Hardware wallets, known as cold storage, are regarded as the most secure instrument for saving and storing your cryptocurrencies.
One of the most popular wallets of this kind is Ledger, created by a company of the same name, headquartered in Paris, France.
Hardware wallets are currently the best option in the market if you want to minimize certain risks, such as security breaches, data leaks, exploits, or phishing.
Contrary to digital wallets (known as hot storage), hardware wallets keep your private keys —a long string of numbers and letters, similar to a password— offline, which means your funds are safe from cyber-attacks.
Ledger offers two hardware wallets: Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X —both are USB wallets that offer cold, offline storage and provide support for more than 1,800 crypto-assets.
However, both wallets have different features and capacities, which we’ll explain below.
Who Is Exodus Wallet For?
Hardware wallets are very simple, and easy to set up and use, and Ledger wallets are no different. It’s almost like having a pendrive where you can store your crypto funds.
We must keep in mind that Nano S and Nano X are targeted at different customers.
Pros & Cons of Ledger Hardware Wallets
Both wallets present their respective pros and cons, so let’s break them down:
Nano S pros:
- Easy to use and set up
- Highly secure and cold storage
- Support for 1800 cryptocurrencies and altcoins
Nano S Cons:
- Storage capacity is heavily limited, only 6 cryptocurrencies can be managed
- No touchscreen
- Doesn’t support iOS devices
Nano X Pros:
- Extended storage capacity, up to 100 cryptocurrencies
- Comes with a 100 mAh battery
- Slimer design
- Features Bluetooth
Nano X Cons
- No touchscreen
- Can be expensive
Our Take On Ledger Wallet
Ledger wallets are definitely a good option to start with cold storage.
I would recommend Nano S to everyone keen to save a selected group of cryptocurrencies apart, and Nano X for users with a more diversified portfolio.
The most direct competitor of Ledger is Trezor.
Both companies produce high-quality wallets, but what sets Ledger apart is its simple and intuitive Ledger Live App and the numerous security protocols it has.
Ledger Wallet Fees
Ledger doesn’t charge fees for using its service, nor are there hidden costs.
Instead, the Ledger Live app allows you to adjust network fees when you need to send to execute a transaction.
Remember that the higher the fees, the faster the transaction speed.
Safety Of the Ledger Wallet
Both Nano S and X leverage the same security protocols, and when it comes to reputation, Ledger has been regarded as one of the most secure hardware wallet manufacturers in existence, directly competing against Trezor.
Both devices are highly secure, but unlike its competitors, Ledger takes things one step further by being the first manufacturer to use Secure Element (SE) chips, which are basically microprocessor chips designed to run highly sensitive information, and has their own operating system, called BOLOS (Blockchain Open Ledger Operating System).
However, despite the numerous security measures within a hardware wallet, they can still be subject to sophisticated cyber-attacks.
In 2020, Ledger suffered a major data leak. While the attack didn’t compromise users’ wallets, nearly 300,000 users saw their private information, including phone numbers and physical addresses, being dumped to malicious websites.
Ledger Nano S vs X Features
As we previously mentioned, both wallets support over 1800 cryptocurrencies and serve the same purpose: to keep your funds in a secured, cold storage device.
However, there are several differences between the two, so let’s break them down.
First of all, while both wallets are compatible with a wide range of digital assets, it doesn’t mean that all those crypto-assets can be managed.
The Nano S has a maximum storage capacity of at least 160kb, so only 6 cryptocurrencies can be held up. This wallet is better suited for customers who like keeping a small portfolio.
Generally speaking, Nano S is a good option for newcomers who haven’t used a hardware wallet before or are just starting in the cryptocurrency space.
It’s also cheaper than the Nano X with a price of $59. It’s also smaller (56.95mm x 17.4mm x 9.1mm and weighs 16 grams).
Nano S isn’t available for iPhone devices due to hardware limitations, only for Android devices, and Windows.
The Nano X wallet takes a sharper and smoother design with 1.8Mb of storage, providing support for 100 cryptocurrencies.
It has a larger resolution compared to Nano S and bigger buttons. Another notable difference is that Nano X is Ledger’s first wallet to feature a battery life of 100 mAh.
Unfortunately, its capacity is limited as it only provides 7 to 8 hours of duration and has a life expectancy of 5 years. And even worse is that the battery can’t be replaced.
So to wrap up —the Nano X wallet offers more storage capacity and a few extra features, but it’s more expensive with a price of $150.
Nano X is available for Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS devices, including iPhone and Mac.
Wallet Installation Process
Ledger Live App
When you have your Ledger device, whether it’s the S or X version, you need to download the Ledger Live app available for mobile and desktop.
You can find it on Ledger’s official website or via App Store or Play Store, depending on which mobile device you’re using.
Installing and setting up a Ledger Live account is quite intuitive and straightforward. One of the perks of the Ledger Live app is that it provides a clear and thorough setup.
The app will ask us if we want to add more extra security measures throughout the process, which is highly recommended and doesn’t take more than five minutes.
Ledger’s official website also provides users with educational content on how to set up their hardware wallet, how to transfer crypto and other basic features for newcomers.
Configuring The Hardware Wallet
Now, set up your hardware wallet —first, you need to connect your Ledger wallet to your laptop or mobile device.
The Nano X wallet can be connected to your mobile device via Bluetooth, or you can use the USB-C to USB cable that’s included in the package.
However, you will need to buy Ledger’s OTG kit, which is a set of 3 different USB cables to connect your Nano S to your laptop or mobile, which can be a pain point.
Both Nano S and X do not feature a touchscreen, which makes it a rather clumsy and messy process.
The wallets’ interfaces are just two physical buttons that allow you to go left and right, and in order to press enter, you need to click the two buttons simultaneously.
When you start your wallet, you have the option of setting up a new device or restoring your account using the recovery phrase.
In this case, we’re setting up a new account, so you have to choose a secure PIN code that authorizes access to your account.
Afterward, the device will generate a 24-word long secret recovery phrase which you need to write down and save it in a safe location.
Enter your recovery phrase and confirm it in order to set your device. Once done, you have to pair your ledger wallet with the ledger live app via Bluetooth (Nano X) or USB cable (Nano S) and you’re ready to go.
The process is pretty much the same for both Nano S and X.
Both hardware wallets support the same cryptocurrency list, including a lot of DeFi (decentralized finance) tokens.
Some of the most popular currencies that Nano S and X support are:
- Avalanche (AAVE)
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Binance Coin (BNB)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Polkadot (DOT)
- Solana (SOL)
Within the Ledger Live app, you can manage up to 28 coins and 1800 tokens, while also having compatibility with at least 50 wallets.
However, keep in mind certain assets can be stored on your hardware wallet but aren’t available on the app, including Binance Coin, Cardano (ADA), Monero (XMR), Crypto.com (CRO), and VeChain (VET).
Plus, Ledger allows staking so customers can earn money by holding their crypto assets.
All of Ledger’s hardware wallets allow users to stake up to 7 cryptocurrencies at once, and they receive their rewards directly via the Ledger Lie app or the wallet address of their preference.
Ledger Customer Service
Ledger’s customer support is quite limited.
It only offers a chatbot window that prompts users to answer a few questions and then receive a ticket. Phone support isn’t available.
Ledger scores a 3.5 out of 5 on Trustpilot, having mixed reviews. Most users complain about poor customer support.