The best faraday cages and sleeves
There are a number of Faraday cages and bags for sale at a wide variety of price points, but it isn’t clear to me which ones are good. Does anybody know what company makes a quality laptop bag at a fair price, for example?
Gideon ParkerStaff - January 25, 2021
I hope you don’t mind that I changed the title of this post. I feel like this new title will help draw people in more and in turn be able to help offer their feedback and advice more.
I personally do not have very much experience with faraday cages and bags. I’ve made the DIY tin foil sleeves and such, but have yet to go test them. I’m not to optimistic of my handy work.
Someone I highly trust and regard has recommended sleeves made from a company called Silent Pocket. He has thoroughly tested those and they do work to block all radio signals. I’m not sure about high energy EMP waves however if that is what you are going for.
The thing about Silent Pocket sleeves are that they aren’t going to be your tactical prepper faraday sleeves. They are made of a nice leather and sealed with magnets. Nothing like taking out a cloth sleeve in your next business meeting and ripping open loud Velcro, that sure will turn some heads. These faraday sleeves made by Silent Pocket are meant for every day carry, look professional, and are well built.
If you decide to go with another sleeve of questionable material and want to test if it works or not (at least from radio wave leakage) follow these steps.
- Have a phone with Bluetooth on and playing an offline music file connected to a Bluetooth speaker
- Place the phone inside the faraday cage/sleeve and have the speaker outside of the cage. Seal up the cage and see if the music playback stops
- Repeat the above step but with the speaker now in the sleeve and the phone outside.
- Connect your phone to WIFI and Load up a YouTube video and start watching it as you place your phone in the faraday cage. If your cage/sleeve doesn’t have a clear window you can see into, you should be able to still hear it. Keep it in there for a while if you don’t hear it turning off as it does buffer a bit and has the next couple seconds all ready loaded. Your phone should stop playing the video and go silent
Testing cellular data
- Same step as above for the WIFI portion, but with WIFI off and only connected to your cellular network
Testing using AM/FM radio
- Place a small AM/FM radio in your cage with the volume turned up loudly. It should go silent/static if your cage is working well. Try various frequencies as some radio stations may be closer and more powerful than others.
Testing using walkie-talkie/ham radio
- Place one walkie-talkie inside the cage and try talking to the other outside of the cage.
- If you have a ham radio, tune into a net and listen to it as you place your radio in your cage. Or have two radios on an unused simplex channel and try talking to one radio inside and one outside of your cage.
Those are all of the methods of testing that I can think of. If your cage/pouch/sleeve is able to pass all the above tests, you will know if it is not leaking or receiving radio signals. This is about as good of testing that the average joe can probably do. And if your getting a faraday sleeve to protect against hackers accessing your devices or from data leaking to companies like Google, then you are set.
If you are looking for EMP protection, there is a good YouTube channel by someone named disasterprepper who seems to know what he is talking about, and looks to have gear that is good at testing electric radiation. From the various videos i’ve watched of his, it makes me realize that someone really needs to 110% seal up their cage. Even the smallest leak will allow signals in. Layering your cages helps as well. Watch his videos as they describe things much better than I do. Here is a video of him testing a popular prepper faraday bag.
Chris Cox - January 25, 2021
Don’t mind at all! I had a feeling that was the reason for the title change. The Silent Pocket sleeve looks like something to seriously consider investing in, so thank you for that. I’m a former journalist and mostly concerned with security; I can make a Faraday trash can for EMPs. By the way, your post looks a lot like a foundation for the sort of article that you guys could put in Reviews and Guides!
Gideon ParkerStaff - January 25, 2021
Thanks for the great compliment! While I do hope that we can do more articles on things like faraday cages and pouches, the forum has been a great resource for many on high quality content for those areas where an article hasn’t been written quite yet. And it is community driven so the wealth of knowledge here is very vast.
If you do end up going with a Silent Pocket, i’d love to hear your thoughts on it, and see if it is everything that i’ve heard about.
Or any other product you go with, i’m sure others would be interested.
Nick Ely - November 3, 2023
Hey fellow preppers,
Just wanted to share a quick tip: I recently picked up the Mission Darkness™ Non-Window Faraday Bag for Laptops for $90. It’s a steal considering it’s tested to military standards, blocking all signals up to 40GHz. While Silent Pocket has a sleek look for daily use, Mission Darkness offers that robust, comprehensive protection that’s tough to beat, especially for those of us who take EMP shielding seriously.
Their line extends beyond laptop bags to larger items, so there’s something for every aspect of prep. I’ve been using it for a while and it’s solid—might be worth a look if you’re upping your Faraday game.
