Researchers discover that aluminum foil actually does improve your wireless range and increase Wi-Fi security

“Researchers at Dartmouth University have found that a 3D printed shape covered in aluminum foil can improve wireless range and increase Wi-Fi security,” John Biggs reports for TechCrunch.

“The project, which appeared on Eurekalert, involves placing a reflector on and around a Wi-Fi router’s antennae to shape the beam, increasing range and preventing it from passing through to unwanted spaces,” Biggs reports. “‘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,’ said Xia Zhou, a Dartmouth assistant professor.”

“The team found that their reflectors could accurately shape Wi-Fi beams to avoid some spaces and favor others,” Biggs reports, “thereby increasing security and coverage.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As anyone who’s ever fooled around with various antennae can tell you, aluminum foil can do wonderful, awful, and mysterious things.


  1. There’s nothing new about this. Most WiFi transmitters use omnidirectional aerials. If you use foil or other materials to transform it into a directional aerial, you get stronger signals in certain places and weaker ones elsewhere. This is exactly how terrestrial aerials work for televisions and why they need to be accurately pointed at the transmitter.

    In the days when cellphones were relatively new and used frequencies close to our TV frequencies, I had a cellphone with a removable aerial. I was working near the coast in France and was able to plug in a portable TV aerial instead of the indented one. By pointing it at the UK coast, I was able to make calls using my UK cellphone network rather than make expensive calls via the French network.

    Directional WiFi has been around for many years. Do a search for ‘Cantenna’ and you will see how people have built highly directional aerials out of Pringles cans and used them to get WiFi access hundreds of yards away from their base station.

        1. Unless every digital device is protected EMP will send everyone back to the 19th century. That is, so what if your device survived EMP if every other device is destroyed and nonfunctional.

      1. I enjoy having fun with EMP theory. It’s actually a complicated topic with some interesting convolutions and problems. But within the EMP mythos, as I’ll call it, is the preventative measure of using Faraday cages to divert the EMP energy around and away from a target device. As such, one can use a (preferably grounded) metal cage around an electronic device, or correspondingly a human brain, in order to protect it from violent, high amplitude, wide spectrum electromagnetic energy. IOW: Faraday cages and tin foil hats / AFDBs go together as having essentially the same purpose.

        BTW: A couple fun things about EMPs are:

        A) The huge amount of energy required to create one that’s effective, which of course can put the person with the EMP gun in danger.

        B) Overcoming the Inverse-square Law, the exponential fall off of EMP radiation with distance. This problem inspires the need for directional, coherent EMP emitting devices corresponding to lasers.

        C) Then there’s the problem of shielding the EMP emission device itself such that it doesn’t blow out its own circuits. An amusing solution someone illustrated on the Internet is a steam generated EMP gun mounted on a dirigible, IOW a steampunk solution. I find this to be fascinating as well as hilarious.

  2. Jokes about America’s republic-style of democracy are not funny nor appreciated, especially when our nation is so politically divided and smack in the middle of a dangerous fascist takeover attempt devised by a foreign enemy and it appears, from within. Those are facts. MacDailyNews is not a fake news forum and many readers here would appreciate it if everyone would check their political opinions at the door so that we can maintain a civil and credible information forum. This isn’t @GOP on Twitter, nor Fox News, Breitbart or InfoWars. We should have zero-tolerance for the ignorant purveyors of all fake news and protect this comments section from being contaminated by political opportunitists of all persuasions.

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