How to Build Your Own WiFi Extender at Home for Under $30


Building your own WiFi extender at home is an easy and affordable way to boost your wireless network coverage. With just a few common household items, you can make a simple WiFi antenna for under $30.

A WiFi extender works by receiving your existing wireless signal, amplifying it, and then rebroadcasting the boosted signal. This effectively increases the range and strength of your home's WiFi network. The main benefits of a homemade WiFi extender are:

Required Materials

Building a homemade WiFi antenna requires just a few cheap components:

You'll also need basic tools like a drill, screws, and measuring tape. The total cost with all new parts should be $30 or less.

Making a Directional Antenna

A directional antenna focuses the WiFi signal into a beam, allowing you to point it toward your main router for the best reception.

The easiest DIY option is a cantenna - a can or metal cooking pot acting as a parabolic reflector. Follow these steps:

  1. Clean out an empty metal can or pot.

  2. Cut a hole in the bottom center just big enough to fit the USB connector.

  3. Drill a small hole near the top rim and insert an antenna mast made from a metal rod or wooden dowel.

  4. Seal any sharp edges with tape to prevent damage to the USB cable.

  5. Attach the USB WiFi adapter and point the can toward your WiFi router.

For better range, build a Yagi antenna from metal rods or tubes:

Hardware Assembly

Follow these steps to assemble your WiFi extender hardware:

  1. Mount the USB WiFi dongle and antenna mast to the plastic enclosure using glue or screws.

  2. Drill a hole for the USB cable and thread it through to the USB adapter inside.

  3. Seal the enclosure and attach the directional antenna to the mast.

  4. Connect the USB extension cable between the antenna USB and your computer.

Position the whole assembly toward your main WiFi router for the strongest signal. The further you can distance the antenna from sources of interference like cordless phones, the better. Elevated locations also improve the range.

Software Configuration

Configuring the software is easy thanks to the free application Connectify. Here's how:

  1. Download and install Connectify on your Windows PC.

  2. Plug the USB extension cable into your computer with Connectify running.

  3. Follow the setup prompts to select your WiFi network and set a new extended network name/password.

  4. Click Apply Changes. Connectify will now broadcast your new extended network!

Connectify has options to tweak settings like wireless channel, bandwidth rate, and transmit power. The default settings should work fine for most users.

The extended WiFi network can handle 5-10 connected devices simultaneously. Connectify also has paid premium versions with enhanced performance, but the free basic version works great for DIY extenders.

Troubleshooting Tips

If your homemade WiFi extender isn't working properly, try these troubleshooting tips:


Building your own WiFi extender is an easy and affordable DIY wireless project. For under $30, you can make a homemade antenna that significantly increases your WiFi range and speed. With simple hardware assembly and free software like Connectify, even networking novices can set up an effective WiFi booster in just a few hours.