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Omni-Directional Antennas vs Uni-Directional (Yagi) Antennas.

on July 10, 2018

Which Outside Antenna is Best for You?

Today, we talk about outside antennas in relation to cell phone signal boosters, devices that amplify your cellular service.

Cell phone boosters generally come in three parts: 

  • The Outside Antenna captures weak signal.
  • The Amplifier boosts signal.
  • The Inside Antenna broadcasts enhanced signal. 

The outside antenna usually comes in two types: omni antenna and directional (yagi) antenna in either 50 Ohm or 75 Ohm.

For example, our bestselling home unit, the weBoost Connect 4G, features a yagi antenna while one of our popular commercial kits, the WilsonPro 70 Plus has options for yagi and omni. 

So many of our customers often ask: What's the difference?

How They Are The Same

Both antennas pull in your existing 3G & 4G LTE signals. However, each has strengths and weaknesses depending on the application.

How They Are Different

Omni antennas are all-around performers.

They catch signal from a 360-degree field, which is good when cell sites and towers are nearby. They are generally shaped like long rod-like cylinders. 

Directional (yagi) antennas are specialized performers.

They catch signal from a 45-90 degree directional field. The ability to focus on a narrow field allows it to reach farther than the omni by about 2-3X. However, the one downside is that unless all carriers are within that directional field, the yagi antenna tends to boost one to two carriers and not all of them.

So directional antennas are very popular with people in remote, rural areas. 

Let's get into details & explore some options.

Omni Directional Antennas

Omni directional antennas are the no-hassle-installation type. Once installed high on the roof or wall, the omni-directional antenna will pull in signal from 360 degrees.


  • Easy installation.
  • Amplify cell signals from multiple carriers with different cell towers in multiple locations. 
  • Great for boosting 3G & 4G signal when building material is the main problem of cellular interruption.


  • Doesn't reach as far as a directional antenna.
  • Not so great for poor signal areas when cell tower distance is the main problem.

Think of omni antennas as general-use antennas. It’s a popular albeit non-specialized choice for most users.

Many of our big business customers choose omni antennas, because they service multiple providers like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint at the same time.

If you're surrounded by carrier towers and they are close enough for the omni to pull in, then the omni antenna is a good choice. 

If you're looking to boost a particular carrier or the cell tower is too far away for the omni to pull in, then that's when a directional yagi antenna might be a better choice.

Most popular cell phone signal boosters that feature an omni antenna:

  1. WilsonPro 70 Plus: Boosts talk, text, 3G and 4G LTE up to 25,000 sq ft.
  2. weBoost Drive 4G-X:  Boosts talk, text, 3G and 4G LTE for cars, trucks, and sedans.
  3. weBoost Drive 4G-X + Marine Essentials:  Boosts talk, text, 3G and 4G LTE for yachts. 

Uni Directional (Yagi) Antennas

Uni directional or yagi antennas are slightly more advanced than omni antennas. Once installed high on the roof or wall, the directional antenna will pull in signal from 45-90 degrees.

With such a narrow field of concentration, it allows the antenna to reach out farther to pull in signal up to 3X compared to the omni. However, it needs to be pointed to a cell tower for it to work efficiently


  • More powerful than omni antenna up to 3X.
  • Best option for people in remote rural countryside areas.
  • Can boost multiple carriers if they within the field of range of the yagi antenna.
  • Great for boosting 3G & 4G signal when cell tower distance is the biggest problem.


  • Generally boosts signal for one to two carriers.
  • Need to point the antenna towards the direction of the cell tower.
  • Needs some technical know-how to find the cell tower.

So directional antennas are specialized antennas that potentially can pull in more signal, however they do require more work in setting up.

Knowing the location of the cell towers is important. Luckily, we've already a complete guide on finding your cell tower.

Most popular cell phone signal boosters that feature the yagi directional antenna:

  1. weBoost Connect 4G: Boosts talk, text, 3G and 4G LTE with home coverage from 1,500 to 5,000 sq ft.
  2. Wilson Pro 70 Plus: Commercial signal booster. Coverage for buildings from 15,000 to  25,000 sq ft.
  3. weBoost Connect 4G-X: Boosts talk, text, 3G and 4G LTE with home coverage from 2,500 to 7,500 sq ft. 

So Which Outside Antenna is the Best?

Think of it like a light source.

An omni antenna is like a lantern and a yagi antenna is like a flashlight. One is for general use and the other is for pinpoint accuracy. Both have their pros & cons.

As a rule of thumb, if you're surrounded by nearby cell towers and want to amplify all carriers, then an omni is a recommended choice since it pulls signal from 360 degrees and is a no-hassle installation.

If you're in a location where the cell site or tower is far away, then your only option might be the yagi directional antenna since it has up to 3X the reach compared to the omni. However, you'll most likely boost one or two carriers and not all unless all carriers are being carried on the same tower. And it takes a bit of work to locate the nearest cell tower.

However, there are combiners that allows for combining both omni and yagi antennas for all-around and carrier-specific performance. 

Hope this helps and thanks for reading.

Need help? Email us today ( sales@wilsonamplifiers.com) or give us a call at 1-800-568-2723. A cell phone signal expert will gladly assist you in getting better signal instantly.

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