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Researchers Show Aluminium Foil Does Improve Wi-Fi Speed

As it turns out, an aluminium foil does help improve Wi-Fi speed after all. That is part of the result from a study by Dartmouth University researchers who created a 3D-printed “wall” covered in foil for their experiment. “Through this single solution, we address a number of challenges that plague wireless users,” said Xia Zhou, an assistant professor of computer science at Dartmouth.

Made from Low-Cost Materials

The researchers set out to create a solution for strengthening wireless signals indoors using low-cost materials. The antenna wall for example uses 3D-printable material. It is then covered with regular aluminium foil, creating a reflector that only costs $35. Even more impressive is that the research paper shows numbers that outperform similar solutions which cost $1000-plus.

Improving wireless performance is not particularly easy and quite challenging indoors. This is due to the complex interactions of radio signals with the environment. Current methods to optimizing Wi-Fi signals rely on directional antennas to concentrate signals.

Unlike most of the homemade aluminium parabolic antenna solutions you can see on YouTube, the group’s created a program called WiPrint for 3D printing the exact shape needed for beam forming. This allows users to tailor the solution for their area much more accurately.

Ron Perillo

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