Instructables

how to make make my wireless laptop pick up signals better?

It has of course a built in antenna. I want to be able to pick up the local free signal that is brodroadcast from a point that now I pick up one or two bars and a weak signal. UNACCEPTABLE. Please help

abhishek7275 years ago
 A wacky solution. Use a large aluminium foil and place it under the laptop with the corners pointing upwards. I read it on Lifehacker.com I guess but am not sure.
It works - that bit I know.
Internal antennas are usually pretty bad.  I access wifi hotspots in my car quite often and found myself holding the laptop above the dashboard to get a signal. A USB wireless adapter and extension cable solved the problem They can be positioned for optimal signal and there are several hacks to increase range.
The windsurfer from freeantennas.com comes to mind.
frollard5 years ago
The wifi is internal, but you may be able to find the card and wire up an external (directional) antenna.  Pop the bottom off your laptop, and sometimes the wifi module is right there in front of you.  Often it has 2 antennas, 1 to the screen and one in the laptop body - to get best signal from that form factor; simply route one to the edge of the case and terminate it with an antenna connector.

Other than that, disable the internal wifi, and get a usb/pcmcia dongle that has a bigger external antenna.  (ebay, dealextreme, or local stores will have them)