How to use it More answers/FAQs
Cantenna Store

What do I need to set up a wireless network?

You will need a Wi-Fi compatible base station, an access point or a client card, a computer, and an Internet connection. To increase the range and boost signal strength of your network, use our Super Cantenna.

What do I need to pick up a wireless signal without having to buy a base station?

You will need a Wi-Fi compatible access point or client card and a computer. Unless the Wi-Fi signal is very close, you will need a Cantenna.

What’s the difference between a router, base station, access point, and client card? Why are these terms so confusing?

Every manufacturer uses its own terminology, which can cause some confusion. Here is a simplified explanation:

In Wi-Fi, a router is usually referred to as a base station, and broadcasts your Internet signal. The router is typically attached to an Internet connection via a USB or Ethernet port.

A client card usually refers to a PCMCIA wireless card. The client card is attached to your laptop, or inserted into your PDA’s PCI slot.

An access point is the radio device that receives the signal from the base station. It attaches to your laptop or computer via USB, PCI slot, or Ethernet. An access point can also mean a physical area (Hot Spot) where you can pick up Wi-Fi signals.

Do I connect the Super Cantenna to the base station or client card?

You can connect it to the base station, the client card (or access point), or both for maximum effect.

How do I measure the signal strength of the Cantenna?

You can download software like NetStumbler or its Mac cousin, MacStumbler. HP also offers the Wireless Connection Manager. Wndows XP users can use the built-in Wireless Network Connection Status window.

I am losing signal strength in parts of my house, particularly down in the basement. Can a Cantenna bridge that gap and how can I maximize its effect?

Yes, the Super Cantenna may help to boost the signal depending on the layout of your house, and the obstruction that is weakening the signal. Signal strength decreases as the distance between base station and your computer increases. Try moving your base station and Cantenna away from the wall, metal tables, cabinets, or similar obstructions. Experiment by pointing the Cantenna in different directions, even away from the area that you are trying to reach. Sometimes rotating the Cantenna on its axis so that the connector points sideways or up will help to boost the signal. Finally, in your basement try moving your laptop toward the middle of the room, away from the walls or metal. You can also try tilting your laptop (or Wi-Fi receiver if you have a desktop computer) on its horizontal axis.

I do not have a base station or Internet connection, but I was told that my apartment complex has a Wi-Fi network. Can I get free Internet access with the Cantenna?

You will need a 802.11b or 802.11g wireless device that connects to your laptop or desktop computer. Whether or not you will be able to pick up a signal depends on the proximity of a broadcasting signal, obstructions, and strength of signal. If the person that broadcasts the signal uses encryption, you have to request a username and password to gain access.

How can I test to see if I get a signal at my house before I buy a Cantenna?

Our Super Cantenna can only pick up and boost an existing Wi-Fi signal. There are many factors that determine signal strength, such as obstructions, atmospheric conditions, distance, and strength of the originating signal. To check your neighborhood for Wi-fi signals, try using software like NetStumbler or its Mac cousin, MacStumbler. Walk or drive around your area to see if you can pick up a nearby Wi-fi signal. There are also little key-chain type Wi-Fi sniffers that signal when you are in the presence of an active network.

Can I return the Cantenna if I don’t pick up a signal?

Yes, you may return the Cantenna, however, you are responsible for all shipping and handling costs. The Cantenna must be returned in its original condition and in its original package within 30 days of purchase for a full refund of the purchase price. See details

Is it legal to use your Cantenna?

Yes, our Cantennas and Pigtails have been tested and comply with part 15 of the FCC rules. Make sure other wireless devices that you use also comply. Compliance with FCC regulations is your responsibility. Check with your Internet Service Providers to find out if they permit sharing of their Internet connections.

How safe is it to use a Cantenna?

The Super Cantenna should not be used outdoors without being properly grounded. A connection for a ground cable is provided with each Super Cantenna. Other than that, it is subject to the same radio waves as your cordless phone, microwave, cell phone, radio, etc. If you are concerned about your sensitive data, as with any other wired connection, without using encryption your network can be subject to potential eavesdropping. Always take appropriate security measures to protect your data.

