Oct 5, 2020

Wireless Network Antenna - The Basics of Selecting an Antenna

Wireless Network Antenna - The Basics of Selecting an Antenna

The selection and installation of access point antenna supplies influence network performance and accessibility. The signal strength or amount of energy radiated from an antenna must do with antenna type and access point transmit specifications. Cable length will boost signal attenuation or reduction and should be minimized. Each antenna kind is going to have vertical and horizontal beamwidth defined. The antenna type, gain, cable length, number, and mounting are all key to the design. For example, a directional antenna with high gain, no outside cable, mounted at the proper height will give the best performance in an outside deployment with a lot of interference.

The wireless policy cell on interior deployments may be extended using external antennas that plug into connectors on the access points. Most antennas can be mounted on the ceiling or wall and outside antennas frequently use a mast to increase height for line of sight.


Omni-directional antenna directs a flat radiated pattern of 360 degrees and a vertical design of 50 - 70 degrees from its source. From a practical perspective, the pattern isn't circular as much as being elliptical. It is a multi-homing antenna that sends signals to many customers in proximity inducing some multipath fading that's diminished with antenna diversity. The higher gain antenna is deployed outside for the most part. Some Cisco access points have an integrated Omni-directional dipole antenna or" rubber ducky" that is standard with every device.


The directional antenna sends out a directed radiated pattern connecting with a remote antenna. The antenna's purpose is to send traffic between antennas rather than used for multipurpose device homing. There are 3 unique directional antennas: Yagi, Patch, and Dish. The Dish antenna has got maximum gain and narrowest radiation angle beam while the Patch antenna has the lowest gain and widest radiated beam. Gains with 2.4 GHz antennas range from 6dBi - 21 dBi. Most antennas from this collection are employed in buildings with a lot of signal attenuation such as manufacturing, warehouses, and structures with a lot of steel, concrete, angled designs, etc..


The diversity antenna implements dual antennas on the access point receiving signals on both. The access point decides what antenna has the best gain and transmits on this antenna. Diversity antennas are made using either Omni-directional, directional, or dipole styles. Multipath fading occurs in buildings that have a lot of signal reflection. The signal finds multiple paths from origin to destination and the signal becomes distorted at the recipient. This is minimized or removed with diversity antennas.

External Antenna

Some Cisco access points, for example, 1200 strings, have connectors available for an outside antenna. This can be found with deployments in environments where the access point is in a maximum 300 feet in the wired switch or signal distortion is excessive. The outside antenna with a given coax cable of 3 - 100 feet allows for placement of the antenna at optimum positioning. Minimizing the cable length will reduce signal attenuation before transmission. Implementing the higher gain diversity patch antenna fixes the problem of clients being out of scope. The business could have deployed a repeater as an alternative solution using an 1100 series access point that doesn't support an external antenna.

External wireless antennas can be used to find more networks to connect to, penetration testing, extending outdoor wireless networks, security testing for site surveys, and overall just looking cool.

Another type of external antenna can be used to extend your wireless router or wireless access point. Adding the proper antenna to your wireless access point will make your LAN perform like it is on crack. If you really want to extend your range you will have to add an external wireless antenna on your wireless access point and your laptop. Remember that wireless LAN communication is not like an AM/FM radio, you need to be able to hear and talk. If you have a huge antenna and amplifier on one end you need almost the same setup on the other end to talk back.

Building material and structural design will lead to signal attenuation. The following describes from best to worst building material utilized with walls, ceilings and floors. Steel and concrete with different feet of the structure are the most difficult.

* Wood

* Reinforced Concrete

Access points should be ceiling mounted when possible at least 17 - 19 feet in elevation optimizing vertical and horizontal beamwidth. In some cases, the access points will have to be mounted on the wall. Antenna mounting is significant and needs to be implemented with instructions from the hardware installation guide. The Cisco access points utilize the standard RP-TNC 50-ohm type connector.

Outside Bridge rotational

Companies have implemented a lot of Cisco wireless bridges that connect buildings in a campus community. The line of sight must be accessible or use a repeater bridge to extend the network where it is not available. Outside antennas deal with ecological issues and more distances which need higher gain directional antennas. Mounting is usually with a mast or flat against a wall. Distances can expand around 250 - 500 ft or much further with greater wattage bridges, proper mounting of the antenna, and deploying repeaters. Point to multipoint topology is executed equally with inside and outside wireless deployments. The main bridge or root access point in a multipoint topology is homed with visitors from several non-root bridges or access points. That topology is implemented with several talked buildings and a heart or core office that must be networked outside. The spoke offices have a point to point link with the hub office and the heart office has a multipoint relationship with all spoke offices. The hub office will apply an omnidirectional antenna with a lot of beam width while talked offices will utilize a directional antenna.

Antenna Mounting

The interior standard access point layouts will not have a set of directional antennas. Most will employ Omni-directional antennas and use directional antennas where necessary as a means of addressing distances. The outside implementations for the most part imply larger distances and environmental concerns making directional antennas an effective choice.

You should check visitpick.com for better antennas.

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Hey! I’m Muhammad Abba Gana, popularly known as AbbaGana, a blog Scientist by mind and a passionate blogger by heart fountainhead of Guidetricks, Duniyan Fasaha, Duniyar Yau, Hanyantsirah, Gidan Novels, Abba Gana Novels and Be With Me Technology, I am twenty something year old guy from Jimeta, Adamawa State, Nigeria. I’m a Freelance writer, Information marketer, professional blogger, Web designer, Internet speaker, software Developer and also an author. I make living with my laptop and can work from anywhere I find myself (as long as there is a power supply and a reliable internet connection).


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