Ledger Nano S Review (2019): Still Worth it?

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Ledger Nano S is the most popular cryptocurrency hardware wallet (more than 1.4 Million units sold). The Nano S is the most secure and affordable option to store cryptocurrencies. This review will help you decide if the Ledger Nano S is the right hardware wallet for you, looking into elements like security, design, mobility and supported coins. This year, Ledger released a new model called the Ledger Nano X. However, the Nano S is not obsolete – it’s now got a cheaper price tag of $59.

Ledger Nano S
Ledger Nano S

Who is the Ledger Nano S for:

  • Cryptocurrency investors is a secure method to keep their coins safe and secure from hackers
  • Beginners who want an affordable hardware wallet

To Buy the Ledger Nano S Click Here

Security features

Ledger Nano S Security Features
Ledger Nano S features 2 hardware chips: ST31H320 & STM32F042

One of the key reasons to buy Ledger hardware wallets is the firms reputation for security. Cryptocurrencies hardware wallets are like bank accounts – they contain full access to funds and need banking grade security. Ledger Nano S contains two hardware chips:

  • Secure ElementST31H320 (secure) is independently certified CC EAL5+ and stores the private key and signs transactions
    Operating systemSTM32F042 chip is responsible for Ledger’s BOLOS proprietary Operating System.

Secure elements are separate pieces of hardware (second layer of security) with their own storage and limited functionality that cannot be breached by hackers.

Even if your computer is hacked or compromised, the Ledger will still keep your cryptocurrencies secure. Devices like the Trezor One and Trezor Model T have chosen not have secure elements and only have a single layer of security.

Similar to the Nano X, users can also protect their funds using a PIN code and passphrase. The PIN code is to generally unlock your device to use it. Whilst you can also set up wallets protected by a passphrase in addition to your primary PIN code.

So say you are threatened to unlock your device, you can give them the PIN code to access wallets with fewer funds. Meanwhile, the bulk of your crypto assets are contained in passphrase protected wallets.

5/5 Security Rating

Multi Currency Support

Supported Coins on Ledger Nano S
Supported Coins on the Ledger Nano S

Ledger has one of the most diverse support for different cryptocurrencies such as NEO, Vechain and Monero. With their open policy to development from project teams, the Ledger Nano S supports 1100+ different assets. Many of these assets like Vechain or NEO are not found on competitors like the Trezor Model T or KeepKey, making Ledger the only hardware wallet available for many coins.

One of the weakness of the Nano S is the lack of space for installed applications. In our tests we found it was only possible to fit 2-3 apps on the Nano S (Firmware 1.5.5 – Ledger has since stated they will fix this problem). This is a very small number of apps, especially considering the average portfolio of cryptocurrency holders to be 5-10 different coins.

One way around this limitation is to uninstall apps that are not being used and reinstall them in the future. Uninstalling apps will not delete coins – all account information will be retained. The newly released Ledger Nano X fixes this problem by increasing the internal memory to 2 MB.

4/5 Multi Currency Support

Hardware Design

Ledger Nano S Screen
Ledger Nano S compared with Nano X

Ledger Nano S has two hardware buttons – located on the top of the device. These two buttons allows us to access menus (hold both buttons), make selections (press both buttons), and even input recovery phrases (use buttons to scroll). We found that entering PINs and recovery phrases to be tedious with only 2 buttons – perhaps a touchscreen or additional buttons could of helped.

The small screen on the Nano S has some limitations and needs to scroll to display destination cryptocurrency addresses. This causes some inconvenience (and minor frustration) when verifying information. The Nano S uses a USB micro-B interface for charging and connecting to the PC.

3.5/5 for Hardware Design
3/5 of Ease of Use

Why use a Hardware Wallet

With traditional currencies, you, the user, are the most important person. If you have ever lost your bank card, you can always go to the bank with some sort of identification and request for access back to your account.

Cryptocurrencies, however, don’t care about the physical person but rather the private key associated with the wallet. The private key is used to verify the account and transactions. Anyone who has access to this key can send funds and that is why you must keep it safe. Another thing is that cryptocurrency transactions cannot be reversed.

Hardware wallets can protect you against these things. They add an extra layer of security by storing the private key on the device itself. The only way to hack it would be to have physical access to the hardware wallet or with the backup phrase.

Ledger Nano S worth it in 2019?

Ledger Nano XLedger Nano STrezor One



Trezor Model T
KeepKeyEnjin Wallet
Price $119 $59 $78 $170 $79Free (iOS, Android)
Release Date201920162014201820152019
Security Certification CC EAL 5+ CC EAL 5+ XXXORU audit
Review Rating (out of 5)4.4 3.93.754.253.54.5

The Ledger Nano S is the most affordable hardware wallet at only $59. Even though it’s the least expensive device, it has top of the line security with a CC EAL5+ secure element (military grade security). This device is great for any cryptocurrency HODLer who doesn’t to hold many different assets.

Verdict

Coming into 2019, the Ledger Nano S has its biggest change yet – a price drop to $59 USD. This 40% price discount keeps the Nano S much more accessible and competitive in the hardware wallet space. It is perfect for beginners coming into the cryptocurrency space, HODLers who are storing 1-2 coins or even as a backup device.

Security Rating: 5/5
Multi-currency Support: 4/5
Hardware design: 3.5/5
Ease of Use: 3/5
Final Score: 3.9/5

Reviewed on 16th May 2019 by Michael Gu

Learn how to properly setup your Ledger Nano S with our guide.

