I finally got my hands on a Ledger Wallet – a Bitcoin hardware wallet. It's basically a gadget that allows you to store your private keys on it. If you take after this blog you most likely know as of now that I'm a big TREZOR fan – the first broadly spread Bitcoin hardware wallet. Yet, since up until today, there was no genuine rivalry to TREZOR I hopped on the chance to review this cool new gadget.
The requesting process was entirely instinctive and the bundle arrived immediately despite the fact that I live in Israel and it was shipped from overseas.
My first impression – Ledger has style
When you open up Ledger's bundle you quickly see that it comes in style. Other than the Ledger flash drive itself you also get a PU leather wallet, a ledger security card which sort of looks like a credit card and a chain strap the ledger to your neck if that you wish.
TREZOR's gadget is somewhat burdensome contrasted with Ledger's sleeker design. It's also significantly easier to bear the Ledger since it's substantially smaller than TREZOR.
Setting up Ledger – not as secure as TREZOR
Installing and setting up your Ledger requires the use of a Chrome application. When you start up the application from Ledger's website you will be presented with a setup wizard. The first thing I've seen that was distinctive amongst Ledger and TREZOR is that Ledger requires a “private or trusted computer”.
As a layman user, I'm not sure what that means? Does it imply that I now need to scan my gadget for malware? Or, on the other hand, is it just OK if it's my very own computer and not some public gadget?
TREZOR works in an unexpected way. By using a small screen on the gadget itself it's possible to set up the gadget even from a compromised gadget which makes me feel considerably quieter.
Setting up your security – PIN code and recovery speed
The PIN code is an additional layer of security to ensure that regardless of the possibility that someone stole your Ledger from you they will still experience serious difficulties into your record. Enter a wrong PIN code 3 times and the gadget wipes itself clean.
Once you've set up your PIN code it's an ideal opportunity to proceed onward to the recuperation seed. A recuperation seed is a set of words that when assembled in a specific request can help recoup your private keys in case the gadget is broken or lost.
This means regardless of the possibility that you totally trash your Ledger you'll still have the capacity to recoup the greater part of your lost Bitcoins through this seed. It's also why it's vital to record it in a safe place where nobody can access it since in the event that someone gets a hold of this – they can access your funds.
The process is really similar to TREZOR's setup just there isn't a “double layer” insurance since everything is shown on your PC's screen (not at all like TREZOR where the seed is shown on the gadget itself as seen in the video above).
Here's a screenshot of my Ledger's recovery seed. When I post this it means I should reset this Ledger gadget since anybody can steal my funds right now. However, if I was to use TREZOR my seed wouldn't show up on my PC screen which would make it significantly safer.