Ledger Nano S Plus 2023 Review | Is Ledger A Safe Cold Wallet?
Crypto self-custody has never been more important. Regardless of how little or how much crypto you own. Too many people get complacent in bull markets and get hurt in bear markets. The price you can pay for security mistakes can be massive if you don’t take the right steps to secure your crypto. Keeping your crypto safe should be your number one priority. If you have your coins stolen, it’s all been for nothing. It’s time to learn from the mistakes of others—don’t be lazy and leave your coins on a crypto exchange. It’s easier, but not safer. For the crypto coins and tokens you’re keeping in your HODL portfolio, use a hardware wallet.
What is Ledger?
Ledger is a hardware wallet company launched in France in 2014 by a team of eight professionals with expert backgrounds in internet security, cryptocurrencies, and business. The vision for the company is to create secure solutions for blockchain applications and that’s exactly what they have delivered. Ledger has grown to employ over 800 people worldwide and has sold over 5M wallets to over 200 countries. As of 2023, Ledger has three hardware wallets to choose from: the Nano S Plus (entry-level), the Nano X (flagship model), and the soon-to-be-launched Ledger Stax (designed by the iPod creator)—available on pre-order and launching in March 2023. All Ledger devices are compatible with Apple, Android, and Windows PCs and can be set up and managed through the Ledger Live app.
Ledger Nano S Plus: Quick Glance
What is a Hardware Wallet?
The Ledger Nano S Plus is a hardware wallet that allows crypto holders to store their private keys offline in “cold” storage. Hardware wallets are simple devices that are never connected to the internet. This stops anyone from remotely accessing your crypto. It’s your private key that is the password for your crypto and you will need it to access your crypto. When you store your crypto on a centralized exchange or custodied hot wallet, you are giving permission for the company to own your private key and therefore your crypto.
Think of it like a traditional bank, where your money is an IOU. Once you deposit money into a centralized bank it is no longer yours. This same logic applies to centralized entities in crypto. This is where the classic crypto saying comes from “not your keys, not your coins.” Without your private key, you do not own your crypto. But you will with the Ledger Nano S Plus.
The Nano S Plus
The Nano S Plus resembles a USB drive, designed with brushed stainless steel and black plastic. The device opens with a switchblade swivel and features a small LED screen that allows you to buy, sell, send, receive, and swap cryptocurrencies. It’s sleek, sexy, and compact.
The table below provides an overview of the Ledger Nano S Plus:
|NANO S PLUS|
|Access||International shipping is available, and all orders are shipped from the Ledger warehouse in Viezon, France (shipping excludes some countries either internationally sanctioned or with restrictive regulations)|
MacOS and Windows
|Ease of use and Setup||Design: Simple with 2 buttons and 1 screen|
Compatibility: Works with MacOS, Windows, Linux and Android
Box contents: 1 hardware wallet, 1 USB-C to USB-A cable, 1 getting started leaflet, 3 recovery sheets, 1 keychain strap
Getting started: Install the Ledger Live app, connect the wallet to your device using the cable, create a PIN code, note down your seed phrase, and add blockchain networks. You’re then ready to move your coins
Updates: Firmware updates require the Nano S Plus to be connected to a computer via USB
|Features||Buy, sell, send, receive, and swap cryptocurrencies|
Available in multiple colors
Storage for up to 100 cryptocurrency apps
NFT support for Ethereum and Polygon (Ledger Live app)
Multi-chain NFT support (third-party apps)
2-year warranty (orders via Ledger website)
No built-in battery (unlike the Nano X)
No Bluetooth capability (unlike the Nano X)
|Supported Coins||Over 500 cryptocurrencies (directly via Ledger Live app)|
Over 5,500 cryptocurrencies (via third-party apps)
24-word Secret Recovery Phrase
|Specification||Operating system: BOLOS, Ledger’s OS |
Size: 62.39mm x 17.4mm x 8.24mm
Materials: Brushed stainless steel and plastic
Compatibility: 64-bit desktop computer (Windows 8+, macOS 10.8+, Linux) excluding ARM Processors. Also compatible with smartphones Android 7+
Ledger Nano S Plus: Access
The Ledger Nano S Plus is available with worldwide shipping and all orders are shipped from the Ledger warehouse in Viezon, France. However, there are some countries that Ledger is currently unable to ship to, due to international sanctions and local regulations. The countries excluded from shipping are: Belarus, Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Kosovo, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian Federation, Sudan, and Syrian Arab Republic. For the most up-to-date list, please visit the Unavailable Countries page on the Ledger website. The Ledger website is available for translation into 10 languages which you can select from the dropdown menu in the top-right corner.
