Last updated: October 14, 2021

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Welcome to ReviewBox Brasil! Nowadays, the human being lives connected to the internet. Whether at home, at work or even on the street, we are almost always messing with our electronic devices. Let's talk about an accessory that can improve this connection: the WiFi antenna.

Many times, we do not have the desired connection in terms of signal or speed. One way to try to solve this is with a WiFi antenna. There are models for the distributor or for the receiver of the signal that can help with any problems that may exist.

Do you know how a WiFi antenna works? What are the differences between types and models? In what situations can it help solve your problems? Sit back, relax and get ready to have your doubts answered in the next few lines!




Summary

  • In an increasingly connected world, it is essential to have a good internet signal. Often, there are network problems that can be solved by extending the signal. This is what the WiFi antenna does.
  • There are two types of WiFi antennas: the distributor ones, which should be connected to the router, and the receiver ones, which connect to devices such as laptops and desktop computers.
  • It is not certain that a WiFi antenna will solve your network problems. There are some situations where it won't be of much use. So, it is good to have a full diagnosis of the situation before making a purchase.

The best WiFi Antenna: Our Picks

Buying Guide

We know that having problems with bad connections is very annoying. And that a WiFi antenna can solve your problems. But how?

It is time to tell you more about this product that is able to improve bad internet connections a lot!

Imagem mostra um roteador com antenas wifi e um homem mexendo no celular ao fundo.

A good internet connection is fundamental in today's world. (Source: Kittichai Boonpong / 123rf.com)

What is a WiFi antenna and what is it used for?

The WiFi network works from a device that distributes the signal, usually the router, and those that receive it, such as desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones and tablets. A lot of things can cause problems to happen in this transfer.

Maybe the modem has problems or the router isn't very good and can't distribute the necessary signal. Perhaps there is too much interference, such as walls and glass, in the path. It is also possible that the amount of equipment receiving the information is too great.

These interferences cause the network performance to be well below what has been contracted with the ISP. So, improvements need to be made. A good idea is a WiFi antenna.

A WiFi antenna can be connected to the signal distributor or to the receiver. In the first case, it will intensify the quality of the signal, making it have greater range and strength. In the second, it will try to direct the reception in your direction.

As the name says, the antenna is a small utensil which takes up no space and is barely noticeable. It will usually come with a cable to be connected to the target device.

DID YOU KNOW?
In 1997, we were still stuck with dial-up internet in Brazil. Hours and hours trying to download a simple song. But it was exactly in that year that WiFi was invented, starting to be used in very specific places.
It only arrived in Brazil in 2008, but the technology spread very fast. Even so, today our country is only 85th in the world ranking of internet quality.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a WiFi antenna?

The WiFi antenna is an accessory very easy to install and does not cost much to buy. So, it stands out for its simplicity: it won't give anyone a headache!

Its capacity to amplify signal distribution or reception often helps to increase the speed of devices that were not working well. If there are problems on your network, the antenna is worth a try.

However, it cannot work miracles. If the problem is that the speed is low or the signal is not getting through due to external interference, such as very thick glass or a lot of walls, there is nothing it can do.

Even less so if the contracted speed is already low and you just want to improve it through the antenna. There is no way it can boost what is already arriving in your router, only prevent signal loss along the way.

Therefore, the ideal is that before making your purchase, you should be sure that your network problems can be solved by the WiFi antenna.

Below is a table of advantages and disadvantages of the WiFi antenna:

Advantages
  • It can solve some signal distribution and reception problems
  • Very easy to install product
  • Low cost
Disadvantages
  • It may be useless if the signal problem is interference or poor plan quality
  • It needs the right cable entries to be connected
  • It is a fairly fragile product

WiFi antenna for distribution or reception?

Is the problem you are experiencing related to the signal not being well distributed or not reaching the equipment? Depending on the situation, there are different types of antennas.

The antennas for distribution must be connected to the router and use SMA type cable, the same that is used, for example, for fiber optics. See if there are inputs available on the equipment before making the purchase.

They are likely to be able to amplify the signal and improve the distribution. They should be chosen if several devices, even when close to the router, do not have the expected signal and speed according to the plan.

On the other hand, a receiving antenna should be connected to the notebook or desktop computer that is not getting an acceptable signal. There may be several problems, such as being in a room very far from the router.

This type of antenna is usually connected by a USB port, which prevents the use in a mobile phone or similar device. It has the function of capturing more signal and direct it to the device to which it is connected.

The Jefferson Meneses channel has a series of tips that can help improve the WiFi signal in your home or office, among them the use of the antenna. Check it out:

Purchase Criteria: What to consider when choosing a WiFi antenna?

You probably already know if you need a WiFi antenna and what type. To help you choose, we've selected some important criteria to consider when buying

  • Signal direction
  • Gain
  • Frequency
  • Material

Below, we'll talk a little more about each of them.

Signal directionality

There are two types of antenna distribution: directional and omnidirectional. The difference lies in the directions in which the signals are sent.

Directional antennas send the signal in only one specific direction, where it is pointed, while omnidirectional antennas have the ability to distribute in all directions.

Each has its advantages for a specific situation: a directional antenna is for when you need to amplify the signal in a particular place in the house or office, while the omnidirectional allows this to happen in the whole environment.

So the choice depends on what you need!

Gain

The gain generated by a WiFi antenna is measured in dBi, or decibels in addition to the isotropic value. This is a rather complex concept, since this isotropy does not exist, it is only calculated in an imaginary way.

What we can say is that the number in dBi represents how much an antenna produces beyond what would be the isotropic value. The higher it is, the more powerful the signal distribution of the electronic. So, if you need to cover large distances, choose a high value one!

Imagem mostra uma placa de wifi grátis com um grande restaurante ao fundo.

Good WiFi antennas make sure that whole environments receive the signal. (Source: Bernard Hermant / Unsplash.com)

Frequency

Unlike what you're used to from the gHz numbers on a CPU, the number displayed on WiFi antennas is not about power and performance. Actually, the value refers to the frequency of the radio signal operation.

There are two standards in Brazil: 2.4 gHz and 5 gHz. The only thing that should be observed is compatibility: if your router and your electronics operate on one frequency, the antenna should also have the same. Otherwise, the product will not work.

Material

When you invest your money in a device like a WiFi antenna, you don't want it to break easily. The idea is to have the product for a long time, if possible, for years.

Imagem mostra um roteador com antenas wifi e um homem mexendo no celular ao fundo.

Choosing a WiFi antenna made of durable material is an indispensable criterion. (Source: Kittichai Boonpong / 123rf.com)

So pay attention to the material, appearance and finish of the antenna. Some models, of cheaper values, can be quite fragile. It is important to be careful so that in the end, what is cheap does not turn out to be expensive.

(Featured image source: sashkin7 / 123rf.com)

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