Ledger Nano S Test: Full Review and Step-by-Step Guide for using the hardware wallet

The market leader among the hardware wallet manufacturers Ledger introduced the Ledger Nano S several years ago. We have been using the Ledger Nano S for more than 2 years now and can therefore tell you about well-founded Ledger Nano S tests and experiences.

We are really satisfied with the Hardware Wallet because it is very easy to use and very secure. To date, there are no known hacks in which cryptocurrencies have been stolen by the Ledger Nano S. The Nano S has been used as a source of information for the development of the new system. If you hold large amounts of your capital in cryptocurrencies, you should definitely consider buying a hardware wallet.

The Ledger Nano S offers you perfect protection to protect your Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP and Litecoin from hackers and phishing attacks. We will introduce you to the Nano S below and show you how it works in detail.

Ledger Nano S: Price and purchase advice

The price for the Ledger Nano S is at present with scarcely 54 euro and does thereby in the hardware Wallet price comparison very well. The Trezor One offers a clearly small range of functions and costs 69 euros. In the comparison the Ledger Nano S is to be classified from our point of view therefore as very favorable.

The product can be purchased on Amazon, eBay or directly from the manufacturer. We recommend that you buy directly from the manufacturer, as you will get the best price there and the product will be shipped original. On Amazon and eBay the price can be higher and dubious sellers can appear. Therefore the best solution is to buy the Nano S directly from the manufacturer Ledger.

We have bought the Ledger Nano S directly on the official Honmepage from Ledger. Although the company is based in France, the shipment did not even take more than 3 working days. Then the Hardware Wallet had already arrived. All prices in Ledger’s web shop are displayed directly in euros and include VAT. Click on this link to check the current price.

Bitcoin, credit card and Paypal are accepted as payment methods. Shipping is free and can be made to almost any country on the planet.

Different colours are available. You can choose from these colors in the Ledger Shop:

  1. Black matt
  2. saffron yellow
  3. flamingo pink
  4. jade green
  5. Lagoon Blue
  6. banner

In addition to the manufacturer, there are also officially verified Ledger Nano S resellers. However, the price in these shops is often slightly higher. In return, you benefit from a good customer service and fast support in the event of a problem.

>> Buy your Ledger Nano S directly from the manufacturer <<

Ledger Nano S Review: Scope of delivery

When you receive the package, make sure that the packaging is unopened and all seals are undamaged. This is very important, otherwise someone might have manipulated the ledger to steal your Bitcoin and Ether later. Therefore check your package double and triple!

If anything is broken or appears unusual, the product will be exchanged immediately. Better now than later when you suffer a great loss.

The following is included in the scope of delivery:

  • The Ledger Nano S Hardware Wallet
  • One USB cable
  • Two straps, including a lanyard; however, we recommend that you never carry the wallet on a lanyard.
  • Three more cards.
  • On a map you can enter your recovery seed, consisting of 24 words. Another card contains basic information for starting the Ledger Nano S

Ledger Nano Scope of Delivery

The Nano S ledger has a safety chip that checks each time a new start is made to ensure that the firmware is consistent with the current version. If this is not the case, you will be notified and know that your ledger has been manipulated. In this case, you should not use the ledger and exchange it immediately.

Ledger Nano S: First Steps

Setting up the Nano S

When you start your Ledger Nano S for the first time, you should assign a PIN code yourself and write down the backup. Make sure that this data is not given to you by anyone else. This would lead to a third person having access to your coins. If the package is working properly, you can start setting up your ledger.

In the enclosed map, you will be advised to visit the official website of the manufacturer, start.ledgerwallet.com, as a first step. Click on this link to view Ledger’s 5-minute tutorial and download Ledger Live software.

Once on the website, you will need to download and install the operating system. This step should not take longer than 2 minutes. You will need to download the appropriate software for your laptop. The following operating systems are supported:

  • Mac OS
  • Windows
  • Linux
  • iOS
  • Android

With a new update you can now use Ledger live on your mobile phone. After the successful installation you can click on the blue “Get Started” button.

Get Started Button Ledger Live

Below you can choose between different options:

  1. You can set up a new device.
  2. If you already have a Ledger Nano S, you can recover your account using your Recovery Seed.
  3. You can use a device that has already been set up by you, or
  4. buy another hardware wallet. You will then be redirected to the ledger.com website.

Since you’ve probably bought your new ledger and are setting it up for the first time, click “Set up new device”. In the next step you will be asked which model you want to configure. Now click on the Ledger Nano S. Now your hardware wallet will be set up.


Register new Ledger Nano S

To continue, you must connect the Ledger Nano S to your PC using the supplied USB cable. First you will be explained both buttons, which are located at the top of the stick. If you press both buttons at the same time, this is an “OK” or confirmation for an action you want to perform.

