A cantenna (a portmanteau blending the words can and antenna) is a homemade directional waveguide antenna, made out of an open-ended metal can.

Cantennas are typically used to increase the range (or discovery) of Wi-Fi networks.


The cylinder portion of the can may consist of metal-coated paperboard.

Although some designs are based on a Pringles potato chips can, this tube is too narrow to increase the 2.4 GHz signal by a useful amount, although at 5 GHz it would be about the right size.[1] However, a cantenna can be made from various cans or tubes of an appropriate diameter.[2] Some designs include a pole mount to elevate the cantenna.[3]

At 2.4 GHz, losses can occur if the cable from the cantenna to the Wi-Fi circuitry is too long. A more efficient cantenna can be made by minimising this length or connecting the cantenna directly to the Wi-Fi circuitry.[4]


Cantennas are typically used for extending a wireless local area network (WLAN).

The tiny design makes them ideal for mobile applications such as wardriving.

Cantennas can be used to increase cell phone range,[5] improve reception, and decrease noise.

A cantenna can be used as a satellite dish feed horn. The 5.5 GHz cantenna dimensions are almost perfect in that they make a good fit for the standard TV satellite dish. The resulting setup is a low-cost high-quality high-gain antenna.[6] Such setups are widely used in wireless community networks for long-distance Wi-Fi links.

Cantennas may be used with other RF devices such as wireless security cameras.[7]

Cantennas can also be used for SETI with minor modifications: in this case the cap is left in place so water can't get in and a small hole drilled so any moisture may drain out. This can be used with an existing satellite TV dish if it is in a good condition.

See also


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