Home
 » Editorial Article, ISP News » 
Sponsored

How to Choose an External 4G or 5G Mobile Broadband Antenna

Saturday, April 11th, 2020 (12:01 am) - Score 76,928
external_antenna_ee

Most of us are lucky enough to live within reach of a fairly strong UK mobile broadband (3G, 4G or 5G) network signal but that isn’t true everywhere, particularly in some remote rural areas. Sometimes the best way to receive a stronger signal is to try installing your own external antenna but knowing what to get can be tricky.

Before we get started it’s important to clarify that this article is primarily intended for people who can’t access a good fixed line broadband ISP connection but may still be almost within reach of a viable mobile broadband alternative, albeit often struggling to get a good or stable signal from any of the operators. In this case you may benefit from an external antenna.

Obviously if you can already get a fast fixed line broadband ISP and just want a better indoor mobile signal then many of the operators already offer Femtocell style devices, which essentially plug into your home broadband connection (speeds of 0.5Mbps or 2Mbps+ are usually required) and use that to boost a localised mobile signal for your Smartphone.

Examples of Femtocell devices are Vodafone’s Sure Signal router, Three UK’s Home Signal , O2’s Boostbox or EE’s Signal Box device. Failing that some Smartphones and Apps from mobile network operators also support making calls on your allowance via home WiFi (some mobiles also have a more direct ‘WiFi Calling’ feature that does this without an app).

Let’s talk external antennas

The actual process of installing an external antenna is usually just a case of screwing one to the highest and most stable location possible outside of your house (e.g. a solid brick wall near your roof), pointing it in the right direction and then drilling the cable through into the house (making sure to avoid electrical cables, water pipes and sealing up afterwards etc.). Plenty of professional installers can do this for you too (often for sub-£100).

However as anybody who has ever tried to improve their mobile signal will probably attest, finding the right kit for the job isn’t simple and the variable nature of the radio spectrum – passing through different environments as it does – can result in all sorts of quirky outcomes. Sometimes the most logical solution doesn’t always turn out to be the right one for your specific location or needs.

Nevertheless our aim here is to provide some general guidance, but remember that sometimes it’s necessary to test a few different approaches before you decide upon the best one. In addition, we aren’t going to dare delve into the more industrial setups (e.g. personal mast construction or WiFi relays) as those are a bit too complex for most people, but if you’re surrounded by tall trees then sometimes it’s necessary to get radical.

Often it’s possible to buy a pole mounting and then fix your antenna on top of that (i.e. raised higher above your house) but just be sure that what you install is stable and won’t damage the house. Likewise in some areas a tall pole may breach planning rules, so always check with the local authority first.

Omni-directional or directional antenna

The first decision is whether or not to go with a directional or omni-directional antenna. A directional antenna will focus its higher gain (reception) in one direction, although it also becomes weaker in the other directions. By comparison omni antennas try to attract similar reception from all directions, albeit for a lower overall gain.

directional and omni-directional antenna

NOTE: Despite appearances above, direction and omni-directional antennas come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes. Sometimes they can even look the same.

On the surface you may think you know the answer to this one but it’s not always so simple. If you know where the nearest mast or base station for your operator is, particularly if you have LOS or Line-of-Sight (nothing in the way), then going directional might be the best choice (often true in rural areas). However a directional antenna can run into problems, such as if the station is congested or goes out of service (can occur during upgrades).

On the flip side an omni may result in better reliability because it’s looking at a wider area, although it can also attract more interference and may not deliver the same sort of performance as a well positioned directional. Generally if you’re not entirely sure where the mast is, or you live in an urban or suburban area, then an omni is probably the better choice. In fact start with an omni first anyway, it’s just easier.

NOTE: If you’re doing this DIY then an omni will be easier (less alignment hassle).

Now if you’re really feeling adventurous then you could install two antennas of different types but in order to make that work you’d have to connect them both to a MIMO configured router (two ports), such as the Huawei B618. Likewise you can also buy some MIMO antennas that have two outputs (MIMO 2×2) for related routers with two inputs. Just remember that this kind of kit tends to be more expensive and adds to the hassle of setup.

