How to improve signal reception on 3G/4G-LTE dongle (data card)

| November 10, 2013 | 28 Comments

There may be a good penetration signal_strength_bars2of 3G/4G network in urban areas but still there are some pockets in the city where consumers don’t get good signal strength, blind spot, for smooth use of 3G/4G services. In Rural area also, 3G/4G services are not available at many places hence they even can’t think using of 3G/4G services in rural areas. Consumers residing nearby a mobile tower may get good signal but still they miss good signal in interior part of a building.

If you search the web, you may find 3G signal boosters which works with all types of dongles but it costs you more than INR 8000.

There is also a tested homemade method by which you can get improved signal reception in the range of -85dBm to -75dBm.

As a thumb rule, the signal strength in the range -120 dBm to -95dBm considered Poor, with this signal strength, you may not be comfortable with your internet use. The signal strength range from -93dBm to -85dBm considered OK for use of internet but the signal strength from -83dBm to -75dBm is Good and if you get signal strength more than -75dBm to -50dBm, that is excellent signal strength, with full five signal bars on your dongle.

Following homemade project boost the 3G signal strength from Poor to OK / Good so that you can use Internet comfortably.

  • You need one sieve (used in houses for tea or rice), the bigger you get, it would be better.
  • One USB extension cable male to female for connecting between your USB dongle to USB port of Laptop/PC, you can buy it for approx INR 50.
  • Aluminum foil, you may find it in your kitchen where it is used to pack lunch box for Kids
  • Now make a big slit at the bottom of your sieve so that you can fit your USB extension cable and then connect 3G Dongle to this USB extension cable as shown in figure-2.mini_satilite_3g_2
  • Next wrap Aluminum foil on both side of sieve, it looks like a “mini satellite” dish antenna. Mount it on a mini camera tripod or something which you find it suitable. This mini satellite dish converge the received signal at its periphery  and focus towards the center of sieve hence 3G dongle at this center of sieve get stronger signal strength.
  • Connect your 3G dongle to the laptop and now turn this “mini satellite” dish slowly left, right, up or down until you get the most optimum reception, keep a watch on signal bars on dongle application on laptop.

With this project, you get an improved 3G signal by 10 to 15 dBm i.e. from unstable 2-3 signal bars to stable 4 bars.

This homemade project cost roughly INR 150 to INR 200 but with this low cost, you get relaxed and can enjoy 3G services at far end from a mobile tower.

With this project, even consumers living within a  radius of 25Km to 30Km of mobile tower can enjoy 3G services.

This homemade project also works for 4G-LTE dongles because same principle applies there.

I hope, you will definitely get some more ideas for your homemade-project from below pictures, all are tested projects.ms6

How it helped you ? don’t forget to leave your experiences  in comments


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Category: Data Usage, How to, Tablet

About the Author ()

I have always been a fan of writing and love to share information on latest technologies, mobiles, gadgets and social media. Sharing and acquiring knowledge is a boon, do let's share as well as acquire it. I am very much fond of Coffee.

Comments (28)

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  1. ram kumar says:

    simple and scientific! Great!

  2. Gaurav Jogi says:

    Dear Author

    I tried it. But sorry to say, it did not worked at all. I think I did all the required things mentioned by you. But was not able to improve the coverage by even 1dBm. Can you please elaborate or point out some critical point??

    You can reply the feed back or drop me an email at

    Your help in the matter will be highly appreciated as I really need this.


    Gaurav Jogi

  3. KD Bhai says:

    Dear Jogi,

    The writer of this article is Einstein of present world with only difference that he is having this Big-Brain in this knees… Don’t bother this creek, buddy… He will tomorrow release an article saying with this disc antenna he was able to control Mars Rover which IRSO will finally loose…

    KD Bhai

  4. Guna says:

    What a waste? The signal improves that is for sure, this is not everything, the data transfer between the modem and laptop using the USB cable is not supported.

    Do not try this.

  5. Guna M says:

    i’m in a kind of remote area. usually i get only 2g signal. recently i got an huawei modem. got tired of slow 2g speed. surprisingly i got a very weak 3g signal (about 110 to 100 dbm) while i was using my laptop at the terrace. i just bought a couple of 3m usb extension cables, kept the modem into a plastic box(for safety)and placed the modem as much as high the cable extended. as a good result i got a good signal strength( 85 to 75 dbm ) of 3 bars.

  6. pratim says:

    ohhhhhh!!!! you will not believe who it worked! first speed in 2g was 2-6 kbps over vodafone after trying this trick speed updated to 35-40 kbps

  7. Yuvan says:

    Super admin it really works damn awsome idea]

  8. Md Shah Alam says:

    Use 5db omni antenna for best network.

  9. Alok says:

    How to receive DVB-S2 signals using 3G USB dongle?

  10. harjee says:

    how to check the data card dbm in pc ????

  11. jake says:

    for all the nerds who are not getting increase in reception, you need to know the position of your respective tower. nice thought man it really helped

  12. livingston says:

    Is this trick will work for 2g mobile phones????

  13. alex92 says:

    u must find a right direction to 3g tover,which is the most important thing. and then just move (calibrate) parabola to left/right/up/down,until you get better signal.use MDMA softvare,to check the signal strength eash second.goodluck!

  14. johnny_viruz says:

    hey guys. use a simple concept try water bottle instead of dish…

    its not matter about the outer shape of dish …its about the aluminium foil only…

    if you do Cntact me

  15. Akshey says:

    Great Idea Buddy , Thank you

  16. krunal says:

    thanks buddy,good idea

  17. manila says:

    thanks for this idea i do this same as what you do like this improvised antenna my only problem if heavy rain are coming the dongle is wet this should be free from rain what we do know thanks… philippines

  18. Joseph says:

    Its worked. I got 2 bars of consistent 3g signal for MTS mblaze.

  19. Avats says:

    Where to wrap alluminium foil

  20. nitinsabrangi says:

    how to check signal

  21. Md Shah Alam says:

    I use a aluminum dish (Satellite Receiver) and i got 3G Signal 15KM far from the 3G Tower.

  22. pranav says:

    Great in theory….. But the shape of the dish must be parabolic and the dongle must be in its focus for max performance.

  23. Signal Booster Delhi says:


    We are from New Delhi, India want to know 4g signal frequency of Airtel and Vodavone in India because we are providing 2g 3g network solution in all over India and now want try to provide 4g signal booster for costumers.


    • Mukesh kumar says:

      Do you have 3G signal receiving booster? If yes whats its cost and how it works? please mail me.

  24. Mukesh Chandra gope says:

    Excellent Idea sir. I tried it and got superb result.Thanks a lot for this idea.

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