Well, almost free.
It takes a sheet of heavy paper, some aluminum foil and a few minutes of your time. So let’s just say insanely cheap.
Our wi-fi router is centrally located within our office. But the conference room, where the wi-fi is most often required, is separated from the router by multiple walls and lots of fluorescent light fixtures. A signal is obtainable- but the strength is meager at best.
Repositioning the router wasn’t really feasible so I started investigating wi-fi signal boosters and such. There are several options available ranging from add-on antennas to signal relays that attempt to extend the signal- supposedly up to 1 mile.
Then I came across this idea from Free Antennas.com. Using a simple cardboard parabola covered with foil it promised a 9 dBi gain. For free!
It took about 10 minutes to cut out a copy and place it on one of the antennas of our D-Link router. Just adding the one increased my signal in the conference room from Poor to Fair and 11 meg to 36 meg of bandwidth. I haven’t even got around to making one for the second antenna!
Of course I had to tweak their design just a smidge- see what you think…
Click the image to view the full-size version. Print it in heavy stock or acetate. You can even scale it up to increase the gain!
All you do is cut it out, cover the rectangle with foil then do the insert tab A into slots B. A little tape on the back side helps keep it all together. Poke holes through the X and slide it over your wi-fi antenna. For more details and specs check the page on Free Antennas.com.