Aluminum Foil Can Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal

Dartmouth's WiPrint tech uses low-cost 3D printed reflectors to custom improve WiFi signals

A 'virtual wall' that improves wireless security and performance | EurekAlert! Science News

They then built a more sophisticated system that uses an app called WiPrint to design a plastic reflector which meets the requirements of any particular environment, i.e. blocking off certain areas or rooms, strengthening the signal in other specified areas.

Don't laugh at neighbors who think aluminum foil can improve their Wi-Fi router's signal, because they might actually be right.

While it has been a topic of discussion against many people over the years, it's finally been proven by researches at Dartmouth University - 3D printed signal reflectors, made up of a thin layer of plastic and metal, can make drastic improvements to the quality of wireless signals (both wireless speed and connectivity) around a home, and at a much cheaper price than routers or access points!

"Through this single solution, we address a number of challenges that plague wireless users". "Not only do we strengthen wireless signals, we make those same signals more secure", said Zhou. The same tech also makes it more hard for attackers by adding to existing security measures by physically confining wireless signals to limited spaces. It gives enhanced Wi-Fi control by limiting signals to the desired area - a room for instance - and cutting off radio wave transmission to other regions. The team also says that this practice limits interference.

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It is noted that to strengthen Wi-Fi signal in one direction is possible using a router is placed behind the aluminum plate, for example, cut a jar from under the soda. The new research offers a systematic approach to optimizing the reflector shapes to enable a more developed signal distribution network. After assessing interior layouts and the target areas to strengthen or weaken signal strength, the researchers placed a "computationally optimised" signal reflector around a wireless router.

After testing the reflector in two different rooms, the team found it was able to increase the strength of coverage by a whopping 6dB, the equivalent of one thick wall or ceiling. Based on these settings, the technology calculates the optimal shape of the reflector, which can be printed on a 3D printer for $ 35, this information clarifies associate Professor College Xia Ju.

The reflector developed by the Dartmouth research team was tested with a plethora of routers, including the ones with the latest Wi-Fi protocol 802.11ac.

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