The Right Antenna

Despite the high quality signal of a Peplink router, the best way to maximize connection speeds and throughput are with the right antenna. Recently our colleagues in The Netherlands did a simple test of the same Peplink hardware with three different antennas and found that the right antenna can double connection speed on the same network, with all other connections the same.

With the standard 2-dBi antennas included with the Peplink device, they measured 43.58 Mbps download and 17.09 Mbps upload speeds, about what was expected from the device. When they changed to a high gain omnidirectional antenna the speeds more than doubled to 87.18 Mbps downstream and 45.25 Mbps upstream. With a directional high gain antenna, the download speeds increased slightly more to 105.95 Mbps, although upload speeds remained the same, perhaps limited by the connection itself.

Omni v Directional

It is easy to look at these results and assume that a directional antenna will be the best choice, but that isn’t always true. A directional antenna requires a direct line-of-sight, and must be pointed accurately between the two connected devices. Directional antennas also have a narrower reception window. Directional antennas are not well suited to applications where the receiving device is highly mobile. However, when the signal needs to travel the longest distances, the extra boost of a directional antenna can make a difference.

Omnidirectional antennas spread their signal across a wider area. The wider signal will have less concentration in one area, but allows easier placement. Omnidirectional antennas can be mounted with less regard to the receiving device, and are significantly better when connecting to multiple devices in different areas. While omnidirectional antennas will spread a signal in all directions, it is still important to locate the antenna in the center of the sending area. An omnidirectional antenna mounted in the corner of a building will be less effective in the opposite corner than the same antenna mounted centrally, to spread the signal evenly throughout the building.

“When you look at the results of the tests, it becomes clear that an antenna can be a value-adding product to double your signal strength and data speed.”

Richard Koenders
Managing Director at FrontierBV

The added benefit of a higher gain antenna does not have to be expensive. While an Axxess Marine 8-10 dBi Stainless Steel outdoor antenna for saltwater applications can be more than $1,000, a simple 5 dBi indoor Wi-Fi antenna can be added for as little as $25.

Frontier Computer can help you match the right antenna to your hardware and application. An antenna could be the most cost effective performance improvement you can make.

As it has since 1976, Frontier Computer can provide IT hardware and enterprise computing solutions. We have experts who can identify the best tools to improve your connections.

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Chose the Right Antenna

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