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Nano S and Nano X are crypto hardware wallets offering cold, offline storage. Built by Ledger, a well-known French manufacturer, these wallets keep cryptocurrency secure and support over 1,800 coins and tokens. However, the Nano S is made for people who want to hold onto a small amount of crypto, whereas Nano X is better for active investors with diverse crypto holdings.
Although you’ll pay double the price for the Nano X, it has a sleeker design and supports up to 100 crypto software apps versus up to three on the Nano S. Moreover, the Nano X works on Android, iOS, and desktop devices, but iPhone users can’t use the Nano S.
We compared Nano S and X by reviewing their ease of use, security, supported currencies and apps, cost, features, and more.
Investing in cryptocurrencies, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), and other Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is highly risky and speculative, and the markets can be extremely volatile. Consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. This article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed.
Ledger Nano S
- Type of Wallet: Cold
- Currencies: Over 1,800
- Purchase Cost: $59
- Incorporated Exchange: Yes
- Device Size: 56.95mm x 17.4mm x 9.1mm; 16.2 grams
- Mobile App: Android
Secure, offline storage
Simple, guided setup
Small and lightweight
Limited storage capacity
Doesn’t work with iOS devices
The USB looks outdated
Ledger Nano X
- Type of Wallet: Cold
- Currencies: Over 1,800
- Purchase Cost: $119
- Incorporated Exchange: Yes
- Device Size: 72mm x 18.6mm x 11.75mm; 34 grams
- Mobile App: iOS and Android
No cords needed unless charging
Battery life of up to eight hours
Sleek, modern design
No touch screen
May be perceived as less secure if you lose the device
At a Glance
|Ledger Nano S||Ledger Nano X|
|Type of Wallet||Cold||Cold|
|Currencies||Over 1,800||Over 1,800|
|Device Size||56.95mm x 17.4mm x 9.1mm; 16.2 grams||72mm x 18.6mm x 11.75mm; 34 grams|
|Mobile App||Android||iOS and Android|
Ledger Nano S vs. X: Features
Ledger Nano S and X are USB storage wallets that let users keep cryptocurrency stored safely offline. They’re among the best Bitcoin wallets and have millions of users. Both work with the Ledger Live mobile app, where investors can check crypto balances and make online transactions. But, Nano S users can only access Ledger Live via a Windows, Linux, Mac desktop, or Android 7+ device. In contrast, Nano X supports desktops, iOS, and Android devices.
The Nano X has Bluetooth to easily connect to your mobile phone, or you can use the included USB-C to USB-A cable. In contrast, you’ll need to purchase a set of three USB cables, called an on-the-go (OTG) kit, to use the Nano S with your smartphone or desktop.
Plus, the Nano X features a larger 100mAh battery, allowing for several hours of continuous use without recharging. Unfortunately, though, the battery is only designed to last five years and cannot be replaced. Finally, while neither hardware wallet comes with a touchscreen, the Nano X display has twice the number of pixels (128 x 64), making it easier to read.
Ledger Nano S vs. X: Currencies
Both Ledger hardware wallets are compatible with more than 1,800 altcoins, including popular cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), LINK Chainlink (LINK), Litecoin (LTC), Cardano (ADA), Stellar (XLM), and Polkadot (DOT).
Nano S and X also support the following tokens:
When using the Ledger Live mobile app, investors can manage more than 1,800 tokens and coins, and it’s compatible with over 50 wallets. However, there are dozens of assets that can be stored on your USB wallet but aren't supported on the Ledger Live app, such as:
- Binance Coin (BNB)
- EOS (EOS)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Monero (XMR)
- Neo (NEO)
- Crypto.org chain (CRO)
- IOTA (MIOTA)
- Terra (LUNA)
- Nem (XEM)
- Ontology (ONT)
- Vechain (VET)
Ledger Nano S vs. X: Security
Both Ledger devices offer the same industry-standard security. For starters, the company uses certified Secure Element (SE) chips which are tamper-resistant and often referred to as hardened microcontrollers. Similar to air-gapped cold storage, the device stores private keys on the secure chip, so they’re never exposed. The chips are certified using the Common Criteria (CC) EAL5+ process. Moreover, the French National Agency for the Security of Information Systems (ANSSI) independently audited and verified the Nano S and X security.
Unlike other hardware wallets, Ledger devices use a proprietary operating system (OS) called the Blockchain Open Ledger Operating System (BOLOS). According to Ledger, “Ledger hardware wallets are the only devices in the market that uses a Secure Element in combination with a custom Operating System.” Additionally, the framework isolates crypto apps reducing cyber risks.
Personal security measures include:
- A minimum of four digits for the pin code
- Users must push both physical device buttons at once to purchase altcoin
- A 24-word recovery phrase that only shows up on your device, not the apps
For the Bluetooth-enabled Nano X, there are security concerns. However, your seed phrase and private keys don’t leave your device because the Bluetooth connection only transfers public data.
That said, it’s important to note that the company suffered a data breach to their marketing and e-commerce database in July of 2020, exposing email addresses, names, and phone numbers for roughly one million customers. This incident is unrelated to the Nano devices but still raises concerns.