Roland - January 25, 2021
I’ve been a fan of the Survival Dispatch YouTube channel for a few years and have seen their Survivetek faraday bag and have thought about getting them a few times. They usually do a black friday sale on them.
They have another good video about them (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOu9M-Mu9KI) , and they look like pretty high quality bags.
I’ve also heard that Mission Darkness bags are good too, but looked a bit more expensive.
Chris Cox - January 25, 2021
RedneckContributor - January 25, 2021
Dr. Bradley at disasterpreparer.com, has tested the Dri-Shield 3400 bags. From his site:
The Dri-Shield 3400 series bags were shown to be superior to all others, providing approximately 50 dB of shielding across all relevant EMP frequencies (100 kHz to 1 GHz). That means they will reduce the electric field by at least 99.7%, reducing even a worst-case 50,000 V/m down to 158 V/m – a level that most electronics would survive.
He has a video:
I use them but purchase directly from digikey.com.
Supersonic - January 26, 2021
At less than a dollar each, i’m going to have to pick up a dozen of those!
Thanks for the link. I might as well store my old electronics in those in my closet instead of just in a cardboard box. They’ll have some EMP protection at least.
RedneckContributor - January 26, 2021
You are welcome. I ordered my first bags from Dr. Bradley’s site but saw he just had them shipped from Digikey. Yes, they are cheap enough to purchase a bunch.
Chris Cox - January 29, 2021
Supersonic - January 27, 2021
How likely of a threat do you guys feel an EMP is? I know it would send us back to the stone age, cripple our economy, and kill off a majority of the population, so the damage potential is incredibly high. But how likely do you feel it is to actually happen in our lifetime? Do you think we will see an EMP attack on the US? Or a CME?
Also, back to Chris Cox’s purpose for a Faraday sleeve for security, I know that is a real threat to many, especially for him as a journalist, but for the average person do you think radio hacking and data leaking is an issue?
I’d love to hear what you have seen and heard about this Chris, and if you feel comfortable telling us a bit more behind why you are wanting a sleeve.
RedneckContributor - January 27, 2021
Who knows? But as you state, it is the threat that can do the most harm to society. Not only do we have to be concerned with what man can to to man, but we have to realize our sun can do the same… and will most certainly do so in the future. As far as hacking, I have nothing of interest so hack away.
The threat of EMP or a coronal mass ejection concerns me the most. I’m too far inland for hurricanes & forest fires aren’t an issue here. Most any “normal” threats most folks prepare for are localized in nature & help will be available within days or weeks. With EMP, could be years.
Chris Cox - January 29, 2021
EMP is a statistical certainty, eventually. From what I understand, however (and some of that knowledge is derived from this website!) it is quite possible that an EMP, though devastating, wouldn’t *totally* destroy the world as we know it. Some even suggest that many vehicles would survive. Between that, and my belief that our culture demands fear-based consumerism where contentment should prevail, leads me to believe that EMP is worth prepping for, but not losing sleep over.
As for security, that is becoming an apocalyptic threat due to China’s imposition of a social credit system. As it rises in power and influence, techno-totalitarianism is going to be viewed as a serious alternative to liberal democracy, which hasn’t had a serious challenger since the fall of the Soviets. And I don’t just mean Facebook being mean. Having the wrong people in law enforcement, policy and intel theoretically makes much of mankind blackmailable, doxxable and otherwise vulnerable for life, barring an EMP.
This has been called “soft totalitarianism.”
Josh CentersContributor - January 27, 2021
I wrote up a post a while back, but it has yet to be published. You can just get a cheap metal trash can and some of Dr. Bradley’s mesh seal to put around the rim. The bags aren’t very good, but you can use them inside the trash can for extra protection.
Chris Cox - January 30, 2021
Joker - November 10, 2023
I’m looking at some of the answers in this thread and I’ve got to say that there seems to be a little bit of confusion between signal shielding (to prevent tracking or data hacking) and EMP shielding using a Faraday cage.
Just to illustrate, your car is an effective Faraday cage yet you can sit in it and still use your mobile phone. There isn’t any need to spend a fortune, place your sensitive files in an enclosed conductive mild steel box or steel mesh box that is well grounded. Something like a locker or filing cabinet is ideal. This will not block data.
Signal shielding is better suited to preventing tracking of phones or protecting data from being copied such as credit card cloning or keyless car security. Don’t be seen carrying those shielding bags in a retail store, in the UK they’re known to be used by shoplifters trying to defeat electronic security tags (going equipped)
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