5 Best High Gain Directional Antenna for Industrial Wireless Router

Introduction

A high gain directional antenna is a specialized antenna that is designed to focus wireless signals in a particular direction. This gives the antenna a longer transmission and reception range compared to standard omni-directional antennas that radiate signals equally in all directions.

For industrial applications using wireless routers, having a high gain directional antenna can provide significant benefits in terms of extending the range and improving the stability of wireless networks. Factories, warehouses, farms, and other large facilities often need robust wireless connectivity over long distances between access points. That’s where a high gain antenna becomes invaluable.

Some key benefits of using a high gain directional antenna for industrial wireless routers include:

Increased Range

By focusing the wireless signal in one direction, high gain directional antennas can achieve increased range well beyond that of a standard omni antenna. Many high gain antennas provide double the range or more compared to a standard dipole antenna.

Better Signal Penetration

The focused signal strength provided by directional antennas allows for better penetration through obstacles, walls, machinery, and other impediments that can weaken wireless signals. This helps maintain stable connections.

Increased Throughput

Directional antennas focus wireless signals along a narrow path rather than radiating in all directions. This results in less interference and noise, allowing for faster data rates and throughput speeds.

Reduced Interference

By minimizing side and back lobe radiation patterns, directional antennas avoid interference from unwanted signals outside of the main transmission beamwidth. This results in cleaner signal transmission.

Flexible Installation

Directional antennas can be oriented to provide optimal signal direction according to network requirements. They also take up less space than multi-antenna setups.

Weather Resistance

Many high gain directional antennas are enclosed in protective radomes and rated for all-weather operation, making them ideal for industrial environments.

When selecting a high gain directional antenna for industrial applications, key factors to consider include frequency band, gain level, beamwidth, polarization, connector type, mounting kit, and enclosure rating. We will cover these factors in more detail throughout this guide.

Top 5 High Gain Directional Antennas for Industrial Wireless Routers

Based on key performance criteria like gain, beamwidth, durability, and cost, here are 5 of the best high gain directional antennas suitable for long-range industrial wireless networks using routers and access points:

1. Alfa 10dBi High Gain WiFi Antenna

Alfa 10dBi High Gain WiFi Antenna

The Alfa 10dBi antenna provides high gain with a narrow 30-degree beamwidth for long-range directional coverage. It can be used for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks. The rugged design is weather-resistant and includes mounting hardware. Overall an affordable high-performance antenna.

2. Antaira Technologies SCR12-2600 Corner Reflector Antenna

Antaira Technologies SCR12-2600 Corner Reflector Antenna

This rugged corner reflector antenna from Antaira provides a high 12dBi gain rating across a wide 60-degree beam. It is constructed from powder-coated aluminum for harsh environments. The broad beamwidth provides flexibility for wider directional coverage.

3. Ubiquiti Networks NanoBeam AC Gen2

Ubiquiti Networks NanoBeam AC Gen2

The Ubiquiti NanoBeam AC is a high-performance airMAX TDMA radio with an integrated 23dBi gain antenna optimized for long range links up to 15km. It provides a very narrow 8-degree beam and includes PoE powered Gigabit Ethernet.

4. Cambium Networks ePMP 3000

Cambium Networks ePMP 3000

Designed for broadband wireless networks, the Cambium ePMP 3000 achieves high gain of 27dBi with an ultra-narrow 7-degree beamwidth. Its fully integrated design simplifies installation. GPS synchronization optimizes performance.

5. MikroTik LHG 5 ac

MikroTik LHG 5 ac

MikroTik’s LHG 5 ac provides a high-performance integrated wireless link with 21dBi gain rating. It includes a 30-degree beamwidth antenna, PoE power, and gigabit ethernet in a compact weatherproof case. An affordable long-range solution.

Antenna Frequency Range Gain Beamwidth Polarization Connectors Price
Alfa 10dBi High Gain WiFi Antenna 2.4-2.5 GHz 10dBi 30 degrees Linear vertical RP-SMA Male $50
Antaira SCR12-2600 Corner Reflector Antenna 2.4-2.5 GHz 12dBi 60 degrees Linear vertical N-Female $200
Ubiquiti NanoBeam AC Gen2 5GHz 23dBi 8 degrees Dual linear Gigabit Ethernet $250
Cambium ePMP 3000 5GHz 27dBi 7 degrees Dual slant 45° Integrated radio $1000
MikroTik LHG 5 ac 5GHz 21dBi 30 degrees Dual linear slant 45° Ethernet $150

Detailed Review of Each Antenna

Now let’s take a closer look at the key features and specifications for each of these high gain directional antennas for industrial wireless applications:

Alfa 10dBi High Gain WiFi Antenna

The Alfa 10dBi antenna provides high gain wireless coverage with its 10dBi directional patch antenna design. Some key details:

Frequency Range

  • Dual band 2.4-2.5GHz

Gain

  • Provides 10dBi of gain across both frequency bands

Beamwidth

  • Concentrates signals into a 30-degree beam

Polarization

  • Vertically polarized

Connectors

  • RP-SMA male connector

Weather Resistance

  • Suitable for outdoor installation

Price

  • Around $50, very affordable high gain antenna

Pros

  • Affordable pricing
  • Easy to install
  • Good performance and range

Cons

  • Not as durable as more expensive models
  • Only 10dBi gain

Overall, the Alfa dual-band 10dBi antenna is a great value priced directional antenna suitable for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks. It provides good performance for the price. The compact size makes it easy to mount and aim the antenna. For industrial use, the limitations are the lower durability and gain compared to other antennas. But for short to medium range applications, it is a solid choice.

