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How to Improve your 3G Mobile Broadband Signal

18962One of the great things about Mobile Broadband is that you can go online anywhere you like – but you can almost guarantee that the place you need it the most is the place where signal is at its weakest.

While 3G coverage is getting stronger with all networks, there will still be blackspots where it drops out, or you can only pick up a 2G signal. Thankfully, a couple of solutions are now available to try and get round these signal issues.


If you don’t have a dongle yet and are looking for the network with the strongest 3G signal, then the OFCOM website has just published updated coverage maps (as of 31/12/08) that allow you to view the 3G coverage by network.

There are two solutions to increase your Mobile Broadband Signal:

Clip Aerial

  • This Aerial is designed to be a portable solution that clips onto the screen on your laptop or sits on your desk. It is omni-directional, which means that it will pick up signals from all directions.

High Gain 3G Directional Aerial

  • This is a much more powerful signal booster than the clip aerial and is ideal for people who have real problems with 3G reception. They are directional, which means that you will need to point this towards your network’s transmitter in order for it to improve the signal. The High Gain antenna when positioned correctly will make a significant difference to the signal you receive and can be wall mounted as a permanent fixture.

Both aerials can make a big difference to the signal you receive. Simply clip on to the top of your laptop screen, and then either plug into, or wrap around your or and depending on the Dongle or Data Card that you’re using, the connection method will vary. Some will have an ariel connection that will plug straight into the dongle, and others will take a Universal “strap on” connection. Aerials are available for Dongles and Data Cards from all major networks including: O2, Orange, 3, Vodafone, T-Mobile, Virgin.

To help you find the right antenna for your dongle, you can now check the 3G Antenna Compatibility chart or view all our available antennas in the Mobile Broadband category of our site.

Identifying your Dongle

Set up is quick and simple:

Clip 3G Antenna to screen The Clip Antenna easily clips onto the screen of your laptop or can be mounted in the desk stand (if included).
The High Gain Directional Antenna needs to be mounted on the deskstand, or fixed to the wall (bracket included)

3G Antenna InstallationNext you’ll need to connect the antenna to the adapter cable. If your dongle has an antenna connection, carefully connect the end of the cable to your dongle.

The Clip Antenna includes a 50cm cable, the High Gain Directional Antenna comes with a 1.2m cable. Longer 3m cables and 5m cables are available.

Clip 3G Antenna to screenIf your dongle doesn’t have an antenna connection, wrap the universal adapter round your dongle and make sure that it doesn’t stop it from going in to your pc/laptop.

The High Gain 3G Directional Antenna will need to be positioned so that it is facing your nearest mobile phone transmitter. To help you out, you can use the Ofcom Sitefinder. This will show you where the nearest transmitters are, but it won’t say which networks they belong to, so finding the right one will be a case of trial and error!

That’s it! All done. Use your Dongle or Data card as normal and you should see an increase in signal strength straight away.

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2 Responses to “How to Improve your 3G Mobile Broadband Signal”

  1. [...] may have already read on our previous post, that the best way to improve the signal on your 3G Mobile Broadband Dongle is to attach an [...]

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