Being an electrical engineer and a wireless security enthusiast, I can assure you that the thieves these days have got a lot smarter and its necessary to create awareness among the public how to secure their assets better. Therefore, I thought of doing the much requested – the Ridge Wallet review.
In this post, apart from the other minimalistic features and benefits of the Ridge wallet, I have touched how new technology has enabled thieves to skim cards from distance.
One of the most common ways of extracting the information especially from the debit cards is through the ATM machines but that requires very close contact with the skimming machine. So what is the hype about the ridge wallet RFID blocking? Let’s explain things in a simple way as possible.
WHAT IS RFID THEFT?
You must have seen people placing their cards on small scanners installed on door locks. As soon as the card is placed over the scanner, the door opens itself and the person moves in. But that is just an employee card, can the information from money cards be stolen? Yes, and it is happening all around us.
Thieves are not stealing the information through physical contact rather they are using sophisticated wireless transmitters that steal the data from credit and debit cards from distance up to 10 feet. So it is important that in this Ridge wallet review we cover this topic in little detail.
HOW THIEVES ARE DOING RFID THEFT?
The problem with wireless RFID transmitter is that it has a very small range and within that small range only a few points transfer enough energy to the card antenna that can transmit the information back to the RFID Stealing unit.
Thieves these days have increased the region of transmission from the base RFID transmitting unit. This is done by making an array of transmitting antennas that create many regions of constructive interference resulting in a wide range of operate-able area.
Thieves install these arrays of antennas secretly in crowded areas. The common modulation techniques being used in the cards help them easily pick up the information from people passing by those points. This means without your knowledge, important information from the card is skimmed from 5-10 feet away.
HOW RIDGE WALLET STOPS RFID THEFT?
You can place up to 12 cards inside the ridge sealed wallet. Typical wallets although are made up of leather and are sealed as well but they are not electromagnetically sealed. The communication between cards and machines is done through electromagnetic waves.
Ridge wallet forms this barrier between the incoming electromagnetic waves and the card through its shield. So the hidden antennas transmitting stealing waves are reflected back by the ridge wallet without touching the sensitive cards inside.
WHAT ARE OTHER BENEFITS OF RIDGE Wallet
Now that we have covered the most important benefit its time to look into other main features that are important for the ridge wallet review.
This is a breather in a world of saturated wallets. Think it by yourself, apart from materials the design of the wallets has not changed significantly. Ridge wallet is a fresh breather, the producers have put in a lot of efforts to change the design of a wallet altogether.
When all cards are placed in, it feels as if the wallet is a deck of cards in a case. It looks cool to me. I was not sure if it really can hold up to 12 cards to my surprise it could easily hold them all firmly.
ARE THOSE CARDS JAMMED INSIDE?
With all those cards inside it seems like the cards cannot be accessed but this is where Ridge Wallet takes a big leap. The circular indentation allows pushing the card up by around 20% from the case.
With little pinch on the lower part of the case allows the case to open up and cards become like leaves of an open book.
HOW EASY IS IT TO PUSH NEW CARDS IN?
Yes, you can tuck in a new card easily and from experience, it is easier to push in the card from the outer edge. Pushing the card in the middle of the cards will be difficult and it can damage your cards.
WHERE THE MONEY GOES?
A wallet is incomplete without some bills inside it. Money can be attached to the outside of the casing with the metallic clip or elastic band that can hold the money in place.
You have to fold the bill two times to make sure that they fit that in. The metallic clip, however, can become irritating inside the pocket and an elastic band would be more comfortable.
WHAT IS THE SCREWDRIVER FOR?
When you open the box of the Ridge Wallet it contains a two-piece screwdriver. The two parts can be joined together to open or close the small screws on the body of the wallet. Ridge did this to give customization ability of the user.
You can open the wallet with the screwdriver and change the paper clip to the elastic band to hold the money. It is a matter of personal preference and my recommendation would be to order the elastic band unit.
WHAT I DON’T LIKE ABOUT THE RIDGE WALLET
Like my smartphone screen, I am not a fan of the fingerprints that are left on the body of the wallet. Smudging to clean them, is not what you expect from such a refined design.
Second is the weight of the wallet. Yes the design is minimalistic and the body of the wallet is quite strong but that adds into the weigh of the wallet. It can be as heavy as a good leather wallet out there. That is not the innovation, that could have been part of this wallet.
The third is the folding of the bill twice. I love to have some bills in my wallet and folding them twice and then unfolding them twice again to pay somebody, I don’t find that attractive.
Verdict: The Ridge Wallet Review
Same design but a different brand name that is how the wallets have been sold in the market. The minimalistic design of the Ridge Wallet is a sign of relief in the saturated world of wallets. Apart from that, RFID theft protection is the showstopper which is ignored by other reviewers around.
The Ridge wallet has some shortcomings but so do all the wallets out there. The strong robust design is an indication that the investment made will last for years to come.