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Choosing the right Wi-Fi adapter for camping and beyond

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Today, the Internet offers more tools and forms of entertainment than ever before. With a good Internet connection, it's possible to keep in touch with friends or to watch a movie - perfect for when you run into downtime while camping. Unfortunately, many campgrounds have spotty wireless Internet connection coverage, and a standard built-in wireless card may not be able to pick up the signal on its own. In this situation, the best Wi-Fi adapters are of the external variety. They offer improved coverage and more flexibility to pick up the signals that you would otherwise miss out on.

>> External wireless adapters are easy to leverage for a better wireless signal

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External wireless USB network adapters are useful to have when you're trying to access a wireless signal that isn't strong. USB network adapters that are built into laptops cannot be maneuvered very easily to get a better angle on the wireless signal, but this is not the case when you buy a Wi-Fi adapter that's external. External USB Internet adapters can be moved to different positions where the wireless signal is more accessible. For instance, many walls will hurt wireless reception somewhat, but by placing the wireless adapter up in a window, it will be able to receive more of the signal. The best Wi-Fi adapters are external because they typically use more power than internal adapters do, and they often have a higher range as well. This allows them to pick up signals that an internal adapter may miss, making them the best Wi-Fi adapters to use.

>> Choose adapters with an antenna connector

When you're purchasing an external wireless adapter, look to see if it has an antenna connection on it. Whether you're buying a Wi-Fi adapter for TV or for your computers, the signal will be improved by an antenna. These connections look like small metal nubs that are threaded for an antenna to screw onto the end. An antenna is a major Wi-Fi adapter signal booster, and when an adapter has an antenna connection, its reception can be expanded upon dramatically. A wide variety of antennas are sold on the market today with different power levels and different range capabilities. Some antennas can expand the range of the best Wi-Fi adapters by hundreds or thousands of feet.

There are two different types of antennas sold for improving reception in the best Wi-Fi adapters: omni-directional and point-to-point. Omni-directional antennas pick up signals in a 360-degree radius around them. This means there is little aiming needed to get a signal with this type of Wi-Fi adapter signal booster, but it also means unwanted signals may occasionally be picked up. Point-to-point antennas work well for picking up one specific Wi-Fi signal, but you need to know where it is coming from. These antennas take a little more time to set up but can achieve excellent ranges when configured properly and work surprisingly well with a top Wi-Fi adapter.

>> Consider a wireless N adapter

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The new Wireless N standard improves the range of Wi-Fi reception ranges and should be considered when you buy a Wi-Fi adapter. Many public locations such as campgrounds are moving over to Wireless N technology, and their devices emit a G and N signal at the same time. With these improvements, it makes sense to choose Wireless N technology when you buy a Wi-Fi adapter. The Wireless N signal has been proven to travel farther in open spaces, such as campgrounds, and by having access to both of the signal bands, it's possible to gain access to a connection without as much interference from others around you. Whether you have a Wi-Fi adapter for TV or another device, the lower the interference, the smoother the performance will be. That's exactly why some of the best Wi-Fi adapters today are the Wireless N variety.

>> Using a USB extension

A top Wi-Fi adapter is only as good as the position it's placed in. With a USB extension cable, it's possible to move the best Wi-Fi adapters around and set them in locations where a signal may be more accessible. One of the main reasons to get a top Wi-Fi adapter that's external is so that it can be re-positioned, and that is only possible with a USB extension cable. You can buy one of these top computer accessories in lengths up to 15 feet without affecting the signal strength traveling through the cable to your computer.

>> Consider low-loss coax cable

When you're relying on an antenna as your Wi-Fi adapter signal booster, it's important to position the antenna properly to gain the maximum benefit. The antenna will often need to be placed several feet away from your computer to get a good signal, and that means you'll be running several feet of coaxial cable. If this applies to you, it's important to purchase low-loss coaxial cable to go with your Wi-Fi adapter signal booster. As the network signal travels through the coaxial cable, it will lose strength, but when the cable is low-loss the strength only diminishes slightly. Standard coaxial cables can reduce signal strength noticeably if they are several feet long, and even the best Wi-Fi adapters won't make much of a difference if the gained signal strength is lost before reaching the computer.

When you're out camping or enjoying time in nature, you might want to stay connected to the rest of your life through the Internet. With the right Wi-Fi adapter, it's possible to do just that.

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