How To Buy a Long Range WiFi Antenna

By | March 20, 2023

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 an antenna is bigger such as a 15-20dBi, does not necessarily make it is better.

Here is an image of the range wireless antennas are most effective, compared with the length or dBi.
9 dbi 7dbi 6dbi 2 dbi range wireless
A 2dBi antenna is very effective at short range, while a 9dBi antenna is not effective at short range, but works very well picking up signals from a distance.

If you want the range to cover a home, a 2-5dBi 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, a longer antenna can be a good option. Getting a 7 or 9dBi antenna would be much better in this case.

Another thing to keep in mind is dual band routers which work in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies.

The 5GHz frequency is not good at distance, so while it does have a faster transfer speed, it does not work as well as the old 2.4GHz range.

The 2.4GHz frequency is the best for distance, while the 5GHz frequency is the best for high-speed at close range.

Types of Long-Range WiFi Antennas

  1. Yagi Antennas
  2. Yagi antennas are well known and good at getting a signal from a distance. In fact, they are widely used in the Pen Tester community when looking to check the security of a wireless router.

    This big of an antenna will be overkill for many, but it is ideal for RV travelers, boaters, detached buildings, or any place trying to get the best distance from a WiFi signal.

  3. Parabolic Antennas
  4. 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 an App and watching the signal strength. The antenna is 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.

  5. 9-20 dBi SMA Antenna
  6. 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 standard screw-on SMA interface that is widely used in the WiFi industry. Some routers and USB adapters use proprietary interfaces, so if you go this route, be sure what type you have.

    There are many similar 9dBi antennas that are cheap and can be a big improvement over a 3-4dBi antenna that many WiFi electronics come with.

There are many good antennas that can improve the range of a wireless signal.

Personally, I carry a 5dBI and a 9dBi antennas which I use with an Alfa USB adapter and my laptop. They are easy to screw on and unscrew when needed.

For example, if I am very close to a router, it takes me 10 seconds to screw on a 5dBi antenna and get much better coverage. But if I am at a location with my laptop and the WiFi signal is from a distance I simply screw on the 9dBi 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, buying one of these would be your best option.



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

  1. Kat

    I have a restaurant that is 1 mile away and offers free wifi..which antenna will be able to pick this up?

    1. Asdfg

      the best long range Wi Fi directional antenna for any distance is 9 dbl (Yagi WiFi) or more

  2. Nick

    Hi, I am on a boat and am docked 25′ from the marina’s antenna. They claim they are going to improve signals but streaming movies in the evening is frustrating. I would appreciate any suggestions on hardware I should buy.
    Thank you,

  3. Mike

    I wish to use a antenna to receive wifi from the hotel across the street and other places in the surrounding area I have a Samsung smart TV that I want to boost could u tell me how to do it and what all I would need

  4. HALEY


  5. 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?

  6. KingCello


    Need an antenna to capture free wifi in park into my apartment with 5 computers. Park wifi is within 2 miles. No idea what I mad doin….help please

  7. Marilyn

    I live in a rural area where cable broadband is not available; however it is available about 1700 feet from my home. The cable provider said it would be $20,000 to bring line to my house. Presently I am using cellular data for internet- costing me a small fortune monthly for too little data.
    My question is if we installed a cable connection at a willing neighbor’s house, which is across a field with no obstructions, is there a way to get it the 1700 feet?

    1. Guerric

      Yes, if your neighbor is okay with setting up a powerful antenna on his house. Check out Ubiquity airmax nanobeam for instance. It costs about $80 on this side of the world.
      (I don’t work for them)

  8. tteksystems

    I’ve got the Linksys EA8500 Mu Mimo router and an ASUS USB-AC56 wifi adapter. The antenna cover broke on the ASUS USB adapter. I wasn’t sure what the external antenna specs were so I never replaced it. But I was very curious about one comment regarding antennae that have a high dbi side and low dbi side. Who makes these? What is a good combination of hi and lo? I was also curiuous what the exact dbi rating is for the external dipole antenna for my ASUS USB-AC56 but all I can find is that is it a high gain antenna. So little specific information is actually posted online for things like this.

  9. 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. 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?

    2. 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.

  10. Bob Lawson

    I’m trying to get wifi 1800 feet from my business to my house. Would the from the business to house be Modem -> router/Access Point -> amplifier -> Surge Protector -> parabolic antenna -> 1800 ft -> parabolic antenna -> SP -> amplifier-> Router/repeater ->wifi to computer, roku, phone, etc.

    1. gaffo

      yes that seems correct to me. I’m installing a similar omnidirectional 1-watt outdoor repeater on TV mast to get a laundery met and hair salon open-free wifi within 2-city blocks me. sick of overpaying for internet from ISPs that only wish to upsell me on TV (600 channels of crap – cut THAT cord 19 yrs ago and never been happier) – but take my net away and that fight’n words. but again ISP here suck you dry (4+ what is charged in the rest of the word – so screw em, free internet here i come).

