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What to Keep in Mind When Choosing HP Wi-Fi Antennas

The 802.11 standard is a specification for local area networks that do not require cables. These WLANs communicate wirelessly via radio signals, and antennas can play a big role in how stable your internet connection is. There are many products on the market that can keep you connected when you need it most by making those signals stronger and more resistant to the interference typically experienced in such environments.

How do you choose between the different antenna styles?

It depends on the network component that will use the part. A router uses a point-to-multipoint configuration, which means that the receiver is just a single point but has the potential to transmit to many different devices. A wireless range extender, on the other hand, can be either point-to-point or point-to-multipoint. It may be set up as point-to-multipoint if you are expanding coverage in a zone within your home, but it can also be point-to-point if you are improving the wireless connection for a particular device or creating a bridge from one router to another. Therefore, you should opt for:

  • Omni-directional for a wireless router
  • Omni-directional for a wireless repeater or access point
  • Directional when targeting a specific device or precise area
How do you determine the appropriate dBi?

Wireless networking accessories are often rated in terms of gain using a relative measure known as decibels, or dBi. Gain measures how well transmitter power is converted into a radio signal and also how well a signal is received. High gain is not necessarily better. A decibel as low as 2 is often preferable at short ranges. At longer distances, a decibel of 9 or above is ideal. High gain can also be used to shape wireless connectivity, such as bolstering the signal on the second floor but not above or below.

Is the channel or band of the equipment a factor?

Most networking equipment supports 2.4 GHz, and many also support 5 GHz, which makes them dual band. A part that works with one of these bands will work with the other, so in that sense, band does not matter. However, devices that support both bands will have at least one wireless attachment for each band. Therefore, it is necessary to attach to the appropriate connector in order to affect the right channel.

Is the brand of the antenna a factor?

Only insomuch as user preference. You can, for instance, use an HP Wi-Fi antenna with an Asus or Netgear wireless router, range extender, or access point. What is important is that you match polarity and the connector type. If a primary network device is horizontally polarized as opposed to vertically, then its wireless attachments must also correspond. Likewise, if a device uses an RP-SMA connector, which is common, then any attachable accessories must also support that connection type.

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