For those looking to start earning high-tier rewards with their Helium LoRaWAN antennas, it is important to have the right equipment. Anyone can sell you an antenna, but not every LoRaWAN antenna will be worth your coin. We have put together some of the best LoRaWAN antenna reviews on the internet, so you can make an informed purchase decision. When looking for the best LoRaWAN antenna, we considered things such as LoRaWAN range, average impressions, durability, price, and ease of placement. The result is a list of the top 5 Helium LoRaWAN that are guaranteed to make your hotspot super effective.
What is LoRaWAN?
LoRaWAN is the media access control layer protocol that was created by the LoRa Alliance. It includes and leverages LoRa modulation. This low-power networking protocol is wide are and piggybacks on the LoRa radio modulation technique. It is wireless and helps to connect other devices that use wifi to the internet. It also helps to manage communication on the LoRaWAN gateway and between end-node devices.
While this may seem like the same thing Wi-Fi does, they are actually much different. LoRaWAN is used mainly for leak detection, home security, fuel tank monitoring, and access control. It does have a wide assortment of other uses such as those employed by Helium LoRaWAN antennas. The system is very secure with mandatory encryption and authentication. Like most portals of this type, it uses security keys that must be kept safe to prevent them from being compromised.
How to Find & Place Your Helium LoRaWAN Hotspot
Setting up a Helium hotspot is just as important as the type of antenna you use. In fact, the right placement can make even a subpar antenna highly effective. Choosing an antenna to fit your placement takes a bit of skill and a moderate amount of work. The LoRaWAN antenna that you use will need to match the hotspot location so that it offers a high level of value to the Helium network.
Before rushing out to buy a LoRaWAN antenna, you need to consider the elevation, lines of sight, and topography for your hotspot placement. Let’s start with topography. More obstacles such as trees or buildings that block any light of sight to connecting hotspots will mean you can use a higher gain LoRaWAN antenna. Calculate the flatness of the terrain as well when considering the BLUF.
Try to avoid picking spots that have too many hills or mountains because it can lower hotspot communications even if those spots are close to each other.
When you check a LoRaWAN gateway coverage map, make sure to double-check the actual terrain on Google maps.
Consider the density of hotspots in your area as well. Make sure that your hotspot is at least 300 meters away from another antenna or you won’t earn any hits. Try to limit the farther end to 50km however since you may end up getting crowded out over time. Overlapping coverage is not useful to the network, but too diluted is also ineffective. Try to aim for middle density. There are plenty of real-time density maps you can pull up online in your area before placing your Helium antenna.
Make sure to check them often to ensure you are always maxing out on your HTC. The next thing you need to consider is the type and quality of Lowran antenna you are using while making your placement. Don’t use an indoor antenna outside, or you will end up replacing it often. Outdoor antennas should also not be used indoors since they will be underutilized.
How Do Helium Hotspots Work?
Helium is a wireless network that is decentralized. It operates on IoT devices, or low-power smart devices in order to send and receive information over the internet. Those that provide coverage are called Helium miners. A Helium minor will set up an antenna hotspot and use RF radio signals to then offer coverage to the Helium network. Payment for this coverage is made in the form of HNT, which are Helium tokens. Setting up a hotspot allows miners to earn via coverage for their hotspots depending on the number of other hotspot signals they receive.
This is the main reason it is important to place your Helium antenna properly in order to have a well-functioning hotspot.
Is Investing in a LoRaWAN Antenna A Good Idea?
There are a lot of affordable LoRaWAN antennas that you can invest in to take part in Helium mining. It is important that you understand any type of investment carries with it some risk. Crypto currency, in general, is very high risk but has proven to have at least some level of good returns for early investors. Crypto mining is also new and those setting up hotspots are competing with big business Telco’s who have more fluidity.
There is a chance that you could do very well, but an equally valid chance that you could lose your investment. It is a good idea only to invest the amount in LoRaWAN antennas and Helium hotspots that you are willing to lose.
Top 5 LoRaWAN Antennas
Now that you know more about LoRaWAN antennas and what LoRaWAN range to look for when placing a hot spot, it’s time to make a purchase decision. For those looking to get started or boost their Helium LoRaWAN impressions, we have a list of antennas for you to consider. We have given our list of the 5 best LoRaWAN antennas on the market right now for your consideration.
1. Nelawya 5.8dBi LoRa Antenna N-Type Male LoRaWAN Antenna
This LoRaWAN antenna has a range of 902MHz – 928MHz and is considered industrial grade. It works in all weather and features a pure copper oscillator that is built-in. To help maximize your HNT rewards this model of LoRaWAN antenna works with just about every LoRa IoT Application available. With affordable pricing, you can easily set up multiple LoRaWAN gateway hotspots without breaking the bank.
Setup is simple and straightforward which also makes it a good choice for new users and veteran hotspot owners alike.
