Slideshow

Extend your Wi-Fi range with a parabolic reflector

You can create a simple add-on for your router's antenna that will boost and focus the wireless signal. We show you how.

  • Plot Your Parabola


    Using the data that Parabola Calculator generated, plot your parabolic curve on a sheet of graph paper. Trace this curve onto cardboard or balsa wood.
  • Glue and Mount the Reflector


    Cut a small hole into the the focal point of each guide, and glue the reflector onto your guides. Once the glue dries, mount the reflector on your router's antenna and aim it in the direction that you want your signal to go.
  • Cut Out Your Curve


    Cut the cardboard or wood along the traced line of your curve. Do this twice. These pieces will become the guides for your reflector.
  • Download and Run Parabola Calculator


    Download Parabola Calculator to help you figure out the correct antenna shape. Enter a diameter and depth to represent the maximum size of reflector that your router's antenna(s) can physically accommodate. The software will create a table of points for you to plot onto graph paper.
  • Cut Some Metal


    Next, cut a smooth piece of metal to serve as the reflective surface. The sheet should be long enough to fit neatly along the edge of your curved guides, with a width corresponding to the height of your router's antenna.
  • Design and Build Your Own Signal-Boosting Reflectors


    Fitting a simple, passive, parabolic reflector around your router's antenna can focus the signal exactly where you want it. Your network will reach farther, and the addition can even improve your network security. Follow along for step-by-step instructions to create your own homemade signal boosters.
Show Comments
[]