A group of Chinese scientists has confirmed that tin foil can help increase the strength of the WiFi signal at home and in offices. The simple trick has been touted as a much cheaper alternative to expensive antennas on the Internet for years, but it is the first time it is officially tested.
The findings could help tech companies solve a persisting issue affecting WiFi-based networks for a few dollars. For just 35 bucks and less than an hour of work, WiFi network owners can boost the signal strength at a professional level.
A team of Chinese researchers took things to a next level and designed a 3D-printed reflector warped in tin foil that can boost the signal farther in your home. Engineers acknowledged that not all users own a 3-D printer, but they recommend trying to achieve a similar shape with cardboard.
Professor Xia Zhou who led the research team unveiled that the special material obtained through 3-D printing can help solve a number of issues that affect wireless users like:
- poor signal strength.
- flawed network security
- unreliable coverage.
A plethora of YouTube videos suggest that tin foil alone strategically placed around a router can boost signal strength and direct that signal in a particular direction. The latest technology was built on those findings.
To develop the device, the research team devised a computer algorithm that can direct a 3-D printed reflector to influence WiFi coverage. Researchers also found a technique to influence how radio signals interact with objects in their path.
The cost of the device is just $35 and the reflector can be tweaked to outperform the state-of-the-art signal-enhancing devices that can cost thousands of dollars, researchers reported.
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