According to the researchers, you can improve the Wi-Fi signal in your home with aluminum foil.
Reflective material can successfully direct wireless signals where you need them most and away from areas where you don't want a connection to be available.
However, to maximize its impact, you will first need to analyze your home design.
The researchers, from Dartmouth College, University of Washington, Columbia University and UC Irvine, built a plastic reflector covered with "a thin layer of metal," and tested it by placing it around a variety of routers.
It managed to increase the signal intensity by 6dB in areas where a boost was needed, and decreased the signal intensity by up to 10dB in areas where a connection was not required or desired.
“To create the technology, the research designed an algorithm that optimizes the three-dimensional shape of a reflector to achieve wireless coverage. The team also developed an approach to simulate how radio signals propagate and interact with objects in their environment, "the researchers said.
"With information on a specific interior space, wireless access point locations and the desired target area, the system calculates an optimized reflector shape in just 23 minutes."
The reflector can be 3D-printed for $ 35, the researchers say, though you'll have to wrap it in aluminum foil yourself. It is a much cheaper alternative to directional antennas, which can cost hundreds.
If you don't have access to a 3D printer, you can always experiment with cardboard and aluminum foil, although your own homemade creation will almost certainly be less effective.
"By shaping signals, users can increase wireless efficiency by decreasing the signal damping impact of building materials and interior designs," the researchers said.
“Such a system can also make it more difficult for attackers by adding to existing security measures, such as encryption via wireless signals that physically confine them to limited spaces. This also leads to less interference. "
Now they are turning their attention to sign reflectors made of different materials that will be able to transform automatically when your home interior design changes.
Original article (in English)