How To Buy a Long Range WiFi Antenna

By | July 1, 2016

How To Buy a Long Range WiFi Antenna

When looking for a long-range WiFi antenna there are a few things to know.
The first is that simply because a antenna is bigger such as a 15 or 20dBi does not necessarily make it is better.
Here is a image of the range antennas are most effective, compared with the length or dBi.
9 dbi 7dbi 6dbi 2 dbi range wireless
A 2 dBi antenna is very effective at short range while a 9 dBi antenna is not effective at short range, but works very well picking up signals from a distance.
If you simply want range to cover a home a 2-5 dBi antenna will be plenty enough. If there are block walls or other interference a larger antenna will not make the signal better. If you live in a home that has many WiFi dead spots then a wifi booster would be a much better option, or upgrading to a better long-range router.
If you do need to get distance from your WiFi connection, such as a detached garage or to a neighbor then a longer antenna can be a good option. Getting a 7 or 9 dBi antenna would be much more better in this case.
Another thing to keep in mind is with the new dual band routers, Is do you need an antenna that works in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies?
The 5 GHz frequency is still new but becoming more important as time goes on. The 5 GHz frequency is not good at distance so while it does have a faster transfer speed it does not work as well as the old 2.4 GHz range.
The 2.4 GHz frequency is the best for distance, while the 5 GHz frequency is the best for high-speed but only in a close range.
Long-Range WiFi Antennas
NextG USB-Yagi Plug & Play 11N Long Range WiFi antenna 2200mW

Yagi antennas are well known and good at getting a signal from a distance. In fact It is widely used in the Pen Tester community for looking to check a wireless routers security.
This big of antenna will be overkill for many, but is ideal for RV travelers, boaters, detached buildings, or any place trying to get the best distance from a WiFi signal.
TP-LINK TL-ANT2424B 2.4GHz 24dBi Directional Grid Parabolic Antenna, N Female connector, weather resistant

Like the Yagi antenna Parabolic antennas are often used a lot for getting the best distance. Parabolic antennas are the definition of a Non-Omni-Directional antenna.
The difference is a parabolic antenna can be better when it is pointed directly at the source, but not good when not pointed at the source.
Getting the best signal is done by using a app and watching the signal strength. The antenna is than turned until the best signal possible is being received.
This type of antenna is not very portable and is used in the same way the Yagi is used.
Super Power Supply® 1x 9dBi 2.4GHz 5GHz Dual Band WiFi SMA Antenna Omni Directional Antennas Network Extension Mini Wireless WAN Long Range Booster

This is a 9 dBi antenna that is cheap and is much more commonly used to upgrade a router or USB WiFi adapter for better distance.
It uses a common screw on SMA interface that is widely used in the WiFi industry. Some router and USB adapters use proprietary interfaces so if you go this route be sure what type you have.
There are many similar 9 dBi antennas that are cheap and can be a big improvement over a 3-4 dBi antenna that many WiFi electronics come with.
Personally I carry a 5 DBI and a 9 dBi antennas which I use with an Alfa USB adapter and my laptop. They are easy to screw on and unscrew when needed. I use Alpha adapters that make this very easy to do.
So for example if I am very close to a router takes me 10 seconds screw on 5 dBi antenna and get much better coverage. But if I am at a location with my laptop and the WiFi signal is from a distance then I simply screw on the 9 dBi antenna and get better reception.
Hopefully you are not on the go as much as I am, and have a fixed location so you can dial in the correct antenna and not worry about it.
There are more expensive antennas that have a low dBi and high dBi side that can be bought and would be very good for a wide coverage area, near and far.
If you are very serious about your WiFi signal and want the best of both worlds then buying one of these would be your best option.

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11 thoughts on “How To Buy a Long Range WiFi Antenna

  1. clar matchim

    I teach English classes in Spain and need access to the free public library wifi router about 400 meters from where my classroom is situated. The internal wifi on my Macbook does not reach. I recently purchased a ALFA long range external wifi antenna UBDO nt8 but cannot get it to work on my IOS operating system. Went to seller twice but they want to take my MacBook for two days. I need it every day and cannot do this.

    Do you suggest another system? Would appreciate much your comments!

    1. WirelessHack

      I haven’t used the UBDO nt8 but there are many good long range USB antenna/adapters that are Mac compatible. I wouldn’t let anyone have my laptop for two days to install a driver. If that adapter doesn’t work for you I would return it and get one that does

      1. sugenk

        You can buy cheap CPE device then set it as repeater, the cheap one is TP-LINK TL-WA7210N or CPE210, set it as wireless router, repeater, or as client. I think this will work good

    2. Mac

      i have the same antenna and it works great on my imac running 10.6. the alfa cd has a driver for macs. did you download it?

    3. Arsh Rind

      no need to worry
      just attach a Good 9dbi or 14dbi antenna in ur alpha adapter
      or buy this
      NextG USB-Yagi Plug & Play 11N Long Range WiFi antenna 2200mW
      and attach it to ur adapter.. both of these options will give u enormous range, you will be able to receive any wifi signals within 5-10 miles.
      for even best results attach a Tplink TLAnt2424b antenna with your alpha wireless adapter.

  2. ray leno

    we have a winter home in Venice Fl it is in a 55 plus community and the only internet available is in the club house which is 2000 ft away would a yagi wi fi antenna work for us My wife does Medical coding from her computer every day If she goes to the clubhouse it works fine. Thanks for your input.

    1. WirelessHack

      2000 Ft is a long way to push a WiFi signal. You could push a WiFi signal to that distance but would need to boost the source, meaning you would need to have access to the router sending and receiving the signals.

      A good antenna would help receive a signal but sending a signal back to the router would be the biggest obstacle. If they are sending out a good signal and their are no obstacles than you might get lucky.

      Keep in mind a WiFi signal usually only works 150-300 ft so going 2000 ft would be quite an accomplishment.

  3. Simon

    I live in a cabin which is about 200 meters from the main house where the wifi router is. There are no obstacles and I have a clear line of sight to the house. Is there any system you could recommend that could get a strong internet signal to my mac laptop which is in the cabin?

  4. husin yusoff

    I live in the neighbor?? Give his password to me and i use TP link wn8200 but the speed rate just 15 mbps and my internal wifi is 150 mbps.which antenna is the best high gain and extraordinary wireless adapter and external antenna??

    1. Husin Yusoff v2

      Given the limited information given of your setup, I am thinking you have some numbers mixed up.

      You have to think of what is coming in from the ISP into the house/router. So if your neighbor gave you the WIFI password and you indeed can connect to the router, then the internet speed would be whatever is coming into the house – any other load that your neighbor has. Most home routers have a high numbered speed advertised but those are in perfect conditions. Increasing the antenna wouldn’t help you at all. There are so many more factors that would influence your speed like distance or anything blocking the signal.

  5. Mansoor khan

    Hello sir ineed a device or antena to catch wifi signal 1km far awy please suggest me a good device to catch wifi.


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