Having trouble with the quality of your 4G connection at home? If you find that your signal is constantly slow and disconnects from time to time that may be because the coverage in your area is not that strong.
One way to solve that problem is by installing a 4G antenna – but it is important that you choose the right type.
When choosing a 4G antenna it is important that you make sure it is able to pick up the right frequency bands. Different networks may use different frequency bands for their 4G connection – such as 800MHz, 900MHz, 1400MHz, 1900MHz, 2600MHz, and so on.
Most 4G antennas nowadays cover the full range of frequencies – but it is always best to check. All you need to do is look up the frequency band of your 4G provider, and check the specifications of the antenna.
Omnidirectional vs. Unidirectional
Generally speaking, 4G antennas come in two distinct types: Omnidirectional or unidirectional.
An omnidirectional antenna will receive signals from all sides. That makes it an excellent choice in urban locations where there are often multiple cellular towers in the vicinity for it to latch onto and improve the signal quality.
In contrast, a unidirectional antenna will only receive signals in one direction – often in a field that is anywhere from 5 to 90 degrees. While that means that it will catch signals from fewer cellular towers, its gain is more powerful than omnidirectional arenas.
Simply put both types have pros and cons. An omnidirectional antenna is easier to install, and will provide decent gain but attract more interference. On the other hand, unidirectional antennas are more complicated to install and need to be ‘pointed’ in the direction of the signal – but provide better gain with less interference.
Cable and Connector
People often overlook the cable and connector when choosing a 4G antenna – but both are important.
The length of the cable will undoubtedly affect the signal strength. While the loss of signal strength is often not that significant if the cable is short, it can be an issue if longer cables are used.
Aside from that you should make sure that the connector included in the antenna is a match for your 4G router. Most 4G routers nowadays use SMA connectors, but there are some that use TS9 – so be sure to check which ports your router has.
By looking at the factors listed above, you should find it a whole lot easier to choose a 4G antenna that fits your requirements. Keep in mind that there may be other factors that influence your decision, such as the location you want to install it.
If your signal strength isn’t too bad you may want to simply choose an omnidirectional antenna that you can place near a window. However, if it is very poor then a unidirectional antenna that can be mounted externally in a higher location is probably going to be the best answer.