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This paper presents a dual-band planar antenna with a compact radiator for 2.4/5.2/5.8-GHz wireless local area network (WLAN) applications. The antenna consists of an L-shaped and -shaped radiating elements to generate two resonant modes for dual-band operation. The -element fed directly by a 50-Ω microstrip line is designed to generate a frequency band at around 5.5 GHz to cover the two higher bands of the WLAN system (using the IEEE 802.11a standard). The L-element is coupled-fed through the L-element and designed to generate a frequency band at 2.44 GHz to cover the lower band of the WLAN system (using the 802.11 b/g standards). As a result, the L- and E-elements together are very compact with a total area of only 8 × 11.3 mm2. Parametric study on the key dimensions is investigated using computer simulation. For verification of simulation results, the antenna is fabricated on a 40 × 30 × 0.8 mm3 substrate and measured. The effects of the feeding cable used in the measurement system and the housing and liquid crystal display of wireless devices on the return loss, radiation pattern, gain and efficiency are also investigated by computer simulation and measurement.