My router has two antennas. Where do I attach the Cantenna?

If your router or base station has removable antennas, unscrew one of the antennas and connect the Cantenna. We recommend using the side that points away from a wall or obstruction. You can keep the other antenna attached, but also try it without it as it may cause interference. If your device has an external antenna jack, connect the pigtail directly to it, and leave the other antennas in place.

Can I just make my own Pigtail?

Sure, but it may not be worth the effort in research, soldering, testing, and cost of parts. Pigtails are very sensitive to interference and signal loss, and are carefully engineered, manufactured and tested.

I want to mount my Cantenna about 25 feet away from my base station. Can you provide me with a 25 foot long Pigtail?

In general, the longer a Pigtail is, the more of a signal loss you may experience. For that reason, we currently limit production of our cables to 10 feet. 25 feet would cause a severe signal loss. You could purchase a wireless bridge, such as the Linksys WET54G, which attaches to your Ethernet port. A 25-foot long Ethernet cable could then be used without substantial signal loss.

I have a Macintosh. What are my options?

Linksys, D-Link, Buffalo Technology, and Belkin have base stations, Wi-Fi access points, or PC cards available. Just make sure that they have an external antenna jack to attach a Super Cantenna. If you have Apple’s Airport Extreme (modem edition only), you can purchase the optional laptop adapter (MCX-Plug). G5 owners can connect the Super Cantenna with the optional laptop adapter directly to the G5's external antenna port.

How can I mount the Cantenna?

Each Super Cantenna comes with a mounting socket for standard tripod units. This socket can be removed so that you can use your own mounting hardware.

Can I mount the Cantenna outside?

Yes, the Super Cantenna is weather resistant. Make sure that you ground it properly (Instructions are included with each Cantenna).

I read in Time Magazine that I can make a Cantenna myself, why should I buy one?

It’s true that techno wizards have been making their own cantennas for years, however, you may not want to spend your weekend learning basic antenna physics, finding parts, soldering, assembling and testing several cans before finding the one that works best. To buy or to build? You decide.

Why is your Super Cantenna better than a Pringles can?

Our engineers have optimized can dimensions, shielding, and polarization for maximum signal strength and distance. We use only high-quality and lab-tested materials to manufacture the outer shell and inner parts. Unfortunately, ours doesn't come with potato chips...

Can I use a Cantenna to access online games with my Playstation? What about my PocketPC?

You can use your Cantenna with any wireless network (802.11b) enabled device, provided it has an external antenna or an Ethernet port. To use your Playstation in the Starbucks parking lot, you can get a new wireless Ethernet bridge from Linksys.

Will my Cantenna and Pigtail work with the new 802.11g Wi-Fi routers and access points?

Yes. The radio wave length and height dimensions are identical to 802.11b. You can use your existing Cantenna on 802.11g devices, as long as they have an external antenna jack that fits your current Pigtail (or any Pigtail that we carry).

Is the Cantenna Guaranteed?

All Cantenna parts are guaranteed. Cantenna makes no guarantee of actual performance as several factors may inhibit the Cantenna's effectiveness, such as obstructions, atmospheric conditions, distance, and strength of the originating signal. That being said, if for any reason you are not satisfied with the Cantenna, you may return it within thirty days of purchase for a full refund of the purchase price. See details

Linksys Router Users! When using the Super Cantenna with Linksys routers, you must set your Antenna Selection option within the router settings to use either the left or right antenna. See important Linksys Router Tips!

Super Cantenna
Model SCB10X:

Electrical Specifications
Frequency: 2400-2500 MHz
Gain: 12 dbi
Beam Width: Approx. 30 degrees
Impedance: 50 Ohm
Max input: 50 Watts
VSWR: <1.5:1 avg.

Mechanical Specifications
Length: 12”
Material Base: Metal
Lid: Plastic
Connector: Integrated 36-inch RPSMA cable, RPTNC adapter
Polarization: Linear


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