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Ledger Nano S Plus Review: Is It Safe?

Ledger introduced its latest hardware wallet in April 2022, the Ledger Nano S Plus. The model is priced between the Nano S models and Nano X in terms of functionality. Ledger’s bestseller Ledger NANOS Plus is now available in the Ledger S Plus. It is ready for Web3 and compatible with NFT and DeFi. This review covers everything you need to know about this model.

Ledger Nano S Plus Overview

Ledger Nano S Plus is a hardware wallet for securely storing cryptocurrency offline. It’s a long-awaited update to the brand’s crypto wallet for beginners that is designed for people who want to protect their digital assets.

Two types of wallets are available: cold wallets or hot wallets. Hot wallets are usually connected to the internet. They can be found online or on your phone. Cold wallets can’t be accessed via the internet. Instead, they are physical devices that hold cryptocurrencies and can be securely stored offline. Because of self-custody, cold wallets allow you complete control over your cryptocurrencies. This means that you have the keys to your wallet and can access it.

The Ledger Nano S Plus, which was the predecessor of this device, casts a long shadow. The Nano S Plus was launched in 2016, and it quickly became a hit among hardware wallets. It sold more than 4.5 million units. Nano S launched in 2016, but most of the current cryptocurrencies weren’t available at the time. Also, NFTs were very rare at the time.

We are now in the present with the new Nano S Plus. As crypto moves further into the mainstream, there are now new wallets available for all levels of users, from novices to institutional-grade investors.

Nano S Plus is a competitor to many other hardware wallets on the market today. It will also compete with all self-custodial hot wallet solutions offered in exchanges and software providers.

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Recent events have revived discussion about self-custody. These include the freezing of bank accounts in connection to the Canadian trucker protest, and sanctions being placed on Russian accounts. These news stories remind us that money is not worth much if we can’t access it.

Ledger Nano S Plus Online Purchase

Order the Ledger Nano S Plus online directly from the manufacturer. You can currently purchase this product at a cost of 119,000.00 EUR.

An official reseller can also be used to place orders.

Ledger Nano S Plus Unboxed

Ledger Nano S Plus is just 21g in weight and measures 62.39 x 17.40x 8.24mm. The outer shell of the Ledger Nano S Plus is made out of brushed stainless and the inside is made up of plastic. Installed is the ST33K1M5 certified safety chip (CC EAL5+). The display is 128×64 pixels. Two buttons at the top of your hardware wallet allow you to access the hardware wallet.

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Design

There are some discrepancies pertaining to the Nano S’ awkward design. Let’s begin with the pros. The Nano S Plus, reminiscent of a USB stick, has a fit-into-the-palm-of-your-hand footprint, allowing it to fit into small pockets and other tiny compartments inside your favorite laptop bag.

Nano S Plus has an onyx rectangular prism and a display of 128 x 64 pixels. This panel is noticeably bigger than the predecessor’s. The prism is topped by two buttons that enable users to navigate the OS. This is where things get a little bizarre. The Nano S Plus’s case is made of brushed stainless steel and can be turned around to conceal its USB-C port. It has a hole which encourages users not to attach the Nano S Plus directly to keychains, but that is what I don’t like.

The Nano S Plus should not go out on keychains, nor be swinging off of book bags. Instead, it should be kept in a safe or locked drawer.

Contrary to the Nano S which comes in a range of colors (e.g. Saffron Yellow and Flamingo Pink are all available for the Nano S. The Nano S Plus is only available in black with a silver case — which is a plus for increased discreteness. Personally, I wouldn’t choose a Flamingo Pink cryptocurrency hardware wallet. It would attract too much attention.

How to set-up Ledger Nano Plus

Prior to the trial, I was concerned about how complex and intimidating cold storage would be to use. This device made that fear seem unfounded.

It took less than 30 minutes to set up the hardware wallet. It was very easy to follow the instructions and it felt effortless.

First, you will need to download the Ledger Live app, which can be downloaded from the company’s website or from a mobile app shop. It’s available in two versions: a desktop version (Windows, Mac), or a mobile version (Android and iOS).

