Tag Archives: wallet

Ledger Unplugged Review

What is it?

Ledger Unplugged is a credit card sized Bitcoin hardware wallet created by Ledger.  It is a Java Card that uses NFC to communicate, with any device that has NFC support.  The Ledger Unplugged costs $32 U.S Dollars, it costs the same as the Ledger Nano.  I prefer using the Ledger Unplugged over the Ledger Nano mainly due to the fact I end up using my phone with Bitcoin as opposed to my computer(s).

First Impressions

Ledger Unplugged is a very interesting hardware wallet.  The firs thing that comes to mind after unboxing it, is that it is some sort of security card or other card commonly found in a wallet.  I really like how inconspicuous  the Ledger Unplugged is, it wont stand out in a users wallet.  The Ledger Unplugged is one of the best devices for every day mobile use, its easy to carry around and does not need any cables.  It’s the perfect wallet for mobile users.

Apps that you can use it with

There are not a lot of wallets that you can use Ledger Unplugged with.  The apps that you can use with Ledger Unplugged are GreenBits, Mycelium and Copay.  Mycelium is my personal preference for a mobile wallet, it supports hardware wallets and has some interesting features.  Although there are not a huge amount of wallets that support the Ledger Unplugged, the ones that do support it are great and make using Ledger Unplugged super fun and easy.

Setting it up

Setting the Ledger Unplugged up is just as easy as any other Bitcoin wallet.  Setup begins with the Ledger mobile app, once the wallet you can open the wallet in the available mobile apps.  I really like the ability to set up the Ledger Nano on an offline secure system, unfortunately you cannot do this with the Ledger Unplugged.  It would be nice to be able to set up the Ledger Unplugged in a secure environment as Android is not always the safest environment.  The video below is another tutorial by Ledger showing how to set the Ledger Unplugged up.

The Verdict

Of the three hardware wallets that Ledger offers, the Ledger Unplugged is my favorite.  It is hard to go wrong with the simple design, and no wires are needed to use it.  The only thing that the Ledger Unplugged needs is a better mobile app, currently you cannot change your pin code easily.  Also I dislike having the security card for the Ledger Unplugged, it is a security feature and makes your wallet more secure.  But I would not mind having a better alternatives as then I have to keep track of two cards.  I currently carry the Ledger Unplugged and the security card in the sleeve that it came with, the end goal for me would to be just have the Ledger Unplugged in my wallet without another card.  That being said, it is still an awesome wallet and it is the wallet that I use it to keep my funds on my mobile devices secure.  If you tend to use your mobile devices with Bitcoin over desktops or laptops, the Ledger Unplugged is the way to go.  Its a tough call, if you compare the Ledger Unplugged with the Ledger Nano as they sell at the same price.  Although if you are buying your first Bitcoin hardware wallet, I would recommend buying the Ledger Nano so that you are not limited to mobile devices.  If you want to see more content related to Ledger products, check the website or subscribe.  More posts and tutorials are on their way.

Ledger Nano Review

My review of the Ledger Nano

What is Ledger Nano

Ledger Nano is a smart card hardware wallet created by Ledger, a French startup (you can read more about them here). The Ledger Nano costs $31, which is a very nice price for a hardware wallet.  The Ledger Nano is on the lower end of the price scale when you look at the competition, great for anyone who wants to secure their funds without breaking the bank.  Nano is very similar in size to a USB drive, you would not notice the difference until you slide the usb part out and notice that it looks a little different.

First impressions

The first thing that I noticed when I opened the box, was how it felt very similar to unboxing a cellphone.  Inside the box you have the Ledger Nano, a security card (for extra security), a lanyard and some small accessories.  When I first saw the Ledger Nano, I thought that I would like how it was built.  The reason for this is part of it is based off of the HW.1 Wallet, which I was always worried about breaking.  The good thing was my initial thoughts were off.  Although they did incorporate part of the HW.1 Wallet, it is a lot better off.  It is quite enjoyable to use, and feels nice in the hands thanks to it being made partly of metal.  Not needing any cable to connect it to a computer is also a great plus, no need to carry a cable in you pocket in addition to your wallet.  It is also quite light weight and small compared to the other Bitcoin hardware wallets that exist.  From my experience, so far it definitely stands out from the competition and gives a few of them a run for the money.

Wallets that you can use it with

You can use your Ledger Nano with the wallet created by Ledger.  The wallet is a chrome app, that runs on Windows (7 and higher), Mac 10.8 (and higher), Chrome OS and Linux.  There are also other wallets that you can use your Ledger Nano with, such as GreenBits, Mycelium, Electrum, Coinkite and Copay.  Although you can use your Ledger Nano with any of these wallets, I recommend setting your Ledger Nano up on a Ledger Starter or a secure computer for added security.  The last thing you want is to think your wallet is secure when in fact it is weak.  A false sense of security is just as bad as no security.  If you are new to Bitcoin, I recommend using the wallet that is created by Ledger, it has a good interface, its easy to use, and if you have questions there is a great time supporting it.

Set up

There are two ways of setting the app up, one is more secure than the other.  The more secure method is to use the Ledger Starter, which I wrote about here.  I highly recommend setting up the wallet with the Ledger Starter or an offline computer.  If you do not have either available, do not worry as you are still able to set up your Ledger Nano.

