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Antenna Basics

The main piece of hardware that sets a normal home or office wireless network off from a long-range wireless network is an antenna. All wireless network adapters and access points have antennas built in, but for the most part they're designed for small size rather than for maximum signal strength boost (Figure 8.1). Most PC Card wireless network adapters cram the entire antenna into the 1-inch by 2-inch part that juts out from the laptop when the card is plugged in.

Figure 8.1. Normal built-in antennas.



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