How to Connect Your Outdoor WiFi Antenna to Your Computer
By David Lipscomb
Wireless computing offers the freedom to get your work done away from the desk or office. Additionally, using wireless technology with gaming devices and Blu-ray players increases installation placement and flexibility of those devices. However you may not have a Wi-Fi adapter on your machine, or your internal adapter doesn't have enough oomph to get the signal where you need it to be. Wirelessly connecting your outdoor Wi-Fi antenna to your computer greatly enhances range and connectivity to the Internet and your network.
Drill a 1/2-inch hole at the base of the wall facing the side of the house where the antenna is to be located. Pass the cable through the hole from the outside to the router's installed location.
Mount the outdoor antenna as high as possible using the supplied bracket and Phillips wood screws. Mount the antenna as far as possible from metal siding and other large obstructions such as outdoor propane tanks.
Unscrew the small antenna attached to the router. Screw the coaxial connector on the outdoor Wi-Fi antenna cable to the matching connector on the wireless router.
Apply silicone caulk to the holes made on the structure to seal out moisture.
Connecting your Computer
Plug in a wireless PCMCIA adapter card into your laptop or computer. If your machine does not have a PCMCIA slot, plug in a USB wireless adapter into a free USB port.
Click on the "Locate and Install Driver Software" option in the pop-up window. Wait a few seconds for the device to install on your machine. If necessary, insert the driver CD included with the device following the onscreen prompts.
Click on the name of your wireless network when the prompt appears during setup. Enter your passphrase to gain access to your Wi-Fi network.
Right-click on the icon for your new adapter in the system tray to use the device as your default adapter if you discover that wireless performance improves with the new unit. You must perform this action if you upgrade to a wireless "N" router and your existing internal adapter is only for "B" or "G" bands.
- With many laptops, you can simply flip the switch for the internal Wi-Fi adapter to its off position. This automatically reverts control of the signal to the new adapter.
- Remember that any external adapter plugged into a laptop or desktop is subject to getting snagged or bumped.
David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.