Most routers have Wi-Fi antennas that transmit signals in all directions.
However, routers on the market today come in various antenna configurations, and you may be wondering if this makes a difference.
Having several router antennas does make a difference because it promotes fast streaming. However, the quantity of antennas is less critical than the software that controls them. MIMO and MU-MIMO antenna specifications accelerate the performance of your network.
This article will discuss why routers have several antennas and whether this is a good thing.
Additionally, I will describe antenna arrangements for optimal home signal reception.
Why Do Routers Have Multiple Antennas?
Routers have multiple antennas to increase signal dependability. The router’s signal degrades with distance, and your device will disconnect. On the other hand, having many antennas allows wireless devices to switch to stronger signals and retain communication while moving.
Because the antennas on a router are in various locations on the device, they each get a unique version of the signals given by connected clients.
Multiple antennas provide several communication channels between the router and the device.
These different channels result in faster data transmission rates than you would get with only one antenna and one signal point.
This is called spatial diversity, and it contributes to connection dependability.
Do High-Gain Antennas Make a Difference?
High-gain antennas make a difference because they boost the strength of your connected device’s internet signal.
The following are the advantages of adding one to your router:
- Better Wi-Fi speed.
- More coverage. Increased coverage enables you to enjoy a powerful Wi-Fi connection in any area of your house.
- Broadcasting control. High-gain directional Wi-Fi antennas provide you great control over the direction of the internet signal.
Antennas Can Be Omni-Directional or Directional
Omni-directional antennas send radio waves in all courses, resulting in massive coverage. Because the antenna transmits signals in a circular pattern, pointing it in a specific direction has no effect.
These antennas are ideal for network hubs because they provide the most remarkable performance when users are near. However, the signal will be weakened if it must travel through your home’s walls.
In comparison, directional antennas transmit radio frequency in a specified direction, boosting signal transmission in one area.
A significant benefit of the directional antenna is that it provides the greatest range possible.
However, directed antennas also come with other advantages and downfalls. These antennas:
- Are not simple to install
- Offer an incredible range, but only in a limited direction
- Have increased speeds
- Increase your electricity consumption
Are High-Gain Antennas Better?
High-gain antennas are not necessarily better because while they increase speed, users within a 300 ft. (91.44 m.) radius will experience decreased speeds and signal quality. It is ideal to utilize a low gain antenna, such as a 5 or 8 dBi omnidirectional type, in smaller residences and apartments.
Another approach is to use a laptop Wi-Fi antenna. These antennas connect directly to your laptop’s USB port and help your computer receive a strong Wi-Fi signal regardless of its location.
What Is the Difference Between Single Antenna and Double Antenna Routers?
A router with a single antenna can only receive one frequency. And it will likely be a 2.4 GHz network. In contrast, the dual-antenna router is capable of receiving both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
Single-band routers have a restricted bandwidth. As a result, users may experience frequent interferences, reducing Wi-Fi speed and stability.
Their network coverage is also small, making them more suitable for single houses.
Additionally, dual-band routers have superior performance and are simpler to configure.
And since dual-antenna routers use many channels, they prevent connection difficulties and provide increased stability.
Which Router Is Better 2 Antenna or 3 Antenna?
A router with 3 antennas is better than a dual-band model. There is a slight increase in speed, which is a significant advantage for streaming. Additionally, the user may guide the signal to more precise locations than two antennas can support.
A dual-band router improves speed and coverage over a single antenna router using the 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels. It is, however, less potent than a router equipped with three antennas.
Additionally, a tri-band router gives the user more control over the signal’s direction, significantly benefiting multi-story residences.
Due to the limits of the 5GHz spectrum, tri-band routers will only provide a marginal speed improvement, but it will be noticeable.
Learn more: Can you use 2.4GHz and 5GHz at the same time?
What Position Should Wi-Fi Antennas Be In?
For best coverage, the router should be located in the middle of the building to distribute the network to the surrounding rooms uniformly. If the antenna on your Wi-Fi router is vertical, it will transmit waves in a horizontal plane. When the Wi-Fi antenna is sideways, waves are sent vertically.
When using a router with a single antenna, the user can point to which floor the antenna will transmit the network to.
But you can circumvent this restriction by using a device with several adjustable antennas.
With three or more antennas, you can orient them so each antenna covers a specific region. Hence, coverage is equal on all levels.
You Can Eliminate Dead Spots by Changing Antennas
Routers use duck antennas, which may be insufficient to send internet signals through your whole household. So, replace the default antennas with stronger ones.
If you wish to boost your wireless signal in a specific area, you can add one directional antenna to your setup.
Ensure that you choose a replacement that supports all MIMO inputs and outputs available from an access point. This feature helps users with speed and connectivity.
How Far Do Router Antennas Reach?
Each antenna type has a different maximum range, so be sure to verify your router’s specs.
- An external omnidirectional Wi-Fi antenna ranges up to 1 mi. (1.61 km.).
- A directional antenna has a range of up to 8 mi. (12.87 km.).
- A Wi-Fi router with a 2.4 GHz antenna has an indoor range of up to 160 ft. (48.77 m.) and an outdoor range of up to 300 ft. (91.44 m.).
- A router with a 5 GHz antenna has a maximum indoor range of 50 ft. (15.24 m.) and an outdoor range of 100 ft. (30.48 m.).
However, you should bear in mind that a Wi-Fi antenna’s maximum range is only possible under perfect circumstances. A straight line of sight with no physical barriers is the ideal setup for your router.
How To Improve a Router Antenna’s Performance
To improve a router antenna’s performance, nothing conductive should be within 3 feet (91.44 cm) of antennas, as these materials contribute to Wi-Fi interference.
Point antennas downward in use rooms with high ceilings. Indeed, this is the ideal set-up for high-gain antennas around 6-9 dB.
Additionally, an at-home option for optimizing directional antennas requires the presence of aluminum foil. You can put a tiny piece of foil just beneath the antenna.
The metal sheet reflects all radiation directed at it in the opposite direction, thus amplifying the network signal in that direction.
Reading recommendation: Can Too Many Devices Crash a Router? 5 Easy Ways To Fix It
Routers with a single antenna and MIMO capabilities are an excellent choice for homes with two to three rooms. But opt for a router with a high gain antenna.
However, devices like mobile phones perform better when connected to routers equipped with at least two antennas since these devices operate through a 2×2 MIMO system.
Multiple antennas are best for bigger buildings or residences with a high number of streamers.
If you want information on which type of antenna is best for you, ThioJoe has a video with a buyer’s guide: