Ledger Nano S – Setup and Beginners Guide

March 24, 2019
by Rahil Shaikh
  • Ledger Nano S beginners Guide

Hardware wallets are one of the best ways to manage your private keys securely. And given the growing prominence of cryptocurrency especially Bitcoin, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to invest some money in buying a hardware wallet.

Getting started and used to Ledger Nano S can be a bit tricky for beginners. Hence I have come up with this tutorial where we will learn to setup Ledger Nano S.

Ledger Nano S is the most popular yet basic of the hardware wallets available. Which also makes it the easiest to use and also cheap.

If you are looking to buy one, you get can it on this link. They usually deliver within 3-4 business days.

Note. Only buy Ledger Nano S from the official website. Avoid buying it from other e-commerce platforms.

When you receive your Ledger Nano S it would look something like this from the outside. It contains the device, a USB and a few cards to write your backup phrase (these cards should be blank and not pre-filled).

Ledger Nano S

Setup

There are two ways you can setup your Ledger Nano S.

  1. Restore a wallet by inserting a backup phrase that you already have.
  2. Creating a new wallet, with a new back up phrase (mnemonic).

First we will start with, creating a new wallet.

With ledger Nano S, side buttons are used to navigate left and right. And press both buttons together to confirm.

To start the device we just have to connect it to the PC using the USB provided.

Now let’s configure it as a new device.

First, we have to enter a new pin. This pin is important to access your device, so keep it random and long. Also, make sure you remember it. For the demo I’ll just keep it simple(5,5,5,5).

Next, the device will create a mnemonic (back up phrase) for our new wallet. This is the most important thing of your wallet. The phrase itself gives access to your funds.


Few important points to manage your phrase…

  • Never share it.
  • Never store it on a compromising place, eg a computer connected to the internet.
  • Write it down some where safe.
  • Never loose it.

In case, if your device stops working or if you lose it, this phrase can be used to recover your wallet on another device.

Ledger Nano S comes with a few cards where you can note down your backup phrase.

Below is how it will look once you have noted down your backup phrase. Don’t worry I would immediately reset my device after this. Make sure you never share this phrase with anyone.

Once you have noted down your backup phrase, Ledger Nano S will ask to confirm it. Doing this may feel a bit tedious, but hey you are going to store money on it, it has to be secure.

Once confirmation is done our Ledger Nano S is ready to be used.

Install Applications

To use ledger Nano S, we need to install applications for the respective cryptocurrency. For eg. to create a Bitcoin wallet we need to install the ledger app for Bitcoin.

Although, before we install any applictions to our ledger, we first need to download a Ledger app manager. This app will enable us to easily manage our application on the Ledger.

So let’s download and install the Ledger Live app. You can download it from here.

Start the Ledger Live app, and select Use an Initialized Device.

Once you do that it will ask you a few questions select yes for all. Then click on the “Check Now” button beside “is your ledger device genuine”.

Once you do that it will ask you to connect and unlock your Ledger Nano S. You can connect your device with the USB cable provided within the box. Once connected unlock it by entering the pin you just set.

Confirm when it asks you to “Allow Ledger Manager”.

Once that’s done, set a new password. This password would be used to access your ledger manager. Just continue the rest of the questions asked.

And finally, click on Open Ledger Live and then open manager.
This is where you will find a list of apps for different cryptocurrencies to be installed.

Now click on the install button, provided adjacent to the respective coin to install it. So let’s go ahead and install Bitcoin.

Once it shows installation is successfull you can see the Bitcoin app on your Ledger Nano S. You can press both buttons to enter into the app.

Now you can use your Ledger Nano S to safely store and spend Bitcoin. To actually do this we will have to install a bitcoin wallet application on our desktop like Ledger Wallet Bitcoin Chrome app. We will leave this for our next tutorial.

Conclusion

Now you have learned how you can configure and set up your Ledger Nano S.

Buy the Device

You can buy a Ledger device from this link. Buying from this link contributes to the resources required for running this blog.

 

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Engineer. Blogger. Thinker. Loves programming and working with emerging tech. We can also talk on Football, Gaming, World Politics, Monetary Systems.

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