Which 3G Antenna do I need?

Monday 2nd March 2009 by Andy Simpson in Mobile Accessories, Mobile Broadband, Mobile Technology.

This is part of a series of posts on How to improve your mobile broadband signal. Here’s what we’ve covered:

UPDATE 23/03/2010: We’ve just updated the compatibility chart to include all of the latest dongles that are currently available from all UK networks. For the latest dongles, please visit the 3G dongle antenna compatibility page.

The table below shows the current 3G Broadband Dongles and the Antennas that are available. If you aren’t sure which dongle you have, our post on how to boost your 3G signal will show you where to find this information.

There are now three two different types of antenna available. The standard Clip Antenna 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. The High Gain 3G Directional Antenna is a more powerful signal booster. It is directional, which means that you will need to point this towards your networks 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. The latest dongle is the Panel Antenna. This is similar in many ways to the High Gain Antenna, but is slightly stronger and is weatherproof – making it perfect for outdoor installations.

Mobile Broadband Signal Boosters

Clip Antenna - High Gain Antenna - Panel Antenna

More information on the different antennas can be found on our blog post “Mobile Broadband Antenna Range extended

To find your dongle quickly, press “ctrl” and “f” on your keyboard, and then type in the model number of your dongle (eg: E160G) to search this page. If your dongle is not listed here, don’t worry, this is only a snapshot of the most popular dongles.

We’ve now made it easier for you to find the right antenna for your dongle. You can now use the smart filter in the mobile broadband section of the main site. Go to the USB Dongle Antennas and select your dongle from the drop down box at the top of the page to see the antennas that are compatible with your 3G Broadband Modem.

If you still can’t find your dongle, please add a comment with the network, dongle make and model number and I’ll find out which antenna you need and add it to the list. If you have any questions about using the dongle or aren’t sure which one you need, please ask us on the Mobile Fun Forums

Manufacturer Dongle Clip Antenna High Gain Antenna Panel Antenna
3 MF622 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
3 MF627 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
3 E156G Clip Antenna – CRC9 High Gain – CRC9 Panel Antenna – CRC9
3 E160G Clip Antenna – CRC9 High Gain – CRC9 Panel Antenna – CRC9
3 E169 Clip Antenna – CRC9 High Gain – CRC9 Panel Antenna – CRC9
3 E169G Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
3 E220 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
BT E170 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
BT E180 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Huawei E156G Clip Antenna – CRC9 High Gain – CRC9 Panel Antenna – CRC9
Huawei E160 Clip Antenna – CRC9 High Gain – CRC9 Panel Antenna – CRC9
Huawei E160G Clip Antenna – CRC9 High Gain – CRC9 Panel Antenna – CRC9
Huawei E166 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Huawei E169 Clip Antenna – CRC9 High Gain – CRC9 Panel Antenna – CRC9
Huawei E169G Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Huawei E170 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Huawei E172 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Huawei E176 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Huawei E180 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Huawei E216 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Huawei E219 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Huawei E220 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Huawei E230 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Huawei E270 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Huawei E510 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Huawei E620 Clip Antenna – CRC9 High Gain – CRC9 Panel Antenna – CRC9
Huawei E800 Clip Antenna SSMB High Gain SSMB
Huawei K3250 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Huawei K3565 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Novatel U630 Clip Antenna R151N
Novatel X950D Clip Antenna R151N
O2 USB Stick Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
O2 Compass 597 Clip Antenna – TS9
O2 E169 Clip Antenna – CRC9 High Gain – CRC9 Panel Antenna – CRC9
O2 880 Clip Antenna SSMB High Gain SSMB
O2 880E Clip Antenna SSMB High Gain SSMB
Option 225 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Option 510 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Option Data Card Clip Antenna – RMCP
Option Express Card Clip Antenna – RMCP
Option GT Max Clip Antenna – RMCP
Option Icon Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Orange E160 Clip Antenna – CRC9 High Gain – CRC9 Panel Antenna – CRC9
Orange GT Max Clip Antenna – RMCP
Orange Icon Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Orange MF330 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Orange 225 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Sierra Wireless 880 Clip Antenna SSMB High Gain SSMB
Sierra Wireless 875U Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Sierra Wireless 880E Clip Antenna SSMB High Gain SSMB
Sierra Wireless 888 Clip Antenna TS-9
T-Mobile 510 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
T-Mobile 530 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
T-Mobile E110 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
T-Mobile E160 Clip Antenna – CRC9 High Gain – CRC9 Panel Antenna – CRC9
T-Mobile E170 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
T-Mobile E220 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Virgin E160 Clip Antenna – CRC9 High Gain – CRC9 Panel Antenna – CRC9
Vodafone E172 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Vodafone K3520 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Vodafone K3760 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Vodafone USB Stick Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Vodafone USB Stick Lite Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Vodafone Data Card Clip Antenna – RMCP
Vodafone E270 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
Vodafone E620 Clip Antenna – CRC9 High Gain – CRC9 Panel Antenna – CRC9
Vodafone E800 Clip Antenna SSMB High Gain SSMB
Vodafone Express Card Clip Antenna – RMCP
Vodafone X950D Clip Antenna R151N
Vodafone U630 Clip Antenna R151N
ZTE MF330 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
ZTE MF622 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal
ZTE MF627 Clip Antenna – Universal High Gain – Universal Panel Antenna – Universal

