were to find that PIN or demand it from you, they would only have access to the decoy.
Remember we also mentioned the self-destroy feature?
Well, we need to clarify that this means your private keys will be removed from the device. If someone fails to use the correct PIN multiple 3 times, the device will reset to factory settings.
Your crypto will still be stored in the address, which means you can regain access using your 24-seed phrase. Do you see now why we said you should keep it safe?
Is Ledger’s Firmware Open Source?
Unlike companies like Trezor, Ledger’s firmware is not open-source. This can be considered a good or bad security practice depending on who you ask. On one hand, it means that bad actors won’t be able to find vulnerabilities in it… But neither will be those interested in reporting them to Ledger.
This is especially surprising when considering that Ledger has a bounty program that rewards bug hunters. This program is not only for those reporting vulnerabilities on the device but also on Ledger’s website and for information on Phishing attempts! As you can see, the company takes security pretty seriously.
As you probably already concluded from this Ledger Nano S review, this is a pretty secure device that is sure to meet most users’ needs. This is the main reason why the Ledger Nano S is one of the most popular hardware wallets out there. It is extremely secure but still perfect for beginners, while also offering a lot of flexibility in terms of services.
Unfortunately, its lack of battery and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as limited memory makes it impractical for advanced users. The use of USB Type-B connectors is something that we don’t like either, despite not being a huge problem.
That being said, these limitations are more than acceptable when considering all the Ledger Nano S offers for only $59 dollars (at this time). We also need to consider that the wallet is intended to be an entry-level device.
If you are looking for more power, you might want to consider the Ledger Nano X or other hardware wallets. However, we consider that the Ledger Nano S will meet the needs of most crypto investors. Especially if you are a beginner!
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