6 Facts to Know About Antennas

Antennas are just about everywhere, and they even exist in many places where they can’t be seen. Any electronic device that uses wireless technology of any sort to communicate with other electronic devices must have some sort of antenna. For instance, antennas on mobile phones used to be exceedingly visible and would often retract into the phone itself when not in use. Now, antennas for mobile devices are so powerful that they don’t need to extend beyond the edges of the device. Here are some other facts you might not have known about antennas.

Widespread Utility

With the advent of mobile technology, antennas have become an integral part of every life in the world. Without antennas, digital wireless transmission would not be possible. Every mobile phone has an antenna, as do most tablets and laptop computers. Even if the system doesn’t rely fully on wireless communication, it still most likely has an antenna of some sort.

Size/Shape Dictate Function

You might have noticed that most antennas are designed differently. Some are quite large, and others are smaller. Some use complicated metallic structures, and others use simple geometric shapes or straight lines. These different designs are often built to pick up different ranges of frequencies. Design can also be used to unlock a specific functionality. For instance, some antennas are designed for omnidirectional utility, while others are unidirectional. This is based almost entirely on the physical orientation of the antenna.

Frequency Optimization

If you are trying to capture a specific frequency range, there will be a specific antenna shape, size, direction, or orientation that is optimized to pick up that frequency. Tweaks are always being done on existing antenna designs in order to make them more powerful. This essentially means that not all antennas work to pick up all signals the same way.

Digital TV Antennas

If you want to glean free TV content from over the air, you can easily do so with an antenna, but many of the so-called HDTV antennas on the market now are nothing more than standard antennas that have been optimized for use with UHF waves, or Ultra-High Frequency. Older standard TV antennas are more aligned with VHF, or Very High Frequency, signals.


Antennas can be designed to point in a specific direction or to broadcast and listen from all directions at once. Unidirectional antennas are more stable and powerful, but they can only broadcast in a single direction.


Wireless communication is just as impossible without antennas as driving would be without tires. The antenna is the part of the wireless communication system that actually contacts the air and picks up signals. Without it, the advanced circuitry of the device itself would be useless.

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