UPDATE: Due to the high number of questions this post raises, I’m closing it to comments and I’ve set up a new thread on the Mobile Fun forums.  Please continue to ask any questions or check compatibility by post there instead.

Jump to the “Which 3G Antenna do I need?” thread on the Mobile Fun Forums.

Related posts:

  • Jon

    If its a 3g signal from orange then maybe something like this…

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mobile-Broadband-Antenna-Huawei-Aerial-Booster-3G-UMTS-LTE-Parabolic-CRC9-/280836270346?pt=UK_Computing_LaptopAccessories_PCMCIACards&hash=item416325690a#ht_2716wt_1270

    I don’t work for this company, am actually looking to buy one myself!

    Good luck with it!

  • Dominica hotels: Manicou River

    Hello,

    I have an unusual problem for you.

    I live in Dominica in the West Indies, we only have EDGE and that is shared by everyone. The mobile service is as a talking signal … strong, but as an internet signal … terrible.

    However next door (15 miles away) is Guadeloupe. They have Orange and they have 3g.

    I can pick up a weak signal from Orange. I was wondering if I could sign up with them and use an antenna (I am up on a hill and can see Guadeloupe). Is there anything I can do?

    ATM I use a Nokia CS 10 dongle. I can always buy the dongle that suits better if needed.

    I am $1000.s from a land line. An antenna solution would be wonderful.

  • Foo

    Huawei e586 (black 3 mifi)?

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  • Andy

    Due to the high number of comments, I’ve closed this posts to comments and set up a thread on the mobile fun forums – please head over there if you’ve got any questions!

    Andy

    http://forums.mobilefun.co.uk/mobile-broadband/737-3g-antenna-do-i-need.html

  • Garry

    Will do, and thanks again!

  • Andy

    Cool. Let me know how you get on with it.

    Andy

  • Garry

    I’m only getting GPRS, which is really slow. I live about a mile from my nearest town (as the crow flys), and live in an old house with rather thick walls in the country. On receiving your helpful advice i’m going to purchase an outdoor antenna to boost signal and hopfully receive HSDPA, which is miles quicker than GPRS. Also the Globesurfer X1 will allow me to use the laptop around the house. Problem sorted!!
    Many thanks Andy!

