How much wide range does a WiFi network cover?

Directional Antenna – A directional antenna is one that radiates its energy more effectively in one (or some) direction than others. Typically, these antennas have one main lobe and several minor lobes. Examples of directional antennas are patches and dishes.
Omni Antenna – An omnidirectional antenna is an antenna that has a non-directional pattern (circular pattern) in a given plane with a directional pattern in any orthogonal plane. Examples of omnidirectional antennas are dipoles and collinear antennas. Omni Antenna is widely used in most routers.
2dBi vs. 5dBi vs. 9dBi Omni Antennas
What is the difference between 5 dBi, 7dBi, 12 dBi and 15 dBi antennas? Well, the higher the dbi, the wider the coverage. Based on my own limited understanding, the higher the dBi, the weaker the signal. The signal will fluctuate as it covers more areas. As for TP-Link claimed on achieving 56km, it is almost impossible unless you have a clear line of sight.
It is a better idea to buy a Range Extender, you can read more about range extender. As shown in the image below, an antenna with low dBi has 360 degrees coverage whereas a high gain antenna has more distance. It will be a good idea to purchase 1 high gain 9dBi antenna for your router.
05 – Differences between 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wireless
The primary difference between the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz wireless frequencies is range as the 2.4GHz frequency is able to reach farther than the 5GHz frequency. This is a result of the basic characteristics that waves attenuate much faster at higher frequencies. So if you are more concerned with the coverage, you should select 2.4GHz rather than 5GHz.
The second difference is the number of devices on the frequencies. 2.4GHz suffers more interference than 5GHz.
  • The older 11g standard only uses the 2.4GHz frequency, majority of the world is on it. 2.4 GHz has fewer channel options with only three of them non-overlapping, while 5GHz has 23 non-overlapping channels.
  • A lot of other devices are also on the 2.4 GHz frequencies, the biggest offenders are microwaves and cordless phones. These devices add noise to the medium that can further decrease the speed of wireless networks.
In both aspects, choosing to deploy on the 5GHz frequency is the much better option as you have more channels to use to isolate yourself from other networks and there are far fewer interference sources.
But the radar and military frequency is also 5GHz, so 5GHz wireless may also have some interference, and many countries require that wireless devices working on 5GHz should support DFS(Dynamic Frequency Selection) and TPC(Transmitting Power Control). Summary:
  • 5GHz has a shorter range compared with 2.4GHz.
  • The 2.4GHz frequency is way more crowded than 5GHz, devices on 2.4GHz suffer much more interference than the ones on 5GHz.
  • 5GHz is ideal for those living in a high density area, such as Condominiums where every house has a wifi device.
  • Fewer devices, especially older devices are not capable of using the 5GHz channel than the 2.4GHz channel.

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    Regards: Eve Hunt


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