Knowledgebase
What is the range of a wireless network?
Posted by on 02 February 2012 02:49 PM

The range of a Wi-Fi network will depend on many factors such as the signal strength of the Wi-Fi radio in the router or access point, the type of antennas used, and the environment in which the wireless LAN is installed. The environmental factors that affect the range of the wireless LAN are the composition of your walls and floors. Wi-Fi is a very low powered radio signal and is blocked by metal, water or other dense materials.

Vigor routers are shipped with 2.5dBi 2.4G Omni-Directional antennas which are generally suitable for most office or home environments. For larger areas, Vigor routers fitted with detachable antennas can be fitted with the higher gain 5dbi or 7dbi antennas. For increased coverage in a large hall for example, the 9dBi 2.4G Directional Corner Antenna directional antenna can be used.

In a typical home of office environment, you can expect to get good wireless coverage of between 25 to 50 metres. In an outdoor open area with no obstructions it is possible to get a range of up to 300 metres.

With Wi-Fi technology a “gradual degradation” in range occurs as you move further away from the wireless access point. For example, with 802.11b within 30 metres of the access point, the Wi-Fi radio in your laptop computer will get about 11 Mbps data rate. As you move farther away, that rate will drop down to 5.5 Mbps, then to 2 Mbps and finally to 1 Mbps.

 

Typical wireless ranges expected from the different wireless technologies are:

  • 802.11b     38 metres
  • 802.11g     100 metres
  • 802.11n     300 metres

 

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