Using a better antenna can boost signal quality and is a cheap and easy solution. Antennas can also be used with WiFi adapters that have a screw on antenna.
Most routers using a stock antenna have a range up to 300 feet. The same router with an external parabolic antenna in theory can go up to 20 miles.
The bowl shape of the parabola would have to be tuned to line of site and no obstructions in the way.
Of course this is what a good antenna and signal can do in theory. In real life getting 20 miles from a router is all but impossible, but increasing a routers WiFi distance can be done.
WiFi Antenna Basics
Antennas are rated by dBi with larger dBi number being a larger antenna.
Small antenna that come with a router(usually 3-5 dBi) are good up close since the WiFi signal wave has not expanded yet.
As a radio wave travels away from its source the wave expands from its low peak to high peak.
To get a good signal an antenna must be large enough to capture both the high and low peak as it moves.
Will a Larger dBi Antenna Help You?
If you are looking to increase distance than yes a larger dBi antenna will help.
A larger antenna will not help with obstructions such as walls or trees.
To get a better signal past obstructions WiFi boosters are a better option.
A wireless USB adapter with a good antenna would be best for a laptop or desktop computer.
Things To Check First
Some routers have a signal booster setting that can be increased. This can be checked by logging into the router and looking for a power increase setting.
Repositioning a router higher up and adjusting the antenna can also help in some cases.
Router Antenna Connector Types
The most common connector is called Male SMA followed by Male TNC. The only way to know for sure what type of connector your router anntena uses is to Google the model number and its specifications.
Alternatively it can be unscrewed and examined in pictures for match before buying one.
As always be sure to read the reviews on Amazon, here, or forums to be sure a unit is the right fit for you.
*This post contains affiliate links.
2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Dual Band Antennas for WiFi
- Super Power Supply 9dBi 2.4GHz 5GHz
- Alfa APA-M25 dual band 2.4GHz/5GHz
- TP-Link 2.4GHz 24dBi Directional Parabolic
Super Power Supply® 1x 9dBi 2.4GHz 5GHz Dual Band WiFi SMA Removable Omni Directional Antennas Network Extension Mini Wireless WAN Long Range Booster
Many routers come with external antennas that can be replaced with larger scew-on units.
This is a low-cost solution that will give a small boost.
Most router antennas are 3-5 dBi but some are larger so be sure to check your router first.
Alfa APA-M25 dual band 2.4GHz/5GHz 10dBi high gain directional indoor panel antenna with RP-SMA connector (compare to Asus WL-ANT-157)
Rated at 10dBi for 2.4 GHz and 10 dBi for 5 GHz the Alfa APA-M25 is a good option over a stock router antenna.
It is a high gain directional unit that is a big boost over standard antennas.
TP-Link 2.4GHz 24dBi Directional Grid Parabolic Antenna, N Female Connector, Weather Resistant (TL-ANT2424B)
Rated at 24 dBi this parabolic antenna is for someone looking for a serious WiFi signal increase.