How to Build a DIY WiFi Extender for Under $5


Having slow or spotty WiFi in parts of your home can be frustrating. Thankfully, you can build your own DIY WiFi extender for under $5 to boost your wireless signal and expand your coverage area. This simple project uses common household materials and just a bit of technical know-how to create an inexpensive yet effective solution.

In this guide, I'll walk you through step-by-step how to build a DIFi WiFi extender using a pringles can and basic electronics components. With just a small investment of time and money, you can improve your home's WiFi dramatically. Let's get started!

Materials Needed

To build your own WiFi extender, you'll need just a few simple materials:

The most important item is a USB WiFi adapter that will pick up your existing WiFi signal and rebroadcast it. I opted for the cheapest one I could find, which was only a few dollars.

You'll also need some basic tools like a utility knife to cut holes and a drill to make openings. Hot glue will hold everything in place. And a USB extension cable allows you to position the adapter for the best signal.

That's it! With just these basic supplies, you can build your own functional WiFi booster.

Step 1: Prepare the Pringles Can

The first step is prepping your Pringles can, which will become the enclosure for your WiFi extender.

Start by removing the plastic lid and bottom of the can with a utility knife. I recommend keeping the metal bottom attached.

Next, use the drill to make two openings in the can - one near the bottom front for the USB cable and one on the side towards the top for ventilation. These holes should be just big enough to fit the cable and allow a bit of air flow.

Finally, use the hot glue gun to attach the USB extension cable to the inside of the can, threading it through the bottom hole with the USB port towards the outside.

At this point, your Pringles can is ready to house your DIY WiFi extender!

Step 2: Install the USB WiFi Adapter

Now it's time to install the key component - the USB WiFi adapter.

First, insert the adapter into the USB extension cable inside the can. Make sure it's secure and positioned towards the ventilation hole you drilled earlier.

Next, use the hot glue gun to attach the WiFi adapter in place inside the can. You want it centered sideways and elevated off the bottom.

Getting the adapter positioned properly improves the signal strength. It may take some trial and error to find the ideal placement.

Step 3: Configure the Extender

With the hardware assembled, the last step is configuring your WiFi extender:

  1. Plug the USB cable into your computer.

  2. Join the network you want to extend with the WiFi adapter. Make sure to use the same SSID and password.

  3. On your computer, go to your WiFi settings and set up the USB adapter in "Access Point" mode. Consult your adapter's documentation for exact steps.

  4. Power down, unplug from your computer, and power back up. The WiFi adapter will now work as a repeater.

When positioned in the optimal location, your homemade WiFi extender will now boost your existing network's range and speed!

Monitor the signal strength and move the can as needed to cover any dead zones in your home. Enjoy the expanded wireless coverage!

Troubleshooting Issues

Here are some common issues and fixes if your DIY WiFi extender isn't working properly:

With some tweaking, you should be able to resolve any WiFi issues that pop up with your homemade extender.


Building your own Pringles can WiFi extender is an easy and affordable way to improve your wireless network signal throughout your home.

With just a few common materials and tools, you can set up a functional WiFi booster in no time. Strategically place your homemade extender to cover any dead zones and expand your range.

This simple gadget provides an impressive signal boost for under $5. Give it a try and improve your WiFi coverage on a budget!