What types of antennas are best for extending the coverage of an 802.11 network?
There are several types of antennas can extend the range of 802.11 devices. Depending on your physical environment network and where you want additional coverage, you can choose from the following types of antennas:
- Omni directional – extends coverage in a 360 degree radius
- Planar – typically extends coverage in a 180 degree radius
- Directional – available in varying areas of coverage, including 30, 60 or 90 degrees
Antennas are rated by the amount of gain they provide. In general, the higher the gain, the better the range. However, there are several other considerations when buying an external antenna. Selecting an antenna made by the same manufacturer as your router is usually the best option, but you must make sure that your specific model supports external antennas. You should also select an antenna that has the right type of cable connection for your equipment, such as USB or serial bus.
My wireless connection drops frequently. What can I do?
Wireless connections are often susceptible to connection instability. Here are some of the common reasons for dropped wireless connections and some possible solutions:
- Weak signal – Your wireless device is too far from the router, or there is too much material (walls, elevators, etc.) in between.
• Move closer to your router or away from dense objects
• Adjust the antennas on your router
- Interference – Using other devices on the 2.4GHz spectrum (cordless phones, microwave ovens, Bluetooth devices, or other Wi-Fi networks) can cause performance and connection problems.
• Move your wireless devices away from the interference sources
• Do not use your device when the interference sources are in use
• Set your network to a channel that has less interference
- OS problems – There have been some reported problems with Winsock on Windows XP machines that cause connections to drop frequently. Visit the Microsoft Knowledgebase for more information.