Updated: Jun 30, 2022
Apparently, the wife reckons it does, but she could be having a dig.....
This is a bit of fun, nothing scientific, does the size of the wifi antenna matter?
The laptop is the Asus Zenbook 301LA with an internal wifi adapter vs the Alfa AWUS036AC USB wifi adapter
The tests will comprise of running 'nmcli dev wifi' for the internal adapter and Alfa with 18cm and 36cm antenna's.
Internal - top-rated signal strength is 65 and 17 SSID's
Alfa 18cm Antenna - top-rated signal strength 3 * 100 and 24 SSID's
Alfa 36cm Antenna - top-rated signal strength 2 * 100 and 26 SSID's.
The Alfa ran rampant over the internal adapter with both increased signal strength and range (visible AP's). Surprising the Alfa 18cm antenna beat the 36cm antenna for top signal strength. However, 14 SSID's were above 51 for the 36 cm antenna whereas only 8 are listed for the 18cm antenna.
Interestingly the internal adapter showed a connection speed of 115Mbs and the Alfa 144Mbs on the network settings.
The wife is correct, size does matter, she ain't going to let this go.
Although the 18cm antenna holds the outright top signal strength the 36cm antenna has further reach and lists more SSID's. The internal wifi adapter is rubbish, as I said this is not scientific....
It's definitely advantageous to use a dedicated external USB wifi adapter, speed and range are improved. Would I sit in a coffee shop with that monstrosity sticking out of my laptop when I'm trying to look inconspicuous......