[TEST] Ledger review – our experience with the wallets

[TEST] Ledger review – our experience with the wallets

Gianluca Lombardi October 18, 2022
9 min read

Cryptocurrencies are a valuable and increasingly popular investment, but they also come with unique risks and challenges.

Fortunately, there are tools available that can help you keep your digital and crypto assets more safe and secure.

These hardware devices Bitcoin wallets like mini fortresses for your cryptocurrencies.

By storing your coins offline on a secure USB stick with the Ledger devices, you can protect them from potential online security breaches.

Leaders in the space are Ledger Nano and Trezor, both of which have a variety of models to choose from. Having personally tested all of their options, we can attest to their impressive performance. Don’t take chances with your digital assets – opt for a hardware wallet from Ledger Nano or Trezor for a secure and convenient way to safeguard your investments.

For full list of other hardware wallets that we tried, check our Best Crypto Wallets list.

In short: what is a hardware wallet for cryptocurrencies?

If you’re serious about taking control of your cryptocurrency investments, then a cold wallet may be the way to go.

By using this type of wallet, you’re essentially turning yourself into a self-sufficient financial institution, with complete autonomy over your digital assets.

One of the most popular forms of cold wallets is the hardware wallet, which functions as a secure USB stick that can be used to send or receive coins across multiple devices, including computers and laptops.

With a secure wallet, you can rest assured that your coins are kept offline and out of reach of potential online security breaches.

Take the reins of your cryptocurrency investments today by embracing the power and flexibility of a cold wallet, such as a hardware wallet.

For cryptocurrency investors and users, hardware wallets offer ultimate solution for both security and independence.

With a hardware wallet, you gain complete control over your digital assets, ensuring that they are protected from potential online threats, such as hacking, malware, and phishing attacks.

These small USB devices allow you to store your cryptocurrencies offline, making them both secure and convenient for daily use.

With industry leaders like Ledger Nano and Trezor offering a range of products to choose from. Hardware wallets are an excellent option for anyone looking to invest in cryptocurrencies over the medium or long term or simply seeking the peace of mind that comes with the highest level of security and independence.

Don’t settle for less when it comes to protecting your digital assets – opt for a hardware wallet today.

 

Ledger Nano Hardware Wallet
Ledger Wallet Nano S, the world’s most popular hardware wallet. In our test.

Why are a hardware wallets necessary?

+ A secure and independent deposit

+ Store and manage all your cryptocurrencies in one place

+ Transactions are signed on the device, private keys never leave the device

+ No risk from third parties, such as purses, online wallets or mobile apps

+ Convenient – no additional costs after purchase

+ All major cryptocurrencies are supported

+ Can be used worldwide

What is a Ledger Nano device?

Ledger is a company that offers a range of products for secure cryptocurrency storage. The Ledger Nano s Plus, a USB stick, is the most well-known and popular wallet offered by Ledger. The Ledger Nano X is the advanced version Nano S Plus. Ledger also offers the Ledger Stax, which is the latest model created by ex iPod designer.

About Ledger

Ledger was founded in 2013 in Paris, France. The company is considered the world’s leading provider of cryptocurrency hardware wallets. Currently, more than 1.5 million devices have been sold. Since 2014, Ledger has received more than $83 million in investment and currently has more than 135 employees in Paris, New York, San Francisco and Vierzon, France.

The Full Set of Ledger Devices: Ledger Nano S Plus, Ledger Nano X and Stax

Ledger Nano currently offers the following products.

#1 Ledger Nano S Plus – The Successor of Ledger Nano S wallet

  • The world’s best-selling cryptocurrency wallet.
  • The private key is stored offline and protected by a PIN.
  • Inexpensive hardware wallet
  • Easy to use with just 2 buttons.
  • With the Ledger Live application on your PC, you can easily view all cryptocurrencies.
  • Connect via USB cable to your PC, laptop or mobile phone.
  • Compatible with all operating systems.

