Computer Networking
Electronics Engineering
Wireless Networking and WiFi

How do you increase the range of a Wifi transmitter?

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2007-06-12 13:26:15
2007-06-12 13:26:15

You can buy range extenders that work with the wireless router. Bestbuy has some belkin, d-link, netgear and some linksys ones. What I meant was something free. I've heard things like putting a pringles can over the antenna will increase the range. Is that true? If not, are there other things like that that would work? I have tried using cans as improvised "cantennas" over my wireless router's dipole antennas. The signal results were worse than without the cans. A cantenna must be built to the correct dimensions to provide any signal gain, and it replaces the entire antenna. An almost-free solution is to build a parabolic reflector for each of your transmitter's antennas, directing the signal only where it's needed. See http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/template/ The only materials needed are glue, tape, aluminum foil, and light cardstock (a file folder will do). Since the cardstock is "invisible" to your wifi devices, you can tape the left & right edges of the foil to the outside (convex side) of the reflector. When the reflector is bent into a parabola, having the foil on the outside will pull the foil smooth rather than crumpling it. Here's one I designed for specific antennas: http://24.106.181.178/geocorona/index.html A true parabola with the antenna in the correct focal point will precisely direct the radio signals from your wireless device (eg, laptop) to the antenna, and vice versa. A simple reflector such as a can or arbitrarily shaped foil will sometimes cause more interference than signal gain. For those with a Linux-based Linksys router, third-party firmware is available that will allow a capable Linux user to electronically boost the signal strength of the router, but this will not increase the router's ability to receive signals from the client devices it serves. A bi-directional amplifier for the 2.4 GHz frequencies is required to get a signal boost both ways. These amplifiers usually cost as much as the wireless router they boost.

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