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A Review of the Belkin Antenna for Wireless PC Network Cards

written by: Brian Nelson•edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 10/25/2010

Wireless networking is a great way to add additional devices to a network without needing to run more wires. It can provide easier relocation of existing devices or even new mobility. However, unlike a wired network, it can be difficult to ensure that a wireless connection is fast and stable.

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    Belkin Antenna for Wireless Desktop Cards

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    Belkin is one of many manufacturers that offers wireless network products. The Belkin wireless networking lineup includes wireless routers, wireless USB adapters, wireless notebook cards, and wireless PC cards for desktop computers. Like all network manufacturers, Belkin products support various wireless network standards such as 802.11g and 802.11n draft specification. Therefore, Belkin's wireless network adapters and other wireless hardware can be used with any other wireless networking equipment that supports the same standards.

    When a wireless network covers a small area without many large obstructions, setting up the network can be almost automatic. However, when a wireless network covers a larger area, multiple floors, or where there are numerous obstructions, ensuring that the wireless signal is strong enough to connect and avoid dropping the wireless network during use can be tougher.

    The most common problem in setting up a wireless network is actually getting the configuration settings correct on all of the network devices. Be sure to check and verify that the network setup is correct on both the wireless router configuration and the wireless network card in the PC before spending a lot of time trying to improve the wireless signal.

    After troubleshooting your wireless network to ensure that it is configured correctly, it is time to turn your attention to the wireless network signal strength.

    belkin-wireless-network-antenna-graphic If your Windows wireless network status icon or wireless properties page indicates that the wireless signal strength is low or very low, it is probably worth investigating whether boosting the signal with a better wireless antenna can help. One common scenario that benefits from something like a Belkin antenna extension is when a computer is situated in a corner where one or both walls is directly between the wireless network adapter and the wireless router or access point. This is especially problematic if the computer is on the floor beneath a desk. In this case the signal is blocked by both the surrounding walls and the desk above.

    The Belkin Desktop Antenna for Wireless Desktop Cards - F5D7000 / F5D6001 offers a solution in situations like these. The antenna built into every wireless network card is often good enough to pick up signals, but if its placement makes that an impossibility, there is no way to move the antenna to another location. A Belkin wireless PC card antenna extender changes things.

    The wireless antenna is not only larger than the built-in wireless antennas, it also comes with a cord that allows the antenna to be placed in a different location. In the situation above, just moving the antenna up onto the desk from beneath is enough to boost signal strength. Even better, the antenna can be placed in several locations to find where the wireless network signal strength is highest ensuring maximum wireless networking performance.

    The Belkin wireless antenna extension is also omnidirectional which is a nice feature. It ensures that getting the antenna in the right spot is the only concern. There is no need to also ensure that it is facing the right way.

    The Belkin wireless antenna is un-powered, which means that it is not boosting the signal strength so much as it is allowing the existing signal to be captures from a better location. This antenna has a 3-foot long cord which is sufficient for most situations, but those seeking an answer to a tough wireless network problem might require a longer cord. Otherwise, the Belkin wireless antenna is a good solution.

    Image credit: Microsoft Office clipart gallery online