How to Add Extra Antennas to a Wireless Router

by Contributor

Wireless routers, particularly the less expensive models, often come with small antennas. While these antennas may be fine for most uses, if you want greater range or signal strength, you may want to add better antennas. Depending on your wireless needs, you can add one of two types: an omni-directional antenna or a directional antenna.

Add Extra Antennas to a Wireless Router

Determine if your router has removable antennas and take note of how many there are. Routers can have as few as one antenna or as many as three or four antennas. Unfortunately, if your router's antenna is not removable, you cannot upgrade.

Identify how the router is used, so you know whether to add omni-directional or directional antennae. Directional antennas can boost range much further, but only in a single direction, while omni-directional antennas can boost range only slightly, but in every direction. If you're trying to get signal to a single remote location, use a directional antenna.

Purchase the extra antenna(s). You will need to buy one omni-directional antenna for every antenna port you have, or one directional antenna and one omni-directional antenna for every other port. You can also leave the other antenna as the stock antenna if you're using a directional antenna and don't want to boost omni-directional range.

Power the router down. If your router has a power switch, turn it off. Otherwise, unplug the DC adapter from the back of the router.

Plug in the antenna. Extra antennas usually have sleeves that screw onto the antenna ports on the back of the router. If the antenna is large or directional, it'll have a cable connecting the antenna to the router. If it does, connect one end to the router and the other end to the antenna.

Aim the directional antenna. Aim the antenna as well as you can at the remote location to which you want to provide WiFi access.

Turn on the router. Once it boots up, you should have greater range and signal strength.

Tip

  • check If possible, there should be another WiFi router at that location to act as a repeater. If you don't have a repeater with omni-directional antenna at the remote location, any movement at all will affect the client's connectivity.

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