If you’re interested in long-range wi-fi, you’re going to need the right antenna. The best wi-fi antennas excel in a few niche applications but are unwieldy outside of that niche. This means that you’ll need to have as much information as possible to understand which external wi-fi antenna is right for you.
In this article, we’ll offer our perspective on the best long-range wi-fi antenna and tell you which things to look for so that you’ll have an easy time finding a high gain wi-fi antenna for you.
What To Look For In A Long Range Wi-fi Antenna
Before you pick a wi-fi antenna, you should be aware of the basic categories of wi-fi antennas. All of the categories of wi-fi antennas can come in weatherproofed versions and variants of different power and speed. All of the wi-fi antennas can be compatible with USB or other formats.
Furthermore, all of the types of antennas can utilize security options.
Where the types of antennas differ is in their range, power consumption, the field of effectiveness, and portability.
Directional antennas are rod-shaped, or satellite-dish shaped (commonly called parabolic shaped) and can send and receive data from the direction that they are pointed at only. The type of directional antenna determines how narrow the area of coverage is; dish-shaped directional antennas offer a wider degree of coverage.
No matter which subtype of directional antenna you use, you’ll have to calibrate its direction very carefully. You can expect zero ability to send or receive signals from anywhere other than the antenna’s direction.
These antennas are optimal for connecting to a wi-fi network that’s far away and can offer great speeds for gaming. They’re the worst antennas for making a network hub, though.
Directional antennas are without a doubt the antennas that provide the longest possible range. If you want to connect to public wi-fi from far away – even though it’s not secure – you can do so with a directional antenna.
Directional antennas have:
- Great range in a given narrow direction only
- Difficult setup
- Average portability
- Good speed
- High power consumption
Omnidirectional antennas are capable of sending and receiving data in a circumference around the antenna. You won’t have to fuss with setting your antenna in the right direction, and as such, these are the easiest antennas to setup.
On the flip side, omnidirectional antennas offer no real benefit to being in a given orientation to the antenna itself. You’ll also typically lose a fair amount of signal if it has to pass through a wall.
Furthermore, they can be very portable and can be functional with minimal power consumption, which makes them ideal for traveling. Omnidirectional antennas are typically used as network hubs, which means that they have pretty good speed when the user is close to the antenna.
Omnidirectional antennas have:
- Short range, but in all directions
- Very easy to setup
- High portability
- Low power consumption
Yagi antennas are a type of directional antenna which is a bit more elaborate. They use less power than other directional antennas, but they’re also larger and incorporate multiple rod-shaped receiving elements, which can make them less portable.
Yagi antennas tend to be easier to setup than other directional antennas because they have a wider reception angle. Unlike with other directional antennas, you can get some signal adjacent to a Yagi antenna even if you’re not in the direct path of the antenna itself.
This makes them ideal for bridging isolated networks, though their max speeds are not very high. Typically, Yagi antennas are an economic tradeoff for when other more powerful directional antennas don’t offer enough ability to redistribute their signal wirelessly at the receiving end.
Yagi antennas have:
- Good range in a wide direction
- Average ease of setup
- Low portability
- Average power consumption
Long Range Wifi Antenna Reviews
The Card King KW-3016N Long Range Indoor Outdoor USB Wifi Wireless Adapter is an omnidirectional antenna which is easy to setup and easy to configure to your liking. The Card King can handle a lot of power throughput if necessary, though it’s confined to the 2.4 gigahertz range. This means that in areas of crowded frequencies, you may have a little trouble operating without interference.
As a bonus, it’s a USB wi-fi antenna, so you can use it as an outdoor wi-fi antenna as easily as you can use it as a wi-fi antenna for your laptop.
This antenna is a great choice for a no-nonsense wide coverage solution that easily sends a signal through thick walls without losing much speed. Whether you’re removing the dead spots in your home’s coverage or looking to pop into a public network from over 300 feet away, this antenna will do the trick.
Best Outdoor Long Range Wifi Antenna - Tupavco TP513 Yagi
Best Outdoor Long Range Wifi Antenna - Tupavco TP513 Yagi WiFi Antenna
The Tupavco TP513 Yagi WiFi Antenna is an excellent example of the Yagi design, bringing long-range support to wi-fi networks without any hassle. The range of this antenna is phenomenal. You’ll have a good chance of accessing data from over 500 feet away with a clear line of sight.
You can also plug this antenna into your existing wi-fi router to increase its range in a given direction very substantially, which makes it a great pickup to supplement other outdoor wi-fi setups. As far as long range wi-fi repeaters go, the Tupavco Yagi antenna is hard to beat.
The TP-Link 2.4GHz 24dBi Directional Grid Parabolic Antenna is a directional antenna with a parabolic format that excels at surviving the elements and has a capable range of close to a mile when paired with another directional antenna at the other end.
If you want to bridge two distant networks, this is the antenna for you. This antenna will work to send a wi-fi signal to your shed, or to receive a wi-fi signal from an omnidirectional antenna somewhere else in your countryside property.
Long distance wi-fi within certain areas is also possible if you know where to point the antenna.
The High Power USB-Yagi Plug and Play directional WiFi Antenna is ideal for sending or receiving signals over long range, with a stunning 2.5-mile range. The antenna comes with an excellent tripod mount, which means that you can set it up wherever you please.
This antenna is effective at accessing distant public wi-fi networks. You could very easily use this antenna while backpacking or camping to catch a wi-fi signal from far away, provided that you had a laptop for the antenna.
You can also experience speeds of up to 300 Mbps with this antenna but expect less in most use cases.
Best Long Range Wifi Antenna For Your Laptop - FayTun Wifi Adapter
The FayTun Wifi Adapter AC1200 is a compact antenna that you can stash in a bag and use while you’re at the airport or on the go. Though its speed cap is only 1200 Mbps, the omnidirectional reach and high stability make it ideal for gaming or streaming.
This antenna is ideal for traveling because of its portability, power, and good speeds. Its range is relatively limited for a long-range wi-fi antenna, but it has both 2.4 and 5 gigahertz capabilities, so you’ll never have to worry about signal interference.
The overall best long-range wi-fi antenna is the Card King.
The Card King has a great mix of omnidirectional range, high speed, and ease of setup. These features mean that you can get wi-fi access over a large property reliably without a fuss.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the Card King, the Turbotenna directional Yagi antenna is the runner-up because of its power and stability. You’ll be able to fetch public wi-fi from far away with ease while experiencing superior signal strength.
Remember to pick the long range wi-fi antenna that’s ideal for your applications, and you’ll never have a problem staying connected.