Ask of the Week: Do Faraday pouches expire?

Dear HonestJohn,

"I saw this posted in a reply by our local police force in response to a query about Faraday pouches. Is it true they wear out?

Keyless vehicles are often targeted by criminals using signal relay equipment, which can pick up the fob’s signal from outside a home and use it to unlock and start vehicles without physically having the key.

Using a signal blocking pouch, such as a Faraday bag, or storing your key fob and any spare keys in a metal box can help prevent the equipment from working effectively. If you can, turn off the wireless signals on your fob when not in use and ensure that keys are kept as far away from vehicles as possible.

Faraday pouches only last for a few months so keep key fobs in an aluminium box or line a small box with aluminium foil."

- NL

Dear NL,

Yes, Faraday pouches can wear out over time, so it is worth checking them on a regular basis to ensure they are performing as they should.

It is also important to ensure that your Faraday pouch is a genuine certified example, as fake examples are being sold online which will offer little or no protection. We'd suggest paying a few extra £s to get a genuine one.

If you're at home, you can store your keys in an alumnium tin (as long as it has a well fitting lid) - even something like an old biscuit tin will work. It's easy to test the effectiveness, just stand next to the car with the tin and see if it unlocks.

Recent figures show that more than nine in ten stolen and recovered vehicles were taken without the keys being present. Despite cars having increasingly sophisticated security systems, they are being defeated by the weakest link in the chain, which in most circumstances are the keys themselves.

Key security is just one aspect of vehicle security though and physical security is increasingly seen as just as important. We always remind readers of the basics - secure parking, security cameras, physical wheel locks and barriers are all sensible precautions, particularly if your vehicle is high value or at particular risk.

Ask HJ

Do I need protection for keyless start but not keyless entry?

I have a new car. Do I need protection for keyless start but not keyless entry?
There is a small risk of theft for vehicles with keyless entry and/or keyless start, but the means of protection from this threat is the same for both - a good quality Faraday pouch. If your car has keyless start but not keyless entry then a thief will still have to gain access to your car to start it, but similarly if it has keyless entry but not keyless start there is still the threat of theft from the vehicle itself.
Answered by David Ross
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