How To Get Better Wi-Fi Reception With Long Range Antennas and Adapters
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How To Get Better Wi-Fi Reception With Long Range Antennas and Adapters

Why use long range Wi-Fi adapters.

How To Get Better Wi-Fi Reception With Long Range Antennas and Adapters

For many people who need to stay connected to the internet Wi-Fi provides an inexpensive way to do so. Air cards from cellular providers can cost over $60.00 a month while Wi-Fi access may be free or extremely cheap in many places. The problem with Wi-Fi is that with typical built in adapters (the wireless modem inside your computer,) the range may be only a few feet. At most, even with high power Wi-Fi networks you many only pick up a good reliable signal a couple hundred feet away.

Why Built In Wi-Fi Adapters Work Poorly

Your laptop's built in Wi-Fi adapter typically transits only about fifty milliwatts of power, or less. In addition the internal antenna is not meant for long distance transmission. It has a negative gain factor of up to half, meaning that your puny fifty milliwatts of power is reduced by half that amount by the time it is radiated outward into space in all directions.

How to Pick Up Wi-Fi Signals At Long Distances

There is no real limit to how far a wireless internet signal using the 802.11 B or G protocol can travel. In fact, in an experiment in Sweden researchers were able to establish a Wi-Fi connection with a baloon over 100 miles away. While you can't expect anything remotely like this, there are products on the market that can help you establish a Wi-Fi connection up to a mile or more.

Who Needs Long Range Wi-Fi?

Many people who travel, such as RV'ers, Truckers and businessmen use Wi-Fi networks to keep in touch as they travel. If you don't have to be as close to the point of origin this can make life much easier. For example, in most RV parks wireless internet is provides, yet it does not reach all the RV spaces with the same strength. Using a high power Wi-Fi adapter and outside antenna you can pick up a good strong Wi-Fi signal throughout the park and even down the road a mile or two. For homeowners wishing to save money and share a connection with neighbors or friends a long range Wi-Fi antenna and adapter can work very well.

How Hard Is It To Set Up A Long Range Wi-Fi Connection?

Until recently most high power wireless adapters were made for the PCMCIA slot of laptops and the PC slot of desktop computers. Now many desktop computers do not have unused slots and newer laptops may lack the older wide PCMCIA slot. Fortunately there are high power Wi-Fi adapters that work through the USB port of any computer. USB based high power wireless adapters are made by Engenius, which goes by the name Senao overseas. They typically have a transmit power of between 300 and 500 milliwatts, which is over ten times stronger than the transmit power of your laptop's internal Wi-Fi adapter. What this means is you can expect a range of several times more than with a built in adapter. For many applications an outside omnidirectional (all directions) antenna, or directional (high gain) antenna will enable you to establish a very long range connection. Installation typically involves installing the driver that comes with the high power Wi-Fi adapter, hooking up the outside antenna and scanning for available wireless networks. In the case of a directional antenna you will have to attach it to a pole or wall mounting bracket and aim it for best results. In the case of an omnidirectional antenna you will just need to place it outside on a metal object as high as possible.

Are High Power Wi-Fi Adapters Legal?

Yes, if they are used as the manufacturer suggests. However, anytime you add a type of antenna that is not reccommended by the manufacturer you may be boosing your signal beyond the FCC's legal limit, so keep that in mind.

For more on boosting wireless internet with high powere Wi-Fi gear see: Long Range Wi-Fi Basics

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Comments (5)
anthony

how do i get a Long Range Antennas and Adapters

steve brewer

can get a better signal with an external adapter than the built in (built in is a 800.11n)

God

This does not give you any information on How To Get Better Wi-Fi Reception With Long Range Antennas and Adapters. Delete it or rename it.

This is why the net sucks. Garbage like this.

Wireless technology is the rising networking technology these days. The speed of the Internet depends on how fast our computer could receive signals. Thanks for realizing me that it is really possible to use antennas and adapters to increase wireless signal. I really learn a lot from the information you have provided. Keep it up! Thanks, voted and shared.

The capability of Wireless Fidelity or Wi-Fi always depends on the quality of the reception of the antennas or adapters used. The most important thing to consider in wireless signal is always avoiding wireless network barriers which block the signal such as walls and trees. Also, wind and storm could also affect WiFi signals. I really like the concept of your article because it was written almost perfectly and thank you for this information, keep it up! (LIKED and SHARED)

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