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It's all related to how they configure the system, exactly what kind of antennae is used, and sometimes how the antennae is oriented (ie if you can orient it in special ways).

All antennae act like that, and wireless 2.4 is no different.

As an example, here's how to reduce or eliiminate a wireless signal outside your home. Place a wireless router (with the two antennae) in the basement of your home, centrally located. Extend and cross the antennae in an X shape (crossing each other).

Now the broadcast/recieve pattern is tall and cylindrical; you will be able to use it easily on the main and second floor but it won't work outside the home or at large distances from the central area if your home is big.

By the way, this is the recommended method for maximum security of your home/home office wireless network.
 
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