Register new Ledger Nano S Connecting

If you press the left or right button separately, you can navigate through the menu on your Nano S. You can also navigate through the menu on your Nano S by pressing the left or right button separately. To continue, press both buttons at the same time to start the configuration.

Safety measures for the Nano S

You need to set a PIN code now. This code secures your hardware wallet from unwanted use by third parties. This code is queried every time your Nano S is restarted. Now enter the PIN code twice and confirm by pressing the two buttons. The PIN code must be between 4 and 8 characters long.

If you have assigned the PIN code, you must write down your “Recovery Seed” in the next step. You will be shown 24 words that you can write on the Recovery Sheet which was part of the scope of delivery. Keep the recovery seed in a safe place. With this key you have access to your cryptocurrencies and all your assets.

Never store the recovery seed online or in a file, as it could then become a victim of phishing attacks and hackers. You will then be asked to enter your seed again to check that everything is correct. This prevents possible errors and secures access to your coins.

Recovery Seed Ledger Nano S

Now you will be asked again whether you have really assigned and written down your PIN and recovery phrase yourself. Confirm this action on the Ledger Nano S and press both buttons on the top.

If your device has been successfully confirmed, you can now set a password for the Ledger Live software. Only those who have this password can view your account balance. This password is also very important and should not be stored on your PC, but on a USB stick or written down on a piece of paper.

If you forget your password this is not a big problem as you can reset your account and password. However, you will need to set up your account again, this may take some time. So make sure you never have to take this step and keep your Ledger Live password in a safe place.

>> Buy your Ledger Nano S directly from the manufacturer <<

Manage Bitcoin, Ether and XRP with Ledger Live

Basic operation

Once you have assigned your password, you can now start creating accounts in Ledger Live. For each crypto currency like Bitcoin, Ethereum or XRP you have to install an “App”. A total of 5 apps can be stored on your ledger at the same time. This is relatively little, but it is possible to uninstall any app and replace it with a new one. Of course, your crypto currencies will not be lost!

Nevertheless, it can be very exhausting if you work a lot with your ledger and often send Bitcoin and Co. to your home. In this case, we recommend that you buy Ledger’s new Nano X model. It can manage up to 100 cryptcurrencies simultaneously.

The Ledger Nano X eliminates the need to constantly install and uninstall apps – unless you manage more than 100 different crypto currencies simultaneously. This seems rather unlikely, so the Ledger Nano X would be the perfect choice for you.

Ledger Live allow Connection

Ledger Live’s software interface is very simple and clear. If you want to install your first apps for Bitcoin, Ether and XRP, click on the tab in the left bar “Manager”.

To install apps, you need to connect your ledger to your computer and enter your PIN. Only then can you install and uninstall new apps.

Now you will find a large app catalogue from which you can search for the cryptocurrencies that are relevant for you and then install the apps. In addition to the app catalog, which now contains over 1,100 crypto currencies, there are other apps that use the technology and security of the device. This includes an SSH agent or an app that can check the recovery seed.

Recommendation: 2-factor authentication for the Ledger Nano S

We recommend to install the App Fido U2F Standard. This activates 2-factor authentication, which is already used on almost all crypto currency exchanges today. First you scan the barcode with your Google Authentificator App, or a comparable app, with your mobile phone. You will then find a code in your app that updates every 30 seconds.

Ledger Live App Fido U2F Standard

If you want to access your ledger in the future, you will be asked for this code. This is not a must for using the Ledger Nano S, because the Hardware Wallet already has lot of security features. By using the 2-factor authentication, the security of your hardware wallet increases once again significantly!

Using Apps on the Ledger

Once you have installed the app on your Ledger, you can create an account in Ledger Live. Simply click on the “plus” symbol in the left bar. Then you have to select the cryptocurrency you want to use.

Ledger Live Manager

If you want to create an account for Bitcoin, you have to select “Bitcoin” now. Then follow the steps the ledgers ask you to follow. Among other things, you must confirm the account with the Ledger Nano S by pressing the two upper buttons. If you have also successfully completed this, you can now start depositing Bitcoin, Ether, XRP or any other cryptocurrency.

You can also use your Ledger on any PC where Ledger Live is installed. Of course you have to go through all relevant security steps (enter PIN, password, 2-factor authentication etc.) each time you log in.

>> Buy your Ledger Nano S directy from the manufacturer <<

Receiving Cryptocurrencies with the Ledger Nano S

If you now want to deposit Bitcoin on your Ledger you have to click on the tab “Receive”. Then you must select the correct account, in this case Bitcoin.

Receive Bitcoin Step 1 on Ledger Nano S

The next step is to connect your Ledger Nano S to your PC and select the Bitcoin app on your Ledger.Receive Bitcoin on Ledger Nano S Step 2

If you have done this successfully, you can click on the blue button “Continue”.

