During his interview on the Bitcoin Takeover Podcast, Billfodl co-founder Bryan Aulds also spoke about Faraday bags and explained how useful they can be at airports during security checks. In his view, electronics can be stored for convenience in a Faraday bag to avoid headaches involved in having to remove every electronic device from the bag to show it to the nosy personnel.
Yet their application is a lot wider and also concerns bitcoiners. They can shleid hardware wallets, key storage devices like the YubiKey, cellphones that hold BTC, tablets, GPS trackers, and other gadgets. This means that radio signals (RFID), bluetooth, Wi-Fi, infrared, GPS, mobile networking, and other types of transmissions will no longer reach your device.
Put your electronics inside a Faraday bag and they go off the radar. They’re the privacy boost which helps you keep your electronics concealed from hackers both at home and on the move. And the best part about them is that they’re extremely affordable. A $25 Faraday bag can defeat thousands of dollars worth of surveillance equipment – and the efficiency of this basic technology is only confirmed by the fact that NATO uses it.
Technically speaking, Faraday bags are made from multiple layers of aluminium (tin foil) and plastic. This killer combo will stop every type of radio signal from reaching the devices you’re trying to protect. In the case of the Billfodl, you have the layers wrapped in sturdy military-grade nylon.
A Faraday bag for your hardware wallets
Now let’s consider hardware wallets like the Ledger Nano X, CoolWallet S, and BitFi: the first two have a bluetooth connection, and the latter uses Wi-Fi. If the private keys are not stored in the secure element chip (as it happens in the case of the Ledger), then you’re susceptible to remote attacks that can steal your bitcoins.
And even if you do use the Ledger, hackers can still extract your public key to see how many coins you own – and after they discover the amount, they can determine whether or not you’re worth the effort of pursuing a physical attack.
Yet if you keep your hardware wallets in a Faraday bags when you don’t use them, they’re safer. Nobody can even find them, which means that you maximize your privacy. And as you should know, the most secure possessions are the ones that the thieves can’t find. Once you expose your riches, they become honey pots for bad actors.
In the case of hardware wallets which provide support for remote access, Faraday bags are a must-have. And even the ones that are sensitive to radio signals should be kept inside the thick layers of tin foil and plastic.
Billfodl’s Faraday bags
For my 28th birthday, Bryan and Colin from Billfodl have sent me the Faraday bag bundle which costs $35. To my surprise, the two bags are extremely durable – as you can see in the video, I tried to rip and tear one of them and I failed miserably. The thick black-colored nylon which covers the tin foil is very well-sewed and makes the items look like regular wallets.
As a matter of fact, if you don’t mind looking like a cheap dork, you can even use the Billfodl Faraday bags as regular wallets. Nobody will know the difference between an inexpensive wallet and the Billfodl bags.
Furthermore, Faraday bags also protect your credit cards from contactless charges. If you look up “contactless card theft” on YouTube, you will be astonished by the amount of videos in which people demonstrate credit card fraud through your wallet or pocket. Not only that they can charge your card, but they can also steal your personal data to withdraw more money than a single contactless charge can handle.
For day to day life, Billfodl’s Faraday bags seem to be ideal. They protect some of your basic everyday devices from attack, but also keep your Bitcoin hardware wallets safe. Unless you’re carrying the large bag and reveal the inside patch which displays instructions, nobody will ever know that you are dealing with BTC. Which is great news, as privacy precedes security and also offers you a great amount of plausible deniability.
In conclusion, I found Billfodl’s Faraday bags to be much more durable and well-made than I expected. And for $35 for two pieces, the price is really hard to beat. The benefits offered to privacy and security greatly outweigh the cost.
If you would like to purchase Billfodl Faraday bags and also support the Bitcoin Takeover project to feature more reviews and articles, then feel free to use this affiliate link. The commission most likely won’t pay the bills, but it’s still something to keep me going.
For a more in-depth demonstration of what each one of the two Faraday bags can do, refer to this 12-minute video: