Computers & Mobile Technology
Six Homebrew Hacks to Boost Your Wi-Fi

WiFi connections might not be quite as good as physical cable, but they do offer the ability to move your computer around without physically rewiring or reconnecting things. Unfortunately, these connections are usually limited to, at most, a couple hundred feet. On the other hand, if the signal is properly focused with an off-the-shelf or improvised directional antenna, this range can be improved immensely.  Check out these six examples of how you can make this kind of signal-focusing antenna out of nearly anything!


 

wifi-strainer

Proving this kind of antenna isn’t a new idea, Make featured this strainer-based antenna back in 2006. Simple, but effective!


 

wifi-paper

If that wasn’t simple enough for you, here’s an antenna structure using folded paper. Just add aluminum foil to bounce the signal into your WiFi dongle.


 

 

Watermarks aside, this video will show you how to make a reception booster using a soda can. Slightly more expensive than paper, but you get to enjoy a delicious drink in the process!


 

wifi-bottle

Reminiscent of the first booster featured here, this arrangement adds a baby bottle to protect the dongle from rain. Although it appears to be much smaller than the other strainer assembly, the creator claims it is able to receive signals from 1 kilometer away.


 

wifi-cantenna

Although more involved than the soda can version, the “cantenna” tin can wave guide appears to be, relatively speaking, much more rugged. Also, you potentially get a nice snack included in the bill of materials.


 

wifi-dish

Finally, there’s this repurposed satellite antenna. The creator originally envisioned it used with a cell phone, however, it reportedly “works even better with Wi-Fi.”


 

6 thoughts on “Six Homebrew Hacks to Boost Your Wi-Fi

  1. Using directional antennas not only boost gain, but can also reject interference that’s off axis, which can both help you and others around you. Of course that’s dependent on where things are/pointed etc. These days range is not so much an issue of power, but of interference due to the plethora of other devices nearby. (YMMV, literally, depending on what you’re trying to do, but for most applications it applies).

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Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

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