Omnidirectional vs Directional Antenna: How It Affects Wi-Fi

Router antennas are necessary for good coverage

Not all routers are the same and not all have external antennas. However all of them have, whether they are hidden or visible from the outside. It is important to know that they are necessary to have good coverage and to be able to connect without so many problems when we move away from the device.

Sometimes it is interesting to change the one that comes with the device and put a better one. This allows us to reach a greater distance or reduce the problems of cuts and stability that may appear. For this we must know certain antenna characteristics and choose the one that best suits what we are looking for.

A value that we must take into account when purchasing a new antenna is the dBi it has. The higher the number, the more capacity it will have and we will be able to connect from further afield and with greater stability. But we must also look at whether or not it is omnidirectional, although it is normal that it is.

But beyond the router, it will also import the antennas that are in the devices that are going to receive that signal. These teams will also have to have an antenna, either directional or omnidirectional. Depending on the circumstances, as we will see, one alternative or the other will be better to be able to receive the signal in the best possible conditions.

How are directional antennas

First of all we have what is known as directional antenna. Basically, as the name suggests, it is an antenna that is going to point in a certain direction. It is essential that the sender and receiver are oriented in such a way that they can transmit and receive the signal in one direction.

This type of antennas it is going to concentrate the energy in a localized way. This allows you to increase the power the receiver will receive and the distance will not matter as much. Of course, logically the equipment must be oriented in such a way that the signal can be emitted in that direction correctly.

The angle of coverage is limited. It will be oriented to the direction where the antenna points and where the receiver will be in order to receive the signal it emits. Hence, it is very important to place it correctly.

Uses of directional antennas

What are the uses of directional antennas? Mainly they serve to be able to connect devices to a greater distance. A directional Wi-Fi antenna obtains the signal from a network that is further away and concentrates most of the energy in a localized area.

They are usually used outdoors. For example, to be able to capture the signal of a Wi-Fi network that is located at a distant point in a certain space such as a complex of company buildings. It must be borne in mind that the most powerful ones can work even several kilometers away. But they can also be used in building interiors, always to point to a specific place such as connecting from one floor to another.

What is an omnidirectional antenna?

On the other hand there are omnidirectional antennas, which are the most frequent in home Wi-Fi networks and in our routers. If we think of a specific point, such as a room where we have a device with an omni-directional antenna, the signal would be distributed equally everywhere.

Basically we can say that the signal is emitted in 360 degree. If we connect a device to the router in any area and we move in circles or go up a floor in a building, we would continue to receive the signal since it is sent everywhere and not only in a certain direction.

These types of antennas are used when we need the signal to be transmitted in all directions. For example, this is the case with FM radio antennas or mobile antennas. Regarding Wi-Fi, in most cases we are going to find omnidirectional antennas.

We can think for example of a router. We can connect any device in a wireless network and move around the house and we will continue to have a connection and the orientation of the device will not matter.

Omnidirectional antennas

Uses of omni-directional antennas

After explaining what an omnidirectional antenna is, we can get an idea of ​​its main uses. The most important thing is to be able to broadcast a signal to the devices no matter exactly where they are, as long as they are logically within the coverage range.

Are widely used in communications, in examples like cell phones or radios. But also in Wi-Fi networks, in wireless repeaters, Mesh systems or any device that we connect to the router. They are the most used antennas at the domestic level.

Differential findings of directional and omnidirectional antennas

Therefore, we can see that there is a clear difference between omnidirectional and directional antennas. That difference lies in how is it going to emit the signal. In the case of directional signals, it will be oriented to a specific location, pointing directly to the device that is going to receive the signal. On the other hand, in the case of omnidirectional antennas this is different, since it points everywhere, distributing the signal equally, without concentrating it in one area.

The use of one or the other option will depend on what we need the antennas for. If, for example, we are going to have to transmit a signal at a greater distance, even several kilometers, the best thing is a directional antenna that can concentrate the energy. On the other hand, if we are going to need a Wi-Fi network to emit a signal for the whole house, no matter at what angle we have the receiver, omnidirectional antennas are the best option.

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