Antaira Technologies SCR12-2600 Corner Reflector Antenna

The Antaira SCR12-2600 is a rugged, high performance 12dBi gain antenna well-suited for industrial wireless networks. Key details:

Frequency Range

  • Dual band 2.4-2.5GHz

Gain

  • Provides 12dBi of gain

Beamwidth

  • 60-degree beamwidth

Polarization

  • Vertically polarized

Connectors

  • N-female antenna connector

Weather Resistance

  • IP55 weatherproof rating

Price

  • Around $200, premium price but higher performance

Pros

  • Rugged and durable construction
  • High 12dBi gain
  • Good performance across a wide beam

Cons

  • More expensive than lower gain models
  • Large size can complicate mounting

The Antaira corner reflector antenna provides excellent performance and durability. With its high gain 12dBi antenna focused across a wide 60-degree beam, it is well suited for providing wireless coverage across large industrial facilities, warehouses, etc. The rugged powder coated aluminum housing resists weather and impacts. Overall an excellent choice for high performance industrial directional coverage, albeit at a premium price point.

Ubiquiti Networks NanoBeam AC Gen2

The Ubiquiti NanoBeam AC Gen2 is a high gain integrated wireless bridge, ideal for long range point-to-point links. Key details:

Frequency Range

  • 5GHz frequency band

Gain

  • Very high 23dBi gain antenna

Beamwidth

  • Narrow 8 degree beam

Polarization

  • Dual linear polarization

Connectors

  • Gigabit Ethernet port with PoE

Weather Resistance

  • IP67 weatherproof enclosure

Price

  • Around $250, expensive but specialized performance

Pros

  • Very high gain and narrow beam
  • Integrated design simplifies installation
  • Excellent range up to 15km

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Only 5GHz frequency band

With its integrated 23dBi patch antenna and narrow beamwidth, the NanoBeam AC Gen2 is ideal for high performance point-to-point bridging over long distances. The compact weatherproof design has PoE power and gigabit throughput built-in. While expensive, it excels at long-range applications.

Cambium Networks ePMP 3000

Designed specifically for broadband wireless networks, Cambium’s ePMP 3000 integrates high performance wireless transmission with a 27dBi gain directional antenna. Details:

Frequency Range

  • 5GHz frequency band

Gain

  • Very high 27dBi gain

Beamwidth

  • Narrow 7 degree beam

Polarization

  • Dual slant 45° polarization

Connectors

  • Integrated proprietary connectors

Weather Resistance

  • IP67 waterproof enclosure

Price

  • Around $1000, very expensive but provides the highest gain

Pros

  • Extremely high 27dBi gain
  • Very narrow beamwidth
  • Integrated GPS synchronization

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Proprietary connectors
  • Only compatible with other ePMP products

With its high-end performance design, the Cambium ePMP 3000 is best suited for specialized applications like ISP wireless broadband links and networks where the highest gain is required. The high cost limits wider use, but for mission-critical long range networks it delivers excellent capabilities.

MikroTik LHG 5 ac

Providing a good balance between performance and affordability, MikroTik’s LHG 5 ac is worth considering for industrial wireless applications. Key details:

Frequency Range

  • 5GHz frequency band

Gain

  • 21dBi gain directional antenna

Beamwidth

  • 30 degree beamwidth

Polarization

  • Dual 45° slant polarization

Connectors

  • 10/100/1000 Ethernet with PoE

Weather Resistance

  • Rated for outdoor installation

Price

  • Around $150, good value

Pros

  • Affordable pricing
  • Integrated antenna, PoE, Ethernet
  • Good 21dBi gain

Cons

  • Durability may be less than higher end models

With its integrated 21dBi gain dual-band antenna, PoE injection, and gigabit Ethernet port, the MikroTik LHG provides excellent versatility and performance for a reasonable price. For many industrial applications where cost is a concern, it represents a great choice that doesn’t compromise on key wireless capabilities.

