Designing device to reflect my laptop's wifi signal.


Joined Jan 27, 2019
The trouble with your proposal is that just reflecting the signal is not sufficient to make any effective difference in the pratical performance of the WiFi connection.

The theory you are working on (which you probably aren’t even thinking about consciously) is that the energy reflected by the aluminum foil will contributed to the usable signal strength from the wireless adapter‘s point of view.

This is not a good assumption. As has been pointed out, the result is least likely to be improvement and most likely to be either small or large degradation. This is becaue of destructive interference both directly caused by the reflector and indirectly by way of increased multipath fading.

To do what you want, not only do you need a careful reflector design but also rigid and critical mounting of the reflector. In an overly simplified version, such a reflector is either going to help or do nothing if everything is exactly right, or it will degrade performance. Due to the criticality of the design and implementation, you are unlikely to be happy with this approach.

The “right’ way to do this is with an external antenna, though this is probably impractical since the wireless adapter is unlikely to be amenable to attaching one. One possible approach, and I really don’t know how effective it could be, would be to use an external directional antenna, and couple it inductively to the internal one. Possibly also shielding the internal antenna from other signals.

In any case, as a practical means to improve performance, an aluminum foil reflector is going to be extremely hit or miss, mostly miss, and frustratingly dependent on the place you are trying to use it.

If you want to keep trying, the only advice I have is to use a rigid panel–like cardboard or plastic—with the foil wrapped around it. This will provide better consistency. One other idea would be to make a corner reflector from the foil-covered board, with the internal antenna taking the place of the dipole. This requires knowing the location and physical orientation of the internal antenna. The arrangement will bring some consistency and efficiency and might offer easier tuning. You could also use copper PCB material for construction.


Joined Jan 8, 2017
One possible solution may be to use an external Wi Fi adapter connected via USB. If you choose one that has an SMA antenna connector you can then connect it to a high gain directional antenna such as a yagi or a cantenna. (Google cantenna to find designs.)