  • Andy

    Looks like the sitefinder map’s had an upgrade – never used to be that helpful!

    if you’ve got 2 transmitters, I can’t see why you’re having problems

  • Garry

    That’s a bonus then, thanks.
    Dongle is pay monthly. I have checked the uk network map. There are four transmitters in my local town = Airwave transmission type TETRA, o2 transmission type GSM, vodafone transmission type GSM and two from orange transmission type GSM and UMTS.

  • Andy

    Yes, it’s got Wi-Fi so that will work for you.

    Is your dongle on pay monthly or pay as you go?

    It’s not much cheaper than the globesurfer, but the Mi-Fi is £69.99 on a 1 month contract (£15 a month) and £99.99 on pay as you go with 3 mths data included.

    have you checked to see if the coverage is any stronger with another network?

  • Garry

    Thanks for your useful advice, Andy.
    Quite a price for that Globesurfer X1, but well worth it if it sort the problem! I have a orange Icon 225 dongle and a Sony Vaio VGN-FW21L, not sure it has WiFi.
    Any further advice please?

  • Andy

    Hi Garry,
    In a word, Yes! they’ve only just started to come out, so most people haven’t heard of them yet, but if you were to get something like the GlobeSurfer X1 (http://www.mobilefun.co.uk/option-globesurfer-x1-p21694.htm) you can plug your dongle into that, attach the antenna, and the Globesurfer will then create a regular WiFi network using your mobile broadband connection. As long as your laptop/pc has built in wifi that’s all you’ll need.

    Other than that, depending on your agreement with the network you’re on, 3 now do something called MiFi, which is a dongle with built in Wi-Fi. you could just attach that to your antenna connection and connect to it using wifi instead of USB cable. Only downside is it’s only on 3 at the moment and not especially cheap.

    Andy

  • Garry

    Hi andy
    I am currently sitting in my bedroom with my dongle hanging out of the window, (lucky i have no neighbours, lol)!! Im receiving UMTS signal between 1 to 3 bars and HSDPA 1 to 3 bars also pops up now and again. Signal is constantly changing between the two frequency’s. I’m hoping that the outdoor panel antenna would give me full bars HSDPA as we are on top of a hill in the middle of nowhere.
    Sorry for the long winded story but my question is – after buying and fitting the antenna can it be plugged into some sort of wireless device indoors, which would allow me to use my laptop around the house as opposed to be confined to one room with a long wire velcroed to my dongle?

  • Andy

    There are two ways, on their own neither are wonderfully helpful on their own.
    First place to look is your networks coverage map, this will show you where coverage is stronger – the stronger the coverage, the more likely there’s a transmitter nearby. Once you know roughly where to look on a map, have a look at the sitefinder map on the ofcom website, this shows where all the transmitters are, but doesn’t say which one is for which network, so you’ll need to combine the results of both to work it out.

    ofcom site finder: http://www.sitefinder.ofcom.org.uk/

  • Gary

    Hi
    How can i find out where my nearest mast is?

    I’m using a 3g dongle and desperately need a better signal

    Thanks
    gary

  • Andy

    Hi Jo, I can’t find any reference of the E0682 – are there any other numbers on the sticker on the back of your dongle?

  • Andy

    No worries, we can’t say exactly what difference each antenna will make as it’s going to be different for everyone – the location of the transmitter, signal strength, interference from other devices etc all vary.

    Outdoor Panel antennas are the strongest and will probably make the biggest difference.

    From what I can see, the E1550 doesn’t have an antenna connection so you’ll need the Universal one.

  • Jo

    Hi can you tell me which booster I would need for the T Mobile E0682?
    Thanks

  • T.Bowe

    Im on three by the way and i get HSPDA most of the time. Sorry for the double post.

  • T.Bowe

    I have a Huawei e1550 my signal is like two-one bars, i get a ping of 250 in games, so i am looking for an antenna to reduce my ping.

  • Andy

    You won’t lose signal with either of the antennas

  • Bob

    Do you have any information on how much signal is lost with the universal adapter, compared to a physical connector?