Ledger Nano S Plus

#2 Ledger Nano X crypto wallet

  • Enhanced version
  • Same security features as Nano S model
  • Larger 128×64 px display
  • 30 times more memory for applications
  • All cryptocurrencies can be easily viewed using the Ledger Live application on your computer
  • Connects via USB cable to a computer, laptop or mobile phone
  • Compatible with all operating systems

#3 Ledger Stax

  • Latest and luxury version of Ledger Nano.
  • Colour display for greater user convenience.
  • Same security features as the Nano S model.
  • Supports more than 40 cryptocurrencies.
  • All cryptocurrencies can be easily viewed using the Ledger Live App on a PC.
  • Connection via USB cable to PC, laptop or mobile phone.
  • Compatible with all operating systems.
Hardware wallet for cryptocurrencies Ledger Nano X
Ledger Wallet Nano X: najnowszy model firmy Ledger.

Supported cryptocurrencies

Both products support all popular cryptocurrencies. If new cryptocurrencies become available, they will be added and supported quickly. More than 40 individual coins are supported, including those based on Ethereum (aka DApps), thus more than 700 coins. Here is a selection of cryptocurrencies supported by Nano S, Blue and the associated Ledger Live software, which you can use to manage coins on your desktop.

Cryptocurrency Abbreviation Ledger Nano S Plus Ledger Nano X Ledger Stax Application Ledger Live
Bitcoin BTC
Bitcoin Cash BCH
Złoto Bitcoin BTG
Ethereum ETH
Ethereum Classic ETC
Litecoin LTC
Dogecoin DOGE
Zcash ZEC
Ripple XRP
Kreska DASH
Stratis STRAT
Neo NEO
Gwiezdna XLM
QTUM QTUM
Nano NANO
Tron TRX
Vechain VET
BAT BAT
Binance Coin BNB
Aion AION
Bancor BNT
Cardano ADA
IOTA IOTA

Managing all coins: PC interface with Ledger Live

In the Ledger Live app, all cryptocurrencies can be managed via the desktop application. The app offers the following functions:

  • Display credits for each currency or for all currencies together
  • Representation of credit via a graph, changes in percent and in terms of EUR or USD
  • All live and with current prices, of course
  • Sending cryptocurrencies
  • Receiving cryptocurrencies

The Ledger app is easy to install. Just go to the Ledger website, click on Ledger Live – download. Install it like any other programme on your computer.

Important note: private keys are never transferred to the Ledger Live app. Your cryptocurrency is therefore not exposed to any risk of attack. Private keys are always stored on the Ledger Nano X or Ledger Nano S Plus. The fact that Ledger has made this intuitive app available has made our lives much easier. Previously, to send new coins, collect them or simply check the account balance, it was necessary to perform many additional and usually cumbersome steps.

cryptocurrency hardware wallet App Ledger live
Ledger Live App: managing and displaying all cryptocurrencies

Advanced security

#1 BOLOS system

Ledger’s operating system is called BOLOS™ and was developed specifically for this technology. BOLOS stands for Blockchain Open Ledger Operating System.

#2 Chip

An integrated security chip checks for tampering every time the device is activated. The keys are protected by a robust chip, tested against all attack vectors and installed in isolation in the device.

#3 PIN

A 4-8 digit PIN code must be entered each time the device is switched on. If the wrong PIN is entered three times, the device is locked. The Ledger Nano can also be locked manually by pressing and holding both buttons simultaneously for three seconds. If the PIN code has been forgotten, a password (Seed) is required to unlock it.

#4 Password

Always keep your password in a safe place. This is essentially the master password that allows access to the device’s private keys. The seed consists of 12, 18 or 24 words. If necessary, it is written on a piece of paper and kept in a safe place. From these, say 24 words, the encrypted private keys of any cryptocurrency can be retrieved at any time. This does not necessarily only apply to Ledger nano, but can also happen with competing products such as Trezor wallets.

#5 Pressing buttons

The transaction must always be confirmed using the two buttons on the ledger device itself. For example, the display shows the address for receiving bitcoins. Confirmation must be done manually by pressing the buttons. In this way, it can be excluded that transactions are manipulated by malware on the computer.

#6 Encrypted passwords

Ledger Nano offers the possibility of creating new coin wallets with a separate password. In the case of Bitcoin, it is even possible to create multiple wallets with multiple passwords on a single Ledger hardware wallet.

