Linksys High-gain Antennas--review request

Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

I have a Linksys Wireless Router, WRT54G, that I'm using to link to other
computers and to a DSL modem. While I'm fairly satisfied with the
performance of the wireless link with my Dell Inspiron 600m, I think it
might be nicer still if the range extended beyond about 30-40 feet or so.

Linksys is offering a high-gain antenna for this router and some of their
other wireless G products. The Linksys antenna kit, HGA7T, is claimed to
have a 7dBi gain. No speculation on how much that might improve range.

Another product offered for Linksys wireless routers is from Radio Shack.
Catalog #: 278-844. This product is claimed to have a gain of 5.5 dBi.
Slightly less gain than Linksys and at a slightly lower cost.

Has anyone tried either of these products? Pros? Cons? etc? Does the high
gain come at the expense of response pattern? For example, I currently have
coverage on two floors of the house. Would a high-gain antenna improve
coverage upstairs while sacrificing portions of the basement?

I'm not sure that an antenna is the best solution for my setup. The cheapest
thing would be to simply move my router since I suspect that the path that
I'm trying to punch a signal through has some serious problems. I also
wonder if the miniPCI card in the Dell has the range of a full-size wireless
card. However, a stronger signal is almost always preferable.

Bob Henry
11 answers Last reply
More about linksys high gain antennas review request
  1. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    RKHenry,

    I have the same Linksys router, and I tried their high-gain HGA7T
    antenna to provide a stronger signal on my new 2nd floor deck. The
    improvment in signal strength was marginal...not worth the $69.99,
    in my opinion. Now I'm thinking of moving the route closer to the
    deck.

    Scott

    RKHenry wrote:

    > I have a Linksys Wireless Router, WRT54G, that I'm using to link to other
    > computers and to a DSL modem. While I'm fairly satisfied with the
    > performance of the wireless link with my Dell Inspiron 600m, I think it
    > might be nicer still if the range extended beyond about 30-40 feet or so.
    >
    > Linksys is offering a high-gain antenna for this router and some of their
    > other wireless G products. The Linksys antenna kit, HGA7T, is claimed to
    > have a 7dBi gain. No speculation on how much that might improve range.
    >
    > Another product offered for Linksys wireless routers is from Radio Shack.
    > Catalog #: 278-844. This product is claimed to have a gain of 5.5 dBi.
    > Slightly less gain than Linksys and at a slightly lower cost.
    >
    > Has anyone tried either of these products? Pros? Cons? etc? Does the high
    > gain come at the expense of response pattern? For example, I currently have
    > coverage on two floors of the house. Would a high-gain antenna improve
    > coverage upstairs while sacrificing portions of the basement?
    >
    > I'm not sure that an antenna is the best solution for my setup. The cheapest
    > thing would be to simply move my router since I suspect that the path that
    > I'm trying to punch a signal through has some serious problems. I also
    > wonder if the miniPCI card in the Dell has the range of a full-size wireless
    > card. However, a stronger signal is almost always preferable.
    >
    > Bob Henry
  2. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    It also depends on where the router is vertically. This antenna probably
    achieves its gain by increasing the signal in the horizontal at the expense
    of the vertical (with the antenna pointing up). The router should have two
    antennas and only one is in use at any given time. Try rotating one of the
    antennas.

    -Yves

    "Scott" <golden@uslink.net> wrote in message
    news:412A6F5D.EF5BDAD5@uslink.net...
    > RKHenry,
    >
    > I have the same Linksys router, and I tried their high-gain HGA7T
    > antenna to provide a stronger signal on my new 2nd floor deck. The
    > improvment in signal strength was marginal...not worth the $69.99,
    > in my opinion. Now I'm thinking of moving the route closer to the
    > deck.
    >
    > Scott
    >
    > RKHenry wrote:
    >
    >> I have a Linksys Wireless Router, WRT54G, that I'm using to link to other
    >> computers and to a DSL modem. While I'm fairly satisfied with the
    >> performance of the wireless link with my Dell Inspiron 600m, I think it
    >> might be nicer still if the range extended beyond about 30-40 feet or so.
    >>
    >> Linksys is offering a high-gain antenna for this router and some of their
    >> other wireless G products. The Linksys antenna kit, HGA7T, is claimed to
    >> have a 7dBi gain. No speculation on how much that might improve range.
    >>
    >> Another product offered for Linksys wireless routers is from Radio Shack.
    >> Catalog #: 278-844. This product is claimed to have a gain of 5.5 dBi.
    >> Slightly less gain than Linksys and at a slightly lower cost.
    >>
    >> Has anyone tried either of these products? Pros? Cons? etc? Does the high
    >> gain come at the expense of response pattern? For example, I currently
    >> have
    >> coverage on two floors of the house. Would a high-gain antenna improve
    >> coverage upstairs while sacrificing portions of the basement?
    >>
    >> I'm not sure that an antenna is the best solution for my setup. The
    >> cheapest
    >> thing would be to simply move my router since I suspect that the path
    >> that
    >> I'm trying to punch a signal through has some serious problems. I also
    >> wonder if the miniPCI card in the Dell has the range of a full-size
    >> wireless
    >> card. However, a stronger signal is almost always preferable.
    >>
    >> Bob Henry
    >
  3. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Scott <golden@uslink.net> wrote:

