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Thread: Antennas worth it?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    Antennas worth it?

    Hello! I live in rural Indiana and had an awful time finding a good internet solution. I recently was able no to pick up AT&T mobile hotspot to use for internet for my house. It has been tremendously better than the WISP I was using (3 Mbps down, 0.5 Mbps up when it worked).

    With AT&T I have been averaging about 50 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up using a Nighthawk ME router only. My question is, will it be worth spending the $200 to get a couple yagi antennas and some low signal loss cabling? Will I be able to improve on these speeds much?

    My current signal sits at 3 bars and occasionally drops to 2 bars. My original intent was to spend the money on antennas but I also did not expect 50 Mbps download speeds right off the bat with just the router.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Yes, but it depends on a number of factors. Even with low loss cable, any length over say 15 ft is going to lower the signal significantly and you could need a booster in-between.

    We tried all this up at the cottage in Northern Ontario. Boosters surprisingly didn't help much, if at all. The signal would increase but this didn't translate into usable bandwidth or latency reduction at all.

    For us at least after hours of fiddling around it has more do to with the chipset than the booster. A ZTE Mobile hotspot outranks an iPhone in terms connection quality, where as my note 9 outranked them both.

    Clearly just upgrading to a nighthawk helped out tremendously, if anything re-position it closest to outside on the side of the house facing the tower... At 50 Mbps I'd call it a day.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Moto G5 Plus, POSH Micro X S240
    PC Mobile
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    I don't see that it's worth spending more time and energy on a solution that is already working pretty well. The main benefit that you might get would be to pull in a signal with less noise, if you can get an external antenna to a better position (e.g. above trees or other obstacles). But, you could do that by installing the hotspot phone itself higher, e.g. in an attic.

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