Expert review: Ledger Nano S
- Thanks to the clear oled display you double check all your transactions.
- The clear app gives you a good overview of your coins and transactions.
- The Ledger Nano S is easy to use. \ N- The Nano S has no battery, it must be connected to a PC.
- The Ledger app only works in Google Chrome.
Out of the box
The Ledger Nano S is in a nice little box that radiates 'more is less'. More than a photo of the product, the name and what it is is not mentioned. Once opened, I see the Ledger Nano S lying directly, protected by soft foam. Below that we find the accessories: a key ring, lanyard and string. The required USB cable also lies here. The concise documentation is hidden in an envelope. All in all, the packaging looks very neat. It is clear that this is a hardware wallet in the top segment.
What can you do with a hardware wallet? Unlike a real cryptowallet, this is not the place where you store all your bitcoins and altcoins. A hardware wallet like the Ledger Nano S is just the device that gives you double-secured access to your crypto coins. The Ledger Nano S does this with a pin code and a list of 24 words that you get after the first installation. The intention is that you write down and save those words to later enter them to confirm a payment. The actual key to your wallet is safely stored on the Ledger chip, which prevents hackers from stealing it. In addition, you can also see a transfer on the Ledger Nano screen, so that every transaction is double safe.
Although it initially seems like the Ledger Nano S is directly a device that you use everywhere, that is not true. This hardware wallet only works if it is connected to your computer or laptop via a USB cable. The first time you use the Ledger, you enter a PIN code. You do that on the device itself, unfortunately the buttons are a little too opaque for my big fingers. You will also see the 24 random words on the Ledger screen. The first installation is smooth and it does not take long before you can use this hardware wallet. However, you first have to install the Ledger app via Chromecast.
If you have set up the Nano S and installed the Chrome extension for the Ledger cryptowallet, you can really get started. I think the app for Chrome looks very well-organized. Because it works in your browser, you can also use the Ledger Nano S with any operating system.
It is very easy to transfer bitcoins or ethereum to another wallet from the app. As soon as I do that, I receive a confirmation of the transaction on the Nano S. You get to see the recipient and the amount you transfer. On the Nano S you confirm the transaction. That goes smoothly. However, entering the PIN with the small buttons is still annoying. The reason that you have to confirm the transaction on the Ledger is simple: there you have no chance of keyloggers who can retrieve your pin code.
The Ledger Nano S is very easy to use. In principle, I did not need the manual. The software is also very clear. The fact that you have to use the Chrome browser for this may be a problem for some people. The display of the Nano S is clear and the buttons are responsive, although in my opinion they should have been slightly larger. The build quality is very high. Are you planning to buy your first bitcoins, ethereum or ripples, then the Ledger Nano S might be a little too much of a good thing. But if you already have several cryptocoins, this device is a good way to protect your digital money even better.