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Old 17-06-2017, 13:09   #1
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Posts: 185
Which antenna for a wifi booster?

I am going to replace my Ubiquiti wifi booster because (a) it no longer works, and (b) because it is very difficult to set up and use. The latter is not just me speaking, but also what I have read in a review of several boosters.

I have decided to purchase a Rogue Wave because it is the simplest to set up and use, I'm not a techie, and the reviews are equal in other matters. It does not bother me if this unit costs a bit more, I want the simplicity of setup.

In researching, I now understand antenna "gain" and realize that higher is not always better. The Rogue Wave has a gain of 8 or 8.5 dB. That appears to be the high end of the useful range for a boat at anchor where it might roll. Interestingly, it sounds like other systems also come with about 8 dB so manufacturers must think that the inconvenience in a rolly situation is offset by better performance in calm conditions.

One article said that 4 to 6 dB is probably optimum, but that means that it does not work the best possible in calm conditions. Right now I'm thinking (a) the 8 dB is probably best for me because most of the time I'm anchored in a calm location, and (b) I would rather have the best performance most of the time as opposed to the best performance only in calm conditions.

I would like to hear from people with experience, it does not have to be with a Rogue Wave, as to how well their system works and what gain is their antenna. If you have a Rogue Wave, I'd love to hear your overall opinion.

Marcus
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Old 18-06-2017, 14:13   #2
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Location: SF Bay Area (Boat in La Paz)
Boat: Valiant V40
Posts: 619
Re: Which antenna for a wifi booster?

As usual, it depends ...

If the antenna is omnidirectional (usually a simple stick antenna) then higher gain (longer) is better.

If the antenna is a planar antenna (a flat rectangle) then even with higher gain you may not experience better reception. Indeed, you will probably lose reception. This is because these antennas are directional, they need to point directly at the transmitter. This is fine if you are in a marina, say, where the platform (boat? maybe a nearby pylon) is stable. At sea or at anchor, forget it.
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