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Omni-Directional Antennas vs. Directional Antennas

07/10/16

Virtually all cell phone signal booster kits come with 3 major components: the outside antenna, the amplifier, and the inside antenna.

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

So what’s the difference? Read on to learn more and determine which one best fits your needs.

Omni-Directional Antennas

As the name implies, omni-directional antennas receive and transmit signals in all directions. They are a good choice for most users as they provide consistent coverage over a broad area and can service multiple providers while directional antennas generally only provide amplification for one provider.

Advantages of omni-directional antennas:

  • Ease of 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

Disadvantages of omni-directional antennas:

  • Range is less than that of a directional antenna
  • Not ideal for areas where poor signal areas where the culprit is cell tower distance

Directional Antennas

Directional antennas, also called yagi antennas, have a radius of only 45 to 90 degrees to pull signals from. Since their signal is concentrated in a more narrow field than omni-directional antennas, they are able to reach out farther to pull in a signal.

They must be pointed in the direction of the cell tower to be effective, so you must first determine the location of the nearest cell phone tower for your provider.

Advantages of directional antennas:

  • Directional antennas are more powerful than omni-directional antennas.
  • They are better suited for people in rural areas where the distance between cell towers is much greater than in urban or suburban areas.

Disadvantages of directional antennas:

  • Generally boosts signal for one carrier
  • Need to point the antenna towards the direction of the cell tower

Choosing the Right Antenna

Ultimately, it comes down to your individual situation. If you live in an area with weak cell phone signal, due to distance from cell towers, you will want to select a directional antenna. If you are a business that has weak signal for multiple providers, this may require purchasing multiple directional antennas and pointing each in a different direction to the corresponding cell tower. An omni-directional antenna may help, but it would likely not perform as well as a directional antenna in this circumstance.

If you get great cell reception outdoors at your facility, but indoor signal is weak, an omni-directional antenna would be a better choice. This will pull in and boost signal for multiple carriers. If your facility spans multiple floors, you will likely need to purchase a separate indoor antenna for every floor.

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If you are located throughout the Mid-Atlantic, we are able to provide the solution for your weak indoor cell phone signal. We service:

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