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  Compex WP11A+ 802.11b Wireless Access Point 
  Jun 12, 2003, 09:00am EDT 
 

WA-HGA-5+ High-Gain Antenna


By: Dan Mepham

When we reviewed Compexís NetPassage 16 Broadband Gateway some months ago, we asserted that one of the unitís strongest features was its upgrade flexibility; the fact that it could be upgraded later to support wireless access with the simple addition of a standard 802.11b PCMCIA card. Likewise, we find upgrade flexibility to be one of the WP11A+ís greatest strengths.

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Compex's WA-HGA-5+ 5dBi High-Gain Indoor Antenna.

For a comparatively small cost, users wishing to improve the range of their wireless network need look no further than Compexís WA-HGA-5+ High-Gain indoor antenna. The WA-HGA-5+ antenna connects directly to the WP11A+ (as well as other Compex products) to extend the wireless range of the unit significantly. The antenna provides a gain of 5dBi, which should translate into roughly ľ mile (approx 400m) worth of range, depending, of course, on the number and types of walls or other obstructions in the way. This estimate proved to be quite reasonable, though, as my laptop was still able to achieve a connection half way down the block from the antenna. Again, the results youíre able to achieve individually will depend on the mounting location of the antenna, and the level of interference in the surrounding environment.

For ease of mounting, the antennaís base is magnetic, so that the unit will stick handily to most metal surfaces. If there isnít a suitable metal surface nearby, the base is equipped with double-sided tape as well, which should be sufficient for most other surfaces.

Remember as well that a High Gain antenna such as the WA-HGA-5+ not only extends the range of the wireless network, but improves the speed in the already-covered range. For example, where the transfer rate used to drop down to 2mbps at the very outer range of the existing network, the antenna could improve rates to 5mbps or better. This may be of particular interest to small business customers, as an inexpensive way to boost speed.



1. Introduction
2. Wireless Access Points
3. Compex's NetPassage WP11A+
4. WP11A+ User Interface
5. WA-HGA-5+ High-Gain Antenna
6. Summary

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