Generally it’s best to try with one antenna first and don’t bother buying a MIMO router with two external antenna ports if you’re only going to use an antenna with a single output, although if you do try installing two antennas then make sure to space them apart a bit.

At this point we should touch on polarisation. Mobile signals tend to be linearly polarised (they vibrate vertically, horizontally or a bit of both) and ideally the aim is to match the polarisation of your antenna to that of the signal (trial and error – helps if you can rotate the antenna). A quick solution to this is to go with a cross-polarised antenna, these usually have two outputs (good for MIMO routers), which can latch on to the signal regardless of its polarisation.

We’d also suggest keeping the cable between your antenna and router as short as possible in order to limit interference. Generally 5 metres or less should be fine, although some people have used more without problems but your mileage may vary (more cable usually equals greater signal loss). However, there are other factors that you need to consider too, so let’s move on.

What do the gain (dB / dBi) figures on an antenna mean?

The power of an antenna is measured by its “gain,” which is usually reflected in figures for either dBi (decibels relative to an isotropic radiator) or just dB (decibels relative to a dipole radiator – technically dBd but marketing folk often just use dB, which is confusing). The gain is essentially a relative measure of the antenna’s ability to direct (concentrate) radio frequency energy in a particular direction or pattern.

At this point the explanations can get very complicated and as this guide is directed toward people from all walks of life then we’ll simply say that the higher the gain, the better the antenna’s performance and range (over simplification). However antennas with very high gain may also be more expensive, often to reflect their quality, and so there’s something to be said for picking one in the middle ground (note that for every c.6dBi in gain, you could double the range of an antenna).

Some antennas may also give several different gain values to reflect the range of spectrum bands they support, as each may have different characterises due to the antenna design. As such it helps to know what bands your mobile operator is actually using and how to understand the different measures of signal strength (this will help when trying to identify unusual reception problems), which is what we’ll touch on next.

Maps and spectrum bands – finding the info.

One of the biggest challenges with setting up a new antenna is knowing where the signal comes from, how strong it is and which bands are being used in your local area (this can vary depending upon the operator). Vodafone, Three UK, O2 and EE (BT) all have coverage checkers on their websites but these are extremely vague and not always particularly accurate (see Ofcoms Mobile Coverage Checker).

Continued on Page 2..

Leave a Comment
74 Responses
  1. Avatar damian says:

    very interesting read and nicely timed.

    Is the tp-link AC1200 MR400 any good as a mobile router?

    1. Avatar Kenneth Weston says:

      I have the tp-link CD80 I bought it over a year ago in Malaysia I use it mainly when I travel. My reception an home is lousy with broadband especially at busy times.

      I now just buy a unlimited sim for £20 for 30 days it works fine for my needs and I have never had any problem at all.

      I was thinking of upgrading to a more up to date mifi and keep this one just for travel.

    2. Avatar DaveyO says:

      Huawei B525 is a much better unit for the same price. Tp-link is ok just not quite as fast as a B525.

    3. Avatar Mark says:

      Depends on your priorities. I don’t like Huawei firmware/web interface and find TP-Link significantly easier to configure. I’m generally happy with the related MR600 (Cat 6).

  2. Avatar Chris Sayers says:

    Wowza @Marks Jackson, a brilliant article, I’ve learnt an awful lot here, thank you

    1. Avatar Chris Sayers says:

      @Mark Jackson.. Fingers and thumb sorry

  3. Avatar Mark says:

    We get signal from one mast on a TV relay, no others in the area, problem is never been upgraded, still just 2G so of no benefit, planning for 3/4G masts to be built have all been thrown out after objectors put a stop to them, in the words of the objectors ” We don’t care if we don’t get a signal, at least we’ve safe from radiation” not particularly rural small town.

  4. Avatar CarlT says:

    Great article, Mark. Thank you.

  5. Avatar AerialPro says:

    You can also get ‘phone repeaters’ or ‘boosters’
    They became legal in 2018 under OFCOM
    Although there are strict requirements.
    Most available are illegal so beware.
    At thus time only Cel-Fi units are legal license free versions.
    We supply the commercial version for larger buildings and companies but hone versions do exist too.