The Nano S Plus works both with mobile and desktop devices via the Ledger Live app. The app is available for Google Android on mobile devices, and available on both MacOS and Windows desktop computers. However, Ledger devices and the Ledger Live app do not currently support Chromebooks.
Whilst the Ledger Nano S Plus is available through third-party retailers such as Amazon, it is always recommended to buy directly from the manufacturer via the official Ledger website. This is to avoid buying a fake or tampered device. Thieves may have already noted down your 24-word seed phrase. Again, safety and security are your number one priority as a crypto owner. It’s not worth taking any unnecessary risks.
Ledger Nano S Plus: Ease of Use and Setup
The Ledger has been designed to be as intuitive as possible with two buttons, one screen and an app. That’s all you need to control the device. Hold down both buttons at the same time to activate the “Enter” key.
To set up your Nano S Plus, first download the Ledger Live app on your phone or computer. Then you need to connect your wallet to either your phone or computer using the cable provided. You will be prompted to enter a PIN for added security. This ensures only you can access the wallet. Once this is complete you will be given your 24-word seed phrase. Write this down and store it away somewhere safe. You may want to consider creating a duplicate copy and storing it away in a separate secure location. It’s always good to have backups. On the Ledger device itself, you will need to reconfirm the seed phrase.
From here you can use the Ledger Live app to install each blockchain app you will need. You will need to head to the “accounts” tab for this. For example, if you want to manage your Bitcoin, download the Bitcoin app or if you want to manage an ERC-20 token, make sure you download the Ethereum app.
That’s the setup complete and you are now ready to start moving your coins and tokens. It’s always advised to make a test transaction using a small amount of crypto when using a new wallet address. The Ledger Live interface is simple and easy to navigate, so it’s suitable for investors of all skill levels, whether beginner or advanced.
For a complete step-by-step guide for setting up your wallet, visit the Set up your Ledger Nano S Plus page on the Ledger website.
Ledger Nano S Plus: Features
Here are the main features the Nano S Plus:
- Simple design: The Nano S Plus is a small and lightweight device, smaller and lighter than the Nano X. Weighing in at just 21 grams It’s portable, inconspicuous, and easy to store away. Perfect for crypto beginners. With one screen and two buttons on the side to navigate left and right through transactions, the design is simple yet effective. Hold down both buttons at the same time to activate the “Enter” key. Inside the box, you get the wallet itself, a USB-C to USB-A cable, a getting started leaflet, three sheets to write down your seed phrase, and a keychain strap.
- Crypto staking: Ledger allows you to stake your crypto directly through the Ledger Live app as a way of making some passive income. To see a full list of cryptocurrencies you can stake and earn rewards, please visit the Staking page on the Ledger website.
- NFT Support: The Nano S Plus has even better support for NFTs than its original version, the Nano S. The Nano S Plus can store Polygon and Ethereum NFTs directly from the Ledger Live app itself. For NFTs on other blockchains, you will need to download and install a third-party app from the Ledger Live app.
- 2-year Warranty: The Ledger Nano S Plus is covered with a 2-year warranty and Ledger advises users to reach out to its support team in the event their device is damaged or are experiencing issues. If your Ledger wallet needs to be replaced, you will need to submit proof of receipt.
