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  Technology   Weekend project: A can to boost your Wi-Fi range

Weekend project: A can to boost your Wi-Fi range

| FRANCIS D’SA
Published : Aug 12, 2016, 1:40 am IST
Updated : Aug 12, 2016, 1:40 am IST

Many users complain that their router is not powerful enough to cover the entire house. Here is a simple hack for them to increase range of their routers.

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Many users complain that their router is not powerful enough to cover the entire house. Here is a simple hack for them to increase range of their routers.

Every household today uses a wireless router and most routers, however, have a specific maximum range for broadcasting the radio signals over the area. Since wireless signals are usually affected by a lot of factors - distance, obstacles, power and other interferences, their overall range tends to shorten as per the company's rated specifications.

 

While obstacles, power and other radio interferences can be reduced by tweaking things around the house and placing the router appropriately, the wireless range cannot be extended, unless you have a high-end router, or install repeaters and hotspots.

Nevertheless, you can extend your wireless router's range by a few more metres using an easy hack. The range can be increased by using an empty beer or soda can, and you can build the hack within a few minutes. Get a pair of scissors and follow the steps below. Alternatively, you can also check out the hack by watching the video. Enter this url (https://goo.gl/pbUXuD) on your browser, or simply scan the QR code with your smartphone. Step 1: Empty out a beer or soda can, clean and let it dry completely. Remove the pull tab or pop tab - simply twist it to break it off. Step 2: Use a sharp knife and carefully cut off the bottom to separate it. Step 3: Do the same for the top of the can. But this time, don't cut right through - you have to leave a gap of around 1 to 1.5-inches. Step 4: As shown above, make sure you cut the can so that there is around 1.5-inches at least left out. Step 5: Now use a pair of scissors to cut a slit from the top to the bottom, exactly opposite the gap you left out. This will lead to opening the can like a jacket. Step 6: Slowly, and carefully, flare out the can to help open it up. Ensure that you don't flatten the can as we need it to be round or parabolic. Step 7: You could straighten the edges to help maintain the shape similar to a parabolic or curved sheet of metal. This shape is to make the can act as a reflector. Step 8: Your can now looks like the one shown in the image above. You now need to make two or three of these, depending on the number of antennas your router has. Step 9: You can use some blue tacks or a double-sided foam tape just below the pull tab. This is used for mounting the reflector on the antenna(s). Step 10: With the aid of the blue tacks or double-sided tapes, mount the two cans on each antenna while passing the antenna from the pull tab holes.

 

Once the cans have been mounted on the router, you should be able to see a difference in the wireless performance instantly.

Now make required changes to the newly-fitted reflectors so that they face the device on the opposite end which is connected to the Wi-Fi router.

In order to tweak your newly-hacked router for the best range and performance, you can use some apps to find out the optimal positioning of the reflectors or the device. You can use free apps such as Wi-Fi Analyser for Android or Wi-Fi Signal Meter for Windows desktops.