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Selecting the right WiFi Antenna

There are many different styles of WiFi antennas to choose from. Knowing which WiFi antenna to choose depends on your wireless network application.

Main WiFi Antenna Types

Directional

A directional antenna, as the name implies, focuses the wireless signal in a specific direction resulting in a limited coverage area. An analogy for the radiation pattern would be how a vehicle head light illuminates the road. High gain directional antennas can transmit and receive wireless signals for several miles given clear line of sight and sufficient transmit power. Applications for directional antennas include point to point wireless links connecting buildings, a back-haul data link connecting cell towers together and point to multi-point wireless links where multiple remote clients with directional antennas communicate with a single central tower with an Omni directional antenna. 

Horizontal Beam Pattern for NG2424EG-NF antenna Vertical Beam Pattern for NG2424EG-NF antenna

Typical Directional Antenna Radiation Pattern (HG2424EG-NF)

Diagram of two buildings with Yagi antennas on them

In the example above building A and building B are set up for a directional, point to point network using Yagi antennas.

Diagram of two remote buildings linked to a basestation

In this example both remote sites A and B have directional Wi-Fi connectivity to the base station fitted with an Omni directional antenna. This is an example of a point to multi-point set up.

Types of Directional Antennas

Examples of directional antennas include Yagi, Parabolic Grid, Patch, and Panel antenna styles.

Yagi Antenna Parabolic Grid Antenna
900 MHz 14 dBi Heavy-Duty Yagi Antenna  RP SMA Plug Connector Die-cast Grid Antenna
Panel Antenna Patch Antenna
2.4 GHz Sectorial Panel Antennas Patch Antenna

Omni-directional

Omni directional antennas provide a 360° donut shaped radiation pattern to provide the widest possible signal coverage in indoor and outdoor wireless applications. An analogy for the radiation pattern would be how an un-shaded incandescent light bulb illuminates a room. A high gain Omni’s vertical radiation pattern will exhibit a flattened donut shape as shown below for the HG24215U-PRO. The typical application for Omni directional antennas include indoor office spaces, retail stores, warehouses, small office or home networks, outdoor cafés, campgrounds, RV parks and marinas.  

Signal pattern for Omni antennas

Typical Omni directional Antenna Radiation Pattern (HG2415U-PRO)

Diagram showing typical WiFi signal with 360 degrees

The example above depicts an outdoor café that offers WiFi access to its customers. You can see the centrally located Omni antenna provides wireless signal to various laptops, tablets, and smart phones in the coverage area.

Types of Omni directional antennas

Examples of Omni directional antennas include the common "Rubber Duck" found on many WiFi access points and routers as well as the complicated antenna arrays used on cellular towers.

  Outdoor Omni Antenna Rubber Duck Antenna Antenna Array
2.4 GHz 2 dBi Rubber Duck Antenna - RP-SMA Plug Connector 2.4 GHz 2 dBi Rubber Duck Antenna - RP-SMA Plug Connector 5.4 GHz 17 dbi 90° Omni Sector Array Antenna w/Splitter

L-com stocks thousands of WiFi antennas for just about every wireless application. We also offer custom WiFi antenna solutions to meet your specific design requirements.    

 
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