Receive Bitcoin on Ledger Nano S Step 3

Then you must compare the address displayed on your Ledger Nano S with the address on your Ledger. Only if these two addresses are exactly the same, you can confirm the address by pressing the two upper buttons on your Ledger Nano S.

Receving Adress Bitcoin

If this is not the case and the two addresses are different, your ledger has probably been hacked. However, if the two addresses match, you can confirm them and use them to deposit Bitcoin.

Receive Bitcoin on Ledger Nano S Step 4

You can save the address either by copying and pasting or by scanning the QR code. You can also send the Bitcoin deposit address by e-mail.

If you have now generated your Bitcoin receiving address, you can enter it when buying Bitcoin on Crypto-exchange such as Litebit. There you have to enter the address in the “Receving Adress”, if you do not use the Bitcoin Litebit Wallet.

If you have sent Bitcoin to this wallet address, it can take from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the order occurrence in the blockchain, until your transaction has been successfully validated and your Bitcoin has arrived on your ledger.

Sending Cryptocurrencies with the Ledger Nano S

If you want to send Bitcoin, Ether or XRP to another address, it’s very easy and reliable. Just click on the tab “Send” in the left navigation of Ledger Live. Then select the account from which you want to send the Bitcoins. Now you have to enter the amount you want to send as well as the Bitcoin address of the recipient.

Send Bitcoin with Ledger Nano S

You can set the fees yourself. The higher the fees, the faster the transaction is normally processed. If you click “Continue” now, the transaction will be sent from your Ledger Nano S. The small display of your hardware wallet will now show you all data of the transaction:

  • The recipient address
  • The fees charged for this transaction

If this data is correct, you can confirm the transaction by pressing the right button on your ledger. The transaction is then carried out, as you have confirmed it manually via your ledger.

Restore Ledger Backup: That’s how it works

If you need to reset your ledger, your Recovery Seed is your key to regain access to your cryptocurrencies. You have to enter your Recovery Seed via the two keys of the Ledger Nano S. This can be very tedious as you have to choose from 26 letters of the alphabet.

Although you can choose from words after entering a few letters, this can be really time and nerve intensive. But there is one advantage: Keyloggers are not able to cut even one word or letter and hack your Ledger Nano S with it.

This process is a bit complicated and cumbersome, but one thing is for sure: Very safe! And that’s what cryptocurrencies are all about, that they are as well protected as possible and Ledger has definitely solved that very well. The following video shows how to restore your ledger:

Advantages and disadvantages of the Ledger Nano S

The advantages of the Ledger Nano S:

✅ Unbeatable low price
✅ Private keys are never connected to the PC or Internet, lie securely on the Ledger Nano S
✅ Over 1,100 supported crypto currencies
✅ Regular updates of ledgers
✅ Manual confirmation of each transaction
✅ Can also be used with your smartphone
✅ Ability to enable 2-factor authentication
✅ Very easy operation and user interface of Ledger Live

The disadvantages of Hardware Wallet Ledger Nano S:

❌ Low storage space: Simultaneous use of only 5 apps or cryptocurrencies, otherwise apps must be uninstalled and replaced.

❌ Complex recovery of the account with the help of the Recovery Seed by entering the words on the ledger. However, this is only an indirect disadvantage, as it makes keyloggers unusable.

Conclusion of the Ledger Nano S Test

The operation is really very simple and you have full control over the ledger and your cryptocurrencies at all times. Your Private Keys never come into contact with your PC or the Internet, so they are kept completely safe on your Ledger.

The price is really unbeatable and the security is extremely high. Ledger has built in a variety of security features that make it almost impossible to steal your cryptocurrencies.

Nevertheless, there are some negative points that we do not want to withhold from you. So far it is only possible to install about 5 apps on the ledger at the same time, but it only takes seconds to uninstall an app and replace it with a new one. Nevertheless, this process can be cumbersome and time-consuming for frequent users of the Ledger Nano S. In this case you should invest a little more money and buy the Ledger Nano X.

Furthermore, the recovery of the hardware wallet with the help of the Recovery Seed is very cumbersome, but also secure. This supposed disadvantage can be a clear advantage in an emergency.

Overall we are very satisfied with the Ledger Nano S and can warmly recommend the Hardware Wallet.

Currently Ledger offers a discount campaign where you can buy a Ledger Nano S and a Ledger Nano X with 50% each. The total price is then 149,00€. If you want to buy the combo-package, click on the following link:

>> Buy your Ledger Nano S directly from the manufacturer <<

If you’re not 100% sure which hardware wallet you want to buy, you can of course take a look at our other hardware wallet reviews. Here you get to the Hardware Wallet overview.

Last updated: 05/07/2019

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About Author

Please follow me on Twitter for deep analysis. Collin is a Bitcoin investor of the early hour and a long-time trader in the crypto and forex market. He's fascinated by the complex possibilities of blockchain technology and tries to make matter accessible to everyone. His reports focus on developments about the technology for different cryptocurrencies.

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