  • Andy

    Hi, All Sierra Wireless modems use the SSMB connection.

    Andy

  • Andrew

    I’ve got business mobile broadband package from O2.
    The USB dongle they gave me is called Sierra Wireless Compass 889.
    It has a small port – I guess it’s for antenna.
    Can you tell me which antenna is right for this modem?
    Thank you!

  • Andy

    Hi Garry, If you’re getting between 3 and 5 bars, then your signal strength is pretty good – If you’re not getting HSDPA speeds then it could be that you’re outside of the range of the base station – A clip antenna in unlikely to make much difference, but a high gain or panel antenna pointed in the right direction should help.

    Its probably worth checking the orange coverage maps to see if you are in a 3G/HSDPA area

  • Garry

    Hi,
    I have a orange dongle icon 225. I live on top of a hill in aberdeenshire but only get between 3&5 bars GPRS. Would a antenna boost my signal to recieve hsdpa as i recieve hsdpa in my local town about half a mile away,(as the crow flys).
    Would really appreciate some help on this, if at all possible.
    Thanks, look forward to a reply.

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  • Andy

    Sorry, Dongle is another name for the 3G USB Modem

  • Grant

    Hi Andy,

    What do u mean by a dongle.

    Grant

  • Andy

    Hi Sue, I can’t find any record of that model anywhere. Can you double check to see if that’s the right one?

    This post shows you where to find the model number: http://www.mobilefun.co.uk/blog/2009/03/how-to-boost-your-mobile-broadband-3g-signal/

  • Andy

    No – the antenna wont give you priority over other users as who gets what is determined by the network.

  • Andy

    Hi PJ,

    It’s near impossible to say how much difference either of these antennas will make to the signal you get on your dongle as there are so many factors that can affect/reduce your signal.

    High gain will make the biggest difference, but will need to point at the o2 mast – set up should only be a couple of minutes at the most, as long as you know which direction the mast is. The more buildings and structures between your antenna and the mast, the more likely it is that your signal will be reduced, although it will still be stronger than it would be with out it.

    The best advice I can give really is try one, if it doesn’t do what you want return it under our 30 day money back guarantee

  • sue

    I have a Orange dongle, Model GI02255 have you a strong antenna for this as I have a very week signal?

  • PJ

    Maybe I should also add that ca. 20% of the time the network just disappears or gets unusable altogether. Maybe this is when loads of people log in, maybe they had techn. network problems. – Will an antenna also help getting the uper hand in the competition for signal with my neighbours (so to say)?

  • PJ

    Hi Andy,
    Please advice if a clip on antenna should be sufficient or high gain is needed. I live in London about 10 min walk from the next o2 mast (shared w. Voda & 3) just behind a tiny hill, I am so O2 website in a good coverage area. I get just above half the time a ‘very low’ hsdpa signal (i find the speed ok), rest of time gprs (which is too slow to deal with my e-mails).
    - I like to ensure that I have 90%+ of time a hsdpa signal. (I sit most of the time with my laptop next to the window, but like to sometimes move into the room.) – If I take a high gain ant. how much speed difference can I usually gain by moving the hsdpa ‘very low’ to eg. low or good. – Will adjusting the direct. High gain ant. when moving around take much time or is the approx. direction with or with out wall the same? – Also do directional antennas suffer when working in a garden surrounded by houses, in comparison to non directional ant.?
    Apologies for asking so much, it’s just that the clip on ant. are much cheaper than high gain, and i’m on a tight student budget.

  • Andy

    Hi Grant,

    Our supplier doesn’t have the E168 listed yet so can you have a look and see if there is a connector for an antenna anywhere on the dongle?

    If there isn’t you’ll need the universal one. If there is, let me know which network you’re on and I’ll try and track it down for you.

    Andy

  • Grant

    I have the huawei model ec 168 do u have an antenna for this.