SilverStone Wireless Upgrade Roundup Review

Introduction


It is one thing to buy a wireless network card and set it up, but a lot of the time you can improve the performance of these cards with a few aftermarket items. Today I’m taking a little look at some of the upgrade offering that SilverStone offers, the WAB1B Magnetic WiFi antenna base, the WAD17 7 dBi high-gain antenna, and the 9 dBi WA219 high-gain antenna.

An antenna base can help you with two things: Move the antennas to a more open space where it’s less crowded than behind your PC with all the add-in cards and cables running there. The second bonus is that you can move the antennas to a place where they will get a better reception than they would behind your chassis that’s possibly located under your desk. SilverStone’s WAB1B antenna base is also magnetic which allows you to place it on the side of things, such as your PC chassis if it is made of metal. This increases the placement options even further. To finalize the whole thing, SilverStone added gold-plated connectors at both ends to ensure the best possible signal transfer.

The included antennas might not be total to your liking when you buy a network card, for one reason or another. The most common reason to get aftermarket antennas is the higher performance that they offer over the mainstream and included antennas. Antennas with higher gain also come with an increased size as you can see on the photo below. The smallest antenna is the default antenna included with SilverStone’s ECWA1 PCIe card and the other two are the WAD17 and WA219 respectively.

The WAD17 is a dual-band antenna for use with both the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz band while the WA219 only is a single-band antenna for use with the 2.4GHz band. Both have their usage scenarios, so which you pick comes down to what you need. The long WA219 has a performance of 9dBi while the WAD217 has a performance of 7dBi, both quite a bit better than default 5dBi antennas, or worse.

SilverStone Releases Aftermarket High-Gain Antennas and Magnetic Base

Our routers and wireless network cards come with replaceable antennas, at least a lot do, and SilverStone released two new antennas and one magnetic Wi-Fi antenna base for the scenario that you’ll want to upgrade your existing antennas for performance or placement reasons.

The SilverStone WAD17, pictured above, is a high-gain MIMI 2T2R Wi-Fi antenna for improved wireless connectivity. It has a 5 dBi gain on the 2.4 GHz band and 7 dBi on the 5GHz bands which makes it a dual-band antenna. The Dipole antenna features a default SMA plug RP connector and has an impedance of 50 ohms.

The SilverStone WA219 2T2R high-gain Wi-Fi antenna is only for the 2.4 GHz band but comes with an impressive 9 dBi gain for that extra range and signal strength into the furthest parts of your home.

The SilverStone WAB1B is a circular magnetic base for SMA plug RP antennas and it has a 1.5-meter long cable for optimal placement. It allows you to place the antennas on a more optimal position than let’s say on the rear of your PC chassis which is placed under the desk. Having the antennas on top of the chassis or even the desk itself will greatly improve the Wi-Fi performance. Both the plug on the stand and on the cable are gold plated for optimal connection and the cable used is a low loss CLF 100.

All three new SilverStone Wi-Fi accessories are available now for a recommended end user price (excl. VAT) of $10.08 USD, $8.51 USD, and $8.51 USD respectively for the WA219, WAD17, and WAB1B.

Linksys Launched New Wireless Range Extender and High-Gain Antennas

Linksys launches a new wireless range extender and two new high-gain antenna packs to help you deal with those dead zones you might have in your setup or just plain extend the network range. The new Wi-Fi range extender is the Linksys AC1200 Amplify Wi-Fi Range Extender (RE6700) and the Linksys WRT004AND and WRT002ANT are the two new dual-band omnidirectional high-gain antenna two and four-packs.

The RE6700 Wi-Fi range extender provides a Wi-Fi signal boost into rooms throughout the house with a simple, elegant, and easy-to-install solution. The built-in power outlet maintains use of an existing wall outlet with pass-through functionality so you don’t lose the use of that outlet which often are limited where you actually need them.

The Wi-Fi extender is a dual-band device and works simultaneously as N300 and AC867 Mbps extender for maximum coverage. Two external and adjustable antennas provide great performance. It also features a Gigabit LAN port where you can connect cabled devices to your wireless network.

A 3.5mm audio jack allows you to connect speakers to the range extender and stream music wirelessly from your iOS or Android smartphone, tablet or laptop. The RE6700 works with any router or gateway including those provided by your ISP.

Linksys also developed the Spot Finder Technology which enables you to visually see the best placement spot for the range extender in the home by using your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Spot Finder Technology automatically activates when the setup process is launched and you just have to follow a few prompts for a hassle-free setup and improved Wi-Fi to existing dead zones.

The RE6700 is available starting today at major retail and online resellers for an MSRP of £89.99.

Linksys’ high-gain antennas, the first of their kind, are available in a 2- and 4-pack (WRT004ANT and WRT002ANT) and help improve a router’s signal strength specifically at the edge of a Wi-Fi network and the result is enhanced Wi-Fi performance.

The new dual-band high-gain antennas are the first of their kind and compatible with any wireless router that features an RP-SMA connection. They deliver 4dBi in the 2.4GHz band and 7dBi in the 5 GHz band for up to double the antenna gain over stock antennas. The omni-directional capability extends Wi-Fi coverage for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands on the horizontal plane.

Linksys WRT004ANT and WRT002ANT Omni-directional High Gain Antennas are also available now, but it is a pricey upgrade. They come with an MSRP of £89.99 and £44.99 respectively for the 4-pack and 2-pack.

 

New WiFi Chip “Aims” to Improve Signals

Ever had the issue of your WiFi not reaching that one room in the house well? Thanks to San Diego based Ethertronics and its new “active antenna” called EtherChip, this may be a problem of the past. The chip was originally developed for cellphones, can also solve slow WiFi connections. It achieves this by using “active steering algorithms” which create multiple signals around the antenna and chooses the best one to use for each devices connecting to it.

Ethertronics claims a 20 to 45 percent increase in signal strength, allowing your WiFi to work behind thick walls and ceilings. Combine this with the new style of 802.11ac routers with their multiple antennas and you should have one solid home network. The chip has yet to see any integration into devices, even with previous iterations being found in certain phones, but Ethertronics hopes to see more router makers embracing it as WiFi use continues to rise.

Source: Engadget