  6. Avatar Phil says:

    With mobile an external antenna is very much swings and roundabouts, as you often lose as much signal in the cable run as you gain from having the antenna external and high up. Much better to get a combined external modem/antenna, this means all the gains are present with an external antenna without the loses of the cable run or the often “black art” of co-ax connections and impedance matching, as the modem is optimally connected to the antenna with no losses of cabling, you then typically get your Internet from the external device as Ethernet.

    1. Avatar Fabrizio says:

      Thank you for this explanation, I always wondered why those aerial/lte modem combos were sold and what were the advantages, now I know 🙂

  7. Avatar Tim says:

    Good article Mark.

    One thing that was overlooked is cable loss and therefore the advantage of installing an external antenna that is also the modem. This negates the issue of signal loss between the antenna and the modem. This is really only a concern when the signal is poor/very poor.

    Mikrotik makes an LTE antenna + modem (all in one) that is very high gain and combines an LTE Cat6 modem. https://www.msdist.co.uk/mikrotik/wireless/lhg-lte6-kit

    1. Avatar A_Builder says:

      That is a very interesting product as it is PoE as well.

      My only tiny concern would be lightening strikes hitting LAN devices. In my experience some kind of a WiFi/pure fibre gap is a good idea to mitigates the risk.

      On one setup we did use a very short piece (1m) of fibre between two routers. Obviously powered from desperate circuits.

    2. Avatar Back of Beyond Broadband says:

      Yes, we use these Mikrotik antenna and they’re great. They have a number of solutions and dual sim devices. The POE via CAT5/ 6 Is ideal and allows for the longer reach cable runs in the trickier spots.

    3. Avatar joe says:

      I’ve used a few ‘desperate circuits’ but only in emergencies 🙂

    4. Avatar Gary says:

      Ref the lightning strikes, We’ve lost a couple of routers and once the Physical BT socket so I’ve got mine sat in the loft. Sure its having to operate through sarking and slate but is still giving 24db and -75db RSRP.

      Just ran the TBB speedtest @ 80Mbps down 18 up, that towers not in LoS its beyond the forested hill.

    5. Avatar Alex L says:

      Please excuse the newb question, but with this sort of device would i need to connect it to a wifi router for my family devices to connect to, or does it act as a wifi access point as well? sorry if any of my terminology is jumbled up!
      I’m just looking at this one, which seems to a good (albeit more expensive) all in device
      https://www.outdoorrouter.com/product/outdoor-uk-wifi-4g-router-cat6-dual-sim/

  8. Avatar Christopher Smith says:

    Useful & interesting article, thanks!

  9. Avatar Paul Ebrey says:

    Various examples and options available from mikrotik
    https://mikrotik.com/products/group/lte-products.

    The modems inside are modular in most of these so you can keep upgrading.

    The dish versions are also good for the really fringe reception areas.

    Various UK companies sell them and the prices aren’t unreasonable.

  10. Avatar Nick says:

    Installed quite a few mikrotik 4g routers.
    Currently installing the high gain 21db
    ones.

    1. Avatar Gary says:

      That the LHG one Nick i assume ? I’ve considered upgrading my SXT but not sure if it’s worth it as we’re not in direct LoS to the tower (its over the forested hill)

      Currently getting 24dbm with -75 RSRP

  11. Avatar Chris wallis says:

    Of course, here in IoW u just need to call wight wireless now known as Go Internet and a speedy reliable broadband is installed.

  12. Avatar David says:

    I have a holiday home in the South of France and also one in Southern Portugal. Both properties are in rural locations and suffer from very poor ADSL connections over the phone line, less than 4Mbps, which you also have to pay quite a high monthly fee for.

    So a couple of years ago I started researching 4G routers combined with external antennas. I now have a reliable 25Mbps connection via a 4G mast that’s 5kms away over a hill covered in forest.

    It’s turned into a bit of a hobby and I’ve been helping friends and neighbours with their internet connections. I’ve been providing them with a kit for less than 200 Euros that’s unlocked for any network, any SIM card.

    The kit I’m using is the Huawei 4G Router B315 or B310 combined with the WMM8G-7-27-5SP Antenna made by Panorama Antennas UK. I’ve installed approximately 50 of these kits, time and time again they’ve worked great and people are amazed at the connection speed they get.

