A Wifi Extender Antenna for Routers

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The Ultimate Big Crazy Wifi Antenna Guide
A handbook for Wifi antenna construction signal boosting.

Many techniques of wireless network range enhancement focus on the use of high gain antennas at client end of the link. For example, the wi fi yagi seen on this page has been used for years on a USB wireless adapter. It facilitated connections to wireless hotspots over several city blocks, and distances of kilometers over open space. Generally, the access points were using wireless routers equipped with simple dipole antennas, and the yagi was quite necessary for full bandwidth connections beyond about 70 meters (and less indoors or in an interference filled environment). That was before wifi6 came along, by the way. Today, simply setting a good wifi6 router by a window, against the glass, should provide the similar coverage.

Be aware that if your goal is to get wireless internet from another location and use it indoors, you should instead consider using a wireless bridge. If you want to provde strong wireless internet coverage to an area, but cannot provide a fiber optic or ethernet cable to your wireless router, again consider using a wireless bridge to substitute for the unavailable cable, and connect the bridge to the router.

In the long distance wifi router project shown here, a high gain wifi yagi antenna was used for greatly increasing the range and effectiveness of an access point. The author was able to connect, through interference, and enjoy broadband internet connections at a distance of 300 meters. A laptop was used as the client, without any other special antennas. In another test, wifi yagis with about 15 dB gain were used at both ends, and connections were possible at a distance of 1.5 km. In a more open, noise free environment, the yagi to yagi wi-fi link should be usable over several km. Connections are especially stable and fast if a high power wifi router is used at the access point.

Long Distance Wireless Router Antenna provides long distance access point coverage

High gain antennas on a router
provide strong signals and
long distance coverage.

Long Range Wireless Router Antenna, high gain wireless router antenna

Penetrate concrete walls by using
a wireless router - yagi combination.

Build the Wifi Yagi and connect it to a wireless router.

This project is a relatively simple matter of replacing the router's mediocre dipole antenna with athe yagi. You need the following supplies:

  1. One wireless router, with an external antenna connector.
  2. One coaxial pigtail, compatible with the router. Note that the cable is deliberatly short to minimize signal losses.
  3. A wi-fi yagi antenna. Build or buy one. You do need a high gain antenna on your router!
  4. Duct tape or cable ties (they're non-metallic) for securing the pigtail and antenna.

To assemble the high gain antenna and router combination, accomplish the following steps:

  1. Solder the pigtail to the antenna driven element. Center conductor to one side and shield to the other
  2. Secure the pigtail with one or two cable ties, preventing movement and breakage
  3. Replace the wireless router's dipole with the wifi yagi antenna.
  4. Use tape and / or cable ties to secure the antenna to the router and prevent movement and breakage.

Carefully mount and aim the wifi antenna / router combination.

The wireless router / high gain antenna assembly should be directed toward the area to be used by intended clients. It can be aimed through walls for enhanced indoor coverage or placed by a window and aimed towards distant users outdoors. There ia also a usable signal outside of the beam for distances within about 10 meters.

Another mounting option, if very high quality / low loss coaxial cable is available, is to mount the antenna on a wall or other fixed structure, and run a length of coaxial cable to the router, affixed securely nearby. Run no more than one meter of cable! The shorter the better.

Avoid aiming through walls to access outdoor users; walls greatly weaken wifi signals. As much as 30dB is lost per wall!! Find a window or mount the equipment outdoors in a weatherproof container.

Wireless router with dipole antenna improved with wifi yagi antenna

Most routers are equipped with
mediocre dipole antennas. Replace
them with high gain units for longer
access point range.

Long Distance Wireless Router Antenna provides long distance access point coverage

The coaxial pigtail has a compatible
connector and is as short as possible,
to reduce losses.

Long Distance Wireless Router Antenna provides long distance access point coverage

This high gain wireless router antenna
is affixed to the router with cable ties
and tape. Okay for indoor use.

The combination of powerful wifi6 routers and high gain antennas make possible the coverage of large areas with broadband wireless networks. The wifi link budget is greatly increased, while much of the burden is lifted from small laptop computers or low powered smartphones or other wifi enabled devices. Wireless connectivity is possible over extreme distances when high gain antennas and more transmit power are used on both ends of the link.

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