You may be new to crypto, or you may be someone who is looking to up their game and invest a lot more in the currency than they ever have before. You could even be an experienced crypto veteran who is looking for a bit more security for their assets.
Whatever the case may be, it seems that you are looking for a Ledger wallet that can help you store your private keys. Here, we will look at what is a Ledger wallet, whether you need one at all, and which one (or ones) you should spring for.
What is a Ledger Wallet?
The term Ledger wallet is usually used to refer to wallets that store cryptocurrency. More specifically, these are hardware wallets, meaning that these are gadgets built for the sole purpose of storing your private keys.
Ledger was the company that first popularized these wallets. Currently, there are a total of 2 Ledger wallets that you can purchase. The Ledger Nano S and the Ledger Nano X.
While a USB flash drive is all you need to store your private keys, and hardware wallets have traditionally been standard USB drives, a Ledger wallet is different. Namely, Ledger wallets offer specific features designed with the aim of storing your crypto. Not only are they more secure, but Nano X (the more expensive and newer model) also allows you to easily spend crypto from your wallet.
The Nano X is quite obviously the better model when you consider all things, but the choice between the two is more complicated than that. For one, the Nano X costs more. And, as you will see later on, some of its features that make it a more advanced wallet also tend to make it a little less secure. As such, it is an actual possibility that even if budget is not your main concern when it comes to finding a wallet, the cheaper Nano S is better suited to serve your needs.
Do I Need a Ledger Wallet?
This is a key question that you need to ask. After all, Ledger wallets can be quite expensive. The Nano X costs upwards of a hundred dollars, and that money could be better spent (e.g. to purchase more crypto).
Remember that in the end, you do not have any ‘legal’ claim to the cryptocurrency you currently process. Due to the decentralized nature of the currency and the fact that it is designed to be as anonymous as possible, whoever controls the private keys controls the currency that is attached to them.
As such, if your crypto is stored on an exchange, the exchange can do whatever it wants with the currency. We are not saying that any major exchange will do this, but this is a possibility that must be considered. An even greater possibility is that the exchange is hacked, most of the crypto is stolen, and the exchange goes bankrupt as a result.
Here are a few short reasons why you may want to consider using Ledger wallets:
- Your crypto assets are worth a lot and might be at risk of theft.
- You have a lot of various cryptocurrencies and want a secure way to store all of them in one place.
- You are concerned with privacy and do not want to keep exchange-based wallets.
- You want a hardware wallet, but you also want to be able to use your crypto on a regular basis.
- You access a lot of computers and need a wallet that can protect your crypto from malware and spyware.
Key Features of a Ledger Wallet
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of each wallet, it is important that you understand what are some of the main features that Ledger wallets offer. This will make you understand how to compare all of the various Ledger wallets that exist and things that you need to look out for.
- Ledger wallets never connect to the internet, keeping your crypto in cold storage.
- They usually connect to an external machine to move crypto in and out of the wallet.
- The crypto is stored in a secure space on the drive that cannot be accessed easily, even when connected to a computer.
- Ledger wallets have built-in defenses to protect them against spyware and viruses.
In case you want to know how Ledger protects your crypto, the crypto is stored on a secure element. This element is tamperproof, and any PC or phone that you connect to your wallet will never be able to access this element.
Instead, the crypto that you want to transact will first leave that secure element and then be sent to its designated address. Similarly, any crypto that you want to receive will be moved onto the secure element, unable to be accessed until you allow the wallet to move it.
In the case of the Nano X, the Bluetooth connection is end-to-end encrypted, ensuring that no data will be accessible even if someone manages to intercept the traffic. However, if you are still not comfortable with using the device over a Bluetooth connection, you can hook it up through a USB if you wish.
As we learned way back in 2014, cryptocurrency exchanges are extremely vulnerable to hacks, and it is possible for users to lose all of their money as a result of it. While exchanges are a lot more secure nowadays, the possibility still exists.
As such, Ledger wallets are considered to be the safest way to store cryptocurrency. So, which wallet should you go with? Let’s take a look!
Ledger Nano X
Ledger Nano X is considered to be the industry standard when it comes to Ledger wallets, and with good reason. In terms of the features that it offers, it’s hard to find wallets that can compete.