    1. Avatar David says:

      There’s many 4G antennas on the market that promise fantastic performance and their specs look great, I’ve tried quite a few but unfortunately most of them don’t perform as promised.

      The antenna I’m using from Panorama Antennas works great and they also provide great customer support via telephone and email.

      No, I don’t work for them, I just think they offer a great product and service and deserve a mention!

    2. Avatar Mark says:

      Fully agree – there are a lot of antennas on Ebay and Amazon that make nonsense claims in terms physically impossible gain figures, so stick to a reputable supplier like Poynting or Panorama – they are more expensive, but do what they claim!

    3. Avatar David says:

      Yes, I’ve called Panorama a number of times with technical queries and they’ve always been extremely helpful.

    4. Avatar Peter Naylor says:

      David
      This sounds very interesting and wonder whether this is something g you could help me with…I live in a very rural area in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset and am looking for a reliable broadband system, possibly connected to a mobile signal/set-up.

      If you are willing I could give you chapter and verse in another more detailed email.

      Regards
      Peter

    5. Avatar Richard Turner says:

      Hi David, I live in a rural area and have a Huawei B525 router and looking to try and boost the 3/4g signal using an external antennae. What I am not clear on is how the external antennae connects to the router. There does not seem to be a socket on the router that would accept an external cable? I would appreciate any advice. Thanks very much.

    6. Avatar Richard Turner says:

      Hi David, just checked my router and noticed a compartment and ubcliped it and there are 2 sockets for external cables, I assume the external antennae has 2 cables and they just screw in? Is that to simple, inwonder if you might share an idiots DIY guide to installing the antennae. Thanks very much indeed, yours in hope.

  13. Avatar mmdrodrigues says:

    Scientific American on the dangers of microwave and millimeter wave.

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/we-have-no-reason-to-believe-5g-is-safe/

    1. Avatar David says:

      Sorry but that’s irrelevant, this article is about choosing an external antenna.

      By the way, don’t let your kids stand too close to your microwave, some of them leak!

    2. Avatar David says:

      I mean some microwaves leak, not your kids.

    3. Avatar CarlT says:

      Scientific American on how those dangers are overblown.

      https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/dont-fall-prey-to-scaremongering-about-5g/

      Opinion pieces published by them are opinions of the writer not the publication. That you don’t understand this basic premise speaks volumes.

  14. Avatar Jim Weir says:

    Couple of factual points in an otherwise good article.

    LTE requires a MiMo antenna by definition in the LTE standard, while using a single external antenna would work in some circumstances it would not provide any benefit. Always use a dual feed MiMo antenna.

    The best performing Antennas are Cross Polarised as this will March the base station antenna design – ie +45deg / -45deg rather than Vertical & Horizontal.

    RSSI isn’t relevant to LTE performance at all, only examine RSRP for a relative LTE signal “strength”, but it is relative to the band in use.

    For performance at any RSRP level the best performance will be governed by the SINR, critically the greater the number above 0dB (upto +20dB) the better the download and upload speed will perform.

    1. Avatar Mark says:

      Check out https://wiki.teltonika-networks.com/view/Mobile_Signal_Strength_Recommendations for an excellent in-depth but very readable summary of what all the numbers mean (particularly debunking RSSI as actually meaning anything useful at all if you have the more detailed numbers).

  15. Avatar Ian Hughes says:

    RSSI is a very crude measure of ‘signal strength’, as it lumps together signal, noise, interferers and reflections. Only signal is usable, hence sometimes poor performance with high RSSI level. Signal paths are not always reciprocal, due to receive and transmit being on different bands, so you may see high RSSI, but the Base site cannot see your transmissions nearly as well.

    Signal quality measures are better, but still don’t tell you how well the Base site is seeing your signals. In professional coverage assessment, we use real voice segments and make actual calls, scoring the received voice quality with a computer algorithm…

  16. Avatar Gary says:

    Great article, I researched externals before deciding on an integrated solution SXT LTE, Didn’t fancy spending the money on an external antenna for a 4g home router only to lose signal down the cabling from the antenna.

    Other option of course was to put the device in the Loft but then it would have needed mains power and be a pita to get to.

