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Long Range Wifi Adapters and Antennas For Free Internet Access

Updated on May 19, 2016

Long Range Wifi Adapters Pick Up Distant Internet

How would you like to pick up free WiFi with a long range WiFi antenna and high power WiFi adapter?

Chances are your new laptop has a wireless adapter that picks up Wifi. The problem with internal wireless adapters is that the antenna is small and the range is limited to a hundred feet or so. There are long range WiFi antennas and high power wireless adapters available that work up to a few miles, believe it or not. The longest range wireless internet connection using directional WiFi antennas was in Sweden, to a helium baloon over a hundred miles away. While you won't reach that far, you can use a long range WiFi panel antenna to pick up hot spots and open wireless connections up to five miles or more.

Using Long Range WiFi Antennas When You Travel

There are many free WiFi spots around the country but Many people who travel such as RV'ers, truckers and salesmen rely on wireless hotspots to browse the web. The problem with these is that you have to be near the hotspot or parked close to the building where the router is located. Most RV parks now have free Wifi, as do truckstops and even rest areas in some states. It can be difficult to pick these signals up with a laptop's internal wireless card. Fortunately for people like these, there are now long range wireless adapters that feature an outside antenna. These have higher transmit power than regular wireless adapters and because the external antenna boosts the signal even more and gets it outside of the vehicle or RV, you can pick up wireless access points up to a mile or more away. Even distances up to five miles are possible with a directional antenna.

Card Types Vs. USB Long Range WiFi Adapters

Some of these boosters are USB based. These are the easiest to use and the most portable. The USB type wireless adapters made by Engenius feature a full 500 milliwatts of power, about five times that of a normal wireless adapter. Others plug into the laptop's PCMCIA card or mini card port but are not as versatile since slot types are always changing. USB ports will be around for a long time to come so I recommend that type of long range wireless adapter.

(Note: If you want to share the signal you have picked up from a long distance via wireless inside your home, see the instructions at the end of this article.)

Range Of High Power Wireless Adapters and Panel Antennas

Range can vary greatly depending on terrain and obstacles in between you and the origin of the signal.

To use one of these high gain long range wireless adapters you just install the included software and reboot the computer. Then you use the utility that is included with most of them to scan for available wireless networks. If using a directional Wifi antenna you have to move the antenna an inch or two at a time, making a complete circle, and refreshing the available network button each time. When you find the wireless network you are looking for you can secure the antenna.

With omnidirectional antennas you simply place them on the roof of your vehicle, no moving required. Omni antennas do not transmit as far, about one fourth of the range of a panel WiFi antenna.

How To Share A WiFi Signal Picked Up With A High Power Adapter


Unless you plan on using a high power WiFi adapter with a computer at a fixed location, (such as a home office,) you will probably want to share the signal that you pick up with other computers, smartphones, tablets and other devices which have wireless capability. To to this you will need to use a repeater specifically designed to work with high power WiFi adapters. Alfa makes one such product which is designed for use with their long range wireless internet adapters. All that you have to do to share the signal is connect the repeater - router, set up the device's security protocols and you can then broadcast the signal throughout your home or office. The Alfa R36 retails for around $56 and is capable fo WPA/WPA2 PSK security.

Rebroadcast A WiFi Signal Picked Up By The Long Range Adapter

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