Upgrading a Wifi USB Card

Wifi is everywhere today and with it comes many problems, among those - the problem getting and maintaining a proper reception and a bandwidth quality.

In this post I will demonstrate how can you use an old Wifi  card and boost it's reception capabilities for a few dollars.

Before I purchased the TP-LINK TL -WN722N 2 WIFI USB CARD almost 2 years ago I was puzzled about choosing one of 2 products. One of the was The one mentioned above , which came with a detachable 3DBI WIFI antenna and the other one was the TP-LINK TL-WN822N which came with an array of 2  parallel undetectable antennas.

The first choice was cheaper - 18$. The down side was the data transfer speed of 150Mbps.

The second choice was a little more expensive - 28$ only this card came with a data transfer speed of 300Mbps, a fact which presented a clear advantage. The down side was of course - the price and the fact that the antennas cannot be detached and replaced with stronger ones.

Eventually,  as mentioned above ,  I chose the first option. The 3DBI antenna that came along with it was enough to intercept at least one free access Wifi among a big list of secured ones. Over time the cute 3DBI antenna became inadequate due to local Wifi network changes (unsecured free access networks either "disappeared from the radar" due to physical changes in the area or became secured ,  and of course - weather effects) . After browsing E-bay for some time I decided to buy a 20DBI booster antenna for 5$.

The connection type is called RP-SMA which looks like a standard cable or satellite cable connection - only smaller in diameter.

Results:

I tested the antenna in a spot where I usually work with my laptop at home and pretty much know the amount of networks it discovers and their level of reception.  

With the old 3DBI antenna the card could discover 14-15 Wifi networks , with the new 20DBI antenna it discovered over 31 networks! Just for comparison and out of curiosity I tested the card without any antenna at all and it discovered only 3 networks which were in my immediate vicinity.

 

 
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