    Mines Poe and giving me better than 40x my old adsl connection. Sure its more variable depending on the cell tower congestion but haven’t regretted the switch to 4G. I’m classed as remote/rural/hard to reach so its really been a massive upgrade.

  17. Avatar upinthebeyond says:

    it would also be interesting to see an article on the relative merits of different modems (apologies if I’ve missed a previous article)

    Should I get the ee sim + modem or buy my own modem and get a separate sim card?

    In my case, I am 2km with LOS to a mast which will hopefully be live within the next few months

    1. Avatar David says:

      I’ve had excellent results with the Huawei B310 and B315, they’re pretty cheap too. If you want a bargain there’s many used, unlocked units for sale on Ebay.

      They seem to be very reliable, I’ve installed around 50 and haven’t had any faults at all.

      The internal antenna seems to work very well but of course there’s also the option of conection an external antenna. From what I’ve experienced theyre good at working with a weak 4G signal.

  18. Avatar GaryW says:

    I had a Huawei B618s modem in a ground floor window on the side of the house nearest our local EE 4G mast. Did a good job with its internal antenna but decided to try an external antenna anyway. Popped a Poynting A0002 directional antenna on our sky dish pole (which means it’s about 3m off the ground) and aligned using mast data and Google maps! Makes a significant difference to signal: RSRP is improved by about 6dBm, RSRQ stays more consitently in low single-digits, and SINR sits solidly at +/- 20dB (whereas before it would often dip down to 10dB). In terms of performance, download still seems to be limited more by congestion than anything else (can be well over 100Mbps at quiet times, but dips at peak times) although upload is noticeably better at 27-33 all the time versus low 20s. Biggest surprise was what happens on the occasions our nearest mast is down for maintenance and the modem switches to the next best mast which is in a different direction (NE rather than NNW). I’d expected to have to switch to internal antenna, but in fact in spite of being a directional antenna the Poynting gives the same stats and performance as the internal antenna used to! Just goes to show it’s art as well as science…

    1. Avatar Mark says:

      It’s worth looking at the gain profile diagrams that the more reputable producers include with their antennas. Although the Poynting A-002 is described as a directional unit, it has decent gain over quite an angle. I moved ours from indoor roof space (perfectly aligned on a pole) to outdoors flat against the side of building using the supplied wall mount (a few degrees off in alignment and about a metre lower), but the signal improved noticeably in both strength and quality.

  19. Avatar billybob says:

    Get a MIMO antenna.

  20. Avatar Stephen says:

    Does anyone know how you can find out which direction the closest mast is?

    1. Avatar Mark says:

      ISP coverage maps can give a good indication in rural areas. For urban, mast loading and local topography is probably at least as important as absolute distance.

    2. Avatar Stephen says:

      I stay in a rural location. I know where the few O2 masts in the area are (the O2 website is also useful for checking this) and my signal has to be coming from 1 of 2. They are both in completely the opposite direction. My router sits in the middle of the windowsill, I have tried moving it to both sides to see if that rules 1 of them out. Unfortunately it does not. Are there any IOS apps that can tell you where your signal is coming from?

    3. Avatar Meadmodj says:

      I find this site the most useful. https://www.cellmapper.net/

      My personal experience in my camper that an external aerial (on telescopic pole) was of benefit in very remote areas of the UK, in semi rural I could get a reasonable result with paddle aerials. At home in urban I have just ended up with a B315 (paddle aerials) in the loft Cat6 cabled down home router. Beware not all router firmware can be set to bridge mode so if that’s important spend carefully.

    4. Avatar David says:

      Yes, I’ve also used the Cellmapper website to locate masts, in the UK, France and Portugal.

      The Huawei B310 and B315 Routers are 12v devices, I purchased a cigarette lighter plug incorporating a 12v regulator circuit, so I can also use the router in my car and motorhome.

    5. Avatar David says:

      I like the idea of mounting the 4G router in the loft and running Ethernet down into the house. For some people I guess it’s worth trying and might save them the expense and hassle of mounting an external antenna.

