Effectiveness of Reflective 2D and 3D Parabolic Shapes on Router Wi-Fi Signal Strength Over Distance

The purpose of this research was to determine the effect of metallic reflective antenna attachments on the strength of a Netis router signal to a Toshiba Satellite Laptop over predetermined distances. Three antenna attachments were tested. The first was a shallow parabolic dish that was placed behind the Netis router where the focus of the dish was the center of the single antenna approximately one inch down the pole. The second and third attachments tested were two different interpretations of a design known as the Windsurfer Parabolic Reflector. The key difference between these two designs was the use of aluminum inside the crossbar of the design.

The data for the power level was collected using open source software called InSSIDer Home, and the data was collected as average decibel-milliwatts, or dBm. This data was compared using descriptive analysis and it was determined that at 150 and 200 feet, all three antenna attachments were found to have a five and seven dBm increase respectfully.  The three attachments were all determined to be comparable in their ability to increase the strength of the router signal at all distances. It is hoped that future research can further develop in building antenna attachments and their use in providing improved signal strength of routers that utilize external antenna technology.

Research Conducted By:

Rebekah Kettler
Lake Shore High School

Keegan LaPorte
Fraser High School