There are some situations when the Internet signal does not get to the point where you need it. Or if it does, it is very weak and the connection resets every 10 seconds, making you angry. Of course, there are lots of ready made solutions – and some of them quite cheap! Still, if you are a geek, the mere thought of building your own Wi-Fi antenna using off-the-shelf parts may seem like a good plan. Read on to discover how easy it is to build your own Wi-Fi antenna, and thus boost the strength of the Internet signal in your house.
1. First of all, you will need a USB wireless LAN adapter dongle. The device is required even if the computer has an integrated wireless chip. It is recommended to get a dongle that uses both the 802.11b and 802.11g standards. The good news is that the prices for such a device range around 15-20 USD. Often times, a cheaper dongle has a smaller size, whereas more powerful ones are a little big larger in size and, of course, cost a little bit more.
2. You will also need a USB passive extension cable. Just purchase an inexpensive U.FL to RP-SMA cable. This cable is used to connect the USB Wi-Fi adapter to your computer’s USB port. The cable should be long enough to be positioned in direct sight view of the wireless access point. You can always use extension cables, of course.
3. The next thing you will need is a mesh-covered dish. Dishes that look like a cooking Asian wok are the perfect size. You may also use steamers, pot lids or even lamp shades, provided that they are made of metal and have the shape of a dish. The bigger the dish, the powerful the signal will be. From my experience, the optimal size of the dish is about 12 inches.
4. Are you ready to assemble the system? The dongle and the USB extension cable have to be attached to the dish using twist-ties, tape etc. The dongle should be positioned at the focal point of the dish, about an inch above the surface of the dish.
5. Plug in the antenna. Insert the male end of the USB extension cable into the computer, and then set it as the Wi-Fi card using the network settings.
6. It’s time to locate the Wi-Fi transmitter that you want to access. As the antenna we’ve built is very directional, it is crucial to orient it properly. Basically, the dish needs to be pointed towards the remote antenna.
7. Tune the dish. This is the step you need to perform right after connecting the antenna. The dish should be tuned by adjusting the position of the dongle as you read the signal meter on the computer. There are several software programs that can help you with this, and you can also use a mobile / smartphone app for this.
That is it! If all went well, you now have a high gain antenna that only took 30 minutes to create and – most of all – it’s been built by yourself!
Believe it or not, 13 is your lucky number today! Read on to discover the 13 hottest tech blogs.
1. Mashable is constantly updated with fresh info. It’s true that most of the information is provided by news or posts from Twitter and Facebook, but hey, it looks like it works! In fact, it works quite well for them, if we take into account that the blog receives about 20 millions of visitors per month. Not to mention that it has about six million followers on its social media channels!
2. TechCrunch is a bit different; it focuses on reviewing products that have recently been launched on the market. It boasts with over 12 millions of visitors per month and about 37 million page views – a mouth watering figure for most advertisers. It’s the blog to visit if you are interested in learning more about fresh companies, people and all sorts of tech news.
3. GigaOm was launched back in 2006, being the project of a single person. A lot has happened since then, and now GigaOm has 12 writers and 5 million viewers per month. It focuses on presenting the newest products on the market, providing useful information for entrepreneurs, professionals or executives. The company is also running several events, which are a nice way of helping people network and share tech related ideas.
4. Engadget is the review reader’s paradise. The blog provides tech products reviews and news. Go for it if you love tech and want to be kept up to date with what’s happening around the world.
5. Wired boasts with about 14 million viewers every month. People visit this blog because it discusses challenging ideas, provides fresh presentations and all sorts of news coming from the science, design or business sectors.
6. HuffPost Tech is part of the Huffington Post media giant, but it has become a very well known online news blog on its own. The blog discusses everything that happens in the tech world. If you are a visual guy (or girl) you will be pleased to know that there are lots of photos to see, videos to watch and all sorts of tech news articles on this blog.
7. Ubergizmo understands the love for tech of those that are not so geeky. In the end, even these people gotta have a place where they can learn stuff, right? Ubergizmo tries to simplify things, without making use of complex tech vocabulary, and thus provides a pleasant read for people like you and me.
Read this blog and you will discover many reviews about all sorts of products. And to make the things even more interesting, the posts are written in three languages, thus attracting lots of readers from all over the world.
8. The Verge is the place to go when you are looking for interesting videos or podcasts, as well as for articles about art, culture and, of course, technology.
9. CNET is often times visited by people that want to discover new tech products, or to learn how to utilize the devices they’ve bought at their full potential. There are different downloadable apps, videos and forums where people state their opinions about various tech products and give feedback.
10. Gizmodo is an interesting blog that combines humor and technology. The articles are written in a specific, humorous way that helps people have an enjoyable time while reading the blog.
11. The Small But Kinda Mighty blog is run by a mother with two autistic children, who writes especially about apps and things useful for the special needs community. The blog owner also writes reviews for Smart Apps for Kids. Deanne Shoyer is the winner of the Top 25 Tech Moms award in 2013.
12. The iMums is another interesting blog, being managed by four mothers from different area in the world. They want to help parents discover the best digital stories, educational apps or fun games that are available on the market and are useful for children.
13. Evolved Mommy offers overworked mothers lots of useful tips. The information that can be read on the blog is addressing the needs of the less technically inclined mothers.