With the internet becoming an ever more important part of our day-to-day lives, there is more of a demand than ever before for strong, reliable WiFi signals. Unfortunately, WiFi has several key weaknesses when it comes to range, distribution and penetration which means this isn’t always possible, particularly when it comes to an external WiFi signal having to penetrate through surfaces such as the exterior of a vehicle or building. Such cases include being inside a caravan on a campsite, being inside a boat at a marina and being inside an out-building remote from your house.
With all this in mind, Solwise offers a variety of Wireless extension kits designed to resolve precisely this kind of issue and improve connection speeds to your devices when the main WiFi signal is just too weak to sufficiently reach them. This article will go over the differences and key advantages of each kit.
The first of these is the PATRIOT-AF-KIT, consisting of an internal RPT-3000AH USB router with an external PATRIOT USB antenna. The PATRIOT-USB antenna picks up wireless signals from the local vicinity and brings them down on a USB cable into the 3000AH router, which rebroadcasts its own WiFi signal in turn for your phones, tablets and computers to connect to.
The PATRIOT-USB antenna this kit uses comes with a 5dB aerial and supports 2.4GHz signals only, which isn’t likely to ever be an issue because 2.4GHz signals are universally supported. This kit uses a simple and clear wizard for extending a WiFi signal that makes it easy to set up even for those that aren’t technologically minded.
The next kit to speak of is the PATRIOT-3000AC-F-KT, consisting of the same RPT-3000AH USB router with an external PATRIOT-USB-A antenna. This kit is largely identical in functionality to the PATRIOT-AF kit apart from the fact that the USB-A antenna comes with a 7-9dB aerial and is Dual-Band, meaning it supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz signals. This could be useful if used with a source wireless signal that is being broadcasted in 5GHz, as 5GHz signals tend to be faster than 2.4GHz, but 5GHz isn’t universally supported in the same way 2.4GHz is so you’re not guaranteed to always be able to make use of this factor. This kit also uses a simple wizard for configuring the WiFi extension.
The final piece of equipment to speak of isn’t a dedicated kit as such and that’s the PATRIOT-DB. Whereas the other PATRIOT antennas mentioned previously have relied on USB cables to connect to a router, the PATRIOT-DB isn’t really an antenna but a Wireless Access Point (WAP), meaning it uses Ethernet cables instead. This means it is capable of transmitting faster speeds than the other PATRIOT kits, and it has the additional functionality of being able to broadcast its own WiFi signals too if needed.
However, because this WAP is designed more for broadcasting WiFi signals than receiving them, it’s more complicated to configure this device to extend an external WiFi signal. You would need to order a separate Ethernet router to use for internal WiFi with this WAP: the Tenda F300 is probably the best choice.
Ultimately, the PATRIOT-AF-KIT will usually be all you need for an adequate WiFi extension setup, with the PATRIOT-3000AC-F-KT also being worth looking at if you plan to get the most out of any potential 5GHz signals. The added complication of the PATRIOT-DB as a WiFi extender makes it less suitable generally than these USB kits, but it’s still a worthwhile choice for broadcasting your own WiFi signal and can achieve strong performances if configured correctly.