If you are serious about cryptocurrencies, the hardware cryptocurrency wallet is one device you just need to have. One of Ledger’s Nano S wallets is one of the most popular–a practical USB flash drive that supports almost every cryptocurrency.
But the Nano S has been around for a few years, and its age is quite low, and its memory is limited and therefore it only works with a few cryptocurrencies (typically 3) simultaneously.
In January, Ledger announced Ledger Nano X as a new hardware wallet. In several key areas, it is a significant improvement compared to Nano S: faster, more wide-screen, more wireless and many more coins (up to 100) can support simultaneously.
At $119, the Nano X is also significantly cheaper than the $59 Nano S, and now I had the opportunity to test out a testing unit and see if the price premium was worth it.
First, a brief introduction to cryptocurrency hardware wallets. They are hardware devices that maintain your private crypto keys, allowing you to access your crypto coins securely with a PIN. By requiring real hardware interaction at certain points, such as pressing a key or confirming the accuracy of a cryptocurrency on the screen, they add a much-needed security layer over software wallets.
At the Ledger Nano X, your private key cryptocurrency (long strings of symbols allowing you to spend your crypto coins) is “isolated” in a “protected feature” chip and neither of the Nano X applications will ever see it. Your private key should be safe even if you plug the Nano X in a compromised PC.
You will note some different components when you open the box. The four main things are:
- Ledger Nano X
- USB Cable
- Recovery Phrase Cards
There are also some stickers and other things, in addition to the above objects, but all can be placed on the side.
Maybe you want to store some of the boxes and packaging, but this is up to you.
Ledger X Controls
You’ll want to scroll using the left and right buttons to maneuver over the screens. Click both of them at the same time to confirm a menu option. This can at first be confusing and sometimes get used to it.
Ledger X Setup
The Nano X can be configured with iOS, Android or computer.
In this installation example, I used my iPhone XR to configure Nano X via Bluetooth.
Ledger has a new application called Ledger Live which I used to configure Nano X:
Select the system you are setting up once opened. I picked Nano X, but it’s going to work with any Ledger device.
Choose “Initialize as a new device” if your device is brand new:
Set a pin code on your device in this step. You don’t have to use the app yet, the app just guides you through the steps.
The Ledger app has some nice suggestions for security.
Now, write down your 24 words on your Nano X Ledger screen. It just guides you, and you still don’t need the app.
Ledger offers more advice, make sure you follow all their recommendations to keep your bitcoin and cryptocurrency secure!
Ledger is going to ask you to confirm that you have followed their advice.
Now we can get to pairing your Nano X with your phone.
Make sure your phone is on Bluetooth. If so, on your phone screen you should see this pop-up. See the verification code on your Nano X Ledger:
The wallet and my phone connected!
Ledger Live will tell you to set a password lock, so if someone has access to your mobile phone, they will not be given any information about which coins are on your Ledger.
That’s it, the device is ready to use! Although this process seemed long, it didn’t take me more than 5 minutes to complete all of it.
More apps, more speed
The number of apps you can install in Nano S is quite limited, but Nano X can support up to 100 apps simultaneously. You need an app for each crypto coin (well, you don’t need separate apps for Ethereum-based tokens for each that has its blockchain) to send and receive it. I have enabled applications for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Chain, Zcash and NEO for testing Nano X without problems.
The speed between the Nano X and the Nano S is a major difference. Even when you do something quite easy, for example punching a PIN code, the Nano S often slows down to a crawl. I didn’t have such problems with the Nano X— the device was snappy no matter what I did.
The Nano X also has a larger screen, so you can, for example, display a complete Bitcoin or Ethereum address on the screen during the crypto-receiving or sending verification process. This is much better than scrolling left and right on the Nano S.
Ergonomically speaking, the Nano X improves over the Nano S because its buttons are bigger and easier to push. The only (slight) issue I encountered was that the right button was sometimes a little sticky, so it wasn’t always perfect to press both buttons at once (a very common action when using Nano X). The screen is also larger than that on the Nano S, but still quite small and the fonts can be hard to read. Nor is visibility in the sun the best.
Improvements from the Ledger Nano S
Larger Screen Size
One of the community’s most common complaints about the old Ledger Nano S is that it was difficult to see the computer.
The Ledger team has thus expanded the unit size to 72 mm x 18.6 mm x 11.75 mm (Left) compared to the old 56.95 mm x 17.4 mm x 9.1 mm (Right).
The Nano X Ledger can also connect your Nano X to a mobile device that enables transactions on-the-go. This may or may not be helpful to you, depending on your storage needs.
At $119, the Nano X Ledger is not cheap— it is twice the cost of the S Nano that provides you with the same protection. But for an advanced user, the price premium is worth it – the faster operation, the ability to work with more coins and bigger display are all major improvements, which squeezes all the difficulties I’ve had with the Nano S.
The Trezor, the top model of which, the Trezor T model, is slightly more affordable but comes with advanced features like color screen and a microSD card slot. Ledger has more money than Trezor and is stronger supported by decentralized exchanges like IDEX and Binance DEX, although Trezor largely caught up in recent times. Neither company wallets had major security concerns, so the decision to get one over another largely results in such minor differences and personal preference.
Is the Ledger Nano X safe?
Absolutely! Absolutely! With good reason, the Ledger Nano X is #1 on our hardware wallet list. The proven safety and security record makes it an unbelievable option to store cryptocurrency.
How many coins can be kept by a Ledger Nano X?
There is no limit to how many coins can be kept by a Ledger Nano X. So long as the wallet supports your favorite cryptocurrency, it can store as much as you need!
How can I withdraw money from my Nano X ledger?
Withdrawing from a Ledger Nano X is extremely easy to do. Open the Ledger Manager app that gives you an interface.
From here, navigate to the coin, paste the deposit address, and wait for the coins!