    > I have the same Linksys router, and I tried their high-gain HGA7T
    > antenna to provide a stronger signal on my new 2nd floor deck. The
    > improvment in signal strength was marginal...not worth the $69.99,
    > in my opinion. Now I'm thinking of moving the route closer to the
    > deck.

    < http://www.rahul.net/dold/clarence/SMC/EZ10-strength.htm >
    http://www.freeantennas.com
  4. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    To all who responded, thank you.

    I think I'll pass on buying either of these high-gain antennas and save the
    money. It's cheaper to just move the router.

    The idea of a reflector intriges me though. It might be fun experimenting
    with that.

    I sometimes wonder about the wisdom of combining a wireless AP with a
    router. Many times the router is forced by its cables to be tethered to one
    spot while the wireless antennas need to be in another spot to give optimum
    signal coverage. I notice that Linksys also offers a remote antenna mount.

    Bob Henry
  5. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    RKHenry <robert.henry@earthlink.net> wrote:

    > The idea of a reflector intriges me though. It might be fun experimenting
    > with that.

    Lots of hobbyists. Maybe you'd like this large antenna:
    http://www.speakeasy.org/~widders/big%20reflector.jpg
    Really, my favorite pages are
    http://www.freeantennas.com
    http://www.nodomainname.co.uk/cantenna/cantenna.htm
    http://www.turnpoint.net/wireless/cantennahowto.html
    http://www.usbwifi.orcon.net.nz/


    > I sometimes wonder about the wisdom of combining a wireless AP with a
    > router. Many times the router is forced by its cables to be tethered to one
    > spot while the wireless antennas need to be in another spot to give optimum
    > signal coverage. I notice that Linksys also offers a remote antenna mount.

    I've heard that one several times here. In my case, the reflector was
    enough, even though the WAP is at one end of a long house.
    < http://www.rahul.net/dold/clarence/SMC/EZ10-strength.htm >
    http://www.freeantennas.com

    For a laptop, I favor a USB adapter instead of a PCMCIA card for the same
    reason.
    http://makeashorterlink.com/?Q105513C8

    --
    ---
    Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA 38.8-122.5
  6. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    > I sometimes wonder about the wisdom of combining a wireless AP with
    > a router.

    It's not done "it's the best way to do it", but because adding router
    capabilities to an AP is pretty inexpensive.


    Stefan
  7. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Stefan,

    I have 3 computers wired to a Linksys wireless router (and, I'm looking
    to wire a fourth PC). Would it work to replace the router with a switch or
    hub and then run an ethernet cable from the switch/hub to the wireless
    router? I want to move the router closer to the deck (about 25 feet from
    the current location) for stronger signal.

    I'm not sure of the terminology. Am I looking for a router, switch, or
    hub? And, can my cable modem connect first to a switch or hub (for
    the wired PC's) and then connect to a wireless router downstream?

    Thanks!
    Scott

    Stefan Monnier wrote:

    > > I sometimes wonder about the wisdom of combining a wireless AP with
    > > a router.
    >
    > It's not done "it's the best way to do it", but because adding router
    > capabilities to an AP is pretty inexpensive.
    >
    > Stefan
  8. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Your cable modem is likely configured to issue only one IP address. You can
    put as many switches between the modem and the router as you want -- as long
    as they do not request an IP address (they should not). I'm not sure why
    you would want to use a switch between the modem and the WAN port of the
    router -- a long ethernet cable would suffice. If you would like to add
    additional devices to the LAN ports of the router (e.g. if you have more
    that 4 devices), you would put the switch there.

