In this post I will write how to use a hardware wallet for cryptocurrencies such as BitCoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and other most popular. Hardware wallet is the most secure way to store your cryptocurrencies without fear that will be stolen. But of course you need to be very careful how to use it. I will describe all important tips that you need to know from my own experience because I have bought recently hardware wallet Ledger Nano S. If you are beginner about BitCoin and cryptocurrencies in general then I suggest to read my post How to get started with a BitCoin.

Where to buy a hardware wallet?

This is very important. My advice is to escape web shops such as Amazon, Ebay and similar because you can not be sure how trusted are sellers there and will you receive original hardware wallet. I suggest to buy at the original Ledger store. (web shop) The original store is in France and I received package via free express shipping 3 days after my order was placed.

How to use a hardware wallet
Hardware wallet is available in different colors, silver color is my favorite for gadgets

 

How to buy a hardware wallet?

You can click on the link above to be sure that you will buy an original hardware wallet. On the “products” section you can find products and choose which one is the best solution for you. Payments methods for buying hardware wallet are: VISA, PayPal or with cryptocurrencies.

 

payment methods for hardware wallet
Payment methods

After your order has been confirmed you can expect package with hardware wallet for about 2-4 days.

Package is very nice:

Hardware wallet package
Package
Hardware wallet package inside
Package inside

 

How to set up a hardware wallet?

hardware wallet set up

First you need to download Ledger live application. After you have downloaded application, you need to run app, connect your hardware wallet and then to do first step: choose to use as new device.

ledger live first step
First step

Next step is to choose your device: in my case that was Ledger Nano S.

ledger live device selection
Select your device

Now very important step: choose your PIN.

ledger live choose a pin
Choose PIN

Now the most important step: save your recovery phase.

You need to write down and keep safe your recovery phase. If you ever lost your hardware wallet you will have access to your crypto assets. (private keys)

Be sure when you write down recovery phase that you are on safe place, nobody is looking you and stay away from any potential camera including that one in laptops. My advice is to make a few copies.

Notice: If you are not on step described on screenshots then you probably need to press both buttons at the same time on Ledger Nano S. Usually this action is required to confirm something or to go on next step if is not mentioned otherwise. For example you need to press both buttons at the same time when you need to confirm every digit to enter PIN, to confirm every word from recovery phrase etc.

Recovery phrase

Now you need to confirm that you set up PIN and write down your recovery phase. Ledger live will now check your device status is it genuine.

ledger live device check
Device check

You need to connect your device, unlock and allow device manager access to your device.

Next step is optional to set up your password in ledger live application.

The last step is to choose some optionsĀ at bug and analytics section.

bugs and analytics options
Bugs and analytics

 

Now you are ready to work with your hardware wallet.

Important: steps described needs to be confirmed on hardware wallet too. It is very easy to do that: on display you will have options to confirm or not, and if is not mentioned otherwise next step (or confirmation) is always to press both buttons at the same time. Here are some images:

physical button confirmation

Now if you want to add some coins into your wallet you need to install apps on your hardware wallet and to add accounts in ledger live application.

First you need to install app on hardware wallet and then add account in ledger live application.

For example: if you want to set up BitCoin wallet you need to add BitCoin app on your hardware wallet via manager and then add a account in ledger live application and choose BitCoin. Important: when you will work with BitCoin wallet you will always need to navigate into Bitcoin app on your hardware wallet to confirm required action.

Install app to hardware wallet

 

Now you are ready to deposit some coins.

First you need to choose which account you will use, for example BitCoin.

After that is required to unlock hardware wallet and navigate to BitCoin app.

app navigation on hardware wallet
App navigation

Then you need to verify address on hardware wallet to make sure that is the same.

hardware wallet address confirmation
Address confirmation
navigate to app on hardware wallet
Navigate to bitcoin app on hardware wallet
bitcoin address confirmation
Confirm bitcoin address

To open BitCoin app on hardware wallet you need to navigate to bitcoin icon and then press both buttons at the same time. After that you need to verify bitcoin address by pressing right button. To return back to dashboard on hardware wallet you need to navigate and choose “quit app” option – press both buttons at the same time.

