You may have a good fiber optic plan, but still suffer from a weak network connection.  You are not the only one and, luckily, there are many things you can do to improve it. One of the most popular options out there are WiFi antennas.  Have you heard of them? If not, don’t worry –  this article will give you all the information you need!

Even if you have a router for at home or in the office, they do not always provide the signal we would expect.  Often, we get to work with our computer and the connection simply is not there.  Thanks to the WiFi antennas, we can enjoy all the internet we need, without interference or dropouts.  Sound too good to be true?  Read on!

Key Facts

  • WiFi antennas are made to improve wireless network connections that are not strong enough to guarantee a good internet signal.
  • Many of these antennas can connect to networks that are a number of meters away and offer a stable, secure, and fast connection.
  • The vast majority of WiFi antennas work through USB connections. It is very convenient to install them in laptops or other equipment that also have these ports.  Plus, there are models that can be put on the wall or that use other technologies.

Ranking: The best WiFi antennas on the U.S. market

A strong WiFi signal has become an important part of our modern daily lives. In order to work, play or communicate with family and friends we simply cannot be without a connection. WiFi antennas have become essential accessories to avoid going offline. In this selection, we present the best offers on the market.

No. 1: 9dBi WiFi Antenna with SMA Male (SMA-Plug) Connector 

This high amplification antenna is an omni 8 dBi antenna with double band 2.4 GHz / 5.8 GHz. It is adaptable with a majority of wireless appliances, including Mini PCIe Wireless Card Routers, repeaters, Range Extenders, Desktop PC, Mini ITX Build, PCI Card, FPV UAV Drone and PS4.

This WiFi antenna is of high-quality, with the cover manufactured with tough plastic, which is long-lasting and durable, helping to guarantee a superior and stable signal. It is also easy to install, as it can be simply swapped over.

No. 2: TECHTOO 9dBi Omni WiFi Antenna with RP-SMA Connector for Wireless Network Router

This WiFi antenna can be used to increase the range of any wireless device, whether a PC, laptop, smartphone, tablet or gaming console. It is easy to instal with a simple swap-over action, as the gold-plated RP-SMA Connector simply screws on and off.

The connection is a 9dBi RP-SMA female connection, with no pole inside connector, so be sure to check the connection you need for your network device. The antenna has 2.4GHz and 802.11 B/G/N frequency.

No. 3: Highfine 2 x 6dBi 2.4GHz 5GHz Dual Band WiFi RP-SMA Antenna

This package includes two 6dBi 2.4GHz 5GHz Dual Band WiFi RP-SMA Antennas and two 35cm U.fl / IPEX to RP-SMA Antenna WiFi Wireless WAN Pigtail Cable. They are compatible with a range of routers, check the listing for exact model numbers to make sure your router is listed.

The IPEX cables are equipped with bulkhead gold-plated connectors at 8mm/5/16″, for optimal connectivity and durability. It is suitable only for a MINI PCI-E Interface.

No. 4: Eightwood Dual WiFi Antenna

This WiFi antenna has a male connector and a dual-band connection at 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz. It comes with vertical polarization and omnidirectional system, meaning it can boost network signal across a wide area.

The antenna connector is a dual RP-SMA Male with female pin and has a 6.5 feet extension cable. It is compatible with a range of devices, including FPV Headset, FPV Goggles, FPV Camera, FPV Drone Controller, FPV Transmitter, 5.8GHz FPV Headset Goggles DVR Transmitter, FPV Drone Quadcopeter Controller Transmitter, Wireless Video Surveillance, Security IP Camera, NVR Recorder, Truck RV Rear View Camera and Backup Camera.

No. 5: HUACAM HCM82 2X 8dBi 2.4GHz 5GHz 5.8GHz Dual Band Wireless Network WiFi RP SMA Male Antenna

This dual band WiFi antenna can work with a large range of devices, including those which do not normally support removable antennas.

The antenna has a RP SMA Male Antenna and two 15cm (6 inch) U.FL/IPEX to RP SMA Female Pigtail Cable. It can be easily installed by simply swapping in the new antenna. The product also comes with a manufacturer’s warranty.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about WiFi antennas

All of us, at some point, have problems with WiFi, whether at home or in the office. But when it comes to solving this problem, the wide range of devices on the market can be overwhelming. What WiFi antenna should you choose? Is it the same as a repeater or a PLC adapter? In this section, we will answer your questions, so that you know can learn there is to know about WiFi antennas.

The vast majority of WiFi antennas come with USB adapters making them suitable for universal use and easy to install.
(Source: rido: 51077700/ 123rf.com)

What are WiFi antennas exactly?

WiFi antennas are devices that, when connected to a USB port, act as a “funnel” for nearby WiFi networks.  In some cases, they can draw networks that are several meters away. In practice, a WiFi antenna works like a repeater, but in the opposite way: instead of sending the signal further, it “attracts” it to a converging point.

The vast majority of WiFi antennas come from USB adapters due to the universality of the product and easy installation, since only one computer or a set with a USB port is sufficient.  However, they are not the only alternative out there.

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There are models which come with Bluetooth or SMA cables, a coaxial connector similar to that of a microwave.

How are WiFi antennas installed?

The popularity of WiFi antennas has been growing, in part, because they have an affordable price and are very easy to install.  Many have a built-in Plug and Play system, which starts to work at a press of a button.  Although some models may have specific instructions, they all normally follow more or less the same process.

  • Install drivers for WiFi antennas. In general, they are on a CD which is included with purchase, but almost all manufacturers also provide a link to install them online. The controllers are the necessary software to configure the antennas in the computers.
  • Place the antennas in the USB port of the computer in the setup of your choice.
  • Search for available drivers on the computer. Be sure to also select the one that best suits your operating system.

