Anyone who is serious about their cryptocurrency investment must also consider securing their coins.
This is because, there are way too many scams, hacking attempts, phishing websites, and even malware that can be used to take advantage of a weak system and hence steal your hard-earned coins.
If you want to take good control of your coins, you must also handle the security. For that you need a good wallet to store your coins.
The Ledger Nano S is one of the safest ways of ensuring your cryptocurrencies are safe.
So what is a Ledger Nano S?
The simplest definition is that;
It is a hardware wallet, that provides security for users to store their cryptocurrencies.
You may have read all about cryptocurrency wallets in my previous article.
The Ledger Nano S has become extremely popular due to its price and quality plus, its OLED display, and you can connect it to any PC or Mac.
The private keys are stored on the wallet, and they are never exposed to your computer. This means that, even if your computer is infected, they remain safe.
Where can you Buy Ledger Nano S?
The only two recommended places to buy a Ledger Nano S wallet are:
What you shall receive:
The Ledger will come sealed in cellophane. You shall notice that the package does not contain any security seals. This is because, the Ledger has a built-in software which is anti-tamper, and it will tell you if the device has been tampered with in any way from the factory.
Once you open the box, you should see the following;
- The Ledger Nano S wallet
- USB cable
- Instruction card
- Recovery card
The box is very well packaged, which is reminiscent of how Apple packages their products. Remove the top layer, so as to see all of the other products within the box.
Open the documentation envelope, in order to find a recovery phrase card where you shall write your recovery words on the setup of the device.
Setting up your Ledger Nano S
You can check this video on how to set up your Ledger Nano S wallet:
You need to connect the wallet to your computer by use of the USB cable in the box.
At this point, the ledger will come alive and direct you to visit https://www.ledgerwallet.com/start/ledger-nano-s. You will then need to come up with a PIN code for your device.
When setting up this hardware wallet, you will be provided with a string of words which are called “recovery seeds.” These will be used to restore your wallet, in case of theft or damage.
It is, therefore, extremely important that you store the recovery seeds in a safe place.
Another important recommendation is to purchase two different devices, and always keep one unused. In this case, if there’s any loss or damage to your wallet, you can be able to use the recovery seed on the other device, and restore your wallet in order to recover your money. This will save you the headache of having to order another Ledger, and waiting a long time before being able to access your funds.
Operating the Ledger Wallet:
This is achieved by use of the two buttons on the side of it. Right-click, or left click the buttons in order to select up or down, and pressing both buttons confirms the choice you have made.
The PIN code of 4-8 digits, must be memorized and written down in a safe location. This is used each and every time you use the ledger. You shall never have access to the Ledger if you forget the PIN. This is yet another security feature to ensure your money is safe.
The next step is to write down 24 words for recovery, in the order that the device will give to you. Once this is done, the device will check 4 of them back to you. Check on the device that they are the correct words. If they are correct, the words “Your device is now ready” shall be displayed on the screen.
In order to make the most out of your ledger, you shall need to use the Chrome browser. This is because the Ledger apps are installed for easy interaction with the device and the different cryptocurrencies.
Install the “Ledger manager” which is an app that you can use to install the other apps needed for the other currencies that shall be used with the Ledger. Choose the ones you want by simply clicking the green download button that is on the side of the currency.
Now, if you want to download the Bitcoin app from the site, simply click on it in order to download, then, run it. This will prompt you to enter a PIN in the device for security, and then you shall choose to create an address for the Bitcoin.
You will have two choices, either Legacy or Segwit. Segwit is most recommended as it has cheaper fees while sending your Bitcoins.
The App is nicely designed. It clearly shows how to send transactions, receive, alter the displays, create new accounts and many more.
The Ledger wallet can support at least 700 coins including the below:
- Bitcoin (BTS)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Ethereum ERC-20 Tokens
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Zcash (ZEC)
- Dash (DASH)
- Ripple (XRP)
You can find the entire list of supported assets at: https://www.ledger.com/pages/supported-crypto-assets
Benefits of the Ledger Nano S Wallet:
- Use of Private Keys: The keys are never exposed to your computer, which means they are safe and can never be stolen by hackers. The private keys are stored in a secure location in the wallet.
- Immunity to viruses: This software comes with inbuilt security features that make it immune to viruses, which means that you shall never have incidents of infection. As such, your crypto-money is ever safe.
- Confirmations before any transactions: You must confirm any transaction on the device and not the app that you have downloaded on the PC before any coins are sent from your wallet.
- PIN protection: On top of having private keys, the hardware is encrypted with PINs, that must be input whenever you use it. This is just like your debit card, and it adds an extra layer of protection to your hard-earned money.
- It is able to host many different cryptocurrencies.
- The device costs money.
- They are a bit technical, but easy to understand.
- Storage space is limited, so you cannot store more than 3-4 different types of cryptocurrencies on 1 device.
- The delivery takes times.
Ledger Nano S Review: Is It Worth the Money?
As you can probably tell, I am a big fan of the Ledger Nano S. This is the only hardware wallet that I own. It provides me with some level of comfort that my cryptocurrency is safe from hacks or being stolen.
Like I mentioned in my cryptocurrency wallet roundup, if you’re looking for the best hardware wallet, the Ledger Nano S should be your choice.