To Buy the Ledger Nano S Click Here

Product Specifications (Technical Specifications)

Ledger Nano S Product Specifications:

Processors ST31H320 (secure) + STM32F042.
Compatibility 64-bits desktop computer (Windows 8+, macOS 10.8+, Linux) excluding ARM Processors. Also compatible with smartphones (iOS 9+ or Android 7+) via OTG cable.

Connector
USB micro-B
Security Certification CC EAL5+
Size Size: 56.95mm x 17.4mm x 9.1mm
Weight: 16.2g
Supported Assets1100+ Supported assets

14 COMMENTS

  1. Hello BoxMining,

    If I get a second Ledger NanoS to leave with my wife in case mine gets lost, do I set up the second device the same way as the first one?

    And my BTC/ETH is on both wallets and I can transact from either one? Will they sync automatically and track my balances? Pl advise.

    Enjoy your shows – thx!

    Ravi
    10/12/1955

  2. Hello sir, Today I come to you because you made this video and I decided to buy the Ledger because you inspired me to dos so and get one as a Hard wallet. It looks like you really know allot about this particular wallet and I really need your help.

    Today I come seeking some much needed help and maybe you can shed some light into my dilemma. I have a Ledger nano s, It had transactions on it totaling over 3k in BTC and it suddenly didn’t show any of the transactions, all of them disappeared. I went to their website and cleared the cache, reinstalled the application on my mac I followed every scenario possible to resolve the situation but all my ledger showed was a 0 balance. VERY DISTURBING. Finally it worked all my transactions showed on my ledger and I thought problem resolved “NOT”. 2 days latter I go back to deposit more BTC on my Ledger and it shows a 0 balance again. NOW I’M FRUSTRATED. So I decided to retrace all the steps i did before and after all of that it still showed a 0 balance so i decided to send myself a 1 transaction to see if it would show up on my Ledger. It does but that’s the only transaction it shows. I have tried to reinstall the application again, cleared the cache wrote emails to LEDGER for 3 consecutive days and I’m still waiting for a response. I need to get the Ledger to recognize all my previous transactions and permanently remove my money /BTC to another device since I can’t trust the Ledger. I implore you to please help. Do you know how to help me solve this dilemma or of anyone that can?

    PS

    I enjoy all your videos and and always learn something new. Maybe this particular situation will serve as a learning experience.

    Thanks in advance

    • I’m just sending this note to the file because I have been reading many complaints tonight. Many people are having problems with the App Manager. It seems it isn’t properly communicating with the device. Example: I can upload and down load applications but can’t get the to be recognized by the App Manager once installed. The systems keeps asking for a password to unlock my device. I swept the whole device by failing 3 times with the password. Then I set up a new password and 24 word phrase. I have seven sheets with 7 24 word phrases. I am about to do it again and see if initializing the Bitcoin wallet app fist will help. The if necessary I’ll try activating the FIDO 2FA. That is a 2 factor Authenticating app that works inside to Nano S to add another layer of security. It has to be activated out side the App Manager. I thought this may be the issue, but at this point I’m guessing at every angle I can to make it work.

      Good luck with your challenges.

  3. It might be important for new uses to know the receiving address will change with every transaction,however coins sent to the old address will still be received safely.

    Watch your you tubes regularly,thank you for advice,very helpful for beginners .Cheers Mark

  4. i do not understand .do i need physical money to buy a bit coin or just set up an account and mine for the bitcoin.
    how to own one?if i pay some agent the physical money to buy cryptocurrency the agent keeps the money?
    do not know how it works for first time buyer.

  5. 1. I’ve sent LTC to my ledger BTC address.
    2. The same address was created in LTC network.
    3. How can I access this coins using private key from my BTC wallet?

    Can anyone help please. Ledger support team has not been helpful seemed silent.

  6. Very Helpful setting up Ledger wallet ,would enjoy knowing more about purchasing Ripple XRP specifically . Ii do not have prior experience in purchasing Crypto currencies .

  7. recently I have seen many complaints about the Ledger Nano s App manager failing to work with the downloaded apps. In my own experience I have been fighting to get my new unit to operate at all. I had to reset the password to clear out the system to do a new install/Configuration.

    I noticed you first added a small amount of Bitcoin to your Bitcoin account and THEN went to ass the App manager, and then you added new apps for other coins. Is there a spcific reason you initialized the bitcoin wallet app with some Bitcoin first? If so please explain in some detail.

    I’m going to go back and reset everything again and first add some Bitcoin IF the unit will initialize and open the transfer window. None of the programs will open.

    One other question, does the FIDO 2fa have to be initialized for the NANO S to function properly? The FIDO 2fa is different from the 2 factor authentacator offered in the Ledger web site. It can be found in the Apps listed in the apps available for the NANO s. My unit came with it installed.

    Thank you

  8. I am trying to update my Ledger Wallet to 1.4.1. When I try to do so the instructions on the web site say to select OSU. I don’t know if this means Operation System Update or something else. I see no selection like this on my wallet. Does anyone know how to update the Wallet from 1.3.1 that is loaded on it? I’m frustrated.

  9. Thank you for your tutorial video on setting up the Ledger Nano S, however I am not certain I got it all. I am a super beginner, working on Coinbase and Poloniex websites where my wallets are held. How do I get my wallets from those sites to my Nano S? Thank you

  10. Thank you for your tutorial video on setting up the Ledger Nano S, however I am not certain I got it all. I am a super beginner, working on Coinbase and Poloniex websites where my wallets are held. How do I get my wallets from those sites to my Nano S? Thank you

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