Any gain in high gain?

I’ve recently purchased a new wireless router here – a LinkSys WAG354G – and I’ve been thinking about fitting a high gain antenna (probably the LinkSys HGA7S) as the signal drops about two or three times an hour when I am in my office. The router sits on a shelf in the kitchen and my office is in the summer house, so the signal passes through about ten feet of clear conservatory; then through the window; across around twenty-five feet of garden; through a thin wooden wall and some rockwool insulation; and then a further three feet to my laptop. I currently get between 49% and 61% signal here and transmission speeds between 2.0Mbit/s and 11.0Mbit/s.

I have no experience of using a high gain antenna and all I can find online are endless repetitions of the LinkSys blurb, which naturally espouses the virtues of the device. Have any of you had any experience of using antennas? Would I be better advised to upgrade my 3Com 3CRWE154A72 WiFi card?

UPDATE: I’ve ordered a cheap DabsValue 5dBi antenna to see if it makes a difference. I did get tempted by some very expensive kit that would have permitted me to wander off across four or five fields, park myself and my laptop under a tree and still listen to the live stream of Arrow Jazz FM;┬ábut that would have been, well, unnecessary.

5 Replies to “Any gain in high gain?”

  1. Comic Book Guy: “I’m interested in upgrading my twenty eight point eight kilobaud internet connection to a one point five megabit fibre-optic T-1 line. Will you be able to provide an IP router that’s compatable with my token ring ethernet LAN configuration?”
    Homer: “Can I have some money now?”

  2. Hmmm, is this one of those instances when a homebaked solution would be better? If you don’t move your laptop around much then I’m sure I’ve seen a cheap signal boost method that involves.. er.. a can of pringles (empty of course).

    Might’ve been on makeit.com but Google will find it.

  3. I did think about investigating the Pringles can idea, but was concerned that (a) it wouldn’t look too professional when I have visiting clients; (b) my mother-in-law would think it was rubbish and throw it out; (c) it wouldn’t be toddler-proof.

    The LinkSys antenna is quite expensive (around £30), but I have seen cheaper ones (DabsValue antennae are around £14). Maybe I could just use an old coat hanger?

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