WiFi antennas may have either a male or female connector, depending on the size of the antenna.
- Large WiFi antennas typically have an N-female connector,
- N-female connector may be attached directly to the antenna, or (less often) may be at the end of a short cable, called a “pigtail.”
- Large directional and omnidirectional antennas typically have an N-female connector
- Ubiquiti antennas are the exception: They all have RP-SMA female connectors, as do the Access Points and CPE.
- Omnidirectional WiFi antennas always have the N-connector attached directly and it is almost always an N-female
- Small omnidirectional antennas typically have an RP-SMA-male connector:
- These are the antennas that come with WiFi routers and USB wireless adapters: They are removable.
- Coloquially referred to as “rubber duck” antennas.
- The gain ranges from 1.5dBi to 12dBi
- Usually the antenna has an articulating base: It bends up to a 90-degree angle
- Mid-size omnidirectional antennas – those made of fiberglass – typically have N-female connectors, directly attached.
When you upgrade from the dipole to a larger antenna, you will typically use an N-male to RP-SMA-male cable to make the connection from your small WiFi router or USB WIFi adapter, to the antenna with N-female connector.
If you are attaching an antenna to a miniPCI WiFi card, which typically have a U.FL connector, you will use an U.FL to RP-SMA cable.
Coaxial cables maintain shielding, but they leak signal (signal loss)