When people have problems with WiFi connectivity then they very often blames antennas. Why? Because they think that the cure for all problems with wireless connection is an antenna with higher gain. Unfortunately it does not always help, because the antenna with higher gain receipts signals from less directions. Everything has its price, there is no universal solution. Therefore you should know how to choose the best antenna for your application.

Monopole antennas

These antennas are the most popular and are included in the package with routers and Wi-Fi cards. What is special about them? These simple antennas are omnidirectional, i.e. they receipt signals from all directions. Therefore they are perfect for home applications, because we do not have to thing where to point an antenna. Very often you can find a stand with magnet, it is very good idea to have it in case of stationary computers.
antenna_1antenna_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Microstrip antennas

These antennas have recently become very popular. Why? Because using the same production technique it is possible to product antennas for several applications. Microstrip antennas can be medium or high gain, single or multi band, single or dual polarization etc. We should use this type antenna when we have to mount it outdoor, e.g. on the wall of our home. However you find some medium gain (e.g. 6 – 8  dBi) microstrip antennas for home indoor applications. You can use it when you know where your router is and the omnidirectional antennas are not good enough.

antenna_3

Parabolic antennas

Oh yes, these are very good high gain antennas 🙂 Why? Because you can in very simply way design antenna with very high gain and all good parameters. You only look around, for application where high gain antennas are required (e.g. satellite TV and radio links) these antennas are used. The only disadvantage of these antennas is their dimensions and transport costs. This is the reason why the microstrip antennas are more popular and cheaper. However, if you have problems with weak WiFi signal, maybe you should install parabolic antenna instead of microstrip antenna.

antenna_4

 

Antennas with integrated WiFi module

What is between antenna and WiFi card? RF cable! Unfortunately, the biggest disadvantage of RF cable is its attenuation. You can install the high gain antenna, but if you use long cable then you will lose this benefit. Also a lot of routers do not support WiFi signal as WAN. Therefore you can find on the market a lot of antennas with integrated WiFi module. How to recognize them? It is simple, you will find Ethernet cable instead of RF cable. If you build WiFi network I recommend you to use this kind of solution, because you will able to provide high quality service for your customers.

Are these all kinds of WiFi antennas? Of course, no! You can expect further posts on this topic 🙂