Are Wi-Fi BOOSTER ANTENNAS any good?


eBay shows a lot of listings for "Wi-Fi BOOSTER ANTENNA". Some of them
claim compatibility with Linksys WMP11 (802.11b) I have.
Are they more than hype?
TIA, Eugene
Reply to
Eugene F.
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My dad bought one that was supposed to work with Linksys .g network MADE BY LINKSYS and it did not do anything! I downloaded the software from Linksys, the software that came with the device did not work, and guess what, no luck at all!
Reply to
f/fgeorge
You mean like this one?
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I think it's marginal. The problem is not the antenna (although I have some issues with vertical collinear antennas). It's the attached coax cable. That's 6ft of what I'm guessing is RG-316 coax at about 0.4dB/ft or 2.4dB loss in the coax. The antenna may have 7dBi gain, but the overall gain is 7-2.4 = 4.6dB.
Also, notice that the vertical radiation angle of the antenna and the skew (main lobe uptilt or downtilt from horizontal) isn't specified. That's because a 7dBi omni has a vertical beamwidth of about 15 degrees. That's fine if it were perfectly horizontal, but not with that arrangement. My guess(tm) is that there's about a 10 degree uptilt in the radiation pattern, resulting in most of the RF going to the sky instead of to the horizon. That's useful if you want to talk to airplanes, but not for stations at the same elevation.
So, between sending most of the RF into the sky, and losing about half the power (and rx sensitivity) in the coax, I consider this antenna to be a loser. The only place I could think it would be useful is to improve inherently horrible antenna locations, such as the back of a PC (with a PCI wireless card) or inside a shielded vehicle, like a van or panel truck.
Reply to
Jeff Liebermann
Jeff,
My case exactly. Should I use the one from eBay or are there better ones?
TIA, Eugene
Reply to
Eugene F.
No opinion as to the source, quality of the construction, or terms. eBay seems good enough.
However, unless you have a need for all around coverage, I would suggest you look into a *DIRECTIONAL* antenna rather than an omni. Small patch antennas with coax pigtails can be found for somewhat more money, but have more gain. However, the idea is not to get more gain, but to reduce reflections and possibly interference pickup that would be present if the antenna were an omni. If your desk is up against a wall, putting an omni antenna next to the wall (on a shelf) wastes half your signal going into the wall. If the wall is reflective, you get multipath. Therefore, I suggest using a directional antenna of some sorts, which doesn't have this problem.
Reply to
Jeff Liebermann
I just added a "Hawking HAI6SDA Directional 6dBi 2.4GHz Antenna" from Fry's to a Netgear PCI card. The computer was facing the router, so the original antenna was behind the computer. This new antenna has about a 1 meter cable with the right connector, and changed the WindowsXP indication from 2-3 bars to a solid four bars. It was on sale for $14.99 the day I picked it up.
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Reply to
dold
No driver. I think that's marketing speak. The other data sheets, for active components, list the OSs supported, so this data sheet does.
Reply to
dold
Methinks the problem is that there's no really clear definition of the terms involved. Here's my contribution to the mess:
Windows Compatible: Doesn't blow up when installed. Windows Ready: Doesn't work, but might some day. Microsoft Certified: Out of date drivers. Updates required. Windows Required: Assumes Windows is working.
I hope this helps.
Reply to
Jeff Liebermann
Certainly put a smile on my face. One of my favorites was "My AOL is so secure not even I can get in..." but these certainly beat Microsoft orifice and Media Spewer (Player) cb
Reply to
Chris Berry

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