    6. Avatar Billybob says:

      use the opensignal app

  21. Avatar Vickie Hunter says:

    I wondered if anyone could advise me on how to improve our mifi signal on our narrowboat? We currently use a Huawei E5573Bs-322 USB dongle which is powered on a 12v system. Any solution would also need to be powered from 12v as, although we can have 240v, we don’t want to run our inverter 24/7.
    The internet is painfully slow at times and as we use it for business it’s becoming a frustration.

    Any help gratefully received, thanks.

  22. Avatar David says:

    Hi Vickie Hunter.

    I’ve supplied a number of 12v systems with an external antenna for people living on narrowboats, with great results.

    The kit I would recommend is as follows:

    Huawei B310 or B315 4G Router – Unlocked
    12v to 12v Regulated Power Adapter
    Panorama WMM8G-7-27-5SP Outdoor Antenna (same as the one in the photo at the very top of this article).

    I have a kit like this available if you’re interested.

    1. Avatar me says:

      well the batteries are 12v, the routers are 12v. You don’t exactly need a kit! And what you do need can be picked up for pennies on ebay

  23. Avatar David says:

    The Huawei B310 and B315 are actually 12v DC units, they are supplied with a 240v AC power supply for use in homes.

    When a vehicle, motorhome, caravan, boat battery is being charged by an alternator, mains hook up, or solar power system, the 12v system can rise far higher than 12v, hence the reason why a regulated 12v power supply is required to avoid damage to the router.

  24. Avatar James says:

    Has anyone compared the modem performance of the Mikrotik SXT LTE6 kit with any of the Huawei routers? I’m using the Huawei B618 at the moment which I find is marginally better than the B535 and quite a bit better than the older 525 but adding external aerials to the Huaweis makes no difference and I wondered if the Mikrotik would be likey to capture a better signal.

    1. Avatar Chris says:

      This is the question I’ve been trying to answer for a couple days now.

      The main decision seems to be between
      A) a combined Router/Antenna combo wired in with POE
      or
      B) a seperate router and ariel combo

      I’m about to order the kit for B only because this seems to be the more common solution. If I have problems I’ll be going with A and report back.

  25. Avatar Jamie One says:

    Hi,

    I am setting up a Vodaphone GigaCube at my home and wanted a solid antenna for outside the house.

    I am looking at two versions:
    Huawei 5G AF9E outdoor boosting 5G antenna, peak gain 14dBi, frequency range 3300-4200MHz, easy installation – White

    Or

    https://www.4gltemall.com/vodafone-gigacube-5g-external-antenna.html

    Could you shed some light on whether I will get any improvement with these antenna. Cabling should be approx 5m from antenna to gicacube.

    Huge thanks for your input.

    1. Avatar David says:

      Hi Jamie One, are you actually going to be using it for 5G or only 4G? Consider what frequencies you need the antenna to cover.

      From my experience, If you’re willing to spend a little time aligning the antenna then the directional antenna will give better results than the omni-directional.

      I’ve never used either of those antennas, but I can strongly recommend an antenna from Panorama Antennas. http://www.panorama-antennas.com

    2. Avatar David says:

      Are you sure the Huawei AF9E actually exists, I mean do Huawei actually make it? I can’t find it anywhere on Huawei’s websites.

      I’m afraid 14dBi Gain doesn’t sound believeable.

    1. Avatar David says:

      Yes, I’ve seen it on Amazon, eBay, etc. But I can’t find it on Huawei’s website, that’s why I’m wondering if it’s genuine? I might be wrong.

      You have to be careful as there’s many cheap or even expensive antennas coming from China that promise huge gain but actually don’t work very well.

    2. Avatar David says:

      When I click on the Amazon you gave it shows the antenna for sale. There’s 31 User Reviews but they all relate a Huawei Router NOT an Antenna.

      Smells a bit fishy.

  26. Avatar Jamie One says:

    Hi David,

    You are right, I won’t be buying the Huewei.
    Thank you for your link I will look into these a little more.

    1. Avatar David says:

      I don’t know if Panorama Antennas office is open due to the current situation, but I’ve called them a few times for technical advice and they’ve always been very helpful and I’ve had excellent results with their kit.

    2. Avatar David says:

      I’ve also heard good reports about Poynting antennas, see their website here…

      https://poynting.tech/product-category/application-products/household/

      Good luck!

  27. Avatar Paul Denman says:

    What a fantastic article.

