Hawking HA12W wireless antenna - Review

Hawking HA12W wireless antenna - Review

Hawking HA12W wireless antenna - ReviewFocus your wireless network’s coverage to where it’s needed most

Pros: Increases coverage in a specific direction; easy to set up

Cons: Reduces the span of your network's coverage

Bottomline: Perfect for those who require a stronger wireless signal in a specific direction

Price: £42.99

Manufacturer: Hawking Technologies

With most wireless routers housing an omni-directional antenna, unless you place one in the middle of your house you’re effectively wasting a large proportion of the wireless signal.

The HA12W is a 12dBi directional antenna that lets you focus your network’s signal in one direction. So, for example, you could place it at the front of your house and direct it to face the back door, thereby increasing the wireless coverage where you need it.

A 150cm cable is included to attach the HA12W to your router – adapters are included for the most common aerial connector types (RP-SMA and RP-TNC). It does, however, require a router with a detachable antenna; most do, but some have non-removable antennas.

You can also attach it to your desktop or laptop using a wireless adapter with a removable antenna (Hawking’s Wireless-G USB Adapter costs £24.99). Window and wall mounts are included.

Using an 802.11g laptop and router we travelled to the edge of our network’s coverage until we lost the wireless signal altogether. By attaching the HA12W to the router and carefully positioning it to face the direction of the laptop we managed to not only reconnect to our wireless network, but also achieve a good signal strength.

With the HA12W attached to a notebook, we also located previously undetected nearby networks; the directional nature of the antenna particularly noticeable here, with a slight change in direction resulting in different networks being uncovered.

If you need to increase your network’s coverage in a specific direction, the HA12W is worth trying, but bear in mind that its directional nature means it won’t suit those who need their network to span a wide area.