How to connect a wireless router to an external antenna

Written by ryan bauer
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A wireless router uses integrated antennas to transmit Wi-Fi signal to any computer or wireless device located inside the broadcasting radius. By upgrading the antennas to more advanced models, devices can connect from farther away, and in many cases with faster overall connection speeds. Although a wide selection of antenna upgrades are available from a number of retailers, only a wireless router with detachable antennas can be upgraded.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wireless router with detachable antennas
  • Replacement Wi-Fi antenna

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  1. 1

    Select the external antenna. An omnidirectional antenna broadcasts in all directions at once, and is useful if multiple wireless devices will be used in various locations inside the broadcasting radius. Directional antennas, on the other hand, broadcast a more concentrated signal in a specific direction, providing extended range at the sacrifice of mobility. The ideal antenna choice will depend on the user's individual needs.

  2. 2

    Remove the router's antennas by rotating them counterclockwise until they are completely unscrewed. It may take many turns before the antenna is completely detached. If the router has two antennas, and only one external antenna is being used, then one of the existing antennas can be left on.

  3. 3

    Connect the end of the external antenna's cable to the port that the previous antenna was removed from. Rotate the connector clockwise until it is secure by hand. The antenna is now ready to be used.

Tips and warnings

  • Some higher-end routers may have an integrated port for connectivity to external antennas, eliminating the need to remove the existing antennas.
  • External antennas can be purchased at most retailers that sell networking equipment.
  • Upgraded antennas allow a wireless signal to travel further, exposing it to more potential intruders. Always secure a wireless signal with WPA encryption or better.

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