Frequently Asked Questions
I have a weak signal in the area I live and want to increase signal strength to improve download speeds. What antenna should I use?
To find the best solution to increase throughput and signal speed with an antenna several dimensions should be considered.
Indoor / outdoor:
- If you can mount it, a suitable outdoor antenna can deliver much better performance
Directional (panel, LPDA) or omnidirectional antenna:
- If you are in a remote area where the direction of the next base station can be clearly identified, it is best to use a directional antenna and align it with the base station.
- If you are in an (urban) area where there are different signal sources and/or you are working with different providers an omnidirectional antenna offers the better and more flexible solution.
High or low gain:
- In general – the higher the gain the better. But gain correlates with size of an antenna so typically there are limits. Further, if you are in an area with very strong signal strengths, a lower gain antenna may work better.
To find the right antenna please visit our antenna selection guide.
Provided that you are within the 3G/LTE signal range a suitable antenna will provide you with higher data rates as your signal to noise ratio is increased, thus a better transfer rate can be achieved.
A high gain antenna mounted outside in a fixed position aligned with the relevant base station will give you best possible performance and result in a more stable signal.
Please bear in mind that the 3G/LTE data rate will also be affected by the number of subscribers on line at a particular time, so don’t be surprised if throughput varies during the day. Also, rain, trees and metal obstacles can influence your throughput rate.
The antenna offers the opportunity to receive the signal from an outdoor environment which is not prone to the multipath fading experienced in an indoor environment. There is a 10-20 dB advantage when receiving the signal in an outdoor open space environment as compared to a cluttered indoors. This together with the antenna gain provides anything between 20-30 dB gain when using an external antenna even if the antenna gain is only 11 dBi. So the received signal will be better than -80dBm.
To connect the antenna to your router use the cable and the antenna input of the router. You may need a small pigtail cable to fit the two.
To connect a modem proceed in the same way as above if it has an antenna outlet. If not, you can try with an adapter which couples the antenna of the modem, see e.g. ADPT-026.
You can find a number of apps and programs to test download speed, one example is “Speedtest” from Ookla. With those you can compare download rates with and without antenna.
Most of Conugis’ outdoor antennas are supplied with a bracket that will fit a pole with a diameter of 50 mm.
- Attach and securely fasten the antenna to the mast using the U-clamp. Try not to over fasten or tighten the clamps as you will start bending the pole or damaging the antenna mount.
- Attach the three-legged bracket to the wall on the side of the house using raw plugs.Tools required: drill, spanner/sand hammer.
- Attach mast (pole) to the wall mount bracket using the U-clamps and nuts supplied.
- Make sure that antenna is securely mounted to avoid dangerous situations.
Aligning an antenna for best performance means first checking what antenna type you have gotten. Omnidirectional antennas just have to be mounted straight, there is no need for further alignment necessary as their characteristics are identical in all horizontal directions.
This is different for directional antenna like a panel, LPDA or grid antenna. For best performance you first need to find out where the closest base station in line of sight of your internet service provider is located. A lot of times you can find websites which help to find out where the provider’s masts are. If not, you can call the operator’s customer service and get the address of the nearest base station relevant for your location.
If signal is low and you would like to attempt better reception or to “peak” the antenna, then proceed as follows:
- In order to direct the antenna towards the base station, use a cell phone with an integrated map and put in the address as a starting point. Then zoom out on the map, having both, the base station location and your own location simultaneously on the screen. Then activate the compass mode so that the map adapts according to how you direct the phone. Then adjust the antenna(s) in the right direction.
- Keep the antenna in that direction for about a minute to see if the reception improves.
- Draw a line as a reference point on the mast (pole) in relation to the clamp that secures the mast to the wall bracket. Make only a small mark with a marking pen as a reference point.
- Turn the antenna by increments of 10º to find the direction of the strongest signal. If you do not have any information where the base station tower is, move the antenna in increments of 3-5° at a time to see where the signal improves.
- If you have an option of more than one tower, select the tower with the fewest obstructions between you and the tower, even if it is much further. The antenna can operate with a tower up to 35 km away.
- lt is advisable to rather select a tower with clear line-of-sight further away than selecting a tower that is nearby but behind a hill, mountain, obstruction, building, etc.
- The antenna should be mounted as high as mast and the cable allows.
Keep in mind that the following items that obstruct your line of site can influence the signal:
- Landscape, like a hill or mountain.
- Any metal obstacle, like a corrugated iron roof, buildings with metal reinforcing, etc.
- Trees, especially if it is raining.
Is it possible to connect a repeater or a transmission system, so that I do not have to be connected to a cable when talking on my mobile phone?
Unfortunately it is illegal to transmit on the cellular frequencies, the Cellular Network Providers are the only ones that can transmit on these frequencies. Therefore we cannot sell systems that radiate the signal. Our solution requires that you connect your mobile phone to an external antenna with a 10m cable that and use an adapter e.g. ADPT-024. Only one cellphone can be linked to the antenna at a time.
All of Conugis’ outdoor antennas have a built in DC short which will help with vicinity strikes. For proper protection the pole which the antenna is mounted on must be properly grounded. A typical set-up an aluminium pole with a copper strap running down the pole into an appropriate spike (or 3 spikes) into moist soil. An additional aluminium pipe can be mounted horizontally above the antenna to take the brunt of any direct strikes.Gas arrestors or polyphaser devices can also be fitted inline to further suppress any surges.
There is always debate on if and how which type of electromagnetic fields are influencing the health condition of humans. So far, there is no scientific evidence that the frequencies and signal strengths typically used in 3G/LTE have any negative influence. With respect to using an antenna even to the contrary: an antenna is a focal point for electromagnetic waves and using one results in reduced fields around the antenna.