1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
Dismiss Notice

Welcome To SNBForums

SNBForums is a community for anyone who wants to learn about or discuss the latest in wireless routers, network storage and the ins and outs of building and maintaining a small network.

If you'd like to post a question, simply register and have at it!

While you're at it, please check out SmallNetBuilder for product reviews and our famous Router Charts, Ranker and plenty more!

External Antennas

Discussion in 'ASUS Wireless' started by dweiss, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. dweiss

    dweiss Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2013
    Messages:
    20
    How much of a benefit are the External Antennas that are on some of the Asus wireless routers?

    I am inclined to buy one of the devices with the External Antennas, but do not know if the antennas really make a difference, or are just "window dressing."

    Thanks,

    -Danny
     
  2. vdemarco

    vdemarco Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    Messages:
    244
    Location:
    San Jose,CA
    I would love if this site did a test of the External high gain antennas. If you do get them please post your results.
     
  3. dweiss

    dweiss Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2013
    Messages:
    20
    I'm not thinking about the high-gain add-ons, specifically, so much as asking whether having the external antennas is worthwhile. Of course, I recognize that one of the benefits having the external antennas is the ability to change them to high gain antennas.

    -Danny.
     
  4. connorm

    connorm Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    Messages:
    302
    Location:
    New Westminster BC
    i just got 2 wl-ant 157's in the mail today :) they didnt make that much of a dif but they help by a few db, i get 75mbps down on a 2 stream GHz signal with a macbook pro on the first story of my house, when the router is on the third story, iphone 5 in same location gets 50-60 down
     
  5. DrTeeth

    DrTeeth Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    Messages:
    380
    Bigger is not always better, but I prefer external antennas as their shape nor side is not constrained by a case. Also, even though vertical antennas are omnidirectional, one can still tilt them so that there is some directionality (can be tilted to squirt the power upstairs for eg).
     
  6. TonyH

    TonyH Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Messages:
    1,607
    Location:
    Calgary AB Canada
    Hi, to OP
    I wonder if you ever looked at internal antennas and took apart external antenna rods(or whips)? Internal ones are nothing more than a small metal pieces arranged to tune it to the frequency. Considering the wave length of either WiFi band the pieces are very small in size. IMO, this ones don't have any gain. It just has a basic gain, I mean either referenced as DBi or DBd. Also their position is fixed inside the router case. External antennas are multi wave length segmented wound up helical coil usually. As a result they have some gain depending on it's size. Usually gain I saw is 2db and up. Also you can move these rods any way you want. Left, right or front, back. Plus new routers have beam forming ability. So I'd say external antennas have an advantage. When you try to increase gain on an antenna, it's radiation patter in V and H plane changes. So it is
    complex issue designing an antenna or antenna array.
     
  7. PrivateJoker

    PrivateJoker Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    642
    Location:
    Alvin, TX
    Using the router charts on the main site, you could compare Asus N & AC models w/ external antennas to their internal antenna alternatives in the Asus lineup. I'm not sure it'd be a totally apples to apples comparison w/ SoCs, radios, and amps not being consistent across the N56 & N66, for example, IIRC, nevertheless it still might be informative for your question.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  8. PrivateJoker

    PrivateJoker Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    642
    Location:
    Alvin, TX
    Amen. When multiple stream transmissions are sent back and forth between a client & AP that are both multi stream & multiple antenna, you get into RF principles that are significantly more sophisticated than the terminology and measuring techniques used to describe more simple singular antennas talking back and forth to each other.

    I will be the first to say I don't fully understand (not do I want to) MIMO principles like: spatial multiplexing; spatial beamforming; MU-MIMO, or how antenna diversity affects signal & throughput; and how changing single or multiple antenna elements in an array (with either different antennas or a mixed orientation of the same antenna) affects the array as a whole (or just it's ability to pair up with diverse kinds of single stream clients).

    At least to my layperson eyes, it seems like we're going from 802.11n to 802.11ac with very similar antenna arrays & TX power, etc, just more sophistication in the radio tech. I'm cool with that! ;)
     
  9. Phil_A

    Phil_A New Around Here

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    I slipped on home made parabolic reflectors (card stock/foil) on the stock external antennas. The gain claim based on the dimensions is about 8 to 9 dBi versus about 2.1 dBi for regular stock dipoles. I see about a 4 to 5 dB increase based on RSSI improvement and it definitely makes a difference reaching downstairs into the basement. In my case, I have the router in one corner of the house pointing to the opposite corner so reflectors work well for me. I only use the the 2.4Ghz band (2 streams) so I don't know the performance gain at 5Ghz. It does add another level of directional adjustment to play with. - Phil
     
  10. DrTeeth

    DrTeeth Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    Messages:
    380
    As Phil_A shows, it is not that complicated at all :) - no disrespect at all intended. All one has to do is understand and use basic maths and first principles. Just pick up an amateur (ham) radio book. All the other technical stuff about MIMO is irrelevant. Antennas work on a frequency and the form of modulation is, for the purpose of this discussion here, irrelevant.

    A 'better' antenna will produce improved performance. TBH, I cannot think of a situation where this is not the case.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013