6 Replies Latest reply: Aug 7, 2009 12:55 PM by AlexSian RSS

    Mifi - Options to Increase Signal Strength?

    mendinfences

      We have been using the MiFi 2200 for a little over a month and, overall, am pleased.  We live in a rural area but have been ASSURED by Verizon that there is good coverage for our area.  We got the MiFi to replace satellite internet.  We have two Macs working off it.

       

      We have had several instances of disconnections occurring but not enough to cause me great concern at this point.  What I would like to know is if there is a way to increase the signal strength.  Presumably, this would increase speed of downloads but perhaps I am making an incorrect assumption.  I've recently read about the CradlePoint and wondered if that might help pick up a stronger signal from the cell tower.

       

      Thoughts or recommendations?

       

      Thanks!

       

      ~linda

        • 1. Re: Mifi - Options to Increase Signal Strength?
          JamesA

          One option is to use an external amplifier such as Wilson Electronics, Inc. (http://www.wilsonelectronics.com).  These allow you to locate the antenna outside (where the signal would be stronger), then provide either a direct connection inside or a wireless connection.

           

          I've been using the Wilson Electronics dual-band amplifer for some time and have been pleased.  I typically get about 10-15 dB of signal improvement--more if I locate the antenna either outside or near a window.

           

          By the way, I've been using a mobile amplifier (intended for vehicles) indoors rather than an indoor amplifier.  The indoor amplifiers are really intended to boost cell phone signals within a home, but are much more involved to install (since you need to insure that the indoor antenna's signals don't interfere with the outdoor antenna's, otherwise you'll have a nasty feedback problem).  The mobile amplifiers are more intended for single devices (like I have) and much simplier to install.

          • 2. Re: Mifi - Options to Increase Signal Strength?
            dave1812
            That's weird--I was told by both Sprint and Verizon there is no current hardware to boost the data reception, as there is for voice.  Have you got a SPECIFIC link to a particular item that supposedly works with a MiFi unit??
            • 3. Re: Mifi - Options to Increase Signal Strength?
              LukeTech
              There is a user who made a reflector for a data card. Receive signal strength DOES make a difference and the stronger your signal, the faster your downlink/uplink speeds will be.
              • 4. Re: Mifi - Options to Increase Signal Strength?
                dave1812
                The speed increase only occurs if you resolve a very low signal strength issue.  At some point, the rated speed of the device and system is reached and that happens before the maximum signal strength level, anyway.
                • 5. Re: Mifi - Options to Increase Signal Strength?
                  LukeTech
                  Dave: That is true. However, the cell site constantly prioritizes how it transmits to devices and all devices compete for the same pie. The better your RF environment, the better chance you have in being a higher priority for faster speeds. True, the difference between -60 and -70dbm won't be much. The difference between -90 and -80dbm can be the difference between a dial-up modem and DSL speeds.
                  • 6. Re: Mifi - Options to Increase Signal Strength?
                    AlexSian

                    the cradlepoint is a cellular router, not a signal amplifier. there are some folks who have used a router to position their mobile broadband device in a part of home with better cellular signal, but its not the router that boosted signal, it was placement.

                     

                    do a google search for 'boosting your mifi's signal' and you should find an article that will help you.