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A cantenna is a specific kind of homemade antenna made from a metal can, which is how this device got its name. This mechanically simple amplifier is used in various cell phone and Wi-Fi systems to increase range or signal quality.
In terms of capability, the signal improvement of various cantenna tools can vary. For instance, some users of homemade systems report around 3 decibels of signal improvement, whereas others claim an improvement of up to 10 decibels or more. There are also different kinds of methods for constructing one of these devices, including using a cable to connect the can to a Wi-Fi adapter, or connecting the can directly to the adapter with a certain type of connector. The functioning of a design also varies according to the size and type of can that is used.
A cantenna is considered a kind of life hack or DIY project that has become popular for locating or extending wireless signals, as the finite range of the commercially sold wireless router is frustrating to many users. The idea also helps to evaluate how to distribute wireless access among users as the demand for and marketing of these signals continues to evolve.