Antenna Basics

An antenna is a device that propagates radio frequency (RF) signals through the air. The transmitter (the Wi-Fi card or access point) sends an RF signal to the antenna, which propagates the signal and sends it along through the medium of air.

To some degree, if you want to use your access point with an antenna, you can just go out and buy an antenna (see “Where to Buy Your Wi-Fi Antenna” later in this chapter) and find out how it works. But if you are curious about antennas, here are some things you might want to know about how they work.

When you are thinking about antennas, you need to think about the following characteristics:

  • Frequency

  • Power

  • Radiation pattern

  • Gain

Frequency

Antennas used with Wi-Fi need to be tuned to 2.4GHz (802.11b ...

Get Anywhere Computing with Laptops: Making Mobile Easier now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.