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

on May 12, 2016

the difference between a yagi and omni antenna

Which Outside Antenna is Best for You?

Almost all cell phone signal booster kits come with 3 major components: the outside antenna (to pull in signal), the amplifier (to boost signal), and the inside antenna (to rebroadcast amplified signal indoors). 

The outside antenna usually comes in two types: omni antenna and directional (yagi) antenna.

For example, one of our most popular 3G home kits, the Connect 3G comes in two versions: one with omni (472105) and one with yagi (472205).

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

Well, for starters, both are outside antennas that pull in your existing 3G & 4G signals before sending it off to the amplifier to be boosted.

In general, omni antennas are all-around performers used in corporate offices, because they pull signal from a 360-degree field, which usually helps when boosting multiple carriers with cell towers in different locations. They generally are long rod-like cylinders. 

Directional (yagi) antennas are specialized performers that pull in signal from a 45-90 degree directional field. The ability to focus on a narrower field allows it to reach farther than the omni and pull in more signal. However, unless all carriers are within that directional field, the yagi antenna tends to only boost one carrier.They generally look like an arrow tip or a pirate flag (ahoy, mateys!).

So, directional antennas are very popular with people in remote, rural areas or any place with terrible reception.

Let's get into details & explore some options.

Omni Directional Antennas

Omni directional antennas are the no-hassle-installations 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 the 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, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.

Although it’s possible for two Sprint or any other same-carrier towers to be close enough to each other that the omni-antenna pulls in signal from both, but it's not a common situation. Depending on the location, you’ll most likely be close to one of each carrier tower (i.e. one Verizon tower, one Sprint tower, one T-Mobile tower, etc., not two Verizon towers, three Sprint towers, one T-Mobile, etc.).

That’s when a directional antenna comes in handy.

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

  1. weBoost Connect 3G Omni: Boosts talk, text, 3G internet with home coverage from 1,000 to 5,000 sq ft.
  2. zBoost Trio SOHO Verizon: Boosts talk, text, 3G internet for Verizon only. Coverage from 250 to 2,500 sq ft.
  3. zBoost Trio SOHO AT&T: Boosts talk, text, 3G internet for AT&T only. Coverage from 250 to 2,500 sq ft.

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. So it needs to be pointed at the cell tower.


  • More powerful than omni antenna
  • 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 carrier
  • Need to point the antenna towards the direction of 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 & 4G internet with home coverage from 1,500 to 5,000 sq ft.
  2. weBoost Connect 3G Directional: Boosts talk, text, 3G internet. Coverage from 1,500 to 5,000 sq ft.
  3. Wilson Pro 70 Plus: Commercial signal booster. Coverage for buildings from 10,000 to  50,000 sq ft.

So Which Outside Antenna is the Best?

Well, do you use a fork to drink soup and a spoon to eat pasta? Even though they’re both kitchenware, it depends on the situation. Both have their strengths and weaknesses.

But as a rule of thumb, if you’re only looking to improve cell signals for one carrier, go with a directional antenna. It's more powerful and doesn't take much work to find the general direction of the cell tower.

If you’re looking to boost all the major carriers, go with the omni. And especially if you already have pretty good signal but building material is the main problem obstructing your 3G & 4G signal, then this is a winner, too. 

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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