RP, N, SMA, blah, blah blah.  What?  The world of Wi-Fi connectors is confusing.  But not to worry, we’ve got you covered.  See below for a primer on the most common connector types for Wi-Fi radios.

Oh, and by the way, the same rules apply for any RF connector, on an adapter, cable assembly or lightning arrestor.


Straight Connectors – the body and the center pin are the same gender.

  • Male = Plug: threads on the inside means a male body. Center pin is solid, meaning a male center pin.
  • Male = Plug = Male Body and Male Center Pin


N-Style Plug

  • Female = Jack: threads on the outside means a female body. Center pin is hollow, meaning a female center pin.
  • Female = Jack = Female Body and Female Center Pin

N-Style Jack


Reverse Polarity Connectors – The body gender is the same as the straight connector, just reverse the gender of the center pin.

  • Reverse Polarity Male = Plug: threads are on the inside just like a normal plug, but the center pin is a female (hollow) instead of male (solid).
  • Reverse Polarity Male = Plug = Male Body and Female Center Pin




  • Reverse Polarity Female = Jack: threads are on the outside just like a normal jack, but the center pin is male (solid) instead of female (hollow).
  • Reverse Polarity Jack = Female = Female body and Male Center Pin





Bulkhead Connectors – no change in gender, just a long body to mount through an object, like the bottom of an enclosure.

These connectors will come with a longer thread and a nut and typically a lock washer.  Remove the nut and lock washer, insert the connector through your item, such as an enclosure, and tighten with the lock washer and nut.

N-Style Bulkhead Jack

RPTNC Bulkhead Jack

RPSMA Bulkhead Jack

Right Angle Connectors – no change in gender, just configured to make connections easier without kinking the cables

These connectors are made so the cable does not come out of the back of the connector, but the bottom. In tight spaces, right angle connectors are a life saver.

Right Angle N-Style Plug

Right Angle RPTNC Plug

Right Angle RPSMA Plug

We hope this helps.  And to keep it interesting, all manufacturers have developed their own lingo.  But have no fear, we are here to help.  Most times just tell us the equipment you are trying to connect and we can take care of the rest!