What happens if I lose my wallet or it is stolen?

Don’t panic! It is usually more dangerous to lose your house key on the road than the Ledger Nano. The finder or thief will need a 4-8 digit PIN to access your cryptocurrencies. If the thief or finder has the PIN, you can be faster than them by using your password to retrieve the data. We described this just above.

Seeds consist of 24 words and allow you to retrieve the private keys of cryptocurrencies stored in any Ledger Nano, Trezor or KeepKey device, as well as in some online wallets. The only condition: be faster than your opponent. The safest option is to protect each Ledger wallet with additional PIN codes. For example, in a Bitcoin wallet, an Ethereum wallet, a Ripple wallet and so on, you can create a different additional PIN for each one.

Price of Ledger nano S and Nano S Plus, price of Ledger nano X

is priced at €79

Ledger Nano X: The price of the premium model is €149

Ledger Stax the high end model costs €279

Ledger is also offering discounts, for example on Black Friday or if you buy 3 Ledger Nano S wallets, the price is reduced.

Leder-Wallet-Nano-S
The Ledger Nano S was also available in other colours besides black.

Quick Setup Guide

Important notes

Always pay attention to the tightly closed packaging. Ledger Nano products are packaged and shipped with a seal. Do not purchase equipment from unauthorised distributors or on eBay!

#1 Connect to computer

Connect the USB cable to the computer. The device turns on.

#2 Enter PIN code

Select 4-8 digit pin. Must then be confirmed. A maximum of 3 attempts are possible.

Cryptocurrency hardware wallet Pin code Ledger
Own photo of the test: When setting up, think of a 4-8 digit PIN code.

#3 Keeping the seed phrase safe

Ledger Nano will now display 24 words. Record them on the retrieval sheet provided. After recording the word, click to display the next word. The device will randomly ask for some of these words. Then write down the number + the word in order to answer the questions.

#4 Installing Applications

For each cryptocurrency, you need to download the corresponding application. For example, there is an application for bitcoin, one for Ethereum, one for IOTA, etc.

App Ledger bitcoin
Own image in the test: the Bitcoin app is easily installed with the help of the desktop.

#5 Ledger Live App

To better manage cryptocurrencies, we recommend installing a desktop wallet app. It is not mandatory, but it is very useful for viewing all cryptocurrencies and for sending and receiving them quickly.

Alternatives

There are several companies that offer hardware-based cryptocurrency wallets. Ledger’s direct competitors are Trezor and KeepKey.

Product details

Conclusions on the Ledger Nano hardware wallet

Ledger Nano products, in particular Ledger Nano S Plus, are market leaders in the cryptocurrency hardware wallet industry. The price of the Ledger Nano S is particularly attractive. Most hardware wallets are recommended for anyone who is familiar with the processes and operations of blockchain technology and wants to be independent of cryptocurrency exchanges.

For full comparison, check our list of The Best Crypto Exchanges in Europe.

Moreover, a hardware wallet reduces the risk of losing coins. Storing cryptocurrency coins in a cryptocurrency/web wallet increases the risk of losing coins through hacking. The installation and configuration process of the Ledger Nano is seamless. The user is guided through the hardware device itself in a very intuitive manner.

Everything is easy to understand even for beginners. Sending and receiving data is done intuitively via the Ledger Live app. In terms of security, Ledger Nano is well-positioned with a dedicated BOLOS™ operating system, chips, recovery seeds, additional passwords and a PIN to operate the device. The purchase of a hardware wallet is more than affordable for advanced cryptocurrency investors. In particular, the Ledger Nano S is affordably priced for your capabilities. The Ledger Nano S is a premium product. The Ledger Nano X is the latest model that extends the Nano S with a colour display, USB-C port and Bluetooth connectivity. Check out the impressions and see for yourself on the official Ledger Nano website!

Gianluca Lombardi

Gianluca is the editor-in-chief of this site. A finance graduate, he is an active trader who has tested all trading platforms and knows all their secrets. Technology is his passion; he spends much of his free time in the metaverse. Gianluca loves learning new things, researching, discussing and writing about technology, especially when it comes to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.