Faraday Cages – What are They?

Aug 24, 2018 by

With the rise of technology and the integration of electronic devices, it is becoming more important to find ways to protect these devices. There is a surprisingly long list of things to protect electronic devices from, including viruses, electromagnetic pulses, solar flares, and hackers just to name a few. There are several methods of protecting various aspects of electronic devices. There are virus protection software and firewalls to protects them from certain types of cyber attacks, cases to protect them from falls and outward damage, and special containers to protect them from unexpected pulses and hackers. Most of today’s society is familiar with cases and virus protection software, but only a few are familiar with the special containers that can protect any electric device from pulses and surges. These containers are called Faraday cages. There are several different types of Faraday cages to accommodate different needs. If you have never heard of a Faraday cage or are interested in learning more about them, you have come to the right place. Here, we will take a look at what exactly a Faraday cage is, how it is made, and some of its many uses.

The first thing we are going to discuss is what a Faraday cage really is. These cages are essentially an electronic isolation chamber. What this means is that no electronic signal can get in or out of the container. This includes all cellular data signals WIFI signals, Bluetooth, GPS signals, and signals from an RFID scanner. These containers are made up of four very average materials, and can even be built right at home. There are a variety of videos right on YouTube that acts as a guide for you to be able to build your own Faraday cage right in your own home. It is fairly simple.

Did you know that many of the things that we use in everyday life is or can be a Faraday cage? It is true. The metal frame of a vehicle is a type of Faraday cage. This way you are advised to stay in your vehicle when there is a power line in the road or lightning is striking. The frame of the vehicle keeps the electricity from getting to the inside of the vehicle and ultimately you. Elevators are often an unintended Faraday cage. Have you ever been in an elevator and wondered why your cell phone doesn’t seem to have a signal? This is why. It is caused by the materials that most elevators are made out of. Also, the mesh screen in the window of your microwave is part of a Faraday cage. This is what holds the radiation inside of the microwave rather than allowing it to seep out. This is only a small sampling of the many times in life you interact with a Faraday cage or at least a variation.

There are many times in certain professions that a Faraday cage is quite useful. For example, they are often used by engineers when they are designing or testing new devices. A Faraday cage can be used to create a controlled vacuum for the purpose of electrical testing. One high profile example of a Faraday cage being used happened in the year 2013. The Sistine Chapel was shielded by Faraday cages to ensure total privacy while the Vatican was choosing a new Pope. This because they wanted to maintain complete secrecy and a Faraday cage ensured this. Not only would people not be able to access anything in the chapel remotely, they would also not be able to use a “bug”. No signals are able to get in, likewise, no signals can get out. Even if someone had managed to plant a listening device inside the chapel, they would have found it impossible to access the signal from outside the chapel.

While all of these are excellent uses of a Faraday cage, there are actually quite a few everyday uses for the average person as well. There are Faraday bags on the market that are made for personal use. These are sometimes referred to as tech protect bags. There are several varieties and types available depending on what you need the bag for. Each type of bag is a specific size meant for specific types of devices. There are small pouches made to hold keys and key fobs to ensure that no one can access your vehicles locking system remotely using the signals from your key fob. There are also special wallets to protect your cards from hackers with RFID scanners. So long as the card is in the shielded wallet, it cannot be scanned no matter how good of a scanner a hacker may have. Phone cases are the next size up. These cases are much like a pocket for your smartphone to go in. They will protect your phone from sending or receiving any type of unwanted signal. Other bags are sized for tablets, notebooks (electronic), laptops, and large universal bags. Each of these has a specific purpose and use. Many police forces use Faraday bags to protect the electronic devices that they collect as evidence. If a smartphone, tablet, or laptop is not shielded in some way, it is entirely possible for anyone with the correct knowledge to remotely access the device and delete, alter, or add content which would make the device useless as evidence.

Faraday bags are also quite popular among a culture of people referred to as preppers. They can use these cages or bags to protect transistor radios, walkie-talkies, solar radios, flashlights, and many other things safe. If a solar flare of a certain intensity occurs, it has the potential to affect any electrical device. Also, should an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) be detonated, it will prevent electronic devices in its proximity from functioning. Unless, of course, the device is safely tucked into a Faraday cage.

There are many possible uses for a Faraday cage. Many are used every day in seemingly average items and devices. They are vital to many scientists. If you are interested in a Faraday cage or bag, there are plenty available online for purchase. If you cannot currently afford one, do not hesitate to look into making one yourself. Quite often, they can be made out of items that you have laying around the house anyway.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.