How To Use A Long Range WiFi Or Wireless Adapter and High Gain WiFi Antenna
Your notebook or desktop computer’s 802.11 B or G wireless card is fine for working around the home but what if you want to pick up a distant wireless internet connection?
Many people like those who visit RV parks depend on picking up the WiFi signal that is broadcast throughout the park but may not be able to if they are located at the far end.
On some large job sites or office buildings it may be difficult to pick up wireless internet because of obstructions and distance to the router.
There is a way to pick up WiFi at long range using an adapter that offers more power than your laptop or desktop compter. These long range WiFi adapters offer more output power, greater sensitivity and best of all a connector to which you can add an external antenna.
A high gain, long range WiFi antenna is the most important part of the system. The best are directional WiFi antennas that offer a high db gain factor.
They come in several types, Yagi, Panel and Parabolic. Panel antennas are the most space efficient and are unobtrusive. You can mount a panel antenna inside or outside the home or office. You just want to keep the wire run as short as possible since you lose signal with longer cables.
Panel WiFi antennas offer gains of up to 20 db or decibels over a built in WiFi antenna. Since you can mount them outside the building you can get a more direct signal path.
Since the are directional you can aim them in the direction of the WiFi signal that you want to pick up, even if it is a mile or more away in some cases.
It may be that you want to share an internet connection with a friend or neighbor. In this case the neighbor would place his router on the side of the home closest to yours or use an external antenna on the router itself and you would aim your panel antenna toward his router.
WiFi panel or directional antennas work both on routers and wireless adapters so you can even use two panel antennas for a very long range connection.
It is possible with two directional antennas to establish a WiFi connection up to ten miles or more provided there are not too many obstructions in between.
If you are just using one high power, long range WiFi adapter and high gain WiFi antenna you can expect to pick up wireless networks at a mile or more away.
Remember to use caution if you connect to a wireless network that is unsecured. In some rare cases these may be operated by hackers to lure you to use them and then gather your personal info.
Always enable the strongest encryption protocol that is available with your wireless router.
For more on this subject see this article: All About Long Range WiFi Adapters and Antennas