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antennas - Linksys, Brand Name or Other??

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by pookiex9, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. pookiex9

    pookiex9 Network Guru Member

    I'm looking for a R-TNC type antenna for my 54gs. Should I buy the (expensive) linksys ones, or go for a cheaper model. I noticed that some cheaper, lesser known brands have a higher gain than the 7dBi linksys model. Am I going to suffer with a lesser known name or will the higher dBi help out my range?

    Also, if I get an antenna how much will my close-range computers improve? I understand that stronger signal = less dropped packets = better speeds, but whats the real-world on this one?

    I read the highest gain you can legally obtain in the US is 21 dBi. Do they have antennas like this (at a reasonable price?) Is the 54gs strong enough to drive one of those?
  2. RonWessels

    RonWessels Network Guru Member

    Why don't you first try some of the projects at www.freeantennas.com? Spend 15 minutes with a printer, some heavy paper, scissors and tin foil and get some significant gain on your existing antennas.

    At the very least, it will let you know just how much gain you should be looking for in a replacement antenna.
  3. xrattiracer

    xrattiracer Network Guru Member

    theres no legal limit to the gain of an antenna.
    the limits cover transmitted (or radiated) power levels. you can easilly obtain antennas up to around 24 db if you want.
    one thing that is important to know though is that the limits are different depending on if you use a directional or omnidirectional antenna; the fcc rewards people for not poluting the airspace. bacuase of this youre not likely to see omni antennas above about 9 db or so, and even that will get you into illegal territory of the radio is putting out a good amount of power (which the 54g/s can do).
    with that in mind it is always better to use a directional antenna of some sort if your setup allows (put the ap in a corner of the house and use a 90 degree sector).
    another thing to note is that as gain (db) increases, beamwidth generally decreases.
    as far as prive vs quality goes, antennas are pretty simple devices; a piece of wire is the most important component. quality really isnt going to mean much with an indoor antenna, but becomes important if it has to withstand harsh weather outdoors.
    a good place to get stuff is a compusa if you have one local, their store brand and Hawking brand antennas look to be pretty decent and they have a good selection.
  4. pookiex9

    pookiex9 Network Guru Member

    so is a linksys antenna any better than a compusa or hawking antenna? or is it more compatible with the 54gs?
  5. Guyfromhe

    Guyfromhe Network Guru Member

    An antenna is an antenna is an antenna, you'd want to look at the gain it has and the beam witdth, and the connector.. you probably won't be able to connect a hawking or whatever antenna to your linksys without an adapter. The more gain the antenna has the more range it should have... I have heard people having very small noticable range gains from those 7db linksys antenna's, i'd strart with something cheap and see how it does first.. if you need to you can try a linksys antenna and return it if it doesn't work out...
  6. ConverseNation

    ConverseNation Network Guru Member

    This is what I do for a living....

    Selecting an for WiFi is no different than selecting one for your televison. 90% of the challange is placement and orientation... Let me repeat that... Placement (where is the antenna in relation to the Target or Source, and what is between the two) and Orientation (if you are standing in the middle of a Football Field facing the Home Team end zone, don't expect anyone in the Visiting teams end zone to hear you.) The signal you broadcast has three dimensions. Here is the Ideal situation, You have your Data line brought to the center of the home and the Access Point is placed in the center of the home on the cieling of a two story home, as this would give both upstairs and downstairs the best coverage of the home... however, we never have an ideal situation. So two options, antennas on the Access Point or antennas on the Client Device... Here is my set up logic...

    Data line in the livingroom as it is the most open with the least interferance, using a circular polarized antenna as it penetrates better, then place the clients in positions that don't have Metal (mirrors, Fridges, File Cabinets) between them and the Access Point. Also one floor is less of an obtacles than 3 walls, and most bedrooms are above the livingroom. If you want more Range get higher Gain antennas, faster service get better orientation antennas. Last but not least, see what other signals are in the same area and get on a different channel to minimize interference... Screaming (higher gain) doesn't help if everyone in earshot is doing the same thing.

    Hope this helps, as far as, anyone giving a recommendation on an antenna not easy to do without being onsite. Linksys, Trendnet and Zyxel make a great Hotspot Signal Locator that can also work as a signal strangth meter to see how a different antenna performs.

    Kevin Converse
    Redington Shores, Fl

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