Are you a full time RVer looking for the perfect solution for cellular networks in your RV? Or maybe you’re looking for a good-to-go affordable device to help the cellular signal while roaming around in your RV.
No matter what category you fit in, if you’ve looked a little, you must have seen the “MIMO Antenna vs Cell Booster” controversy by now. Because when you’re getting a device for cellular networks in a recreational vehicle, this is the first thing you get to hear.
To be honest, both of them are great and have their own space of expertise. You have to understand what will work best for you.
To help you out, I’ve created this detailed guide on MIMO antenna and cell booster. Let’s not waste time anymore and get into the details.
What Is A MIMO Antenna?
MIMO stands for Multiple-In-Multiple-Out. It works just as the name suggests.
A MIMO antenna is basically a device that consists of multiple antennas. It has got several antennas inside that work to receive and transmit data. This is how a MIMO antenna works in increasing cellular signal reception.
As there are multiple antennas, it can send and receive cellular signals at a time from different directions. That means the antennas built in the MIMO antenna can work in any signal path. So, you get error free signals.
How MIMO Antenna Works?
In the past, there were antenna ports on our mobile devices. So you could hook an antenna directly to the mobile device. But unfortunately, you can’t do it now. So you need an extra device.
FYI, your LTE cell phones already have two built in MIMO cellular antennas. The new external MIMO is just going to connect to them and do charisma.
MIMO antennas work with devices like jetpacks, hotspots, or router models. Just make sure your main cellular device has antenna ports. Because you need them to connect the MIMO antenna and make it work.
Turn on your primary device for the internet source and connect the MIMO antenna to it. Then browse your internet and see the results.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of MIMO Antennas
Whether you need to get a MIMO Antenna or not actually depends on some factors. If you look at its advantages and disadvantages, you’ll get a clearer idea about that. So, let’s take a look.
- The modular internet setup of a MIMO antenna allows you to get the best internet in your RV.
- It is constructed with the ability to use all the signal paths available.
- There is less interference in these antennas.
- Has the capability to increase internet data speed. You’ll see significant changes in both upload and download speed.
- As it increases the data speed, the MIMO antenna is the perfect option if you are doing video streaming or vlogging in the RV.
- MIMO also allows you to have GPS, which is great while traveling in your RV.
- Some advanced models of MIMO antennas will let you use multiple sim cards. So, you can switch to different internet providers whenever you want. As a bonus, it will be able to cover several devices at a time.
- Primarily comes in as cheap as $30. Bigger models or models with the kit may cost more.
- You can’t use the MIMO antenna alone. This means you must use these with WiFi routers or hotspot devices.
- There are MIMO antennas that come with an antenna kit too. But generally, they’re a bit pricier than the single MIMO antenna.
- They can’t boost signals like cell boosters. A MIMO antenna can only get you the signal if it is there. So in critically weak signal areas, they won’t work.
What Is A Cell Booster?
A cell booster is a device that simply boosts your cellular signals, as the name says. You’ve seen cell towers, right? Generally, your cell signals maintain a loop style transmission.
The signals travel from your LTE device, reach the cell towers, and return. While traveling in your RV, it could be possible your cell tower location is very far. When the cell tower is far away, it’s not possible for you to get enough signals.
In this case, a cell booster can help you. It focuses on getting the signals from the closest cell tower, strengthening it and delivering it to your device. That’s how you get uninterrupted cell signals.
How Cell Booster Works?
Cell boosters work along with an external outdoor antenna. So, you have to install an external antenna on your RV’s roof. Then connect the cell booster to it.
So, basically, what’s happening here is your cell booster will use its one side to receive the signals from the nearest cell tower. And the other side to enhance the signal and deliver it. As it is structured to focus on far signals, you can be assured you’ll get it
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Cell Boosters
Like MIMO antennas, cell signal boosters also have some advantages and disadvantages. Let’s discuss them.
- If you have no WiFi routers and a very poor signal, then cell booster is your ultimate internet solution.
- When you are getting cell signals in your LTE device, such as a phone, you know there is a signal. But you need to boost it. Then a cellular signal booster may work best for you in this scene.
- It significantly improves your internet upload speed.
- Works best if you are receiving signals from one point only.
- You can use both an outdoor directional antenna and an outdoor omni-directional antenna for cell boosters.
- Cell signal Boosters do not work well enough if you already have a decent or stronger signal. Rather it’ll dismiss the ability to use the strong signals available properly.
- Comes a lot pricier.
- It might not be a good option for people who have just started RVing and haven’t explored much yet.
- Boosters sometimes decrease the download speed to half than natural.
- Getting a new outdoor antenna may seem like a hassle to some people.
If you are still confused about MIMO Antenna Vs Cell Booster, let me tell you more. You cannot really call either of them a clear winner. Because both of them work best in different situations.
If you are always traveling to a specific location and you’re sure the cell signals are not good. Then using a cell booster can do the job.
But if you are traveling to several places and unsure about the signal strengths, keep a moderately decent MIMO antenna handy.
That is all about the two devices you can use for improving your cell signals being on an RV. Let us know in the comments below what you chose and how much it helped you.