  11. Ken Shehan

    I have Grandchildren living in a different location to me. I want to set up a wifi system do as yo receive WiFi from maybe Macdonalds around 2 Kms away or from School after hours & any other WiFi available in area.
    I was considering using an ex satellite dish with WiFi dongle attatched . Which Brand dongle would be best for this & any other equipment be required. ?
    Or would a Yagi be better. ?

    Thx. Ken

      1. Beeswaxnotyoursincorperated

        What? You cant give a reason why it wont work?

        I mean, DUH!!!!!

  12. 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.

  13. Ethichacker

    Hi, i want to set a WiFi hotspot for about 1km square is it possible and if yes what do I need?

    1. gaffo

      yes, you will need to buy two (or maybe three – equally spaced).

      each unit will give you 500 meter radius.

      one might work if you can live with a weak signal around the edges

      I just bought one last week to use as a repeater to get two “open wifis” 600 and 700 ft (200-250 meters) away. sick of paying 100 buck a month for internet only meduim to low speed. with this i might be able to have the same for much less ;-).

      1. Terrence

        Hi, thank You for such help.
        I also want to spread WIFI Access over 1km square, what specific hardware should I buy?

  14. Mark

    We live on a boat in the Caribbean. There are many friendly shore stations in places where we anchor. We need a device to receive a distant shore WIFI and make it available on the boat as a local hot spot. We use both IPADs and a Windows laptop. The boat swings on anchor so the system must be omnidirectional. The antenna would be mounted outdoors and could be on a mast or hoisted well above deck. Boat power available is USB, 24 – 28 volts from house batteries, 12 volts regulated, or 115 AC from a full sine wave inverter. Operation is only while the boat is anchored so temporary wiring is OK.

    I find the jargon for the devices confusing. Using correct terms, I don’t even know what to look for.

    1. Ayu

      The CC vector listed in this article is close to what you need, with the exception that you have to point the outdoor antenna to the source. One way around may be to get three or four of these pointing in all directions (like cellular base stations) and networking them together to a single router (would probably need to be a multi-ISP kind or make some linux-based setup).

      Remember though that even if you make this work, install properly, or otherwise get an omnidirectional version work — the shore WiFi source also needs to be long-range.

      To put it simply, imagine yourself with a megaphone and a guy without a megaphone across the highway. You can shout to him but you wont hear anything back. The other guy needs a megaphone too or you can’t properly communicate.

  15. John O'Brien

    I have a Barn about 400′ feet from my house, I am running Verizon Fios 150/150 in the home. I need to bring the wifi signal to the barn? What do I need on both sides? Thanks

    1. mike

      In your case if you have access to the property between your house and barn you would do best with a 400′ shielded CAT-7 UTP cable with an RJ45 connection on both ends to connect to your router and then the other end to connect to an Access Point or to another old router in your barn that will simply take the data from first router and just behave as router extender. 2nd router need to be configured to have DHCP off.

      Avoid coils in the cable to reduce interference and leave some slack for the cold winter months where things like your cable will shrink and shorten from temperature decrease.

  16. 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.

  17. Ogen Elvis

    Hello greetings am living at rural community that badly need internet WiFi supply and I need a 1 km range internet WiFi antenna that will supply 360 degrees of 1 km WiFi internet

    1. mike

      Easier said than done. There are workarounds thou but no guarantees.
      You would be experiencing VERY high cost of deployment to reach everyone. Think thousands of dollars.

      You’d be lucky if you can manage to get WiFi to just 1 home with a high db antenna from some nearby source with line of sight. And don’t forget your source probably has walls between your antenna and their router, I say that because I am going to assume you are trying to piggy back off your local free public WiFi or connect to an indoors source of internet from far away.

      Now if you can get a high db directional antenna plugged into the router with the active internet and another directional antenna pointed at it on the receiving end with an AP connected to it. Then you stand a chance for some decent internet over distance. Just make sure your antennas have line of sight and are place up high outdoors. Alignment must be VERY precise.

      This might work well.

      I suppose then once you bring internet in your rural area this way, then you can have people piggy back off your connection but that would be a terrible idea as more users will require more equipment and it will decrease your bandwidth significantly and introduce lag the more users are introduce on a network.

      If you have no other options you are better off with starting a donation pool from all the neighbors and spend $10-$20+ thousand dollars to bring internet to your area from the nearest provider.

    2. gaffo

      Wavlink makes the “AC600” too (which is duel band – has the 5 ghz too) – but is see it may have more bugs from reading reviews.
      range is 1/4 mile radius.

      I’d stick with 2.4 ghz band myself

      buy a 50 ft (5-segments) telescoping pole – Rohn brand is the best brand, their steel is thicker the other makers. you will need to install guy wires and anchors too – all this of course is a PIA, but wifi is a short wavelength, so you MUST have your transmitting antenna above the treeline.


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