Ledger Nano S vs. X: Price
The price is one of the biggest differences between the devices. A Nano S costs $59 and comes with a micro USB-B cable. But you’ll need to buy an OTG kit for $17.99 to connect your Nano S to an Android smartphone. In contrast, a Nano X costs $119 and comes with a USB-C cable. The higher-priced Nano X allows users to add up to 100 crypto apps and offers Bluetooth, whereas the cheaper Nano S supports up to three crypto apps and isn’t Bluetooth-enabled.
Investors wanting to store a few types of cryptocurrencies will find that the Nano S fits their needs. But active traders prefer the Nano X because they can hold onto a variety of currencies and tokens and access their assets easily from an iOS or Android phone.
Ledger Nano S vs. X: Ease of Use
Both hardware wallets are easy to set up and use, even for beginners. The USB device has two buttons and a display screen. The buttons let you navigate the device menu easily. But the lack of a touchscreen means you may need to click back and forth a bit more.
The Ledger Live app guides users through setup, including offering suggestions for extra security. Anyone can follow the directions and set up their device in about five minutes or less. The larger Nano X is slightly easier to use, thanks to the larger screen, higher resolution, and bigger buttons.
The Ledger website provides an extensive knowledge base for information on wallet setup, transferring crypto, and other device features. The Ledger Academy offers plenty of articles, videos, and tutorials about blockchain and cryptocurrency for users to learn about crypto trading. The website also features a live chat help option, or users can submit a support ticket.
Ledger Nano S vs. X: Mobile App
Although the Ledger S and X devices work via the two buttons and display, the company offers the Ledger Live app, available for download on desktops, iOS, or Android devices. The mobile app has a straightforward user interface (UI) without a lot of fancy features. It also syncs in real-time, so you can move between your desktop or mobile app when managing your crypto. Users can:
- See crypto balances in real-time
- Buy or sell crypto through Ledger’s partner, Coinify
- Swap crypto via Ledger’s partner, Changelly (not available for U.S.-based users)
- Grow assets by staking or lending cryptocurrency
- Manage 27 coins and over 1,800 coins and tokens
The Ledger Live app is popular due to its simplicity, meaning you won’t find advanced features popular in hot wallets. Thus, users wanting real-time market updates and charting features may prefer using tools from a crypto exchange.
The Ledger Nano S and X are hardware wallets from a trusted brand. Both support the same currency types, work with a mobile app, and provide a high level of security. The main differences are in price and storage capacity. A Nano X costs double what you’ll pay for a Nano S. But the larger device features Bluetooth and long battery life. Moreover, users can maneuver between up to 100 crypto apps on the Nano X compared to up to three on the Nano S.
The Nano S is an excellent investment for infrequent crypto investors who want a secure cold wallet to store coins. On the other hand, if you’re an active trader with a diverse set of assets, and want to access your crypto information from an iPhone, go with the Nano X.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Ledger Nano S and X?
Ledger Nano S and X are hardware wallets that safely store your crypto assets offline. Unlike hot wallets, the Nano S and X offer more protection against online theft and fraud. Plus, users control their private keys, whereas digital wallets on popular exchanges, such as Coinbase, manage your keys for you.
Both USB devices work with the Ledger Live application, similar to an exchange where investors buy, sell, and stake crypto. But, for users wanting a hard wallet for safekeeping, simply transfer your assets and keep your crypto in secure, offline storage.
How Do Ledger Nano S and X Work?
Ledger wallets are USB storage devices that hold multiple currencies offline. It stores your private keys on the device, making it difficult for online hackers to access your accounts. If the physical device is stolen, users rely on a 24-word backup recovery phrase to access stored cryptocurrencies. The Ledger Nano S and X use the Ledger Live app for setup purposes and firmware updates. While the Ledger Nano X has Bluetooth to connect to your apps automatically, the Nano S must connect via a USB cable to sync.
Is the Ledger Nano X Worth It?
For active traders with a diversified portfolio, Nano X is worth it. The larger screen and buttons make the device easier to use, while the additional storage capacity means users don’t have to constantly delete software when adding multiple currency types. In addition, for mobile investors, the Bluetooth-enabled Nano X lets users manage their accounts quickly using an iOS or Android smartphone.
Who Should Use Ledger Nano S vs. X?
Both the Ledger Nano S and X are perfect for new or mature crypto investors because the devices are easy to use. The main point of having a hardware wallet is to keep your currency offline and safe. Both wallets do this.
The Nano S is like having a savings account at home. You can view your funds on your device or pull up Ledger Live on a desktop or Android device. But, it has a smaller storage space, meaning once you hit your limit, you’ll need to uninstall some crypto software to add new software.
While this isn’t a big deal for occasional traders and app deletion doesn’t affect your assets, it can be a pain for active investors with diverse portfolios. The Ledger Nano X is the better option for tracking more than three currencies and accessing your funds from any Internet-connected device.
Since the Ledger Nano S and X provide the same security features, use the Ledger Live app, and support the same currencies, we focused our review on the differences—namely the price, size, and storage capacity. We also compared features and considered various use cases, from the beginner trader holding onto a few coins versus an active trader wanting larger storage capacity and mobility.