    Overall, you probably do not want to connect any computers between the modem
    and the router. The cheapest solution would be to buy two long ethernet
    cables and run one from the modem to the WAN port of the router and another
    one back from a LAN port to a switch that is close to your wired computers.
    If you do not want to buy a switch (a 4-port switch should be pretty cheap),
    you could also buy a few more long ethernet cables.

    If you could start from scratch, I would recommend getting a standard router
    (they're more expensive than switches) and connecting it to the cable modem.
    Then, get a wireless access point and run a cable to it from the router (or
    connect your current router via a LAN port instead of the WAN port and turn
    off DHCP). If you do not want to run a cable to it, you could also use a
    wireless solution (costs more though).

    -Yves

    "Scott" <golden@uslink.net> wrote in message
    news:412EA7E8.B36B51AC@uslink.net...
    > Stefan,
    >
    > I have 3 computers wired to a Linksys wireless router (and, I'm looking
    > to wire a fourth PC). Would it work to replace the router with a switch
    > or
    > hub and then run an ethernet cable from the switch/hub to the wireless
    > router? I want to move the router closer to the deck (about 25 feet from
    > the current location) for stronger signal.
    >
    > I'm not sure of the terminology. Am I looking for a router, switch, or
    > hub? And, can my cable modem connect first to a switch or hub (for
    > the wired PC's) and then connect to a wireless router downstream?
    >
    > Thanks!
    > Scott
    >
    > Stefan Monnier wrote:
    >
    >> > I sometimes wonder about the wisdom of combining a wireless AP with
    >> > a router.
    >>
    >> It's not done "it's the best way to do it", but because adding router
    >> capabilities to an AP is pretty inexpensive.
    >>
    >> Stefan
    >
  9. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Yves,

    Okay, I like your suggestions about running a long ethernet cable to the wireless
    router, and then a cable back to a switch...for the wired PC's.

    Come to think of it, I suppose the router should come directly off the modem,
    for firewall purposes.

    One other basic question: The difference between a switch and a hub. Does
    one of them split the bandwidth and the other doesn't?

    Thanks!
    Scott

    Yves Konigshofer wrote:

    > Your cable modem is likely configured to issue only one IP address. You can
    > put as many switches between the modem and the router as you want -- as long
    > as they do not request an IP address (they should not). I'm not sure why
    > you would want to use a switch between the modem and the WAN port of the
    > router -- a long ethernet cable would suffice. If you would like to add
    > additional devices to the LAN ports of the router (e.g. if you have more
    > that 4 devices), you would put the switch there.
    >
    > Overall, you probably do not want to connect any computers between the modem
    > and the router. The cheapest solution would be to buy two long ethernet
    > cables and run one from the modem to the WAN port of the router and another
    > one back from a LAN port to a switch that is close to your wired computers.
    > If you do not want to buy a switch (a 4-port switch should be pretty cheap),
    > you could also buy a few more long ethernet cables.
    >
    > If you could start from scratch, I would recommend getting a standard router
    > (they're more expensive than switches) and connecting it to the cable modem.
    > Then, get a wireless access point and run a cable to it from the router (or
    > connect your current router via a LAN port instead of the WAN port and turn
    > off DHCP). If you do not want to run a cable to it, you could also use a
    > wireless solution (costs more though).
    >
    > -Yves
    >
    > "Scott" <golden@uslink.net> wrote in message
    > news:412EA7E8.B36B51AC@uslink.net...
    > > Stefan,
    > >
    > > I have 3 computers wired to a Linksys wireless router (and, I'm looking
    > > to wire a fourth PC). Would it work to replace the router with a switch
    > > or
    > > hub and then run an ethernet cable from the switch/hub to the wireless
    > > router? I want to move the router closer to the deck (about 25 feet from
    > > the current location) for stronger signal.
    > >
    > > I'm not sure of the terminology. Am I looking for a router, switch, or
    > > hub? And, can my cable modem connect first to a switch or hub (for
    > > the wired PC's) and then connect to a wireless router downstream?
    > >
    > > Thanks!
    > > Scott
    > >
    > > Stefan Monnier wrote:
    > >
    > >> > I sometimes wonder about the wisdom of combining a wireless AP with
    > >> > a router.
    > >>
    > >> It's not done "it's the best way to do it", but because adding router
    > >> capabilities to an AP is pretty inexpensive.
    > >>
    > >> Stefan
    > >
  10. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    As Clarence was saying, hubs repeat everything on every port (i.e. the
    network ends up being no better than thinnet or wireless) while switches
    know what devices are connected to each port and only send what needs to be
    sent. Thus, switches allow two devices to talk to each other without
    creating unnecessary noise for other devices. While hubs were OK for 10
    Mbit/s ethernet, I think that the 100 Mbit/s ethernet standard only allows
    for a maximum of two hubs between any two devices connected to the network
    and hubs do not support the use of long cables at 100 Mbit/s. This limits
    things severely and so switches are preferred. Given that just about
    everything sold for ethernet these days runs at least at 100 Mbit/s, there
    is no real use for hubs anymore.

