Reviews of Ledger Nano S
Added: (Thu Aug 10 2017)
Pressbox (Press Release) -
efore we get into the main review, here are a Couple of things I like and do Not like about the Nano S:
The Nano S is currently the lowest priced hardware wallet with a screen*
The Nano S is easy to set up and use on almost any desktop computer
No passphrase support (I'll explain more about this later)
*I'll explain in a bit why you will need to use a hardware wallet with a display.
The Ledger Nano S is different than Ledger's other two hardware wallets--both the Ledger Nano and Ledger HW.1--since it has a display. The Nano S's screen signifies, like other hardware wallets (like KeepKey or TREZOR), it can be used even on a computer that is infected with malware.
Here's a picture of this Nano S just so you can see how it seems:
ledger nano s review
What's in the Box
The Ledger Nano comes nicely packed and includes the following items:
1 micro-USB cable
Retrieval sheet for writing down seed
The S's $65 USD price tag makes it the cheapest among the 3 hardware wallets with displays.
Be sure you NEVER buy a Ledger Nano S or another hardware wallet from eBay.
Only buy from the Ledger store or from Amazon.
If you're on a budget, checkout Ledger's Nano hardware pocket--but it does not have a display.
This is your Nano S compared to the other three hot hardware pockets:
Released Price Buy 2016 58$
TREZOR 2013 $99
KeepKey 2015 $99 2013 $17
The Actual question is:
Does the Ledger Nano S's lower price tag come with any security tradeoffs?
The next few sections will outline some of the S's security features.
In order to confirm a payment you need to physically press both buttons at the same time. This makes it so no hacker could hack into your device and confirm a payment.
A close up view of this Nano S's buttons.
The Ledger Nano S also requires the consumer to create a PIN code on installation.
What is in the Box
Why is the Nano S's screen Important?
Ledger Nano S vs KeepKey
Ledger Nano S Ethereum
How to Use Ledger Nano S with Mycelium (Android)
How to Restore Ledger Nano S Mart with Mycelium (Android)
How to Use Ledger Nano S with Greenbits
The PIN code helps prevent the loss of bitcoins in the event your shed your device.
A stranger wouldn't be in a position to send bitcoins from your Nano S since he/she would not understand your 4 digit pin code. After three incorrect suspects of the pin code the device wipes itself.
Let's get back to the main intention of a hardware wallet.
It stores your keys in its offline, protected environment.
Bitcoins and private keys stored on an online pc are easy target for hackers.
When you utilize a hardware wallet, which stores your own bitcoins offline, then your coins are saved offline and out of reach from hackers.
The box ships with tamper-proof tape around the packaging. If this tape appears to be changed in any way, it is likely someone tampered with your device before it arrived to you.
Be sure to email amount to return it and ask for a new device!
ledger nano s review
The Nano S packacking seal.
One feature that the Nano S lacks is passphrase support.
Passphrase support enables you to add custom text on your 24 word recovery phrase.
As we mentioned early, if anyone will get access to a recovery phrase they also have access to a bitcoins.
A passphrase prevents this as in addition to the 24 word retrieval term, a thief would need the seed in addition to the passphrase used to produce the wallet, which is memorized from the pocket's founder.
The good news is, Ledger plans to bring this feature to the Nano S shortly.
The Nano S also does not run on a battery, meaning when it is not plugged in it is totally offline and turned away.
Why is the Nano S's display Important?
The S's display helps with a few things:
Once you setup your Nano S, then the wallet creates a recovery phrase. The recovery phrase is a complete backup of your wallet.
On a regular Bitcoin wallet, like an iPhone wallet, the retrieval term is displayed in your phone's screen.
In most cases your phone is most likely secure enough.
Since your phone is on the internet, it's very possible that someone could hack into your phone to 1) slip your bitcoins or 2) grab your recovery phrase.
When you utilize a hardware wallet like the Nano S, then the recovery phrase is generated offline and displayed on the Nano S's screen, which helps to ensure that the recovery phrase is never within an internet-connected device.
How else does the screen help shield you?
The screen provides an additional coating of verificaiton when sending payments.
The display makes it simple to confirm that the payment you'd like to send is to get the right amount and to the right address.
The Nano S's screen means, like a KeepKey or even TREZOR, it can be used even on a computer that is infected with malware.
First, plug it into your personal computer to turn it on. You are going to require a micro-USB cable.
You will be asked to create a four-digit pin code using the device's display. You may slide the amounts higher or lower using the buttons.
Once you reach the desired number, press both buttons at the same time to select the next number. You will then need to repeat this process to confirm your pin code.
Once you have set a PIN code, you'll be asked to write down the Ledger's 24-word retrieval phrase. Words will appear one at a time, simply click the right button to see the next word.
Ledger provides a piece of paper you can use to write down your word:
ledger nano s review
The Ledger Nano S healing sheet. Included in box.
The Nano S will then ask you to confirm your seed by simply asking for two random words of your seed.
If, for instance, it asks for the 10th word of your seed, then scroll through the words and press the two buttons once you see the 10th word of your own seed.
If you have the Ledger Chrome application installed now you can access your wallet.
On your Ledger Nano S's display scroll through the options and press both buttons on the "B" icon that says "Bitcoin".
Once you do this you should now find a wallet interface in the Ledger Chrome program. And that's it!
Now you can receive payments to your Ledger Nano S.
Recovery Phrase Notice!
When your wallet has been setup and bitcoins are sent to your hardware pocket, anyone with access to this retrieval term can gain control of your own bitcoins.
Be sure to don't share your seed with ANYONE!
Keep it in a secure place that only you have access to.
The Ledger Nano S could actually be setup without even being plugged into a computer.
Once setup, the best wallet option for privacy to use with Ledger is Electrum on desktop, or Mycelium on Android.
The Open Bitcoin Privacy Project ranked Ledger's wallets as the most private Bitcoin wallet in their 2016 report.
Ledger Nano S vs KeepKey
A KeepKey, Ledger Nano S, and TREZOR.
The main difference is that the Ledger Nano S utilizes two secure elements/chips, while KeepKey is essentially a mini computer.
A KeepKey prices $99 while the S costs just $65.
The KeepKey includes a more "premium" feel to it but that is merely a matter of personal taste!
The main difference is that the Ledger Nano S utilizes two protected elements/chips, while TREZOR is essentially a mini computer.
A TREZOR costs $99 while the S costs just $65.
The TREZOR has an innovative recovery feature that the Nano S doesn't have. This recovery feature makes sure that your TREZOR recovery phrase will not be subjected to the pc when recovered.
The Nano S does indeed work with Ethereum and also Litecoin.
The remainder of this article shows you how to use the S with certain pockets.