How to Get a Better Signal From an AirCardby James Johnson
AirCards are a great way to connect personal computers to a cellular data network. These cards tend to consist of Express Slot Cards, USB cards and in older devices PCMCIA cards. Users simply plug in the cards, connect to their cellular data network and browse the net as they normally would from any other connection. Unfortunately an AirCard may need help picking up a good signal from time to time. There are several different ways to boost AirCard reception.
Connect an External AirCard antenna to the AirCard. First find out what type of connector is needed, for instance the picture to the left uses an FMC connector which works with many Sierra Wireless Aircards, while other cards may use "Coax Adapt Cables w/Female TNC Connectors" and some cards require "FME male connectors." The manufacturer's website and the AirCard manual can provide the type of connector needed. The antenna automatically boosts signal strengths.
Connect your AirCard to a compatible Mobile Data WiFi router. Router types vary based on the type of AirCard used. The two main types to look for are "GSM" and "CDMA" routers. Check with the router manufacturer to determine if the card you are using is compatible with the router you are purchasing. Simply plug the card into the device and follow any provided directions. Routers tend to push out a stronger signal strength for better signal pickup.
Hook up your AirCard outside of the device in use. For instance if you are using an ExpressCard that also offers a USB connection you may receive a better signal if the USB option is used. Outside sitting devices typically receive less interference from the computers internal electrical components and therefore offer better reception in many cases.
Use the steps above in combination with one another. If you can purchase an antenna and use a USB connection at the same time the chances of receiving a better signal will increase. While a network router with an antenna will more than likely do the same. Play around with the way you setup your AirCard to see which combination of steps offer you the best results.