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The 7 Biggest Wi-Fi Antenna Mistakes You Can Make

When was the last time you paid thought to the value of your devices’ antenna?

Do you know exactly what it does or why it matters?

Have you considered its placement and how it impacts your experience?

“Antennas are undervalued and poorly understood elements in WLAN networks.” – Don Cook, 7Signal

Recall Apple’s “Antennagate”

Apple’s antennagate scandal of 2010 was the result of poor antenna placement and design on the iPhone 4. When people would hold the phone in a specific way, signal would weaken.

During the scandal, Steve Jobs was sure to comment that antenna problems are not unique to the iPhone or Apple. However, many people were upset with this issue and suggested there should be a massive recall.

Check out the video below for a full recap:

Problems With Antennas To Avoid

As seen with the iPhone 4, Wi-Fi performance can be hugely impacted by the position of an antenna. However, the more network leaders are of these concerns, the more equipped they will be to prevent them.

Explore antenna placement warnings below:

Thick Walls

When access points with omni-directional antennas are placed next to a thick wall, half of the antenna’s gain can be lost as the antenna will try to pick up signals from the wall.

High Ceilings

Issues can arise when access points with standard omni-directional antennas are placed on a high ceilings above 13 feet.

Ceiling Panel Placement

Don’t place antenna on top of a ceiling panel made of unknown material with ɛr > 1.

Placement Above Metal

You should never place access points integrated omni-directional antennas above or around metal air ducts, grids, and large lamp reflectors.

Metallic Paint

It is a bad idea to paint antennas with metallic paint as signals can be disrupted due to the conductive surface.

Terminal Placement

Be mindful of metal. When laptops and other devices are placed in metal enclosures, the proximity of the conductive material causes antenna detuning.


Avoid sticking antennas partially through a small hole in a metal ceiling panel, AP cover, or metal grid.

Contact CORE Cabling

Contact Core Cabling today to learn more about how antennas should be installed.

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