And you are done, now you can copy address or scan via mobile phone if you are sending from mobile wallet.

crypto address verified
Address verified

IF you want to send it is very similar process, you just need to choose “send” option instead “receive” option. You will also need to confirm action via hardware wallet and that is reason why hardware wallet is the most secure way to store crypto assets.

bitcoin sending confirmation
Sending confirmation

When you want just to check your crypto balances you can do it without needs to connect a hardware wallet. But when you want to send or generate a new address for receive crypto then you need to connect hardware wallet. How is looking Ledger live interface you can see on next screenshot.

Ledger live interface
Crypto balances – Ledger live app

 

I hope that this tutorial will help you to understand how to use a hardware wallet.

Have you decided to buy a hardware wallet and secure your crypto assets?

You can do it here. (official Ledger webshop)

For any doubts, questions or suggestions feel free to place a comment.

Ledger Nano S - The secure hardware wallet

20 Comments

  1. Great article. I totally agree that you should not buy a cryptowallet from Amazon. Usually these are from private sellers and I have heard horror stories of people getting ones that have been tampered with and losing their cryptocurrency. Ledger is the smarter choice. They specialize in these wallets and really do as much as possible to make sure that the wallet is encrypted when you get it.

    Caterina
  2. Thanks for this informative and educative post. One of my goal this year is to invest on cryptocurrency because I was told this is one of the best investment one can make and since I’ve made that decision I’ve been making researches on things pertaining to bitcoin . Thanks for this information.

    Lok Which
  3. Hi Boris,

    I haven’t heard of this before. I find this very interesting, I like everything that is digital and about internet (also virtual money šŸ™‚ ). It is great that the device is easily set up. I would like to ask you if this device has quality, because it reminds me of standard USB… can the data be sent on some other way or transferred if the plug-in doesn’t work?
    I mean what is your experience with this? I suppose that it is great, but still it is good to know before buying….  and can some virus attack this, is it protected?

    Thanks in advance,
    Susan

    Suzana
    1. This is the most secure way to store crypto assets. It is like usb but with special secure chip. If the plugin doesnt work you can access to your crypto assets via other one or via some online wallets but you need to enter 24 word recovery phrase. Virus is not able to make any damage because every transfer require confirmation via buttons on hardware wallet. It is described in tutorial.

      Boris
  4. Hey Boris, your article was an interesting read. I have to say that the hardware wallet is definitely handy if you were having trouble keeping up with purchases and things like that. I first thought that it was a regular wallet until I examined it closer. Do you have a hardware wallet, and how long did it take you to set it up? I was also looking at the set up and it doesn’t look too complicated as long as one follows the instructions. Overall, not a bad device or read. Good job!

    R.J.
    1. Yes I have a hardware wallet. All images in post is my own images taken with mobile camera and I have described my own experience. It is easy to set up, about 30 minutes should be enough. It is very important to make backup recovery phrase and keep it on safe place.

      Boris
  5. One would think it’s a flash drive on first sight. Is the hardware wallet a recent technology or has it been in use for some time now, It seems to be a really cool alternative with more advantages and safety measures, just wondering why it is not so popular among cryptocurrency users. Your explanation of how to set it up and use it was quite detailed

    zuchii
    1. Hardware wallets already exist some time now but at the same time it is a recent technology. From time to time there are some software upgrades and security improvements. It is impossible to bypass hardware wallet security and stole someone crypto assets. Many users are confused and dont understand that online wallets are not good solution to store bigger amount in crypto.

