A wireless Internet antenna booster is a device that can improve your Internet access. It can be connected to a router, base station or access point with an RF (radio frequency) cable. You can connect it to a PCMCIA wireless card, which is plugged into the PCI slot of a laptop or a personal digital assistant (PDA). You can also connect it to a USB device.
These boosters are meant to get better reception. It can transmit signals through walls and doors. The signal becomes weaker as you move further away from the router, and also because of extreme temperatures. The signal also loses its strength because of barriers, such as furniture (tables, bookcases). This is especially true, if the furniture is made of metal.
The antenna booster is also weather resistant, which means it can withstand rain, snow and even hurricanes. You can measure the signal strength using tools such as NetStumbler, or its Mac version, MacStumbler.
You can also use Wi-Fi sniffers to detect nearby 802.11b and 802.11g networks. It is quite simple to operate the Wi-Fi sniffer. All you have to do is press a button and the sniffer will scan for the Wi-Fi networks within the range.
If you do not get signal in certain areas of your home, like the garage or garden, a booster can help you out. You can also connect the booster to a bridge or a repeater. The signal travels for a long distance to reach the areas where you want to receive it. You can share an Internet connection if you subscribe to a broadband Internet service provider (ISP). The router can be connected to a cable or DSL modem with an ethernet cable.
You can remove any existing antenna connected to your router and replace it with your booster. If your router has two antennas, you should detach or unscrew both of them. It connects right into the antenna jack of the router. You can mount the booster on a mounting socket or any other mounting hardware. You can also make your own booster, but you will need to have a sound technical expertise in doing so, as it is quite complicated to build one.
You need to aim the booster in the correct direction to get maximum signal strength. It does not have to be pointed in the direction of the laptop. You can also use it for wardriving, which is searching for a network while driving around in a car.
You can even play games over the network. A Cantenna is a great way to improve the range of your network. The booster also overcomes interference from other networks and devices that are operate at radio frequencies, such as cordless phones, cell phones and microwaves. The booster also adds network security. If you place the booster outside, then you should ground it, or you may get an electrical shock. The RF cable, also called a pigtail, is usually 10 feet long. If it is longer than that, it will result in signal loss. You can also make your own pigtail, but it will be expensive.
Hope the information given above has helped you in gaining a fair idea about wireless Internet antenna boosters. Now you can buy a booster, and use it to access hot spots in coffee shops and libraries.