Which Antenna is Best? A Yagi Antenna or Omnidirectional?

Yagi antenna

We get a whole lot of questions about which antennas to select when choosing a signal booster and there really is no easy answer that we can suggest every time. So we are going to take a minute to talk about some of the most common situations we hear about and when a Yagi antenna or Omnidirectional is best.

What is a Yagi Antenna?

First, it is probably useful to know what a Yagi antenna is. Yagi antennas are a powerful directional antenna designed in  Japan in 1926.  They typically consist of multiple parallel elements running together along a line.

A yagi antenna

This creates a powerful effect focusing signal in a direction. Some of the most powerful Yagi antennas can add up to 20 dB of gain to a system they are set up to, the more bars running perpendicular to the first array the more powerful the antenna will be.

Yagi’s are some of the most common directional antennas, however, there are also logarithmic periodic antennas, and perhaps the one that people are most familiar with the satellite dish. These directional antennas are all high gain and typically provide the best signal for anything operating over a radio frequency.

While setting up a Yagi antenna is more difficult then an omnidirectional antenna it is only because the omni antennas are extremely simple to install. To properly install a Yagi antenna you simply have to orient it at the tower you are trying to receive a signal from, so as long as you have a good idea (or you can use the internet) of where your nearest cell tower is you can easily set up your Yagi or another directional antenna.

Omnidirectional Antennas

Omnidirectional antennas are the less powerful of the two types of antennas, however, they trade the reduced power for utility and ease of use. While a Yagi antenna or other directional antenna will only pull in signal from one narrow direction, omni antennas can pull signal from elsewhere. In fact, that’s what makes the omnidirectional antennas perfect for most uses. While everyone wants to be getting the best signal often times the omnidirectional antennas provide a more than adequate boost with a much easier set up than using a Yagi antenna or a different variation of a directional antenna with the ability to receive a signal from multiple sources.

Deciding Between a Yagi (Or other Directional Antenna) and a Multidirectional Antenna

Really what it all boils down to is how much signal gain you need. If you are getting really good signal outside it’s almost always best to simply get an omni antenna because it will pull in signal from multiple directions and towers, while also being easier to install.

If you are getting really bad signal though (1-2 bars) the best solution is to get a Yagi antenna or another kind of directional antenna. While this will require additional set up, if properly installed it will provide the best result for poor signal situations.

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