      Boris
  6. I have heard about cryptocurrency and i know of few people who has bought from Amazon and got theirs others bought too and didn’t get even a dime worth the money they paid so ever since then i’ve been scared of buying crypto currency on any site but now that i have seen how safe this hardware wallet is i thonk im gonna be safe so i am going for it

    Seun Afotanju
  7. Hardware crypto wallet is a nice thing that happen to cryptsphere but one has to be very careful to make sure that while buying, you are getting from the right source that is legitimate, otherwise one will face the risk of wallet hacking and durability. The current challenge in cryptocurrency business is wallet hacking and this hardware wallet is safe one to take crypto savings offline.

    Chris Anyomi
  8. Thanls for writing this article on how to use a hardware wallet. I really find this article informative and educative on some of the things I have known about hardware wallet in the past.i have been trading cryptocurrency for a while now and I can say the most secure wallet is an offline wallet,online wallet are can be hack by hackers and that will lead to lost token and coin. I do make use of hardware wallet to keep my tokens that I consider my long time investment offline and only leave a little amount for daily trading on exchange 

    ajibola40
  9. Cryptocurrency remains one of the best way to secure our financial future . The blockchain though secure could also at any time be exposed to a security threat. My fear about having an online vault for !y hard earned tressure has always been that of hackers.

    Honestly I have never used a hardware wallet before. With this post I think its best to have one . The nano s is not a bad choice at all.

    Olalekan Taliat
  10. Wow!, Firstly I want to commend you for taking time out to put up a very detailed article about hardware wallet. You have just motivated me to making an investment in crypto currency. One of my major fears have always been not knowing how to go about it cos I lacked the right information on the process involved so I was been careful but after reading this your article, I think I am ready to try this ledger. Thanks

    Seyi
  11. I really want to commend you for taking out time to write this great information about how to use hardware wallet. Though I have not heard about it before but seen that you are one of those that have used hardware wallet Leger nano it successfully, and also seen that as described, it’s actually an excellent one,  it give me so much interest.

    Barrywesley
  12. Thanks Boris, this is really an informative and helpful article. I really commend your efforts on this. You actually remind me of the insecurities online in cryptocurrency. Am also a day trader and recognize the danger of keeping my hard earned coins & tokens online. Buying ledger is one of my aims before the end of first quarter of this year. I really appreciate this post as it serves as a reminder for me. Which store is the most reliable to buy the ledger with crytocurrency aside from amazon?

    Topazdude
  13. Hi, Boris, thank you I found your review informative for anyone wanting to learn how to use a hardware wallet.
    I thought about trading cryptocurrency but was not sure how to get started. I hear in the news about the security of this type of currency how it’s safe, but then the news says the creator of BitCoin is missing billions.
    I know that more area is starting to accept BitCoins as a form of payment and maybe soon we all may need to get some type of hardware wallet. I have not heard of many companies that offer wallets other then BitCoin, I will have to look into Ledger Store. You made setting one up look easy. What happens if someone loses their wallet?

    LeNard Simmons
    1. Thank you LeNard for comment and question. First there are many cases where people have lost billions in crypto. They have used some unsafe wallets: online and mobile wallets. I am also use some online and mobile wallets but only temporary for make payments (smaller amounts). I have never heard that someone have lost crypto assets from hardware wallet. Like I described in post you need to write down recovery phrase and keep it on safe place. Then if you lose your hardware wallet or maybe dont work properly anymore you can buy another one and when you enter recovery phrase you will get access to your crypto assets again. Pin and recovery phrase will save us from hackers.

      Boris
  14. That looks so cool Boris!

    Hardware wallet, so that’s what it means! I’ve seen people carrying that around in Starbucks where I usually spend my time finishing up my piece and I’ve always wondered what those things are. Out of curiosity, have you ever encountered a virus that could risk your data and hard earned money? It’s a scary thought but it’s what many newcomers like me are thinking of.

    Riaz Shah
    1. Yes viruses can be very dangerous but not for hardware wallets. There are 2 physical buttons and for sending crypto assets button for confirmation needs to be pressed. Nothing can bypass that. That is reason why I have bought hardware wallet.

      Boris

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