Antenna Frequency Range Gain Beamwidth Polarization Connectors Weather Resistance Price Pros Cons
Alfa 10dBi 2.4-2.5GHz 10dBi 30° Vertical RP-SMA male Outdoor $50 Affordable, easy install, good performance Less durable, only 10dBi
Antaira SCR12-2600 2.4-2.5GHz 12dBi 60° Vertical N-female IP55 $200 Rugged, high gain, wide beam More expensive, large
Ubiquiti NanoBeam AC 5GHz 23dBi Dual linear Gigabit Ethernet IP67 $250 High gain, long range, integrated Expensive, 5GHz only
Cambium ePMP 3000 5GHz 27dBi Dual slant 45° Proprietary IP67 $1000 Extremely high gain, GPS sync Very expensive, proprietary
MikroTik LHG 5 ac 5GHz 21dBi 30° Dual 45° slant Ethernet Outdoor $150 Affordable, integrated, good gain Less durable

How to Choose the Right High Gain Directional Antenna for Your Needs

When selecting a high gain directional antenna for an industrial wireless network, there are several key factors to consider:

Consider the Frequency Range You Need

  • Many antennas support dual-band 2.4GHz/5GHz operation
  • Others are single-band, which provides higher gain on one band
  • Choose the frequency band(s) matching your wireless devices

Consider the Gain Level You Need

  • Gain rated in dBi, higher is better for range/penetration
  • Consider distance and obstacles gain must overcome
  • 15-20dBi suitable for many applications
  • 23-27dBi needed for specialized long range links

Consider the Beamwidth You Need

  • Narrower beams like 30° or less focused signal over longer distances
  • Wider beamwidths like 60°+ used for broader coverage

Consider the Durability of the Antenna

  • Metal mounting brackets and enclosures provide ruggedness
  • IP/weather ratings for temperature, water, dust resistance
  • Pick equipment able to withstand harsh conditions

Consider Your Budget

  • Inexpensive ~$50 antennas provide decent performance
  • High-end $500+ models have advanced features for specialized roles
  • Prioritize spending on antenna capabilities that matter most

Analyzing the specifics of your wireless network coverage challenges, performance goals, and budget will determine the best directional antenna selection.

Installation and Setup of High Gain Directional Antennas

Once you have selected the right high gain directional antenna for your industrial wireless router application, proper installation is key to achieving optimal performance. Here are some best practices:

Choose the Right Location for Your Antenna

  • Mount high up with clear line of sight to extend range
  • Avoid close proximity to metal beams, pipes, etc. that can interfere
  • Consider ease of access for installation and cabling

Mount Your Antenna Securely

  • Use manufacturer supplied brackets for mounting
  • For roof/pole mounting, use weatherproof straps or clamps
  • Tighten connections fully but avoid excessive force

Aim Your Antenna in the Right Direction

  • Align the antenna boresight with the opposing device
  • Use a signal strength meter to fine tune antenna alignment
  • Secure antenna bracket once optimally positioned

Connect Your Antenna to Your Router

  • Attach cabling securely from antenna to router antenna port
  • Ensure exposed connections have weatherproofing
  • Verify router WLAN is enabled on the same frequency band as antenna

Following good practices for locating, mounting, aiming, and connecting your high gain antenna is crucial to getting the expected benefits of increased range and signal strength for your industrial wireless network.

Troubleshooting

Although high gain directional antennas provide excellent wireless performance when properly set up, there are some potential issues to watch out for:

Weak Signal

If antenna signal strength is low, double check alignment, cabling, connectors, and aim. Relocating the antenna higher up or with clearer line of sight can help. Also check for competing signals on the same frequency band. Switching channel/frequency may help.

Signal Interference

Nearby equipment emitting electromagnetic interference can disrupt antenna signals. Change antenna location to isolate it from sources of interference. Adding signal filtering may also help.

Antenna Not Properly Installed

Loose cabling, poor antenna alignment, bad connectors, or inadequate weather protection can all degrade antenna operation. Go over the installation meticulously to find any defects and correct them.

Careful installation combined with proper troubleshooting helps ensure high gain antennas perform reliably for industrial wireless networks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a high gain directional antenna and an omni-directional antenna?

  • Directional antennas focus wireless signals in a specific direction to maximize range and penetration. Omni-directional antennas radiate signal in all directions for wider local coverage.

What are the benefits of using a high gain directional antenna?

  • Key benefits include increased range and signal strength, better penetration through obstacles, reduced interference, flexible installation, and weather resistance.

How do I choose the right high gain directional antenna for my needs?

  • Consider key factors like frequency band, gain level, beamwidth, durability, connectors, and budget based on your specific wireless application.

Conclusion

Installing a high gain directional antenna for an industrial wireless router network provides substantial benefits in terms of extended range, better penetration, reduced interference, and overall more robust performance. Models like the Alfa 10dBi, Antaira SCR12-2600, Ubiquiti NanoBeam AC, Cambium ePMP 3000, and MikroTik LHG deliver excellent directional gain across short to long distance wireless links. Carefully evaluating your specific network requirements and installation environment will determine the best antenna for your needs. With improved wireless connectivity from a high gain antenna, industrial facilities can leverage wireless networking for greater operational efficiency.

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