USB CABLES for WiFi Adapters are a much better choice than standard coax Antenna Cables because antenna cables (coax) lose a lot of signal-strength. USB cables lose little signal: Hardly any, in comparison.
Antenna cables – the type that go between a WiFi device and an antenna – are “coaxial” type cables: These coaxial cables lose a significant amount of the WiFi signal in every meter of coax cable (1/2 to 1 dBi per meter is typical).
SOLUTION for loss of signal in antenna cable
- Use USB extension cables to bring the USB WiFi adapter closer to the antenna: As close as possible.
- USB cables enable antenna positioning flexibility: Up to 25 meters (80 ft), with minimal signal loss (see details below)
- If the USB WiFi adapter must be positioned outdoors: Use Outdoor Enclosure or Window Mount for Alfa USB WiFi adapters
- Keep the antenna cable (coax) as short as possible, or connect the antenna directly to the USB WiFi device if possible
- Data Alliance’s “active” USB cables have performance much better than all other “active” USB cables that we have tested.
- “Active” USB ext. cables have the ability to extend beyond 15 feet (4 meters): 5-meter active USB extension cable: $7.99. Connect up to five of these cables for length up to 80-feet (25 meters)
- 10-meter active USB extension cable: $12.99 Combine with other Active USB cables for length of 80-feet (25m)
- 15-meter active USB extension cable: $19.99
- 20-meter active USB extension cable
- USB Cable Extender: Up to 60-meters / 197-FT over CAT5 / CAT6 Cable: $12.95. See CAT5e cable offerings
Other USB Extension cables:
- 4-meter USB extension cable: $2.24
- 3-meter USB extension cable: $1.79
- Photos & summaries of all options, including 1 or 2 not list above
- “Active” USB cables lose only about 2.1% of signal per five meters – and so provides much more signal strength from your USB wireless adapter, compared to using coax antenna cables.
- USB cables are simple: Not confusing like antenna cables’ confusing connectors.
- USB extension cables have many alternative, practical uses if you later do not need it for your WiFi adapter.
POWER to USB device: Transmitters need power. More power results in greater range. It is critical that the transceiver receives enough power to do its job. Some (older) laptops do not provide enough power via a (single) USB port. Drawing power from multiple ports can be a solution. Also using high quality USB cables and keeping cable runs short helps. Alternative, one needs to provide an external source of power.
Author: George Hardesty