Wireless communication is data and video transmission without cables or wires. This mode of communication has become an integral part of your daily life. It is dependent on antennas to transmit or receive signals. It is convenient, flexible and cost effective in nature. One of the most vital components to operate a successful wireless communication is choosing the right antennas. The antennas are crucial to achieve optimum network performance and reliability. With so many types of antennas available it is quite overwhelming to select the right antenna for your wireless application.
This article aims to provide guidance on the key points to consider while choosing the right antenna for your wireless application.
Choosing the Right Type Of Antennas
Let us now dive into the various types of antennas and their different categories…….
- Omni directional Antennas – They provide the widest area coverage and radiate signals in all directions. They can be used in homes , offices, wireless devices, mobile phones.
- Directional Antennas – They are used for point to point or sometimes for multi point systems. They provide higher gain and longer range than omni directional antennas.
- Yagi Antennas – Yagi antennas are highly directional antennas that use a series of elements to direct signals in a specific direction. They are commonly used in TV and radio broadcasting, wireless LANs, and point-to-point wireless links.
- Patch Antennas – These antennas are often square or rectangular and are designed to radiate horizontally forward and to the side, but not behind them. These antennas are ideal in applications where the access point is at one end of a building.
- Parabolic Antennas – These antennas look like a dish and are excellent for outdoors. The concave nature of this dish design focuses energy into a narrow beam that can travel long distances, even up to several miles. This makes parabolic antennas ideal for point-to-point network connections.
- Dipole Antennas – A dipole antenna is defined as a type of RF (Radio Frequency) antenna, consisting of two conductive elements such as rods or wires. Dipole antennas are the simplest and most widely used type of antenna mainly used in FM radio broadcasting, TV broadcasting, and wireless LANs.
Key points to note while selecting the right type of Antenna
Without using antennas suited to your application the entire system could fail or give you significantly worse results that you’d expect.
Let us go through a quick guide to educate you on the various decisions you’ll probably need to make when choosing an antenna.
- Frequency range: While choosing an antenna for your wireless application importance should be given that the antenna we select should operate within the frequency range of your system.
- Antenna type: There are several different types of antennas available, including omni-directional, directional, patch, and Yagi antennas. Each type of antenna has different characteristics , usage and is designed for different applications. So we must choose the specific type which suits your purpose.
- Gain: The gain of an antenna refers to the amount of power that the antenna can transmit or receive. The gain of an antenna is related to its directivity. Directivity is a numerical indication of the ability of an antenna to focus energy in a particular direction rather than spreading energy out uniformly over a wide-angle range. Higher gain antennas are more directional and can transmit and receive signals over longer distances. The gain you will require for each individual Wi-Fi antenna system will be dependent on any direct objects in your path, the distance you must cover etc.
- Polarization : It refers to the orientation of the electric and magnetic fields in the antenna. It must watch the polarization of the transmitted and received signals.
- Size :The size of an antenna will depend on the specific application it is used for. We can use a small antenna for a specific need or in other cases might use a larger one.
- Interference : Interference can be a major issue with all radio and WiFi systems. Microwave ovens, certain lighting systems or other 802.11 access points might cause interference. So these factors must be cured out before we can expect any significant range out of your system.
- Environmental factors : These factors are important as these may impact the performance of an antenna. For example, if the antenna is to be used outdoors , it must be designed to withstand harsh weather conditions.
In conclusion we can say that while selecting an antenna for your wireless application importance should be given on the design, size, antenna gain, frequency and other crucial factors. This is to ensure seamless and reliable wireless connectivity. You can also take an expert opinion in this regard to improve the overall performance of your wireless connectivity.