How to Make a WiFi Antenna for an HP Laptop

Written by dan ravens
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How to Make a WiFi Antenna for an HP Laptop
The basis for much stronger Wi-Fi reception for an HP laptop. (colino image by Renato Francia from Fotolia.com)

HP wireless laptops are like any other Wi-Fi enabled laptop insofar as they have a small wire antenna attached to an internal wireless card. The range of this antenna is limited, however because of the short length of that wire relative to the length of the 2.4GHz radio wave. When you make a Wi-Fi antenna for an HP laptop, you dramatically extend that reception/transmission range, and you can do so with household items for very little money.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Wire mesh strainer
  • USB wireless adaptor
  • USB extension cable
  • Scissors or wire cutters
  • Silicone caulk (optional)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Buy a USB wireless G or N adaptor. Wireless G can be as low as £9.70 online; wireless N will provide at least a doubling of connection speed over wireless G.

  2. 2

    Buy a large metal wire mesh strainer, if one is not readily available. Chinese vegetable strainers work well, as do large wire mesh strainers for restaurants.

  3. 3

    Cut an opening in the centre of the wire strainer with scissors or a wire cutter. The opening should be large enough for the size of the adaptor. Push the USB adaptor through the centre hole until it's halfway through the strainer. Apply silicone caulk to strengthen the bond between the USB adaptor and the wire strainer.

  4. 4

    Use a USB extension cable. Connect the female USB end to the male USB end of the Wi-Fi adaptor. Plug the male USB end of the extension cable into an open USB port on the HP laptop.

  5. 5

    Use the external wireless antenna as an addition to or in place of the HP laptop's internal Wi-Fi card.

  6. 6

    Adjust the external antenna on a horizontal axis. The parabolic surface/USB Wi-Fi adaptor should be in the line of sight of known Wi-Fi access points such as a libraries, coffee houses or McDonald's. Be cognizant of connection paths in large public places to guard against Evil Twin wireless snooping.

Tips and warnings

  • For more height at home or in the office, screw a length of wooden broom handle to the wooden handle of the strainer.

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