What Does Cantenna Mean?

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.


Techopedia Explains Cantenna

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.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.