on May 12, 2016 James N
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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