This week we got the chance to review the Ledger Nano S Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet. The Ledger Nano S is essentially the older version of Ledger new fLagship Hardware Wallet, the Ledger Nano X. For those that don’t know what a Hardware Wallet is check out our article explaining what it is here.
The Ledger Nano S’s packaging is small and minimalistic but has a premium feel to it. At first glance you can tell that you are about to unbox a cool piece of tech! And when you actually open the device and see the Ledger Nano S for the first time…you are disappointed…instead of a cool piece of tech you find what looks like a USB Stick!
Is the Ledger Nano S really just a USB Stick with a screen and two buttons?
Yes…as much as I would like to say it’s not, I just can’t! Unlike the Ledger Nano X that resembles a USB Stick but has gone beyond that in terms of both design and capabilities, the Ledger Nano S has not! Design wise the Ledger Nano S is lacking, but what it lacks, it makes up for in colour options. The Ledger Nano S comes in 5 colours, one being transparent! Now if that isn’t cool, I don’t know what is -Justin bieber’s new hairstyle sure ain’t!. That being said it still doesn’t look or feel like a device worth £54.50…but hey you aren’t buying it for its looks, you’re buying it because it can store your Digital Assetds securely! If you are in the market for the best looking Hardware Wallet then check out our review of the Trezor Corazon here…PS its made of Titanium…
Perhaps, one of the biggest design benefits of the Ledger Nano S is that it looks like a USB Stick, as it allows you to fly under the radar. Anyone that sees it lying around will think it’s just a colourful (comes in 5 colours) USB Stick and not a Hardware Wallet with valuable stored Crypto! Well valuable so long as you didn’t buy a few Shit coins…I sure bought my share in last bull run, but that’s a story for another day, back to our USB Stick review…sorry I mean the Ledger Nano S.
The setting up…
The device is easy to setup as it has 2 buttons, which are used to navigate the menu of the device. You use the Left button to swipe Left, the Right button to swipe Right and press both simultaneously to select…yes it’s really that simple! The only difficulty you might find is reading the display, if you don’t have 20/20 vision you may have problems…a magnifying glass is advisable. After continuously using the devices for 20 minutes my eyes where slightly sore.
To get started you have to go to the Ledger website to install their desktop app and the connect the Ledger Nano S to your computer and initiate the setup. The Ledger Nano S works on the Bip39 Protocol and just like the Ledger Nano X generates a 24 word Recovery Seed. So after a couple of minutes and a few Left and Right button clicks you are all set, Recovery Seed generated!
Ledger has done something super annoying! After generating the Recovery Seed, you have to verify each of the 24 words by selecting them all in the correct order! This makes the process lengthy, taking up to 5 minutes of your life ! Ledger, darling, honey, I got place to go, Crypto to buy, Lambos to drive! I do not have that much time to waste!
Okay I am exaggerating here, it is not the end of the world but Ledger could take example from Trezor that only makes you verify 3 words from your Recovery Seed and not every single one! Yes I appreciate the focus on security but this really has to be balanced against convenience and I feel this is one of those times that convenience should win!
In order to protect your device you also have to setup a 4–8 digit pin and a passphrase for the Ledger Desktop app.
The Ledger Desktop App…
The desktop app has clean and simple design to it, making it very intuitive to use. At no point did I struggle with any aspects of it, I instantly knew how to navigate through it. It’s really user-friendly like an iPhone (even though I have a Samsung, but hey I like the challenge!) Unlike some other devices we have used in the past, Ledger’s Desktop app, feels like it was designed by a company in the 21stcentury. For each different Digital Asset you want to store on the device, you must install an app, e.g. BTC app, XRP app etc.
· Allows you to buy Crypto directly and store it on the device via 15 different Cryptocurrency seller/Exchanges
· Supports 1100+ different Digital Assets
· Simple easy to use
· Can be attached to a keychain
· Small display, difficult to read
· Lengthy Setup
· Feels cheaply made
· Looks like any old USB Stick
· Only allows for certain combinations of apps
The restriction on the number of apps you can install on thedevice is perhaps the biggest downside when it comes to the Ledger Nano S. According to ledger “Ledger Nano S users can install 3 to 7 apps among the current market cap’s Top 20 at the same time (e.g. BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC, DASH, ETC at the same time on a single device), or up to 20 dependent apps, on their device, depending on the app size.” From our understanding dependent is referring to ERC20 tokens which are dependent on the Ethereum Network. Here is a picture with all the possible combinations of apps from Ledger.
I don’t love the Ledger Nano S but I don’t hate it either, end of the say it does what it says on the box. It may not be the most fancy Hardware Wallet out there or boast Bluetooth capabilities but it will secure your Crypto just the same. But should you splash out for the Ledger Nano X instead of the Ledger Nano S? If you want a Hardware Wallet that is able to connect to your phone on the go or want to store a bigger variety of Digital Assets then the Ledger Nano X is the better choice! If you just want to buy a Hardware Wallet to store a few Digital Assets to Hodl, then the Ledger Nano S might be the one for you!