Wireless Broadband Antenna

Shop Closed until 11th September 2017

Are you suffering poor reception and dropouts with your wireless broadband modem?.... then read on for a solution.

Antenna

Full Screen Ahead has a range of antenna and associated connectors to suit most of the wireless broadband modems available in Australia.

Choose from our range of:

Background

A wireless broadband modem allows you to connect your computer to the internet using the mobile phone network. This requires a mobile phone sim card inside the modem, and an account with a carrier such as Telstra or Optus. Signal strength drops off as you go further from the transmission tower, or if you are inside a building which is shielding the signal. If you are just receiving a signal – then you will suffer poor internet speeds and dropouts. In this case one of our antenna will improve your internet.

There a lot of different signal types in use eg GSM, HSPA, 4G and each has a different maximum distance that they can operate at from the transmission towers. However all these types broadcast within 2 frequency bands - one band is at 850 to 900 MHz, and the other band is between 1800 and 2100 MHz. All the companies that offer mobile broadband operate within these bands – so a dual band antenna is recommended so that you have maximum compatibility in all areas, now and into the future.

Just to confuse things – WiFi or local area wireless (LAN) refers to a different type of wireless that only broadcasts up to about 100m and doesn’t require a sim card and carrier account. This WiFi usually broadcasts about the 2400 MHz frequency and needs a router to operate. Some models of wireless broadband modem combine both types of wireless ie. your internet comes from a carrier into the modem and is then routed and rebroadcast around your premises for more than one computer to use. Be careful not to buy an antenna designed for WiFi at the 2400 MHz frequencies, as they are usually not suitable for the lower frequencies of wireless broadband.

Most wireless broadband modems and mobile phones have a small antenna socket somewhere, mostly on the side, for attaching an external antenna to improve signal strength ( the notable exception is the iPhone). So you need a connector that fits into that socket. There are a variety of connectors in use across the different modems and mobile phones available - so you need to make sure you get the right connector by using a patch cable to suit your modem. We supply dual band antenna that can be used with most modems and with any carrier - provided you buy the correct patch cable to suit your model. See our patch cable descriptions for a list of modems that we know are suitable for our antenna’s. Our products are mix n match because they allow swapping of our patch cables with our extension cables and antenna. We concentrate on wireless broadband modems and not mobile phones.

Will You Benefit From An External Antenna?

Our antenna have gains of 5dBi or 8dBi - the higher the number, the better the antenna will pick up a weak signal. However we prefer to describe gain in terms of bars. The connection manager software that comes with your modem has a signal strength indicator that usually has a range from 0 to 5 bars, with 5 bars indicating very strong reception. If you already have 3 or more bars then you are achieving enough signal strength, and you don't need an external antenna. However if you are receiving less than 2 bars - then our antenna will improve your broadband experience. In our experience 3 or more bars will give you optimum internet speed and stability, but if you are receiving less then your internet speed will also be degraded.

If your modem shows 1 to 2 bars without use of an antenna - then our antenna can bring reception of at least 3 bars in the same environment. Indoors you often receive poor reception, due to the blocking effect of walls and roofs. We have a choice of a desktop antenna ( 5dBi) that can often improve older modems in the same environment, or a much more powerful panel antenna ( 8 dBi). The panel antenna can be located indoors or outside by running an extension cable, and will give a substantial boost to signal strength with any modem.

bars

Try your modem outside without an antenna and if you receive 1 bar - then using an antenna will usually give you 3 or 4 bars outside. If you don't receive any bars outside without an antenna, then our antenna probably won't help.

For the situation where you have a weak signal outside but no signal indoors – then consider our powerful panel antenna. This 8dBi antenna comes with a bracket to fix it to a wall or a tube. Then you need to run one of our extension cables ( 2m, 3m, 5m, or 10m lengths) from the antenna to the modem (which is plugged into your computer).

One of the causes of very slow internet could be that your modem is only picking up the older 2G signal. This can usually be identified in your connection manager software by the appearance of words such as GSM, GPRS, EDGE, which all are 2G signals. Also the indicator lights on the modem can tell you eg with most Huawei modems it is a green light for 2G instead of a blue light for 3G – you need to read your modem manual to find out the meaning of the colours. Faster internet (often 10 times or more) comes with 3G and 4G signal eg words such as WCDMA, HSDPA, HSPA, LTE. In most locations our antenna will enable you to pickup the 3G signal, instead of the 2G – but there are some rural areas where only 2G is available. The carriers publish coverage maps on their websites that you can use to determine if you are in a 2G or 3G area.