Directional vs omnidirectional booster antennas
With the right booster antenna, you can establish a strong internet connection, even in an area with poor cellular coverage. Both directional and omnidirectional antennas improve the strength of an installed mobile broadband connection, but they do so in two different ways.
- A directional booster antenna, like our Super Duo-Yagi MIMO Antenna, transmits radio waves in one direction to connect with a single cellular tower.
- An omnidirectional booster antenna, like our Panel MIMO Booster Antenna, transmits radio waves in all directions to connect with multiple cellular towers.
Let’s take a closer look at the differences, in both hardware and performance, between directional and omnidirectional booster antennas:
Directional booster antennas have better range
Because directional antennas transmit radio waves in just one direction (towards the nearest cellular tower), they have minimal signal loss. Low signal loss equals high antenna range, which means directional antennas can connect successfully with cellular towers that are farther away.
If you need to significantly improve the speed of your installed mobile broadband connection, a directional antenna is often your best bet. A directional booster antenna connects permanently to the nearest tower, which increases the efficiency and reliability of your boosted connection.
The position of a directional antenna is, however, critical to its performance. When you install a directional antenna, take into account the direction of the nearest tower, as well as any obstructions in the way of the antenna and the tower, before positioning the antenna.
Omnidirectional antennas come with more flexibility
Unlike a directional antenna, an omnidirectional antenna connects with multiple cellular towers at once. This feature is both an advantage and a disadvantage, since it increases the number of potential connections with towers, but also increases signal loss.
If you’re located in the middle of two or more towers, the advantage of an omnidirectional antenna often outweighs the disadvantages. By establishing multiple connections with nearby towers, an omnidirectional antenna builds a larger pipeline for transmitting online data.
An omnidirectional antenna also comes with more flexibility than a directional antenna. You can easily move and reposition an omnidirectional antenna, which isn’t the case with a directional antenna. Also, if your carrier puts up a new cellular tower, an omnidirectional antenna immediately picks up the new signal. A directional antenna needs to be repositioned first.
Because omnidirectional antennas send and receive radio waves in all directions, the position of the antenna is never critical. Although you’ll want to install an omnidirectional antenna away from obstructions, you can ultimately place it wherever is most convenient.
Which booster antenna is right for you?
Depending on your situation, a directional or an omnidirectional antenna could be the right choice for you. Before you weigh the pros and cons of each option, take a look at a cellular tower map. If you’re close to one tower in particular, a directional antenna is probably best. If you’re in the middle of two or more towers, look into an omnidirectional antenna.