Faraday Cage/RFID wallet

Vacumatic

Forum GOD!
With news of the increase in contactless payments and the availability of portable devices to read your card I thought that it was time to buy small wallets for credit cards and car keys.

I have done the classic of buying the product and then reading the reviews. For the wallet that I bought there are 15000 reviews, only 2% are negative but what they say concerns me. Typically 'Works well at first but after three months provided no protection at all'

I am no expert, by any means, but I would have assumed that if a wallet protected a signal when new that it would continue to do so for the life of the product, am I missing something?
 

chris.hale

Forum DOG!
Staff member
I’ve been unable to find anything online, except from purveyors of rfid-blocking wallets, that suggests that this is actually a real threat.
 

Vacumatic

Forum GOD!
I’ve been unable to find anything online, except from purveyors of rfid-blocking wallets, that suggests that this is actually a real threat.

It is one of those situations were you trust the product and trust it to do the job as intended, the idea that it should stop working is a bit of a puzzle having no wearing parts.

I bought it for credit card protection as Mrs Vac likes to wander down Regent Street on trips to London and I take it that she might be a magnet for people looking to make an easy £100
 

SweeneyTodd

Forum GOD!
I have made a couple of leather Faraday-cage pouches for phones, and the material that's commonly available is an artificial fibre cloth impregnated or interwoven with metal, usually copper and sometimes silver. It tends to wear quite a lot, through contact and movement (flexing), during which I think it sheds some of the metal and either thins overall or in patches, thus losing its effectiveness. Even when it is sandwiched between, for example, leather "outers", it can still wear. Of course, it all depends on how often the user pockets the pouch or "wallet" and so forth, and although I have no direct experience, I'd guess that keys, if only through their shape, are likely to produce more wear.

As with most things, there are economy EMF fabrics and deluxe versions, with the usual large difference in cost. Most now comes from China.

There are metal "Visiting card case" type RFID cases which I think are mostly aluminium, and seem to do the job, but I don't think there are many versions suitable for keys.
 

Vacumatic

Forum GOD!
I have made a couple of leather Faraday-cage pouches for phones, and the material that's commonly available is an artificial fibre cloth impregnated or interwoven with metal, usually copper and sometimes silver. It tends to wear quite a lot, through contact and movement (flexing), during which I think it sheds some of the metal and either thins overall or in patches, thus losing its effectiveness. Even when it is sandwiched between, for example, leather "outers", it can still wear. Of course, it all depends on how often the user pockets the pouch or "wallet" and so forth, and although I have no direct experience, I'd guess that keys, if only through their shape, are likely to produce more wear.

As with most things, there are economy EMF fabrics and deluxe versions, with the usual large difference in cost. Most now comes from China.

There are metal "Visiting card case" type RFID cases which I think are mostly aluminium, and seem to do the job, but I don't think there are many versions suitable for keys.

Thanks.

I have an old Muji business card case in aluminium, I will give that a try and see how it compares. It sounds like they may ave a longer life as card protectors than as holders for keys.

I think that the message is keep testing them and not to assume that there performance is permanent, not a good state of affairs for a protection product.
 

Dr Watson

James
Can you test the protectiveness using your smartphone? I know if my phone comes into contact with my (unprotected) leather wallet it buzzes and says NFC error where it's trying to interact with the contactless card/s... Presumably if the RFID blocking is still intact this won't happen.
 

sev-8

Forum GOD!
Can you test the protectiveness using your smartphone? I know if my phone comes into contact with my (unprotected) leather wallet it buzzes and says NFC error where it's trying to interact with the contactless card/s... Presumably if the RFID blocking is still intact this won't happen.
I was told a few years ago not to bother with an RFID blocking wallet and use tin foil instead and to use this method to test it out. The tin foil works again phone NFC readers, don't know about dedicated devices
 

Vacumatic

Forum GOD!
Can you test the protectiveness using your smartphone? I know if my phone comes into contact with my (unprotected) leather wallet it buzzes and says NFC error where it's trying to interact with the contactless card/s... Presumably if the RFID blocking is still intact this won't happen.

It works perfectly at the moment, my worry is that at some point in the future it will stop working and I will not be aware of that change of status.

My car is not keyless entry but I have heard that people who have bought these wallets for their car keys that they are surprised that they can approach and open their car door with the key inside the RFID wallet when they assumed that they had good protection. This change was noticed after three months of using the wallets.

I have heard that car thieves have the equivalent of amplifiers which can pick up a signal from the car key and then open your car door, the RFID wallet is meant to prevent thefts of this type of loss.

I am tempted to see if my bank can reduce the £100 contactless limit on my credit card, although I would be only slightly less cheesed off at losing £50 as compared to £100.
 

Estariol

Über Member
Not trying to be cheap or nitpicky, and i'm of no help for carkeys, but, coming from a purely practical and not aesthetic point of view: wrap the card(s) in alumin(i)um foil, then in transparent (3M?) tape, carefully cut off one edge and you have RFID protection for the card(s).
 
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