Ledger Nano S Plus: Supported Coins and Services
The Nano S Plus supports everything you get in the Nano X, offering much better value for money. Over 5,500 cryptocurrencies in total can be sent, received, exchanged, swapped, or staked. However, most of these cryptocurrencies are only available through third-party apps in the Ledger Live app.
Read a full comparison of the Ledger Nano S Plus vs. Nano X
The Ledger Live third-party apps unlock the full potential the Nano S Plus has to offer. Users can use it to access a wide range of DeFi and NFT apps including MyEtherWallet, MetaMask, Binance DEX, Yearn, and Lido Finance. You can download and install up to 100 crypto apps and is compatible with over 50+ third-party wallets.
The number of cryptocurrencies supported by Ledger directly is over 500, making this the perfect wallet for those just starting out with a basic long-term HODL portfolio. The S Plus also support NFTs. The Ledger Live app itself currently supports Ethereum and Polygon-based NFTs. To secure NFTs from other blockchains, you will need to download and install a third-party app to do so.
For a full list of supported coins, please visit the Supported Crypto Assets page on the Ledger website.
Ledger Nano S Plus: Price
The Ledger Nano S Plus costs $79 (£69/€79). The Ledger website will be priced in your local currency equivalent. Since the company’s inception, the Nano X wallet has been Ledger’s flagship product, with the Nano S sitting underneath that as the entry-level product. The Nano S Plus is the revamped and upgraded version of the Nano S, which comes in at $20 more expensive than the original. The Nano S Plus now represents value for money as it shares many similarities to the Nano X, but for almost half the price. If you’re just getting started in crypto, this is the wallet for you.
Ledger Nano S Plus: Security
The Ledger Nano S Plus is a solid hardware wallet option offering users state-of-the-art security.
The security features include:
- CC EAL5+ certified secure chip: The Ledger Nano S Plus features a CC EAL5+ certified secure chip, recognized by the industry as providing a high level of security. This means the wallet has passed rigorous verification and security testing. In addition, Ledger’s security has been certified independently by the National Agency for Information Systems Security (ANSSI). This is external, third-party confirmation that Ledger is committed to providing users with top-notch security solutions. The Nano S Plus uses these SE chips to run the operating system, sign transactions and encrypts the private keys.
- Closed-source firmware: Whilst the apps and Ledger Live (the client) are open-source, Ledger’s firmware remains closed. Ledger is closed source so that the company can guarantee the supply chain and infrastructure remains secure and resilient against attempted physical attacks. The hardware is designed to avoid these risks, and whilst the code is open source, only code approved by Ledger itself can be loaded onto the device.
- PIN-protected: The device itself is protected by a pin chosen and set up by the user, which acts as a lock mechanism. In the unlikely event that your Ledger wallet is stolen or misplaced, the thief will need to get past your PIN first. This extra security measure is designed to make it harder for anyone but yourself to access your crypto. Users can change their PIN in the security settings.
- Easy Backup: As long as you have your 24-word seed phrase, you will be able to recover your crypto if you lose your wallet. Remember, your crypto always remains on the blockchain and it’s your Ledger wallet that provides you with a private key so you can access your crypto. In the event your Ledger Nano S Plus is stolen or misplaced, you can buy another one and use the same seed phrase during the set-up process to restore the old one.
Finally, something to note about Ledger security is that the company suffered a marketing data leak in mid-2020. Customer data such as email and phone numbers were exposed, leading to phishing attacks. Whilst this is not specifically related to the Nano S Plus, it’s something to keep in mind, especially since Ledger uses closed-source technology.
Ledger Nano S Plus: Specification
The Nano S Plus runs on Ledger’s own operating system called BOLOS. It was designed with security in mind. It allows third-party apps to be installed onto the device while keeping them isolated from each other, and away from accessing your 24-word seed phrase. This means if a hacker installed malicious code affecting an app that you have installed on your wallet, it wouldn’t take down anything else.
