Safe storage of digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies and NFTs, is an absolute necessity especially now that decentralization is going mainstream. Sure, you can implement security measures to protect your cryptocurrencies from malicious hackers but the ultimate security measure to avoid crypto theft is storing your digital assets in a cold wallet that is not connected to the internet.
Ledger crypto wallets provide the ideal solution for individuals seeking the highest level of security for their digital assets. This review of the different Ledger wallets will provide all the knowledge you need to understand this hardware wallet such as how it works, why it is considered highly secure, and why you should consider owning one.
What Are Ledger Crypto Wallets?
Ledger wallets are a type of cryptocurrency wallet that exist as physical devices, oftentimes resembling a flash drive and this is why they are called hardware wallets. They are also described as cold wallets due to the lack of internet connectivity and this ties into their highly secure nature because they cannot be accessed remotely.
Ledger wallets are made by a company called Ledger which is based in Paris, France. The company has been around since 2014 after its founders identified the need for a secure solution for the crypto space. Ledger currently employs over 130 people in its San Francisco and Paris offices. It has sold more than 1 million hardware wallets since its inception and will likely sell more as the crypto market approaches mainstream adoption.
Ledger wallets are the ideal solution for individuals that do not want to leave anything to chance as far as the security of their cryptocurrencies is concerned. The company has two products, the Ledger Nano X and the Ledger Nano S. They share some similarities but are also different from each other in multiple ways.
Let us explore the Ledger Nano S and the Ledger Nano X in more detail.
The Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X – Similarities
The Ledger Nano S and Nano X perform the same function of holding cryptocurrencies and they both support more than 1800 cryptocurrencies including the most popular ones such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. They both look like USB flash disks and have an incorporated exchange feature to make it easier for users to trade cryptocurrencies. The two wallets feature mobile app support, and their hardware is supported by a proprietary OS known as Blockchain Open Ledger Operating System.
The Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X – Differences
The first major difference between the two cold wallets is their physical appearance. Although they are almost similar visually, the Ledger Nano S is slightly smaller than the Ledger Nano X. The latter has Bluetooth support which makes it possible to connect to internet-connected devices, such as a PC or mobile phone, and it can still be connected via USB. The Ledger Nano S lacks Bluetooth support but it can be connected to other devices using a USB cord.
The two hardware wallets have internal batteries, but the Ledger Nano X’s battery capacity is larger by 100mAh which extends its battery life by a few more hours before requiring a recharge. Both wallets have small displays, but the Ledger Nano X has a larger display with more pixels than its counterparts, making it easier to use.
The Ledger Nano S only supports Android OS devices while the Ledger Nano X supports both Android and iOS apps. This means the Nano X is more preferable to users that own Apple iPhones and iPad devices. The differences also come down to the cost. The Ledger Nano S costs around $59 while the Ledger Nano X is almost double the cost at $119.
Setting Up And Using A Ledger Nano S Or Ledger Nano X Wallet
Having responsibility for your crypto wealth has a bit of a learning curve, as is the case with the Ledger wallets. The two have a setup process through which the user configures the device. It starts with connecting the device to an internet-connected device via USB or through Bluetooth in the case of the Ledger Nano X.
Once connected, a “Configure New Device” tab will pop up and you can confirm the action by pressing the button on the right side (Note that there are two buttons on the hardware wallet). An affirmative confirmation will trigger the installation of the drivers necessary for the device to operate optimally. You will be required to set a pin which can be a minimum of 4 digits and a maximum of 8 digits. The pin is an essential part of the wallet’s security and as such, will be required to access the cryptocurrencies stored within the device. It is thus wise to never share this pin with anyone.
The Ledger wallet will generate a 24-word backup recovery phrase as soon as the PIN is confirmed. The recovery phrase is one of the most important security measures because it can be used to regain access to your wallet in case you forget the password, and also to set a new password if required. It is also useful in recovering your crypto in case your wallet is lost, damaged, or stolen. Note that losing the recovery phrase might lead to the complete loss of your crypto. You should thus write it down and hide it in a place that only you can recover it.
You will be required to re-enter the recovery phrase word-by-word to complete the setup process, after which it will be ready to receive, store or send cryptocurrencies.
How To Receive Crypto Using A Ledger Wallet
Ledger wallets require a software medium to interact with other devices to carry out transactions and this comes in the form of the Ledger Manager. This can be installed in your Chrome browser as an extension and after that, you will be required to install your preferred wallet app. After this, you will be required to connect the Ledger wallet to the PC or mobile device and then enter the login pin. The next step will be selecting between a Legacy or SegWit wallet. The latter is preferable because it is more user-friendly.
Once the SegWit option is selected, the Ledger Manager will display the Ledger hardware wallet’s address, allowing you to transfer to the cryptocurrencies stored in the selected web or software wallet. This option will require you to click on the “Receive” tab. You will then be required to click on the “Display Address on Device” button. Your unique Ledger wallet address will now be displayed, and you can then simply copy this information.
How To Transfer Crypto From Your Ledger Hardware Wallet
Sending cryptocurrencies from your Ledger Nano wallet is just as easy. Ensure that it is connected to the PC or mobile device on which the wallet application is installed, enter the pin, and click on the “Send” tab. Enter the correct wallet address to which you intend to send the cryptocurrencies. Confirm that the wallet is correct and click the green “Send” button to finalize the transaction.
Are There Any Risks Associated With The Ledger Nano S And Nano X Hardware Wallets?
There is no such thing as a non-zero risk with everything and this applies to the Ledger wallets. Despite the robust build and the offline storage, they might still be susceptible to damage or loss. This is why it is necessary to securely store the recovery phrase because it is the only thing that can help you recover your crypto. The other risk is the potential loss associated with errors such as inputting the wrong wallet address when moving your crypto around. That being said, the Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X wallets currently sit at the top of the list of safe crypto storage options. Based on this, you should definitely consider purchasing either a Ledger Nano S or a Ledger Nano X to keep your cryptos secure.
Pros of the Ledger Nano S
One of the main advantages of the Ledger Nano S wallet is that it offers a secure way to store your cryptocurrencies and the wallet is offline, not connected to the internet. In comparison, a software wallet can easily be hacked especially if the device is infected with a virus, malware, or a key logger. Another benefit of the Ledger Nano S is that your private keys are stored within the actual device. Added security features include the fact that you will need to choose a PIN which you will need to enter every time you want to use your wallet. In addition to your pin number, you will also receive a 24-word recovery phrase which is shown on the Ledger screen so only you have access to this information. The Ledger is also protected against physical damage since it has been built with highly durable materials, including a cover that is made from stainless steel.
Pros of the Ledger Nano X
The Ledger Nano X is secure and since it is a hardware wallet, or cold wallet, you are able to store your cryptos securely offline. Another advantage is that the Ledger Nano X has Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity which gives you the convenience and flexibility to use it without the need for a cable. Interestingly, for complete peace of mind, the Ledger company has developed a unique operating system called BOLOS. This OS integrates a secure chip for all Ledger wallets giving it more security. Once you receive your Ledger Nano X device, you will be required to create a pin code. You will also receive a 24-word recovery phrase. In terms of its protection against physical damage, the Ledger Nano X is also made using the highest-quality materials that can protect the device from physical damage.
If you own cryptocurrencies, it is vital to keep them safe at all times. The Ledger wallets, both the Ledger Nano X and the Ledger Nano S offer a secure option and are considered the best hardware wallets in the market. Purchase your Ledger wallet today and protect and store your cryptos with complete peace of mind.