FOR YEARS, there have been guides on the web on how to improve your WiFi reception using a cardboard reflector and tinfoil.
But new research has shown tinfoil really can speed up your WiFi.
Researchers at Dartmouth College who don't read the internet, seemingly have revived the old idea of a make-at-home parabolic reflector, reports Eurekalert.
Seriously. Google it. This information has been around for at least a decade. Here's an example from Lifehacker from 2007. The only difference is the 3D-printed bit.
And certainly, coughing up £30 to get the design printed will give you a more robust solution that cardboard. And yes, it will improve the strength of the signal in the path of the reflector - and a strong signal is a fast signal.
The other advantage is that by directing your signal one way, you can block it from going the other, and that means you get better wifi in the rooms you want and block it from the neighbours.
We'd say it's ideal for tinfoil hat wearers but not if you waste all the tinfoil on a sodding reflector.
"Through this single solution, we address a number of challenges that plague wireless users," said Xia Zhou, assistant professor of computer science at Dartmouth. "Not only do we strengthen wireless signals, we make those same signals more secure."
"With a simple investment of about $35 and specifying coverage requirements, a wireless reflector can be custom-built to outperform antennae that cost thousands of dollars,".
The INQUIRER, inspired by this work, will soon be launching its long-awaited paper "Shoving a wire coat hanger in the telly: Will it pick up Channel 5?". After some failed experiments trying to insert it into the HDMI port, we're pretty confident we've found the winning formula.
Next week, Dartmouth College will be showing you what fun you can have by typing SS378008 into a calculator and turning it upside down. The results may surprise you. µ
Because some people still love to carry small pieces of cardboard
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