Building a WiFi Extender with a Cooking Steamer

Surprisingly, this worked. Instructables member tm36usa glued a USB WiFi adapter on the inside of a metal food steamer and mounted it on a tripod. The steamer functions as a parabolic reflector, capturing WiFi signals:

Just plug the USB WIFI adaptor into the socket on the dish and plug the other end into your computer. Enjoy boosted signal strength and improved distance. Fire up Netstumber or Kismet to really see the gain in power. This works even better than I thought it would. Be sure to leave your comments on how well it worked. Works great for war driving too.

-via Hack A Day

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DirecTV dishes were designed and constructed by experts, to exacting tolerances based on proper radio frequency engineering principals. Just picking a random sized dish, and mounting the receiver any old distance from it, is not going to give you good results.
In this case, the dish is far too small for the frequencies being used, and WiFi should really have a 1-meter C- band dish for good signal gain. And there too, precisely mounting your antenna is critical.
This strainer is probably only behaving as a simple reflector. And piece of metal behind your antenna will about double your signal. Something like chicken wire behind an AP would likely do just as well.
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I feel like taking umbrage with the first sentence, "Surprisingly, this worked."; has the writer never seen someone's DirectTV dish mounted on the side of a house or apartment? Same thing.
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An old hack but worth reading into more.Google "wokfi" (using woks and chinese slotted spoons and such) and And "cantenna" (using a tin can or pringles like tin) :) You can get wifi as much as kilometres away if you do well
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