Select create a new wallet or recover an existing wallet
Select create a new wallet or recover an existing wallet
The instructions are very important, make sure to read them
The instructions are very important, make sure to read them
Select a pin code
Select a pin code
Enter the pin one more time
Enter the pin one more time
Make sure to save this, as the instructions say you will only see it once
Make sure to save this, as the instructions say you will only see it once
Your getting there, enter the seed words that it asks for
Your getting there, enter the seed words that it asks for
Finishing touches
Finishing touches
Almost there
Almost there
Your wallet has been created successfully
Your wallet has been created successfully, it only took  9 steps.  One of the easier setup experiences I’ve gone through

Setup Part 2 (optional)

Your Ledger Nano comes with a security card that adds an extra layer of security to your wallet.  This added level of security is great, but it requires you to keep track of another thing.  I like the security card, the design is nice but I do not like that I have to keep track of the security card if I want to send funds.  Luckily you can pair your smart phone to your Ledger Nano so that you do not need to carry the security card around with you.  I recommend pairing your phone with Ledger Nano as it makes it easier to use your Ledger Nano, after all your phone tends to be around you all the time.   Below is a tutorial by the creators of the Ledger Nano on how to pair your smart phone to your Ledger Nano.

The Verdict

I am a big fan of the Ledger Nano, its low price makes purchasing it a very easy decision.  It is a great device for someone looking to get into Bitcoin and anyone who want to secure their funds without breaking the bank.  The form factor is very small, which is quite nice when it comes to bringing it with you.  The one issue that I have with the small form factor is that I often have trouble connecting it with my computer as it does not always fit properly with the usb port.  This results in the software locking itself as it thinks I removed the Ledger Nano.  The solution to my problem was plugging the Ledger Nano into a usb hub as the Ledger Nano seemed to fit better.  Other that problem with the size and using a similar design, I really enjoy using the Ledger Nano.  It is the perfect hardware wallet for a beginner to Bitcoin who does not want to throw down a fair amount of money for something they have never tried before.  That being said, it is not just for beginners, I will definitely be using it as my go to hardware wallet for my desktop/laptop.  It’s the best wallet for the money that does not cut corners.  I can’t wait to see what other products Ledger creates, they are definitely going to be great.  Be sure to keep checking the site or subscribe! I have more reviews and content on its way.

 

 

Bitsim

What is it?

Bitsim is a secure token that lets any mobile phone become a Bitcoin wallet.  The chip goes in the same slot that the sim card goes in, you can use your phone like normal because it leaves room for the sim card.  Bitsim has a huge amount of potential, “There are over 7 Billion SIMs out there in the world that we can address with BitSIM, the opportunity is huge.” (Bitsim).

My Thoughts

As always when I see a new piece of Bitcoin tech, I immediately want to get one to mess around with it.  A small secure chip such as Bitsim can help spread Bitcoin all over because it lets any phone with  a sim port become a wallet.  Just insert the chip, there are no cables or adapters needed, so you can leave it in and never have to worry about it.  This makes using Bitcoin extremely easy because when you have your phone your Bitcoin wallet is with you, all while being super secure.  With Bitsim you phone becomes an ultra secure Bitcoin wallet.

 

Software Wallets Part 2 (Multibit HD)

Multibit is another great software wallet that has support for Trezor.  Multibit is currently in beta, but with Trezor you don’t have to worry about that.  Why?  Because nothing happens to your Trezor if a software wallet goes haywire.  To find out more about the Mulitbit Beta visit this link.  

Multibit

Multibit is another great software wallet, it’s very easy to use.  The  developers  of Multibit have put in a lot of work to redesign the wallet and so far it is awesome.  Speaking of the developers, if you have any feature requests or questions feel free to ask them.  They are super friendly and often respond soon after you contact them.  Using your Trezor with Multibit is very straightforward, all I did was start Multibit with my Trezor plugged in and Multibit did all the work.

The first screen
The first screen that appears
Enter your Trezor Pin
Enter your Trezor Pin like you do on myTrezor.com
The Loading Screen
Almost Done!
The "home" page
The “home” page

Software Wallets with Trezor (Electrum)

You do not have to use myTrezor with your Trezor hardware wallet.  At the moment, there are a handful of wallets  you can use with your Trezor.  The software wallets that work well to an extent are Electrum 2.0, Multibit HD and Greenaddress.it.  There are other software wallets that are planning to support Trezor such as Armory and Bitpay’s Copay.

Electrum

Electrum happens to be my wallet of choice because it has a lot of features.  One of the most important feature Electrum has in my opinion is the ability to use  a passphrase with Trezor.  Using a passphrase can be risky, because if you forget your passphrase then you lose all your bitcoins, there is no to get them back.  Using Trezor with software wallets is quite easy, easier in my opinion than setting up a new software wallet as the Trezor holds all the important “stuff”.

New_Wallet_2015-03-16_16-21-24

Initialize the creation of a new wallet

Electrum__-__Trezor_2015-03-16_16-21-45

Select the type of wallet

Electrum__-__Trezor_2015-03-16_16-21-50

Choose Trezor and Electrum will close, once you reopen it you should be able to use your Trezor with Electrum.  Give Electrum a little time to sync up and you are good to go.