The Nelawya 5.8dBi LoRa Antenna even outperforms the more well-known Signalplus and Rokland LoRaWAN antennas with many users clocking 26-.4 HNT on average daily. As with any LoRaWAN antenna review we have to let you know about the bad as well as the good. The antenna itself is a great workhorse but the cable that comes in the box is rather flimsy. Many users complained of quick breakage but a simple cable swap will put you back in the green.
To make your returns even better, start out your installation by buying a higher-quality cable to use with this unit from the beginning.
2. LoRa Gateway Antenna 3dbi Gain Indoor Outdoor Omni-Directional
The LoRa Gateway Antenna 3dbi is made tough from industrial-grade materials. Crafted from highly durable fiberglass radome, this Helium LoRaWAN works in just about all weather conditions. it also offers Omni-directional coverage, so you can gain more impressions from all connected hotspots regardless of your exact positioning. At under $50 you get a whole lot of power in an affordable package. The range of frequency is 915MHZ with 50 watts of power. It can be used for Helium mining, smart metering, Multipoint, and NLOS Applications, wireless video, security, inventory tracking and so much more.
The company also offers a replacement warranty and 24 hours customer support which is a great value in itself. Users have remarked at getting witnesses as much as 3km away even when placed in an urban environment. For new miners or old hotspot veterans, the LoRa Gateway Antenna 3dbi can help place you in the top tiers for hotspot rewards in your area. Like with most antennas connected to the LoRaWAN gateway you will need to place your device in a good spot and use a higher-end cable for optimal results.
3. Bingfu LoRaWAN Antenna 915mhz
Made for urban areas the Bingfu Lora Antenna 915mhz is perfect for those who want to increase their Helium hotspot rewards. It also works well in areas that are heavily saturated with hotspots and features a frequency range of 860MHz – 930 MHz. It’s made out of durable fiberglass and is waterproof and sealed in an anticorrosive coating that is safe for the environment. It works efficiently with a diverse range of applications and can be used with any helium miner hotspot app.
Those such as SyncroBit Gateway, Sensecap MX, Sigfox, and others are just a few of the most popular. If you are new to mining or if you just don’t want to invest in a McGill Microwave, this LoRaWAN antenna is a great alternative. It falls middle of the road for both close and far hotspots which are rare for affordable LoRaWAN antennas. This particular set comes with 20 feet of cable making it ideal for outdoor setups. We suggest purchasing some steel c-clamps for a better fit as opposed to the included U clamp.
4. Signalplus Helium Bobcat HNT Hotspot Lora LoT Antenna
Shenzhen Qifan Communication Equipment has been around since 2009. In addition to maintaining ISO9001 certification, they also have a stellar reputation in the antenna and signal market. This Helium LoRaWAN antenna has a female connector and is made for outdoor use. The weatherproof fiberglass exterior has a urethane finish with a fully integrated ground plane. The unit is just under $100 and comes with 22 feet of high-quality RG58 SMA cables.
This model works very well and has a great LoRaWAN range for hotspots positioned on a flat landscape. For RAK miners keep in mind that you will need a female adapter.
It is a bit on the heavier side weighing in at just under 5lbs but this works in its favor for stability and durability overall. Signalplus is easy to install and easy to use for those looking to boost their witness numbers.
5. LoRa Gateway 915MHz Antenna Outdoor 3dBi Fiberglass LoRaWAN Antenna
For those looking for a simple Helium antenna that is made outdoor tough, the LoRa Gateway 915MHz Antenna Outdoor 3dBi Fiberglass LoRaWAN Antenna is a great pick. It is around $30 and designed for use with the v. It also works with Rak bobcat among others. With a range of 900MHz – 950MH, this glass fiber antenna is easy to install. It does need to be ground with a lightning arrester to prevent environmental damage, and the connector will need to be sealed with waterproof tape or Flex Seal tape.
Although it has not been advertised, it is an Omni directional antenna that will help boost your HNT rewards dramatically. It is highly effective for Helium mining and Helium hotspot witnessing specifically.
The Lowdown On LoRaWAN Antennas
Now that you know more about placing your LoRaWAN antennas for maximum effectiveness, choosing one that meets, your needs will be easier. Pay attention to area density, then consider the topography, and finally, pick a Helium LoRaWAN that matches your budget. Most often the hotspot that comes with your antenna will work best. LoRaWAN ranges will vary from one model to the next so make sure that you chose the best range to match the hotspot density in your placement area. With the right elevation and placement, you can minimize your investment while maximizing your gains at the same time.
Always remember that the Helium network is in a constant state of evolution. The per beacon transaction rate payouts will change according to the market and the number of LoRaWAN antennas in any particular area. As of the end of 2021, there were just under 5 million HNT available, and the number of users setting up hot spots increases daily. That being said, as Helium value grows, chances are the value per impression will grow as well. Our list of the 5 best LoRaWAN antennas on Amazon right now is by no means a full list, but it is a great place to start your search.