Once the app is installed, you can connect your thumb drive to the computer using the cable that came with it. The Type-C socket of the Ledger can be used while the standard USB plug is at the other end. For connecting to a smartphone, a USB-to Type-C converter could be useful.

This is the time to grab a pen or a place where you can write down important information.

The next step is to create the PIN code. It is usually four to eight digits in length. It functions the same as the unlock code on a phone. This code is needed to turn on your hardware wallet and to validate transactions. It’s the first thing you should write down. You should not take a photograph of it, or create any digital copies. This allows hackers to steal your crypto (provided the thieves find and gain access)

Next is the Secret Recovery Phrase, which is 24 randomly generated words. Also called a “seed phrase”, This is the second thing to note. Be sure to capture all 24 words. After selecting the correct seed phrase from four options, the app will prompt you to confirm it. For each word, repeat the process until you have 24 words.

You can use the seed phrase as your last resort in case of damage to the device. Therefore, it is important that you keep this information private and safe. Your funds can be recovered if your hardware ledger is damaged or lost. You can import your account using the 24 seed phrases. Your funds will disappear if the seed phrase is lost.

After everything is done, the software checks the hardware for any security issues. This is more common for second-hand hardware wallets, and is generally not recommended.

How to use Ledger Nano S Plus

You need two things to manage your assets with Ledger Nano S Plus:

  • Connect to your wallet with a smartphone or computer
  • The Ledger Live Application

The Ledger Nano S Plus must be connected to a computer or tablet in order to be used. While more sophisticated (and costly) cold wallets are possible, most people will need to connect to a device like a tablet or laptop in order for the wallet’s management.

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My sample gadget had a small selection of coins. However, Ledger states that the wallet will accept over 5,500 cryptocurrencies when it goes to market on April 5, 2022.

BOLOS is the operating system used by Ledger. Ledger Live offers many other applications that can be downloaded from the app store Discover.

Nano S Plus storage has been increased to 1.5 megabytes. This gives plenty of space and is sufficient to install over 100 applications.

Ledger Nano S Plus Pricing

Nano S Plus at $79 won’t shock you like the $150 Nano X. The Nano S Plus ($79) is still a high-end device, but it’s not as simple as a USB stick-esque device.

Ledger Nano S Plus features 1.5MB of storage, support for up to 100 crypto applications, and a certified chip CC EAL5+. The Common Criteria security assessment of the Nano S Plus was completed. Secure Element chips in Ledger hardware wallets are state-of the-art security solutions. These high-end security options protect sensitive data, such as passwords and SIM cards. As such, the Nano S Plus’s chip has been certified by CC EAL5+.

Ledger offers the option to purchase the new hardware wallet directly from their official website. You can also purchase the Nano S Plus from Amazon. However, Ledger recommends buying it directly on their site as you are assured an authentic and untampered wallet.

Buy and Sell Crypto

Hardware wallets are blockchain-only solutions that you can’t deposit or keep fiat currency on. While they may be less convenient than hot wallets and exchanges, it is still more secure than the former.

You can use the Ledger to purchase and sell cryptocurrencies with a few third party applications like Banxa, Coinify, and Moonpay. They are intermediaries between fiat and cryptocurrency worlds. You can use your dollars, euros, pounds, pesos etc. You can invest in cryptocurrencies.

These fiat-to-crypto on-ramps make crypto accessible for everyone. Most providers require extensive identification checks or charge exorbitant fees, or they don’t service certain areas or states. I spent the entire morning looking for an on-ramp to complete a transaction.

Ledger’s on-ramps problems are not their fault, but they do highlight a major problem for the crypto industry. It’s a crucial piece of the puzzle that can easily scare novice users. I recommend using the exchanges for purchases and sales and keeping the Ledger to store your data.

Ledger Nano S Plus Security

If you’re wondering why you need a hardware wallet over an online wallet, and how safer it is, the Nano S Plus keeps your recovery phrase – which is the key to all your crypto – offline. MetaMask digitally stores the seed phrase you create, which is unlike hardware wallets. Yes, it is encrypted but who knows what? What if a highly skilled hacker figured out how to breach Chrome Extension, discover your seed phrase and seize all your crypto? You won’t get it back.