Is the version of the USB port that the WiFi antenna has important?

Yes, it is very important.  Currently, one of the most recent versions of the USB ports is the 3.0; the one that appears most frequently on WiFi antennas.  It is 10 times faster than the 2.0 version and guarantees a more stable Internet connection, a higher data rate, and virtually no interference or outages.

The popularity of wifi antennas has increased at least in part because they are available at a very accessible price and are easy to install. (Source: Vasin Leenanuruksa: 66661985/ 123rf.com)

Is a WiFi antenna the same as a WiFi repeater or a PLC adapter?

Although these devices have a similar function, which is to guarantee a better internet connection and coverage in our surroundings, they do not work in the same way, nor do they show the same results. The chart below compares some characteristics of the three devices, so you can understand their implications.

Use WiFi Antenna WiFi Repeater PLC Adapter
What is their function? Attracts the nearest WiFi signals to create a stable network Expands the coverage of the connection by picking up the signal of an existing WiFi network Transmits the Internet signal through the domestic power grid
How many devices does it include? A single device that usually works as a USB adapter A single device which acts as a repeater and power cable There are 2 devices at a minimum: the central one, connected to the router, and the extender, ones with more devices are more expensive
What connection speeds can they reach? It will depend on existing WiFi networks and the distance from the antenna It will depend on your existing WiFi network. Generally, they start from 300 Mbps It will depend on the PLC adapter model you buy.  In general, they reach up to 1000 Mbps

Do WiFi antennas only serve to be connected to laptops?

Absolutely.  Although it is most common to instal and using WiFi antennas on laptops as this is a very practical application, it is not the only option to consider.  The advantage of this type of antenna is that most work as a USB adapter.  Therefore, they can be connected to any computer that has a compatible port.

For instance, they significantly improve the reception of the WiFi signal on Smart TV. This is very useful if you use platforms like Netflix or if you stream a lot videos. They also work on smart plugs, tablets, multifunction printers, and desktops.

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Did you know there are 400,000 miles of fiber optic cables throughout the U.S?

What are the key advantages of WiFi antennas?

WiFi antennas have been developed as an alternative to make the signal more stable and to prevent it dropping out. With WiFi repeaters, WiFi extenders, and PLC adapters, they represent the forefront of technological devices that help us in our daily battle for internet connection.  The following chart demonstrates the advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages
  • Easy configuration and compatibility with multiple systems and equipment
  • Light, compact designs which can be transported easily
  • Very economical
  • Warranties on returns and repairs
  • No cables (only a USB port)
Disadvantages
  • Speed of transmission depends on nearby networks
  • Signal stability is not as consistent as other similar devices (WiFi repeaters or PLC adapters)
  • Drivers must be installed every time the equipment is changed

What does it mean that WiFi antennas work with dual band?

Today, the WiFi we use is through the 2.4 GHz band. In general, one connection may have users, such as in buildings with multiple floors and offices. Here the level of congestion increases, and with it, interference and malfunction.  A WiFi antenna with dual band is capable of transmitting through 2 bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.

If you have a WiFi antenna with both networks, you will get a better connection, benefiting from the widest coverage (2.4 GHz band) along with a lower saturation (5 GHz band).

  • 5 GHz band: has more power and less range
  • 4GHz band: has less power and more range

Shopping criteria

In the crusade to improve the connectivity of our homes or offices, WiFi antennas can be useful, practical, and accessible allies.  There are many models around, which may mean that you are not sure which to choose.  For this reason, we have prepared this section which discusses the essential purchase criteria that you cannot ignore before buying the right WiFi antenna for you.

  • Compatibility
  • Range
  • Transmission speed
  • USB port version
  • Dual band operation

Compatibility

It may seem obvious, but there are many WiFi antennas that are not compatible with all the operating systems or are only compatible with some of its versions. Before buying any model, be sure to read the product description on which computer equipment you can install the antennas and which routers you have.

Range

The purpose of the WiFi antennas is to “get closer” to the signal that is far from where you want it to be.  Depending on where you live or work, you will need these antennas to have a sufficient range, so as not to run out of connection.  While most models support large distances, it never hurts to check it before making any purchase.

Transmission speed

Once we have established our stable WiFi, thanks to the antennas, we will need high speeds to navigate without problems or interference.  Although you will rely heavily on the existing signals that the antennas will pick up, check that the integrated transmission rate is at least 300 Mbps.

USB port version

The speed and quality of data transmission of WiFi antennas depends heavily on the version of the USB ports you have.  Today, it would not be advisable to purchase WiFi antennas with USB ports of a version less than 3.0.

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This will guarantee you the necessary stability to surf the net without issues.

Dual band operation

Without a doubt, a very important advantage of WiFi antennas are those that they work in double band.  This feature improves connectivity in terms of both power and range.  This is not very common among the models currently available on the market. Therefore, if you find any, do not hesitate to purchase it.

Summary

WiFi antennas are devices that enable you to capture and attract existing WiFi signals to improve connectivity.  Since most of them work through USB ports, their installation is very simple and guarantees speed, stability, and a long-range signal. Their competitive price also makes them very accessible network accessories.

For WiFi antennas to work, you will need to install drivers.  They usually come on a CD which is included in the purchase.  If not, you can do it directly from a download link.  The designs are compact and lightweight which facilitates transportation and manoeuvrability. This means that,  before buying a WiFi antenna, you should check that it is compatible with your equipment.

If you liked this article, please share it via social media, so others can know everything there is to know about WiFi antennas.  You can also leave us a comment, and we will be more than happy to answer you. Thank you!

(Source of the featured image: Kittichai Boonpong: 75428667/ 123rf.com)

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