Ledger Hardware Wallets:
Ledger has made quite a name for itself in the crypto space with their state-of-the-art hardware wallets. With the likes of Ledger Nano X and Ledger Nano S, the brand provides a simple solution to crypto investors looking to store their coins in an affordable and secure device.
Ledger offers several advanced features, including a secure chip and a proprietary operating system. A Ledger wallet can store over 1,100 cryptocurrencies and gives its users complete control over their private keys. Some of these cryptocurrencies can be stored directly on Ledger wallets, while others require third-party app installation. Considering this and how complicated crypto wallets can get, one question always arises, and that is whether Ledger hardware wallets are safe or not
In this article, we will shed some light on the features offered by Ledger hardware wallets and whether they are secure or not. We will also briefly examine the advantages and disadvantages of using a ledger hardware wallet.
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Is Ledger Hardware Wallets Safe?
The ledger hardware wallets are equipped with multiple features that ensure the safety of your crypto. The highlight is the wallet’s inherent design that allows you to isolate your data from the rest of your computer. It protects your data from computer viruses, ensuring it is not corrupted by any sort of malware on your PC.
Your private keys and password will remain protected even if you are plugging your Ledger wallet into a malware-affected PC.
Security Features of Ledger Hardware Wallet
Apart from its inherent design that protects the data by isolating it, some of the main features of Ledger hardware wallets include the following:
The secure element is a chip within your Ledger hardware wallet that allows it to store your private keys in a way that is isolated from the rest of the device. Not only it compartmentalizes your private keys, but it also protects them from physical attacks.
The secure element is tamper-proof, and even If someone manages to get hold of your ledger hardware, they won’t be able to extract any sensitive information from it. The built-in random number generator (RNG) adds to the security by generating private keys that are completely random.
One of the main features offered by Ledger hardware wallets is their propriety operating system, BOLOS. It is a well-designed OS that ensures ledger wallet users do not have to go through any hassle while making a transaction. BOLOS keeps your wallet ready, and you can make transactions quickly.
Another main function of the OS is to protect your private keys by ensuring they are isolated from the device to which the wallet is connected.
EAL5+ Certification (Common Criteria)
A Common Criteria evaluation allows an objective evaluation to prove that a particular product meets a defined set of security requirements.
When it comes to security, EAL5+ is the highest certification that can be awarded to an IT product. It means that the product has gone through a rigorous process of testing and methodical review. All the security chips used in Ledger wallets have been awarded that EAL5+ certification which makes them highly secure.
These chips are also secure against physical tampering and cannot be modified without any sort of detection.
Another feature that makes a Ledger wallet trustworthy is that an independent authority audits it.
The audit is done by a French cybersecurity company ANSSI whose job is to ensure that Ledger devices are meeting the standards devised by EAL5+. ANSSI is an independent authority and is known as the National Agency for the Security of Information Systems.
The passphrase security feature was added to Ledger wallets quite recently and has made the wallets even more secure. It allows you to create a different set of addresses ensuring no one can access your sensitive data even if they manage to get hold of a 24-word recovery phrase.
It also lets you choose the 25th word of your recovery phrase, which makes your passphrase even more unique. It also means that no one will be able to access your private keys even if they have the auto-generated 24-word recovery phrase.
Security Rules to Remember for Ledger Hardware Wallets
Ledger hardware wallets offer advanced security features that allow you to protect your private keys and passwords. They protect your sensitive information against all kinds of malware, but it is also crucial for you to handle the device carefully. Here are some important tips that will help you make the device more secure.
What to Do?
- Understand how the recovery phrase works and memorize it at all costs.
- Avoid storing your recovery phrase on digital devices and write them on paper. The whole concept of hardware wallets is to store your assets offline. Also, make sure you put that paper in a secure place.
- Buy a second hardware wallet if you have lots of cryptos. The second wallet will act as insurance, and you can also operate it with the same recovery phrase you are using for your primary ledger wallet.
What Not to Do?
- Do not forget or lose your recovery phrases.
- Never share your recovery phrase with anyone. If someone has access to your recovery phrase, they basically have access to the crypto stored in your hardware wallet.
- Do not fall for online scams. Remember, Ledger will never ask you about your recovery phrase via email or any other mode of communication. Anytime you are asked to reveal your recovery phrase, it is a scam.
Pros and Cons of Ledger Hardware Wallet
|Ledger Wallet Pros
|Ledger Wallet Cons
Easy to Setup
Easy to carry (lightweight)
Device-connected private keys
Looks like a USB stick
Supports over 1,000 cryptocurrencies
|Offers limited storage for apps
Not so mobile friendly
Nano S doesn’t support touch screen
What is the Main Difference Between Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X?
As Ledger is a trusted hardware wallet brand, both of these devices have a good reputation. You can enjoy high-level security and mobile compatibility with both devices. They also support the same currencies, so you don’t have to choose them on the basis of the coins you want to store.
The main differences lie in the price, storage capacity, and mobile app support. A Ledger Nano X wallet costs twice as much as its counterpart but also has better battery life and Bluetooth. Moreover, Nano S users can only use up to three crypto apps on their device, whereas Nano X offers up to 100 crypto apps. The Nano X also has iOS support, an added incentive for Apple users.
Ledger Nano S could be a great option for infrequent crypto investors who just want to store their assets offline. On the other hand, Nano X is more suitable for active traders who want more storage on their devices with better battery life.
Final Verdict on Ledger Hardware Wallet: Is It Safe for Cryptocurrency?
Looking at the type of features Ledger hardware wallets offer, they appear to be highly secure. They can compete with any hardware wallet in the market with their EAL5+ certification and independent audits. However, keep in mind no matter what kind of hardware wallet you use, there are always security risks associated with it.
With Ledger, you must always use unique passwords and never share your recovery phrase or pass keys directly with anyone. You must also not fall for phishing or email scams and surf the web wisely even when your device is not connected.
The ledger wallets are affordable and easy to use. As long as you are taking the necessary precautions, a ledger wallet could prove to be the right option for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Ledger hardware wallets are quite popular in the crypto community and are used by many. They are compact, affordable, and do exactly what they are supposed to do. Depending on your needs, a Ledger wallet could prove to be the best hardware wallet for you.
Ledger hardware wallets help you take your sensitive information offline, which makes it impossible for it to be hacked. As long as you are keeping the wallet physically secure, it cannot be hacked.
Ledger hardware wallets have two main functions, i.e., to generate and store private keys. These private keys act as master passwords for your cryptocurrency. Anyone with those private keys will have access to your hardware wallet.