A long-range WIFI network extends WIFI connection to give accessibility to a miles away network. The strength of grabbing a signal depends on the type of antenna and any obstructions that can block WIFI signals like walls, barriers, trees, and buildings.
Network extender systems include:
Long-range point-to-point networks– is a bridge connection between two buildings. Bridge connection might be more expensive since you need a WIFI hotspot or an internet plan. A point-to-point connection makes sure that you enjoy reliable internet at a cheaper cost.
Indoor WIFI extenders– Long-range routers are not enough to provide reliable wireless connectivity in every corner, even inside your home or office. Mesh networks and range extenders solve this challenge.
Mesh Networks– these are a group of nodes that work together to cushion the entire office or home Wi-Fi coverage. There is seamless connection throughout the selected sites in an office or home with mesh networks.
Range extenders are also called WIFI boosters and are wireless tools used to connect to a wide range area from a single router—the range extenders, centrally located and close to the router to ensure good signal reach and transfer. Having range extenders is like having two wireless routers in your office or home.
The range extender will have its password and network name (SSID). When home, you will have to manually switch between the extender’s network and the home network, depending on which extender is closest to the WIFI devices.
The strongest signal is when you are close to the connectivity devices. The closer you move to the connectivity device, the stronger the movement becomes, and the further you move from the connectivity device, the weaker the signal. Both point-to-point and outdoor networks use high-gain and power antennas to create a more comprehensive extension of the wireless signal but in different equipment and ways.
How do Long Range WIFI Networks Work?
Long-Range Outdoor Networks
Materials and obstacles like walls, doors, and furniture weaken or block the signals; hence WIFI cannot connect to a device outside a building. An outdoor network extender gives access to the internet in your office or home compound. Range extenders and mesh networks are joint in offices and homes because they improve outdoor network coverage. Network extenders must be within a specific range from the router for a strong connection.
Outdoor Access Points work to extend the connection range further. Access Points can be mounted on a tripod or a pole outside, and the antennas must have a clear line of sight with the region you want to be covered by the signal. The Access Points need to be connected to the router using cables. These cables help bypass the obstacles that block or weaken the WIFI signal.
A PoE (Power over Ethernet) is used between the Access Point and router to feed power and data to the Access Point. Ethernet cables link the Access point and the router. The first cable connects to the ethernet port on the back of the router, while the other end connects to the LAN port on the adapter. A second cable links the PoE and AP.
The PoE is connected to a wall outlet to initiate the AP and the router.
The antennas now broadcast the signal to the desired area. All the devices (personal computers, tablets, iPhones, Androids, and Macs) will enjoy a stable and reliable WIFI connection from this extension. The WIFI range can still be extended further by using an SMA connector and connecting it to the AP and the long-range WIFI antenna.
Long-Range Point to Point Networks
There are many instances where sharing a network is needed, such as a neighbor, an office building, or even a garage. Point-to-point range extenders help stretch the connection between two buildings. A WIFI antenna and repeater pull in the signal from a tower with a strong connection. Different models require different antennas for the detaching and source building. Antennas need to be on the rooftop of the building.
There must be a clear line of sight between the antenna on the detaching building and the source building for optimal usage.
The selection of a router will depend on the number of users and data consumption. Routers differ in maximum speed (Mbps), MIMO technology, and throughput. Ethernet cables are the link between the router and the repeater. The router in the detaching building must be configured before the internet starts flowing.
How to Buy a Long-Range WIFI Network?
An antenna is one of the most crucial components of a long-range WIFI since you cannot send or receive signals over long distances and at high speed without it. The coverage and range of extension will depend on the type of antenna bought. When buying an antenna, you should familiarize yourself with the strength and frequency bands of the available antennas.
Outdoor WIFI Antennas
There are two types of outdoor or external antennas- directional and Omnidirectional.
Omni-directional antennas receive and send a signal from a 360-degree angle and have a circular beamwidth. The circular beamwidth allows them to send and receive signals from all directions. Their coverage area is more extensive, but the range is shorter than directional antennas. They work best for long-range outdoor networks.
Directional antennas focus all their power in one direction and can send and receive a signal further than Omni-directional antennas. Their area of coverage is smaller than that of omnidirectional antennas. The beamwidth is triangle-shaped. Directional antennas work best for point-to-point networks. The most common directional antennas are panels, Yagi, and parabolic grids.
On an antenna, there is a dBi and dB measurement. Gain (dB) shows the signal strength gained from an antenna. The higher the dB measurement, the better. The reach and power of an antenna are measured using dBi. A higher dBi does not mean that it is better. As the dBi number increases, antennas reach further, but coverage decreases.
For example, an outdoor panel antenna with a 14dBi can reach a maximum of 4 miles but more extensive area coverage. On the other hand, a parabolic antenna- extremely directional with a 24dBi can reach over 10 miles.
WIFI technology uses sound frequencies for communication. Sound frequencies are in different GHz- 2.4 GHz and 5GHz. The difference between the two GHz bands is range, speed, and bandwidth. 5GHz band has a shorter range but is faster, while 2.4GHz has a more extended range, but data travels slower. Antennas come as dual or single-band. The dual-band antennas work with both 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
Some dual antennas allow you to switch from one band to another, while others use the two bands concurrently. Single-band antennas use only one band, either 2.4GHz or 5GHz, and you cannot change or switch from one band to the other.
For the long-range WIFI systems, use the 2.4GHZ bands since their signals have a far reach.
Long-WIFI accessories can be bought from: