A Wireless Antenna is an important component of the complete wireless network. It is responsible for sending and receiving the radio waves over different frequencies. The power gain of an antenna decides its strength. It is measured in decibels (dB). Selecting the right antenna is one of the most common problems while installing a wireless network. One must be aware of the frequencies that are compatible with the wireless and system, the signal strength required etc. Also, a comprehensive knowledge about the types of Wireless Antenna will contribute to a wiser choice.
- Omni directional antennas- The Wireless Antennas belonging to this type equally distribute the signals in a 360o pattern. This enables a wider coverage for both indoor and outdoor wireless systems. The router for our Wi-Fi at home usually has a Rubber Duck Antenna which is a sub-type of Omni directional antennas. It is attached in a flexible manner so that it can be rotated vertically and horizontally to achieve the best signals. In some routers, the antenna is internally set and not visible outside.
- Directional Antennas- As the name suggests, these antennas are made in a way to concentrate the signals in a single direction. In most cases, a narrower range of signal results in consolidation of energy. This, in turn, implies a higher gain and therefore greater strength. Directional antennas are very good for point-to-point wireless connections. The most common types under Directional Antennas are Yagi, Dish, Horn and Patch.
One cannot compare these two types of Wireless Antennas because they work with distinct mechanisms and have different applications. Their usefulness and performance should be reviewed individually. Also, there are many other factors such as placing, environmental conditions and obstructions around that can affect the efficiency of a Wireless Antenna.