Switching from USB modem to MAX product; signal improvement?



I have a user that just moved to Seattle and her ground floor apt is in a near broadband black hole. She can get a fiber/cable option for her primary connection, but a decent backup is the problem. DSL maxes out at up to a year 2000 era 1.5 and our current set up of Balance Router + USB LTE modem plugged in has flakey signal. When it connects it is borderline. We need the backup to be functional.

Do the MAX products have strong antenna (compared to a plug in USB modem)?


Hi cyclops,

the antenna’s of the MAX-Series is not bad. If you have problems with the LTE inside of the building (we have this daily in germany), I would use an Outdoor MAX-Router an connect it with a network-cable to your Balance. If it’s a absoltely bad signal, you can use the IP67 with external Antennas (+6dBi)


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To add to what @dennis.hofheinz said (with which which I agree), generally, one can expect much better performance with a MAX router than a USB device. If the performance of the former is not quite as good as you need, often a good 4G MIMO antenna such as the Poynting XPOL-1 can be added – and used indoors if necessary. We have two installations where that antenna with a MAX device and the antenna is just 10-’ or so from the MAX (that particular antenna comes with integral 5m cables). The difference in performance over the OEM antennas is significant.

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Thank you both.

Do you think I could get by with one of the indoor MAX routers with the antenna? The outdoor MAX models are significantly more expensive.


Certainly. If you don’t NEED a model that can with withstand the WX I’d not buy one. The indoor models have SMA antenna jacks – a very common connector. Easy to connect to an external antenna.


External antenna may help and most USB modems have connections for external antennas if you wanted to start testing with it.

Have you surveyed the location? Where is the cell tower? Can you get better signal right at or outside a window or where an external antenna can be mounted? Any way to get a LoS to a tower?