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Better WiFi Range: Easily Upgrade Your Antenna

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Antennas are important components of the radio communication systems which facilitate wireless network connectivity. They pick up incoming WiFi signals or radiate the outgoing ones. Some WiFi antennas, especially on routers, can be mounted externally by connecting an RP-SMA extension cable between the router and antenna.  Very small home & travel routers have an antenna fixed inside a router’s hardware enclosure or have a non-removable dipole antenna.

WiFi networking problems due to weaknesses in signal strength may be solved if upgraded WiFi antennae are installed on the affected equipment. When it comes to business premise networks, experts perform a thorough survey of the site to map the strength of the WiFi signal within and around the building. Additional wireless access points are strategically located where needed. Antenna upgrades are the simpler and more cost effective solution to signal problems whether it is a home network or a business network.

Factors to Consider when upgrading WiFi Antennae

Some WiFi equipment do not support after sale antenna upgrades; check the manufacturer’s documentation to ascertain whether antenna upgrades are allowed. A router’s omonidirectional antennae when upgraded to a directional one can significantly improve network connectivity in a premise and resolve basic signal problems. Assess both the directional radius support and the gain properties of an antenna before purchasing. Software packages which map the strength of the WiFi signal in your home or business building are available to help in planning.

Ways to Upgrade WiFi Antenna

Create a resonant dipole antenna

Creating a simple resonant dipole antenna and then attaching it to the router is one of the best ways to upgrade a WiFi antenna. But while you do this, bear in mind that there are limits to the gain of unlicensed power and antenna. While you may think nobody cares when you jack your power with a DDWRT, you can be taken to task if you cause harmful interference to your neighbors. The fines can be quite steep. Therefore, exercise due restraint when upgrading your antenna through this method. In some cases, you may require a license from relevant state bodies. Visit www.arrl.org for more information on how to get licensed.

More wire = more signal.

The dimensions of the coil and the size of the wire greatly affects transfer of signals therefore more wiring can mean a better signal than with the original antenna. Poor matching can lead to back and forth reflection of the signals in the antenna. This will cause further problems.

Regulations are also in place to regulate the amount of signal that WiFi devices are allowed to transmit to the antenna. In order to prevent people from hooking up strong antennae, manufacturers are instructed to use odd, rare to find connectors in their antennae.

The field antenna only focuses the signal in one direction but an antenna modified with more wire increases the signal in all directions. This would work in most routers.

Wi-Fi Antennas and Signal Boosting

Installing aftermarket antennae on Wi-Fi devices helps increase the devices’ efficient range. But since, radio antennae only help concentrate and direct the signals, the range of a Wi-Fi equipment is in the end restricted by the power of its radio transmitter not the antenna. Because of this, signal boosting of a wireless network is sometimes required. Signal boosting is accomplished by adding devices known as repeaters. Repeaters amplify then relay the WiFi signals at transitional points between network connections.

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