[Tutorial] How to Use Your Ledger Nano S for Two-Factor Authentication

Although the Ledger Nano S was initially released as a device simply used to secure your cryptocurrency portfolio, it has since gone a lot further than this, with new utility being added to the device via the myriad new applications it supports.

Arguably one of the most useful of these apps is Fido U2F, which allows you to use your Ledger Nano S as an additional layer of security when logging into a variety of platforms, ensuring that your online accounts cannot be compromised while providing a fool-proof way of logging into your account.

This will allow you to use the Ledger Nano S to securely log into any site that offers U2F-based two-factor authentication, such as Google, Facebook, GitHub and Dropbox to name just a few.

Unfortunately, there is very little documentation on how to use your Ledger Nano S with Fido U2F, so we’ve produced a handy guide to help you on your way.

Prerequisites

  • Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Opera installed
  • Ledger Live installed
  • A Ledger Nano S device

Getting Started: Installing Fido U2F

Step 1: Before we can install Fido U2F, you will first need to open the Manager section of Ledger Live. To do this, simply open the Ledger Live software, head to the Manager tab.

Step 2: Plug in your Ledger Nano S and enter your PIN. Ledger Live should run through some checks to see if your device is unlocked. Once confirmed, your Ledger should ask if you want to allow Ledger Manager on your device, click the right button to allow this.

Step 3: After Ledger Manager has been allowed, Ledger Live will automatically redirect to the Manager section as shown below.

Step 4: In the manager section you will be presented with a list of all available apps for your Ledger device. Here use the search bar to type in ‘Fido U2F’, which should automatically select this from the list of apps below. Once the Fido U2F app is displayed, click the ‘Install’ button on the right to begin the installation process.

Step 5: After you click install, the installation progress prompt should appear. If your device is still unlocked then this should proceed without a hitch, whereas if your device asks you to re-enter your PIN, you will need to do this before the Fido U2F installation can complete. Once finished, you’ll see the following message on your computer:

Once the installation has completed, you will now be able to access the Fido U2F app on the dashboard of your Ledger device. After this, you will be able to use your Ledger device as a security key for a variety of websites.

The exact method for configuring your Ledger Nano S as a security key will depend on the different website you want to use. Usually, you will need to navigate to the security settings of your account to enable two-factor authentication, being sure to select security key as the type of 2FA you want to use.

Once this has been set up, you will need to confirm logins through your Ledger Nano S device. Note that this means you will likely need to carry your Ledger device around with you, unless you have an alternate login system in place.

 

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