    -Yves

    "Scott" <golden@uslink.net> wrote in message
    news:412F7F8E.72DBB25@uslink.net...
    > Yves,
    >
    > Okay, I like your suggestions about running a long ethernet cable to the
    > wireless
    > router, and then a cable back to a switch...for the wired PC's.
    >
    > Come to think of it, I suppose the router should come directly off the
    > modem,
    > for firewall purposes.
    >
    > One other basic question: The difference between a switch and a hub.
    > Does
    > one of them split the bandwidth and the other doesn't?
    >
    > Thanks!
    > Scott
    >
    > Yves Konigshofer wrote:
    >
    >> Your cable modem is likely configured to issue only one IP address. You
    >> can
    >> put as many switches between the modem and the router as you want -- as
    >> long
    >> as they do not request an IP address (they should not). I'm not sure why
    >> you would want to use a switch between the modem and the WAN port of the
    >> router -- a long ethernet cable would suffice. If you would like to add
    >> additional devices to the LAN ports of the router (e.g. if you have more
    >> that 4 devices), you would put the switch there.
    >>
    >> Overall, you probably do not want to connect any computers between the
    >> modem
    >> and the router. The cheapest solution would be to buy two long ethernet
    >> cables and run one from the modem to the WAN port of the router and
    >> another
    >> one back from a LAN port to a switch that is close to your wired
    >> computers.
    >> If you do not want to buy a switch (a 4-port switch should be pretty
    >> cheap),
    >> you could also buy a few more long ethernet cables.
    >>
    >> If you could start from scratch, I would recommend getting a standard
    >> router
    >> (they're more expensive than switches) and connecting it to the cable
    >> modem.
    >> Then, get a wireless access point and run a cable to it from the router
    >> (or
    >> connect your current router via a LAN port instead of the WAN port and
    >> turn
    >> off DHCP). If you do not want to run a cable to it, you could also use a
    >> wireless solution (costs more though).
    >>
    >> -Yves
    >>
    >> "Scott" <golden@uslink.net> wrote in message
    >> news:412EA7E8.B36B51AC@uslink.net...
    >> > Stefan,
    >> >
    >> > I have 3 computers wired to a Linksys wireless router (and, I'm looking
    >> > to wire a fourth PC). Would it work to replace the router with a
    >> > switch
    >> > or
    >> > hub and then run an ethernet cable from the switch/hub to the wireless
    >> > router? I want to move the router closer to the deck (about 25 feet
    >> > from
    >> > the current location) for stronger signal.
    >> >
    >> > I'm not sure of the terminology. Am I looking for a router, switch, or
    >> > hub? And, can my cable modem connect first to a switch or hub (for
    >> > the wired PC's) and then connect to a wireless router downstream?
    >> >
    >> > Thanks!
    >> > Scott
    >> >
    >> > Stefan Monnier wrote:
    >> >
    >> >> > I sometimes wonder about the wisdom of combining a wireless AP with
    >> >> > a router.
    >> >>
    >> >> It's not done "it's the best way to do it", but because adding router
    >> >> capabilities to an AP is pretty inexpensive.
    >> >>
    >> >> Stefan
    >> >
    >
  11. Archived from groups: alt.internet.wireless (More info?)

    Scott <golden@uslink.net> wrote:
    > Okay, I like your suggestions about running a long ethernet cable to the wireless
    > router, and then a cable back to a switch...for the wired PC's.

    Or modem to router, then a long cable to the second router. The WRT54G
    (wireless) router has an option for making it a router instead of a
    gateway, "The Setup Tab - Advanced Routing - Operating Mode".

    > One other basic question: The difference between a switch and a hub. Does
    > one of them split the bandwidth and the other doesn't?

    Hubs repeat everything on all ports. They are dirt cheap because nobody
    wants them, and they are probably all discontinued. Switches only put data
    out on the port that needs it. Routers might be cheaper than switches with
    rebates, because they are the high volume item. You could get a second
    wireless router, and expand your coverage area.

    ---
    Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA 38.8-122.5
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