Thieves would need to enter your home and take your recovery code (which you have hopefully stored in a safe) before they can steal digital assets.

Avoiding Malware

The Ledger Nano S Plus has a great security feature that requires you to double-check all your “receive adress” (alphanumeric string that tell people where to send your crypto). If you wish to send Dogecoin via your Coinbase Wallet, you must get the receive address through Ledger Live. Then, Coinbase Wallet will “inform” your blockchain where your DOGE should be sent. Ledger Live can pull up the Dogecoin address from your desktop. You can then copy it. It will ask you to double-check your receive address by showing it on the Nano S Plus’s screen. If they match you can click on “Accept” to accept the hardware wallet.

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This is a very important point. Clipper is a dangerous malware. This malicious software, which can “recognize” cryptocurrency wallet addresses and then automatically switch them with the hacker’s own addresses, is quite hair-raising. Although you might think you’ve copied and pasted the wallet address, it turns out that you actually entered the hacker’s wallet address. After you hit “Send”, it is too late. You’ve been tricked to send your own money to a cybercriminal’s house!

Ledger Live has made it a point to ask users to check that the receiving address in the desktop UI matches the address displayed on the hardware wallet’s panel. This is a good way to keep you on your toes. You’ll be more likely to spot a foreign address in the desktop UI.

How Ledger Nano S Plus protects against self-sabotage

As we said, crypto investors are their worst enemies. A hacker is less likely to steal your digital assets. Let’s take this example: You’re at work, and you decide to check out the market. As Bitcoin’s value falls, your jaw drops and you feel compelled to sell. Your Nano S Plus is safely stored in a safe.

Hardware wallets can be difficult to use for day trading. This makes it appealing to investors who want long-term storage but aren’t looking to self-sabotage.

How to add accounts

To hold a cryptocurrency on your wallet, you will need to download the Ledger Live App. These apps allow you to access the blockchain for your chosen coin. Let’s assume you want to keep bitcoin on your Ledger. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Click on “Manager”, in the left menu bar, to access the Ledger Live app for your smartphone or computer.
  2. With your PIN code, unlock your Ledger.
  3. The App Catalog will show all the available cryptocurrencies that can be stored in your wallet. Click on the one that interests you and click on “Install”.
  4. Click “Add Account” to add the cryptocurrency.
  5. A window opens on your Ledger Live application and there is a sign that says “Open App” to access the cryptocurrency. To continue, press the buttons on both sides simultaneously.
  6. In a few seconds you will be able to name your account.

Comparison of the Nano S Plus and the other versions

Ledger Nano S Plus vs. Nano X

Many of the same capabilities are shared by the Nano S Plus as well as the Nano X. They support the same number and number of digital assets, can run the same number and be used simultaneously to manage both NFTs or cryptocurrencies.

The Nano X and Nano S Plus are both compatible with iOS and Bluetooth. This is one of the major differences. Nano X is also compatible with iOS and Bluetooth, so it can be used on a single battery.

You’ll pay an additional US$70 for Nano X’s longer battery life and Bluetooth and iOS compatibility.

Nano S Plus vs. Nano S

The Nano S Plus, although costs US$20 more, is a major upgrade to the Nano S.

Nano S Plus can manage native support NFTs and holds the private keys to a significantly greater number of digital assets.

Verdict

Nano S Plus is a new and innovative hardware wallet. It allows you to securely manage digital assets (both cryptos as well as NFTs) at a reasonable price.

It has one major drawback: You can only stake a small number of cryptos whose keys your device stores via LedgerLive.

Storing keys to your crypto assets is one of the most dangerous aspects of investing in that asset class. Do your homework about all available crypto wallets before you choose the one that is best for you and your goals.

Hardware wallets are generally considered to be the most secure way to store crypto, especially if you’re an investor or intend on keeping the coins for the long term.

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