When I bought my first router it came with 2 antennas but the router that my cousin brother was using has 4 antennas.
That was the time the question started clicking in my mind “why is there a difference in antenna count?” and “do antennas really matter for router performance?”
If you are also with the same question popping in your mind then here is the detailed info that you need to know about routers and antennas.
Importance Of Antennas In Router
There is no doubt that antennas are very important for every wireless equipment for communication.
If your router comes with no antenna then still it will work but you have to place your connected device closely.
Antennas in the router give you a good signal range and better coverage.
There is no direct relationship between speed and router antennas. Router antennas can boost signal strength but cannot increase speed.
The speed fully depends on the router if you have a modern router that has both 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz signals. In that case, you will get more speed as 5Ghz can transfer more data.
Are More Antennas On A Router Better?
There are several benefits of having a router with multiple antennas. The more the better but you have to understand in what sense.
Before saying anything further let me clear one thing: a router with more antennas doesn’t affect speed directly.
Routers with multiple antennas provide better bandwidth, more solid connections, and more coverage.
First, understand that routers with more antennas don’t provide more range.
Like if your router has 3 antennas and each antenna gives you a range of 20 meters that does not mean that you will get a range of 60 meters as you have 3.
The range will be 20 meters but you will get more coverage area and more bandwidth than the router that has 1 antenna.
More bandwidth means faster data rates and faster data rates means faster internet.
Let us consider that a single antenna router can support Xmbps data similarly a double antenna router supports 2Xmbps data triple antenna router support 3Xmbps data and so on.
That means it increases the overall bandwidth of your network. So, what’s my point? My point is that more bandwidth can handle more WiFi devices.
You can connect and operate many devices at a time without any lag and that’s the benefit of having multiple antenna routers.
If there are 8 connected devices to your network and you have one antenna only which means all of them have to share Xmbps of data.
Whereas if you have a three-antenna router then available data is 3Xmbps they have more bandwidth to share.
As a result, devices will have a much faster connection as multiple antennas will receive and transmit data.
Other than more bandwidth to your devices it provides a better connection with your devices.
Guess you have two WiFi devices connected to a router that has three antennas. Your devices will get a continuous flow of data as three are multiple antennas to receive and transmit.
If any of the antennas failed to connect to your device due to any reason like obstruction, your distance or device direction. There are other antennas to receive and transmit data.
So, more antennas on a router provide reliable and strong internet connection but the device should be in the WiFi range.
Another benefit of a router having multiple antennas is better coverage. And also you can adjust according to your needs.
Antennas send out RF signals and every antenna has its own range so if you are living in a big house or multi-store apartment then it is not possible to get a signal in every corner of the house with a single antenna router.
Whereas with multiple antenna routers you will get your house every corner covered and also you can adjust signal direction by yourself by changing the antenna position.
So, now you can understand that routers with multiple antennas are definitely better than a router with a single antenna.
If you want to connect many devices or if you have a larger space to cover then it is good to have a router with multiple antennas.
What Are The Different Types Of Antenna And Which One Is Used In A WiFi Router?
There are generally many types of antenna available. But for most wireless LAN’s there are three types of antenna.
- Semidirectional or Yagi–Uda antenna
- Highly directional or beam antenna
Omnidirectional: Omnidirectional antennas are the most common type of antenna used in home routers and access points.
This type of antennas radiates signals in all directions. So, the users will get a good coverage area around the antenna within a given range.
It is not that the whole body of the Omnidirectional antenna radiates the signal with the same power.
They radiate radio wave power in one plane above or below that plane radiated power decreases and at the axis of the antenna, it drops to zero.
But according to the laws of physics, it is impossible to radiate signals perfectly with equal strength in all directions.
Semidirectional or Yagi antenna: This is a directional antenna that provides coverage to a specific but large area.
In this antenna, multiple parallel elements usually metal rods of half-wave dipoles placed in a line.
Highly directional or beam antenna: These are high focus directional antennas mainly used for point to point communication.
These antennas transmit or receive signals in a specific direction to reduce interference from unnatural sources and increase performance.
They provide better performance than Omnidirectional or Semidirectional antennas. You can use them in a specific desired direction.
Which Antenna Gives The Highest Gain?
The gain is the unit of measurement of antenna directivity, normally expressed in decibels. It describes how much power an antenna radiates in a given direction.
I want to make one thing clear that Omnidirectional antennas do not provide the highest gain as they spread their power in all directions.
An antenna that focuses in a narrow space that means it radiates its power in a small space can provide high gain.
The modern router that you use for your home and office uses an Omnidirectional antenna to transmit and receive signals.
And it is not that they need to cover a very large space so, if you want to upgrade your antenna by high gain antenna there are many options available.
You can check out our recommended high gain router antenna. These antennas provide a high gain that can even penetrate obstructions like thick walls and maintain the continuous flow of signal.
Does Position Of Antennas On Router Matters?
Yes, the positioning of router antennas matters. Correct placement and direction of WiFi router antennas can boost the signal with very little interference.
WiFi antenna emits radiation perpendicularly (90 degrees) to the direction you have pointed the antenna.
If you have pointed your router antenna straight up or vertically then it will emit radiation horizontally. And if it has pointed horizontally or downward then it will radiate vertically.
It is always considered best to point one antenna vertical and the second antenna horizontal if you have a router with more than one antenna.
Then your router will be able to cover the entire area vertically and horizontally in your home or office.
If you have a router with three or four antennas then try to point them in every direction of the home so that they can receive signals.
With the right direction of the router antenna, it is very important you should place the router in the correct position.
Always try to place the router in the centre and it will be very good if you place the router from where it can communicate to your all devices directly without any obstruction.
Do Router Antenna Go Bad?
Yes in my opinion they go bad but I didn’t face anything like that till now. It has been more than two years since I started using the TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router. I didn’t notice anything like that.
But I am saying YES because one of my friends had faced this problem. His router antenna was not covering and not providing the range that it should.
After replacing the antenna his signal strength returns to the previous model. I know that routers degrade over time and mainly because of heat and age and it may also happen with the router antenna.
But that is a very very rare case so I don’t even bother about that.
Which Router Better With Antenna Or Without Antenna?
There are no routers without antennas. Every wireless device has an internal or external.
Internal antennas are not visible outside the device there structure is built inside the device. Like in mobile phones and other wireless devices.
There are WiFi routers available in the market with both internal antenna and external antenna.
Router with an external antenna makes the coverage in the doughnut shape and the internal antenna makes the coverage in a ball shape almost.
But according to me, there is more benefit in using an external antenna than an internal one.
There is no doubt the internal antenna covers enough space, they can cover several rooms but the major drawback is that you cannot direct them according to your needs.
If you are living in a multistory apartment and if you have installed your router in the centre of the ground floor and you desire to get a signal on the upper floor also that you can do with an external antenna but not with internal.
But there are many high priced routers with internal antennas that can beat routers with external antennas.
So, the total discussion came to the conclusion that antennas are very much important for the router.
Antennas increase the range and coverage that result in better data transfer and that gives you a good and consistent speed.
Directional control is the main advantage of a router with an external antenna. Thus it is best to go with a router that comes with multiple antennas.
Tanmoy Misra found his love for tech early in life when he got his first Nintendo (NES) console. He spent many hours blowing into cartridges to no avail until inspiration struck and he started taking apart and rebuilding anything that didn’t work. After dropping console gaming at the end of high school, Tanmoy entered the world of PC online gaming. His love of gaming and problem-solving soon led him to build his computers. As per expertise, he is an ISF-certified video calibrator and covering AV for a number of publications since 2018.