Cheap antenna boosts Wireless LAN range and reliability

Continuing on the topic of my last post about improving wireless internet performance, I would like to suggest that replacing your existing Wireless card antenna with a higher gain antenna can be a cheap fix especially if you are fed up with dropped connections and poor connectivity.

I tried replacing a Netgear WG311v2 antenna with a high gain antenna purchased of eBay for $5. The anternna is triple the height of the standard antenna that came with the Netgear card. Overall I found a 15-20% improvement in signal strength on a PC about 40 feet away from the router in a different room.

I also was able to detect several wireless networks that I’d never seen before. Therefore range did improve and overall the connection does not drop as often.

My conclusion is that if you are considering upgrading your router due to poor connectivity issues, try replacing the antenna first. Its a cheap fix and can work very well for you.

I paid about $5 including shipping for a 9dBi Range Extender Antenna on ebay. I think the average gain for a wireless antenna as supplied by most manufacturers would be in the 2dBi-4dBi range. Just make sure your wireless card has an antenna than can be screwed off and on before you purchase a replacement antenna.

Wireless replacement antenna

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