The biggest feature of the Nano X is its Bluetooth connectivity. That means that it is one of those rare wallets that can easily pair up with an iOS as well as an Android device. Once paired, it is easy to make transactions and transfer your crypto to your wallet.
There are over 1,100 assets that are compatible with the app, and Ledger claims that you can install up to 100 apps on your Nano X. The apps are used to store the crypto assets, and the app for each asset may function differently from another.
With a battery that is able to function for 8 hours, the Nano X seems like the ideal wallet for those that are constantly on the go but require a secure wallet with advanced security features.
- CC EAL5+ Secure element.
- Certified by ANSSI.
- Support for both iOS and Android.
- Support for up to 100 apps (depending on the size each app takes).
- Is quite expensive relative to other wallets.
- The code behind the wallet is not open-source, thus it cannot be subjected to an independent audit.
Ledger Nano S
The Ledger Nano S is the cheaper of the two options available to you from Ledger. While the device is obviously not able to stand up to the Nano X in terms of features, it might be a better option for some people.
There are two main drawbacks of using the Nano S compared to the Nano X. The first is the absence of Bluetooth, which may make it difficult for you to transfer funds regularly. As such, those that want to use the wallet for their day-to-day transactions will be much better off with the Nano X. However, if you have an Android phone, it is possible to connect the Nano S through the USB-port and use your phone to make transactions.
The second is the capacity. Compared to the Nano X, the Nano S can only hold between 3 to 20 assets at one time. The amount of assets you can hold will depend on the apps that you have installed. Some apps, like Ethereum, take up a lot more space than others. As such, you may want to check your portfolio and the relative app sizes before you spring for the Nano S. It is possible that the wallet cannot even hold everything you own.
However, if you are someone that only holds a few assets and wants an ironclad way to secure them, then the Nano S is one of the cheapest ways to do that. It basically offers the same security features as the Nano X and is compatible with exactly the same wallets as its more expensive counterpart.
- Cheap relative to its competition.
- The same security features as the much more expensive Nano X.
- Very good build quality with a stainless steel finish, making the device durable and perfect for travel.
- It can be difficult to set up the wallet and use it for daily transactions.
- A lack of capacity will make it a difficult choice for those that own a lot of crypto assets.
Conclusion – Which Ledger Wallet Should You Get?
By now, it should automatically be clear to you which is the right wallet for you. However, in case you are still unsure, Let’s take a look at use cases for both the Ledger Nano X and the Ledger Nano X.
Why Should I Get the Ledger Nano X?
If you want a wallet that can also be used to make regular transactions, then the Ledger Nano X is the wallet for you.
Also, the fact that it has Bluetooth connectivity also means that you will not need to change your phone if you have an iOS device. No matter what your device, you will be able to connect it to the Nano X and make transactions as you please. The 8-hour battery will also ensure that you are able to use your device for a long time without having to charge it. After all, you will only be using it when making transactions.
Another major reason to get the Ledger Nano X is if you own a lot of different crypto assets. As you will have noticed, it is not possible to store a lot of assets in the Nano S. If the apps that you are using are heavy in size, then you will only be able to get around 3 assets on the Nano S. The Nano X does not have this problem, as it is expected to store around 100 different assets when at maximum capacity
Why Should I Get the Ledger Nano S?
If you just want a hardware wallet to store your crypto and do not want to carry it around with you to make transactions, then the basic models are your best bet. The Ledger Nano S will be more than sufficient for your needs.
Remember that since you are not going to be able to connect the device wirelessly to nearby devices, this will add an additional layer of security.
Just remember that if you are going to use the Nano S as a device for storing and holding crypto, then you must also protect your device by storing it in a secure place. A safe would be ideal, but anything that cannot be accessed easily will suffice.
Why Should I Get Both?
Remember that you do not have to limit yourself to a single Ledger wallet. If you want the maximum convenience along with a high level of security, you can also purchase both of the Ledger wallets. This, of course, will require you to spend a higher amount of money, so make sure that your wallet can take the hit before you go ahead.
Here is how it will work: The Nano S will be used to store most of your crypto. After all, chances are that most people are heavily invested in only a few assets. The other assets, if there, make up a small percentage of the portfolio (mainly to diversify).
The Nano S will be kept in a secure location with the brunt of your assets. The Nano X, on the other hand, will be used for daily traveling and to make transactions.