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How to Boost USB Modem Signal?

(6 posts)
  • Started 6 years ago by MtnMonk
  • Latest reply from MtnMonk
  • Topic Viewed 8888 times

Posts: 2

Recently purchased USB modem for the laptop, model ZTE AC2736. Reception and transmission of internet signal from local tower is very weak, as we are located at edge of broadcast area. Is there some kind of antenna or amplifier that can be used with this simple USB Modem? Or some other means of improving the performance?
We have tried moving the computer around the room, taking it outside, etc, but this particular model of modem has weak performance, compared to other models/brands. The manufacturer did not respond to our request for advice.
Can the USB cable be extended for a long distance, say 15 meters? It could be put outside near the roof, etc.

Posted 6 years ago
Posts: 3

I heard Aluminum Foil works great for signal enhancing purposes, but your miles may vary.

Posted 6 years ago
Posts: 10945

We use this type of booster in the UK


Posted 6 years ago
Posts: 2454


I don't know if you are in the UK but you can find out the location of the masts, type and their operators near you by using this's the UMTS (or whatever standard carries the broadband is called in your country) type masts you can find the companies that can best serve you from this. Click on the blue triangles in the map to get the mast details. Changing company might be the cheapest and most effective option.

Your other option is to get a 3G wireless router that can take your dongle. You can then connect a decent high gain antenna to that at a good location in the house and set up a wireless network. The other advantage of this system is more than one computer can use the dongle at the same time.

I would do a comparison with the other telecom companies first to see if they have a mast that is much closer to you first though.

If you are in another country try Googling: 'mobile mast location finder'.


Posted 6 years ago
Posts: 20002


Posted 6 years ago
Posts: 2

Thanks for all the suggestions.

The best solutions for improving reception for the USB Modem dongle seem to be:

* Install a YAGI antenna outside, run a shielded cable to an Antenna Coupler that is designed to work with USB Modem and Mobile Phones. Note, the YAGI antenna should be tuned to your local provider's frequency, ie 900 or 1900, etc.
* Clip antenna as referenced by MIKE above:
* Try self amplifying USB cable extensions, so modem can be moved around the building, inside and out.

The PCMAG slide show is interesting, but is focused on WiFi Networking solutions.

The most helpful source of this information is Harvey Hershberg, at RFCONNECT.COM.AU.
edit by mod; email addressess not permitted

Posted 6 years ago

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