How to boost your wireless range and reception

Who is this guide for:

For people that have wireless coverage in your house but you is too far from the main antenna or for some unknown reason you are not getting a good reception.

How we are going to achieve improving you Wireless reception:

The best thing you can do to extend the range of your WiFi signal is to add an external antenna with stronger gain to your system.

"Gain" defined from is Quote from: dictionary Electronics. An increase in signal power, voltage, or current by an amplifier, expressed as the ratio of output to input. Also called amplification.

Gain is term used for measuring of increase in signal power, described in decibels (dB). Gain is typically measured in dBi (decibels relative to isotropic radiator) and is based on decibels. The higher the dBi measurement, the higher
the power level of the antenna.


- A network card which enables expansion for an External Antenna.
- An external Antenna
- Right connection cables between the antenna and network card
- NetStumbler client
- About 30-60 minutes

Possible show stoppers:

If you have a laptop with an internal network card which is very common forget about it, you can’t physically boost your reception and because the internal card is most probably an Intel Wireless one you will not even be able to boost it with software. If you have a Centrino based notebook, meaning it has the Centrino sticker, then you are going to have the Intel Pro Wireless network adaptor. There are three separate items that a computer must have to be certified by Intel and receive the Centrino classification. They are the Processor, WiFi Card, and the Chipset.

Types of antennas:

There are two basic types of antennas: directional and omni-directional. Directional antennas, primarily used in point-to-point networks, concentrate the waves in one direction much like a flashlight concentrates light in a narrow beam, in a "conical" radiation pattern. Directional antennas include yagi, dish, panel, and sector. Omni-directional antennas (omni is a prefix meaning "all"), can transmit radio waves in a 360 degree "doughnut" radiation pattern. They generally have lower gain than directional antennas.


1) OK so you have gone out and bough a new PCMCIA card for your laptop. Insert the card in your laptop PCMCIA slot.

A few things to consider before hitting the local retail outlets.
Most of what you are going to find at say Bestbuy, Circuitcity, Fry's or other are going to be consumer level products. These are often copies of products that are available to businesses. The only difference is that some features my not be included. For this venture you are going to need a PCMCIA network card for a laptop. About 99% of consumer level cards do not include the option to connect an external antenna. Therefore it is highly recommended that you look online, ask questions, and if possible physically look at the card before you buy it.