Read Before You Buy: Is a LTE,4G/3G Antenna the right choice for you?
Will one of your antennas help me?
That depends upon your situation. If you have a low to moderate and/or inconsistent signal then one of our antennas can help. If you select the correct antenna for your situation and position it appropriately then it will improve your signal strength and download speeds. The amount of improvement that you can expect will depend upon the gain of the antenna that you select, where you mount it and your particular situation.
An antenna may not help if you have no signal at all (please see below). It is also unlikely that you will experience significant improvements if your signal is very good already.
I have no signal at all at the moment. Can an antenna help me?
It is possible but unlikely. LTE/4G/3G base stations have a finite range and if you are sufficiently outside this range then our antennas may not be able to help. If you find yourself in this situation then you can take the following steps to attempt to improve matters.
- Check all around your house or office both internally and externally to see if there are any locations in which your signal improves. This should be done with a preferably with a Cell Phone or your Internet Devise connected to a laptop. Select several locations around and outside your house and pause in each for at least a couple of minutes. The signal meters on most modems take some time to respond to changes in signal levels so it is best to be patient and get an accurate impression of the signal levels around your location. You may find that you can acheive some level of signal in a particular part of your property and if this is the case then a high gain antenna positioned in this area may be able to help boost your signal.
- If you cannot find a signal anywhere in your location then it is extremely unlikely that one of antennas will be able to help. Our antennas work to boost a pre-existing signal and cannot compensate for a complete lack of base-station coverage. In this scenario you should contact your network or mobile broadband service provider. If you recently purchased the mobile broadband package then you may still be within a cooling off period, which may allow you to cancel your contract or switch providers without penalty.
What antenna should I select?
This will depend upon your situation but there are some good general principles that you can follow to help you decide.
Firstly you will always need to select an antenna with the right adapter lead for your USB data card or Hub.
Beyond this the key considerations are the gain of the antenna and the mounting options it provides.
Low gain antennas like our Paddle and DMM range are very versatile ideal for making moderate improvements when travelling where the signal is low or inconsistent.
Our higher gain WM8 and B4B antenna’s are able to offer even more substantial improvments but generally require more careful positioning. If you use your USB card or HUB inside and have a low signal but recieve a good signal outside, then you may find an antenna mounted outside on a wall or mast would be ideal. If you do not have this flexibility then a higher gain internal antenna may be sufficient. If your location is more than 6Km from the nearest Cell Site you should use a WM8 Directional Antenna
If you decide to mount the antenna at a distance from your HUB or USB data card then you should bear in mind that gain is lost down the length of the cable. You should therefore try to keep the required cable length to a minimum. A good rule of thumb is to have no more metres of cable than the gain of the antenna in dBi (Eg. for a 10dBi antenna you should not use more than 10 metres of cable).
How can I tell if your antenna is working?
The signal meters provided with USB data cards and Modems are often not reliable gauges of performance. These meters are approximate and take time to update. If you want to accurately assess how your LTE/4G/3G device is performing with and without the antenna then an easy way is to navigate using your browser to www.speedtest.net This will be able to tell you the exact speed of your internet connection with and without the antenna.