5-Minute Project video: Parabolic cookware WiFi antenna

Extend your range with some old-fashioned cookware.
Four laptops of varying sizes, plus two smaller devices, in a circle on a wooden floor.
Let the WiFi summoning begin.

Here we have yours truly demonstrating a quick and easy way to greatly enhance your computer’s ability to detect and connect to WiFi networks both near and far with a piece of Asian parabolic cookware.

Yes, the steamer basket we used is perhaps not the most Asian member of the parabolic cookware family, but this project is most famously done using a wok or deep-fry strainer, and the term stuck. Basically anything parabola-shaped and made of metal soft enough to puncture will work to some extent—experimentation will determine which yields the best pickup.

And if you want to get really precise, you can plot the focal point of your improvised antenna and position the WiFi USB stick there for greater reception.