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The Different Types of Wireless Antennas and When to Use Them

America is caught in the net. 93% of Americans use the Internet, with 77% of Americans having a broadband connection at home. 

You need to have access to wireless antennas. Yet finding the right ones can be difficult. There are so many different kinds of antennas, and each one is distinct. 

What is an omnidirectional antenna, and what is a directional antenna? What are the best products for indoor Wi-Fi access? What should you get to transmit a Wi-Fi signal long-distance? 

Answer these questions and you can remain connected to the Internet day and night. Here is your quick guide. 

Omnidirectional Antennas

As the name suggests, omnidirectional antennas send signals in all directions. This gives them the widest possible signal coverage, ideal for a big room with multiple computers. But the range may be short depending on the antenna you use.  

Outdoor Antennas

Omnidirectional antennas are commonly placed in outdoor spaces. If you want to use a computer or phone in a backyard, you should find an outdoor omnidirectional antenna. 

Yet their signals may become weak if your neighbors have their own antennas. You should connect your antenna to a router or access point so your signal becomes stronger. 

Integrated Antennas

Integrated antennas are built into wireless devices. You can find an integrated antenna for a client adapter, laptop, or access point. 

They are good if you are on the move while working. But they do not receive terrific reception. You may need to adjust your device frequently in order to maintain a consistent signal. 

Blade Antennas

Blade antennas go inside of long pieces of plastic. They resemble blades or planks, so you can store them in bags or on top of shelves. 

They work well for environments where there are low WiFi signals. The antenna installation is simple, making them a good choice for people inexperienced with computers. But you may want to go for more than one to boost or catch a strong signal.

Ceiling Dome Antennas 

Ceiling dome antennas are the most inconspicuous indoor devices. They resemble smoke detectors, and you can install yours on the ceiling or wall. If you need direct WiFi access, you can plug a computer into the WiFi antenna. 

You may see the term, “ceiling blister antennas.” This is another name for ceiling dome antennas. It just references the fact that some products resemble blisters on someone’s skin. 

Rubber Duck Antennas 

Rubber duck antennas are short devices. They contain a springy wire that is sealed inside a plastic jacket. They are most commonly used for handheld radios, but some manufacturers have designed ones for other devices. 

“Dipole antennas” is another term for rubber duck antennas. It refers to how certain products may have two or more poles on them. This makes the signal stronger, which makes dipole antennas a good choice if you need support for a large device. 

Directional Antennas

Directional antennas send out a signal in a particular direction. Many home Wi-Fi networks make use of them, but you can also find them in outdoor settings. They cover a greater distance than omnidirectional products, though you need to point them in the right direction. 

Backfire Antennas

Backfire antennas are compact and practical devices. They resemble cake pans with cans sticking out of them. This concentrates the waves toward particular devices. 

Most people place their backfire antennas in the outdoors. But you can place yours inside your home. You can also use one as a commercial antenna, aiming it at computers and other products you want customers to try out. 

Yagi Antennas

Yagi antennas are among the most directional products on the market. One of them resembles a long fishbone with a spine and perpendicular rods. These rods do not point the signal outward, but they add support so the spine does not shake. 

The longer your Yagi is, the more focused its signal is. If you need to cover a long room or backyard, you need to get a long antenna. This makes it ideal if you want to send a signal between two buildings or through a remote area. 

When you are buying one for the outdoors, you should get one made with PVC. This offers additional support and prevents the antenna from snapping in the wind. Google “improve antenna signal” to find additional ways to support your product. 

Dish Antennas

Dish antennas are what most people think of when they read the word, “antenna.” They resemble concave bowls or dishes. A rod may point out of the center of the dish, directing the signal in a particular direction. 

Though dishes are standard, the wind can knock them over. You can get a dish antenna with a parabolic grid design, allowing the wind to blow through it. 

You may see dish antennas on top of antenna towers. But you can place one at a low or moderate height and receive a good signal. 

Panel/Patch Antennas

Panel or patch antennas are square devices that you can hang on a wall. They transmit a signal forward and out to the side.

This makes them ideal for computers and phones that are up against a wall. You can also use one if your access point is against the end of a room or building. 

The Different Types of Wireless Antennas

Wireless antennas are remarkable tools. Omnidirectional devices send signals out in all directions, while directional ones transmit a signal in a certain direction. 

You can find omnidirectional antennas made specifically for the outdoors. If you want to send a strong signal over a distance, you should get a Yagi antenna. 

Your best indoor options include blade, ceiling dome, and patch devices. If you are moving around your house a lot, you can get an integrated antenna. 

Buying antennas is one way you can improve your access to the Internet. Find out other ways by following our coverage. 

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