Improving Your WiFi Range

By jobeard · 23 replies
Sep 28, 2006
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  1. When push comes to shove, you may be able to make a simple tool which
    will create 11db gain for your wireless router. This is most effective when
    you need more range in a specific direction.
  2. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    Inreresting!!!! Any ideas on improving reception for a wireless pci card??
  3. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    only if the wifi card has an external antenna.
  4. YosefM

    YosefM TS Rookie Posts: 41

    What an interesting article - especially if it actually works. If I try it, does that qualify me for the tin-foil hat crew? :p

    I can see the logic, and the need to be very accurate with the template. This from the site FAQ is interesting as well.
    You need to have some type of site survey software running on a laptop to help tune it. This is readily available for little to no money as long as you can associate to the AP - Netstumbler, AirMagnet and Kismet should all be capable of mapping the signal.

    At the same time, I have seen APs mounted next to a reflective surface (specifically 1 - a shiny plastic wall covering, and 2 - the thin metal stiffener plate inside some wallboard) significantly attenuate the signal available to devices attempting to connect. It is notable that in all cases these surfaces were fairly well flat, not significantly (if at all) curved.
  5. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    From what I've heard, the CAN-tenna works well. Never used one as my laptop has an excellent built in antenna. Bear in mind the CAN-tenna is a directional antenna. (It is basically a YAGI antenna for you radio head geeks.)
    learninmypc likes this.
  6. sr20rps13

    sr20rps13 TS Rookie

    this works very well, didnt get an increase of 11db, got around 9. boosted my network from low to very good - excellent.
  7. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,475   +126

    What did you use for the tin foil? Not Alumin Foil right? Also if you did use Tin Foil where did you get it from?
  8. sr20rps13

    sr20rps13 TS Rookie

    I don't know if its tin or aluminium, sorry. I do know that it comes in a 50 foot roll from a Food Basics in Markham, Ontario, Canada. I think aluminium foil should work fine though...
  9. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,475   +126

    Mmmm, okay I'll give it a try saves buying these extra high gain ant for my other High Power Router. They want $19 bucks for 6db gain ant. if you got 9db just using foil wow!
  10. sr20rps13

    sr20rps13 TS Rookie

    I've built another one today. This time, I've built it a lot stronger by making the foil thincker and using bristol board instead of flimsy 8.5 x 11 and got about 10dB. I think doubling the size of the reflector can also improve the dB values.
  11. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,475   +126

    Wow! 10db you say, that sounds good how many layers did you use?

    Also I can't find any tin fold, not even the craft stores or hardware stores just don't carry them.

    So only this:

    Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
    50 sq. ft - 12" wide
    37 1/2 sq. ft. and 75 sq. ft. - 18" wide


    Reynolds Wrap® Extra Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
    37 1/2 sq. ft. - 18" wide

  12. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,475   +126

    Okay I found a better method for get the AF and going to use 50 yds of Heavy Duty Foil Tape. You use that on AC, Heater Units and piping. It has it's own sticky side so you don't need glue. I'll post my results shortly..

    See below:

  13. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,475   +126

    Now are you suppose to do both sides and that corner piece also with the tin foil or just one side. I've tried both ways and I don't see any difference in db gain. Maybe because my wireless access point are already high power signal at 100% signal strength each. One has 4db gain ant the other has 2db gain ant.
  14. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,475   +126

    Found this on another site


  15. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,475   +126

    More of the same but painted...

  16. sr20rps13

    sr20rps13 TS Rookie

    I don't think you can find tin foil anymore. It gives food a tinny taste, thats why no one buys it and no one makes it anymore.
  17. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Posts: 937

    ebay, if you are that desperate.
  18. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,475   +126

    No my signal strenght is excellent throughout the house and it was just better to pickup another High Power AP did the trick...
  19. Ironoak

    Ironoak TS Rookie Posts: 21

    Tin foil stopped being used in the early twenty's when FDA realized it poisoned you. Aluminum foil took over quickly but the name stuck. It's just to hard to say Aluminum.:(
  20. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    I am wondering if there is a way to optimize internal antennas on laptops without an antenna port?
  21. SpoR

    SpoR TS Rookie Posts: 25

    Just wanted to bump this. I made the 'Parabolic dish' thing in the OP. I didn't use it for my router. I placed it on my PCI card's external antennae. It didn't really work at all.

    Maybe the signal was too far or too weak (was trying to hijack neighbor's net) but I noticed no change whatsoever with or without the thing. I placed the antennae in just about every combination of directions possible and didn't get any improvement.

    :( Took me pretty long to make the dumb thing too, Felt like I got scammed by a household hacker youtube video :(
  22. boscharun

    boscharun TS Rookie

    You really should see this post on improving wireless network range. It has a video on how to make a wireless signal reflector with simple aluminium foil which is easily available from your moms kitchen.
  23. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 7,672   +413

  24. mauser1891

    mauser1891 TS Rookie

    Hello Folks,

    Improving range and receiving are two and yet one in the same depending on ones method. As some of the older Linksys routers were great as repeaters, just as a cantenna is not a yagi. Each is a different form factor. One can simply do a web search on the topic of WiFi, or just use cantenna as a base search word to start with. Wikipedia has some very good links for WiFi DYI projects. :D
    I have made, used, and sold my own cantenna made from soup cans for $60 USD. ;)

    Thank You,

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