RF Shielded Bags – How do they work?


Author: Jeremiah Ajayi, Lead Project Engineer

RF Shielded Bags and Pouches

RF shielded bags (or Faraday bags) are designed to protect you and your information. “You” could be anyone from a typical individual, to a high-ranking government official. These bags help secure your information and property by preventing transmission of sensitive information, via an RF signal, from the device in the bag. They also prevent the device from receiving RF signals from would-be attackers.

How Do They Work?

RF shielded bags work similarly to RF shielded enclosures. These enclosures are usually made with a thin conductive metal lining its exterior and interior. The metal dissipates any RF signal that is intended to go in or out of the enclosure. Likewise, RF shielded bags are typically made with a fabric that consists of wires made with metals such as silver or copper. These metals are highly conductive, which makes them suitable for RF shielding. The fabrics could also made with cheaper and less conductive metals such as tin or nickel. However, these will offer lower RF shielding effectiveness due to their lower conductivity.

Benefits Since these bags are essentially portable RF shielded enclosures, they are useful for the following.

  • Transporting sensitive information such as forensic evidence for law enforcement agencies.
  • Performing RF tests on small electronic devices.
  • Preventing information and property theft. For example, a vehicle can be stolen by remotely accessing its remote start equipped key fob.

Conclusion RF shielded bags are a great solution for on-the-go RF shielding, however they are not as effective as RF shielded enclosures when it comes to shielding performance. They can be viewed as temporary measures when traveling between RF shielded enclosures.