Linksys touts Wi-Fi signal boost upgrade

Replace your aerial - legally

Linksys has begun selling replacement antennae for its 801.11b and 802.11g base-stations in a bid to boost wireless network coverage.

Linksyst TNC high-gain antennaThe company is offering paired and single high-gain aerials aimed at its twin- and single-antenna access point products. All of them are designed to increase the strength of broadcast signals and raise the access point's sensitivity to incoming signals. The benefits are the ability to work at potentially greater distances from the client (or vice versa) and to shrink dead-zones within the coverage zone.

Linksys is offering a pair of TNC antennae and one SMA aerial, all of which connect to their respective access points in place of those already in place - just unscrew the existing antennae. The TNC pack is geared towards Linksys' WRT54GS, WRT54G, WAP54G, BEFW11S4 and WAP11 products. The SMA aerial to the company's WRV54G, WMP54GS, WMP54G and WET54G devices.

Interestingly, it's illegal in the US to use a wireless product with an alternative aerial, unless both parts have been certified together by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). According to Wi-Fi Networking News, Linksys went to the trouble of getting the FCC to certify all the antenna-access point combinations, in order to ensure its customers remain on the right side to the law.

Linksys itself is safe from prosecution - it's not illegal to sell alternative antennae, only to use them. Not that anyone's ever been nabbed for it, so far as we know.

Both packs cost $60, and are available now in the US and Canada. Linksys is also offering a pair of antenna stands for $30 a go. ®

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