Long range Wi-Fi antennas are the driving force behind long range wireless networks. An antenna is a device that transmits and receives electromagnetic signals. A transmission antenna converts alternating voltage electrical signals into electromagnetic waves and a receiver antenna converts electromagnetic signals back to electrical signals.
A long range Wi-Fi antenna is used for providing Internet connectivity, or wireless connectivity, between two geographically separated, distant points. Long range antennas can pick up network signals from distant networks and thus bring the Internet to your home. These type of antennas are often needed to increase the range of one's installed Wi-Fi system.
What is Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi, short for wireless fidelity, is a certification standard issued by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, Inc.). Colloquially, it is also used to refer to Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) technology.
WLAN is a technology that provides wireless internet access through a radio link, and has enabled people to access Internet on the move. Let me now introduce you to the various types of Wi-Fi antennas, that you may choose to improve the signal reception of your wireless network.
Types of Long Range Wi-Fi Antennas
Long range antennas are like any other antennas in their basic function. They, however, differ in structure, as they have to transmit high quality signals over very long distances. Their power output needs to be very high.
Also, not only must they deliver a strong signal, they should also be precise in their transmitted target location. In other words, the signal should not spread out and should be delivered pin pointedly. Therefore, these antennas are mostly directional antennas. They come in various types. Let us take a look at each type.
A good example of a directional antenna is the Yagi antenna. This type of antenna is a vertical dipole array. A common TV receiver antenna is a good example of a Yagi antenna. It consists primarily of three elements which are the reflector, the driver and the director. Additional parasitic elements are attached to improve signal quality.
They are small and lightweight. These come with a varying number of parasitic bar piece elements ranging from 11 to 16 or sometimes more. Dual Yagi antennas are also available. Their typical transmission frequencies range from 2.4 Ghz to 2.5 Ghz.
These antennas provide connectivity at distances greater than a mile, to many miles depending on power output and gain. An example of such an antenna is the RadioLabs 2.4 GHz 11 element Yagi antenna, which you could purchase for $56.95.
Other types of directional Wi-Fi antennas are the panel, the dish and the backfire type antennas. These type are generally used to establish point-to-point wireless connectivity.
Omnidirectional Long Range Antennas
These type of antennas are used when one wants one point to multi-point connectivity. These kinds of antennas distribute the electromagnetic signal over all directions and thus spread the signal.
They are ideal for use in an office, where connectivity is needed at multiple points within the place. Examples of this type are the rubber duck, vertical omnis, laptop connected, and mobile vertical antennas. An example is the 8 dB Omnidirectional 802.11 Antenna, launched by RadioLabs, which you could purchase order and purchase online for $99.95.
How to Choose a Long Range Antenna?
As it can be seen, there are many options available if one wants to purchase a long range Wi-Fi antenna. How does one decide which kind of long range antenna will suit him best? The choice can only be made through practical considerations.
First and foremost, calculate the distance over which you need to transmit the signal. The range is the most important deciding factor. Some people even design their own Wi-Fi antenna. For that, you should be willing to tinker with things on your own and have an in-depth practical knowledge of antenna theory.
Then, knowledge of the power output of your base WLAN system, whose range you are trying to boost, is essential. If it's too low, the gain of your long range Wi-Fi antenna needs to be more. If you want steady directionality, distance and large gain, go for a dish antenna. If you want a lightweight, robust antenna, go for a Yagi antenna.
Also consider other factors like convenience, compatibility, pricing as well as the type of connection (point-to-point or point-to-multipoint) before making your choice. If you are looking for vertical polarization and high gain, a grid antenna is what you are looking for.
Powerful grid antennas have been known to offer Wi-Fi connectivity over more than 50 km. So if you need to connect very remote points using an antenna, grid antennas should be your weapons of choice.
Long range antennas are essential if one needs to transmit network signals over a long distance. These antennas help implement Wi-Fi technology, making its use available in even remote areas and providing Internet access on the move.