    Very helpful Thx

  28. Avatar Dave Hunt says:

    Great article,
    I’ve been looking into this and trying a few different things, but wondered if anyone had any advice on my situation?
    I have a static caravan on one of Haven’s site in North Wales. The signal for Three is good and works ok some of the time. However, when there are a lot of visitors on site, all trying to use their phones, the speed deteriorates quickly and it becomes unreliable.
    Is there anything that can be done to help with this?
    Thanks

  29. Avatar Bamalamasam says:

    Hi, asking for a bit of advice. We’re in a semi rural area, in a bit of a valley and surrounded by trees, which doesn’t make for good broadband (that and 3 foot thick stone walls!) We’ve got Mifi and on a good day we can get about 35mps using a Huawai router, but the signal strength is up and down like a kangaroo on a pogo! Would an external antenna help stabilise the signal? I appreciate that I may lose a bit of speed via the cable but would just be happy with a constant speed, anything over 10mps would be nice! Thanks.

  30. Avatar David Ackers says:

    Hi

    I live in rural west Wales Dolgellau at 900ft above sea level. All around my home I have excellent EE 4g but not inside (probably due to the heat reflective lining and glass) but the fixed broadband is terrible at 0.2mps. I bought a 4gee home router pre-owned on eBay (limited income) as the signal is good outside I figured I don’t need an amazing and expensive antenna what do you suggest?

    Thanks for this helpful article
    David

    1. Avatar David says:

      I would recommend this antenna, I’ve had great results with it.

      I’m not sure what router you have so you need to check if the connections are compatible.

      Panorama WMM8G-7-27-5SP Outdoor Antenna (same as the one in the photo at the very top of this article).

      Regards, David.

  31. Avatar Rick Sareen says:

    My need is occasional but reliable mobile broadband for running Zoom meetings when away in my motorhome. When not zooming, I am happy with regular phone connections.

    Would it make sense to buy a battery powered unit and attach it to a pole which I can raise when I need to make the Zoom meetings?

    What might be the reasons not to do this? It seems a simple cheap solution.
    I had In mind the Huawei E5787. Why might I buy a more expensive unit?

    Any suggestions and comments welcome.

  32. Avatar Alex says:

    Anyone have experience with the OutdoorRouter routers and antennas?

  33. Avatar Sebbe L says:

    Is it better with CAT6 than CAT4 when the LTE-connection is poor? Or is there no difference? CAT6 has higher MHz range.

    Thanks for answer!

  34. Avatar John says:

    HI..need advise…4G router and external omi antenna. for a caravan site with poor to good reception in doors of caravan, but out doors or from roof the reception is great. USed for moring tv shows for kids and at night for family movies tv shows, will be streaming from Netflix, Disney+, Prime, Sky Go, NowTV and youtube.. then normal social media and internet use.
    Want to keep price down, so not higher than £100. Please recommend.
    Huawei, DLink etc

    1. Avatar David says:

      Most caravans are constructed with an aluminium skin, this kills the signal. You need to get a router that you can connect an external/outdoor antenna to.

      I would recommend a Huawei B310 or B315, they are resonably priced.

      Then attach an antenna made by Panorama Antennas and mount it outside.

      All the best, David.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £22.00
    Avg. Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Onestream £22.49 (*29.99)
    Avg. Speed 45Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • xln telecom £22.74 (*47.94)
    Avg. Speed 66Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Plusnet £22.99 (*35.98)
    Avg. Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £60 Reward Card
  • Vodafone £23.00
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Prices inc. Line Rental | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. BT (2769)
  2. FTTP (2758)
  3. FTTC (1785)
  4. Building Digital UK (1743)
  5. Politics (1667)
  6. Openreach (1623)
  7. Business (1435)
  8. FTTH (1340)
  9. Statistics (1241)
  10. Mobile Broadband (1228)
  11. Fibre Optic (1065)
  12. 4G (1059)
  13. Wireless Internet (1021)
  14. Ofcom Regulation (1015)
  15. Virgin Media (1006)
  16. EE (698)
  17. Vodafone (669)
  18. Sky Broadband (668)
  19. TalkTalk (663)
  20. 5G (519)
New Forum Topics
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact