Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal Using a Tin Can
Often people complain about the strength of their Wi-Fi signal , and usually it's because the place they put the router turns out to be less convenient (for the computers receiving it) than it should be.
Assuming you have tried moving the router (or can't), you have tried changing the channel it transmits on and you don't want to spend money on a repeater, there is a simple solution. Make a "cantenna" -- a resonator of a similar design used in advanced radio frequency technologies.
How do you do it? Get a can. Drill a hole, and connect a "pigtail" wire to the same place the antenna connects to the back of your PC. You have to add the connector yourself, but they can be had relatively cheaply. One person even built one using a simple USB antenna, so he didn't even need to solder anything. Instructions are here, or this one with some of the math. The upshot is that you can build one of these for less than $30, which is considerably cheaper than a repeater.
This will not make the signal more powerful; but it does make the receiver more sensitive. That means more distance from your Wi-Fi router -- or someone else's, if that free public hot spot is down the block.
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