Here are the technical specifications for the Ledger Nano S Plus:
|NANO S PLUS|
|Operating System||BOLOS, Ledger’s OS|
|Size||62.39mm x 17.4mm x 8.24mm|
|Materials||Brushed stainless steel and plastic|
|Compatibility||64-bit desktop computer (Windows 8+, macOS 10.8+, Linux) excluding ARM Processors. Also compatible with smartphones Android 7+|
Ledger Nano S Plus: Final Thoughts
The Ledger Nano S Plus is a must for crypto investors, especially if you’re a beginner. It’s affordable and easy to use, with enough storage and features for a beginner. If you can understand the importance of offline storage for your crypto, you’re most of the way there. Using the Nano S Plus will give investors peace of mind, which can’t go amiss, especially during those ugly bear markets.
The device is small and sleek, the setup is straightforward, and the Ledger Live app is simple to use. The Ledger wallets give you a ton of flexibility, so if you want to use it just for your long-term Bitcoin stack, you can. If you want to access DeFi and NFTs, you can. It’s down to the individual investor to decide. The Nano S Plus gives you the best value for money, making it the best place to start when it comes to hardware wallets. It’s a wallet you would recommend to everyone from your friend, and your colleague, to your parents.
Ledger Nano S Plus FAQs
Where to buy a Ledger Nano S Plus?
I can’t stress this enough, always buy your hardware wallet directly from the manufacturer. In this case, please use the official Ledger website. Whilst the Ledger Nano S Plus is available through third-party retailers such as Amazon, this is not advised. This is to avoid buying a fake or tampered device. Thieves may have already noted down your 24-word seed phrase. Again, safety and security are your number one priority as a crypto owner. It’s not worth taking any unnecessary risks.
What is the difference between the old version, Nano S and the new version, the Nano S Plus?
The Nano S Plus is an updated version of the original Nano S. The Nano S Plus has more storage than the original version, bringing it on par with its big sister, the Nano X. The storage allows for up to 100 apps. Other improvements in the Nano S Plus are a bigger screen, a USB-C cable rather than a Micro-USB and better support for NFTs.
What cryptocurrencies does the Ledger Nano S Plus support?
The Nano S Plus supports over 5,500 cryptocurrencies in total that can be sent, received, exchanged, swapped, or staked. The number of cryptocurrencies supported by Ledger directly is over 500. This is the same capabilities as the much more expensive model, the Nano X, so you’re getting great value for money with the S Plus. You can access the full range of cryptocurrencies by downloading and installing third-party apps supported by the Ledger Live app. The Ledger Nano S Plus allows you to download and install up to 100 crypto apps and is compatible with over 50+ third-party wallets.
Does the Ledger Nano S Plus support NFTs?
Yes, the Ledger Nano S Plus supports Polygon and Ethereum NFTs through the Ledger Live app. To gain access to NFTs from other blockchains, you will need to download and install a third-party app to do so.
How much storage is on the Ledger Nano S Plus?
The Ledger Nano S Plus comes with 1.5Mb of storage and can hold up to 100 cryptocurrencies and apps. This is an upgrade on the previous version, the Nano S, which only allowed you to hold up to 5 apps. This upgrade means the S Plus now has the same app capacity as the Ledger Nano X but comes in at almost half the price. If you don’t need the larger screen or Bluetooth capabilities the Nano X has to offer, the Nano S Plus may be a better option.
Does the Ledger Nano S Plus have a touchscreen?
No, the Ledger Nano S Plus does not have a touchscreen display. To navigate through crypto transactions, use the two buttons on the side of the device. Press down both buttons at the same time to activate the “Enter” key. If this is a design feature that’s important to you, I would recommend the Trezor Model T or the upcoming Ledger Stax wallet for those willing to pay the hefty price tag. The Ledger Stax will be released in March 2023.
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