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WiFi USB Antenna Buying Tips

Updated on September 28, 2011

Get a Better Connection with a WiFi USB Antenna

Whether you travel with your computer or you live or work in an area where your WiFi signal is weak or slow, a WiFi USB antenna may be of benefit.

These devices can offer a secure connection in some difficult situations. On this page you can find out more about their advantages and what to consider when making a purchase.

Why Buy a WiFi USB Antenna?

A WiFi USB antenna can boost your WiFi connection. They may help you locate a signal and then bring it in significantly stronger. You'll get greater range and a faster connection as well. You will be able to work in areas of your home where you couldn't previously, such as that secluded basement. With them, getting a good signal in your RV, on your boat, or in your hotel room shouldn't be a problem.

Getting 48 to 54Mbps speed with a WiFi USB antenna will allow you to download and stream content, work faster, and enjoy gaming the way it's meant to be. They're perfect for travel and for those who experience a weak signal at home or in the office.

Buying Tips

Choosing a WiFi USB antenna isn't too difficult, but here are a few things to think about before you make a purchase:

  • Range
    The primary purpose of the antenna is to increase the range and strength of the WiFi signal you're getting. Choosing one with more power should give you better range. Look for higher mw (milliwatt) and perhaps a high db antenna. For instance, a 1000mw WiFi USB antenna should provide greater range than a 500mw antenna. Many of these devices will also state their operating distance.
  • Compatibility
    You'll want a WiFi antenna that will work with your operating system, your version of Windows, Linux, or Mac, and is compatible with the wireless standard you need IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, and so forth. Many support multiple standards and operating systems.
  • Security
    In most instances, a secure connection is important. You'll want an antenna that supports wireless data encryption. (64/128-bit WEP, WPA, WPA2 and so on)
  • Portability
    When you're traveling, having a small device is important. Check the dimensions and weight. Most of these WiFi USB antennas should weigh no more than a few ounces.
  • Antenna
    Some of these device have the antenna internally only. This keeps things very portable, however having an external antenna also may increase the range and when detachable, allows you to set the antenna out away from where you are with your laptop. Any such antenna should come with some type of mount; a suction cup, a magnet, or something similar.
  • Waterproof
    There are many outdoor WiFi antennas on the market. If you have the need to use the antenna in an environment where it will likely be exposed to moisture (like on a boat), then opting for a waterproof device is a good idea.


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    • profile image

      sajttim 6 years ago

      Thank you for this awesome post and share info about WiFi USB antenny.

      Thank you.

    • convertslides profile image

      convertslides 6 years ago

      This is so cool, can't wait to have my own! I have wifi router at home, but this one seems much cooler than what I have. Again, thanks for sharing!

    • ImChemist profile image

      ImChemist 6 years ago

      Great work , thanks for sharing this informative hub.

    • profile image

      Branded USB 7 years ago

      I use a wifi USB antenna at least 50% of the time I'm online, and I'm online 20 hours a day! I experience no noticeable difference in signal or connection speed compared to when I'm wired into my router. So a total thumbs up from me - mine is a Philips by the way.

    • KenWu profile image

      KenWu 7 years ago from Malaysia

      This is a good info hub. I once read somewhere that some geeks made their own wifi usb antenna out of raw materials and it claims that it could get the signal pretty awesome and it is definitely suitable for people who are living in high density places with low signal coverage. But it ain't easy for none techie people to implement this thing.

    • profile image

      PC 7 years ago

      This is good information and helped a lot, Thanks.

    • profile image

      teddy 7 years ago

      This is interesting and like to collect information.Thank you

    • FashionFame profile image

      FashionFame 7 years ago from California

      Very informative hub. I am not very tech person but like to collect information. Joining your fan club to stay connected and would like to invite you too.

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 7 years ago from Virginia

      This sounds really good and worthwhile to invest in! Good job explaining it, Mulberry!!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      This is interesting and helped me to better understand the equipment. Thanks!