I pay for Charter wifi internet at home but live about 1,500 ft from a Madison city library with free wifi. Recently, I learned there are WiFi antennas for sale for $30 to $100 or more that supposedly allow a PC to receive WiFi signals from up to 1,000 ft away, and some claim up to 1 or 2 miles away. Some are USB devices which you just plug into a usb port on your desktop or laptop. I have a Win XP desktop and a Win 7 laptop with usb ports.
I am wondering if any of these would really allow me to receive the library wifi at home so I could stop paying for Charter wifi. I am skeptical because most of these are brand names I never heard of, and if these long range antennas did really work beyond 1,000 ft, I would think so many people would want one they would be popular and well known products. From reading about it, it seems like the longest range ones for 1 or 2 miles only work when there is also a booster at the wifi source to amplify the signal, or you need two antennas at both ends. Do any of you have a long range antenna or know much about them?
Here is a list of potential products I found. Their strength seems to be measured in mW and dBi with the higher numbers allowing for a longer range:
$36 Alfa 1000mW W 802.11g/n 9dBi Antenna. Doesn't say distance it works.http://www.amazon.com/802-11g-Wireless- ... 044&sr=1-9
$50 Hawking Wireless N USB Network Adapter, 3dBi upgradeable antennahttp://www.walmart.com/ip/Hawking-Techn ... r/12457364
$60 hField Wi-Fire 500mW High-Gain 802.11b/g USB WiFi Adapter, 27dBm, range up to 1,000 fthttp://www.hfield.com/news-events/next- ... ore-power/http://www.amazon.com/Wi-Fire-High-Gain ... -1-catcorr
$90 Hawking HiGain Directional Antenna, indoor/outdoor, 14dBi HAO14SDP. When paired with another Hi-Gain 14dBi antenna, you may extend your distance by up to 1.5 miles. Requires SMA jack on router which mine doesn't have.http://www.amazon.com/Hawking-Direction ... pd_sim_e_5