Directional Antennas

Directional antennas as the name implies refers to signal coverage in a specified direction. Unlike omnidirectional antennas, directionals must be aimed in the direction of the signal transmitter or receiver which can be for example a router or WiFi hotspot. When it comes to aiming the antenna the user must be right on the signal for the best strength and quality. The way to ensure your aim is best is to know the width of the reception cone in which the antenna has. A good way to start without seeing actual lab data or knowing the specs is to judge by the dBi (decibel isotropic) rating. The higher the dBi rating the narrower the reception cone and knowing these data points you can then begin to narrow down the right antenna for you. As a rule of thumb to remember, high dBi rating = further distance covered but not area.

Omnidirectional Antennas

Omni directional antennas are most commonly are used to create hot spots by transmitting a signal over a large area in all directions or receiving signals in all directions when the transmit location is unknown or close by. Omni WiFi antennas do not need to be pointed since their radiation cone is 360 degrees, working in all directions. Each specific antenna has a gain rating or dBi (decibel isotropic) number which coincides with the performance. The higher the dBi rating the larger the area the signal covers. Keeping that in mind and thinking about what your specific needs are you can begin to narrow down what antenna is best for you.

 

 Reference Chart: 
 

Antenna

Type

Best use

Signal use

Location

Max Range

2.5 dBi

Omni directional

USB adapters

Receive

Indoors

300ft

5 dBi

Omni directional

USB adapters

Receive

Indoors

500ft

7dBi

Omni directional

Routers/Adapters

Receive/transmit

Indoors

800ft

8dbi

Omni directional

Routers/Adapters

Receive/transmit

Outdoors

1500ft

9dbi

Omni directional

Routers/Adapters

Receive/transmit

Indoors

1200ft

9dBi Panel

Directional

Routers/Adapters

Receive/transmit

Indoors

.25 miles

11dBi

Omni directional

Routers/Adapters

Receive/transmit

Outdoors

.25 miles

14dbi

Omni directional

Routers/Adapters

Receive/transmit

Outdoors

.4 miles

Yagi Cantenna Tripod 14dBi

Directional

Routers/Adapters

Receive/transmit

Indoors

2 miles

Yagi Cantenna
Mount 14dBi

Directional

Routers/Adapters

Receive/transmit

Outdoors

3 miles

Panel Tripod 14dBi

Directional

Routers/Adapters

Receive/transmit

Indoors

2 miles

Panel Mount 14dBi

Directional

Routers/Adapters

Receive/transmit

Outdoors

4 miles

Dish Grid 19dBi

Directional

Routers/Adapters

Receive/transmit

Outdoors

5 miles

Parbolic Grid 24 dBi

Directional

Routers/Adapters

Receive/transmit

Outdoors

8 miles

 

NOTE: All range data is under ideal circumstance but will perform in the ball park. Maximum range is achieved through the use of powerful receivers and transmitters as well as a clear line of sight between them.