MAX On-the-Go poor Wi-Fi broadcast range


I just set up a MAX On-the-GO 4-WAN-USB model to consolidate all my cell hotspot carriers. The connection to each carrier went fine, but I’m having issues with the broadcast range of the WiFi that the MAX is emitting — it’s poorer than any of the individual mobile hotspots are on their own.

Our installation is on a boat, and when we are laying in the berth — less than 25’ from where the MAX is placed — with two partial wood dividers in between, the WiFi signal itself severely degraded — so much that only one of our devices will even connect (with a severely degraded throughput). All other devices can’t even get a strong enough Wifi signal to connect. I even have the “Output Power” set to “Max” and “Boost”.

Is this to be expected? Like I said, my old cheap mobile hotspots do a much better job at broadcasting An old Jetpack AC791L — not even set to the strongest setting, a Mobley, and a $30 GL-Net Mini Smart Router all reach the other side of the boat no problem. Only this high-end router won’t.

Also, is the “Ext WiFi” antenna port meant to connect an antenna that boost outgoing broadcast strength or incoming WiFi reception strength? If I can just get an antenna to boost the broadcast range, I’d do that. But nothing in the documentation clarifies which type of WiFi it’s for. (Also, I tried taking the antenna of my GL•iNet router and putting it on the MAX, and it seemed to make no difference or worse, so I’m assuming it’s for receiving WiFi?)


Hi Kerri,
The external antenna connection on a MAX on the go is for wifi communication between the router and your laptops / smartphones/ tablets.

I would suspect that the concentration of all the dongles are generating quite a lot of RF noise that could be interfering with WiFi. An externally attached wifi antenna would be a good idea. Or you could try spreading the dongles out by using USB cables between the Max on the go and the dongles to see if the reduced interference improves wifi overage.

If all the cell hotspot carriers are all pushing out wifi too then this could be causing even more issues. It would be worth changing the channel on the MOTG wifi I would think to see if that improves things too.

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Ah, great point about the dongles possibly causing interference — I do have them on very short USB cables, basically right on top of the MAX unit. I’ll try both separating and an external antenna that is further away. Thanks for the suggestions!