A GPS antenna is a device used for receiving and expanding radio signals sent by distinct frequencies coming from GPS satellites. These antennas will convert them into electronic signals so they can be used by GPS receivers. Once the GPS receiver obtains the output from the GPS antenna, it can calculate the position accurately.

Different Types of GPS Antennas

GPS antennas can be internal, external, passive or active. GPS or Global Positioning System can only be effective if they can obtain signals from satellites. However, in order to accomplish this, you need some kind of antenna. Most GPS devices, such as portable navigation units and phones, include internal antennas built inside their systems. But some units give you the option to add an external antenna. Although, it is not essential that you have to install an external GPS antenna, yet there are instances where it can valuable.

Difference Between Passive and Active GPS Antennas

There are two kinds of GPS antennas that can be installed at the back of your vehicle or on your phone. These are passive and active antennas. Generally, passive antennas will acquire GPS signals, then send them to GPS navigation units.

On the other hand, active antennas come with powerful amplifiers that permit them to pick signals from longer distances. In fact, the signals received by these amplified antennas are much stronger than the GPS device.

This is why active antennas are more costly, at the same time, they are also harder to install compared to passive antennas. Although you can choose to install them farther away from your GPS tracker. Because of this, active antennas are more suitable for big vehicles or in any circumstances wherein you require a stable signal.

Difference Between Passive and Active GPS Antennas - What Is A GPS Antenna and How Does It Work?

What Are GPS Reception Interferences?

GPS devices can only be effective if they can obtain signals from various satellites. GPS devices can accurately pinpoint its exact location on Earth, depending on how strong the signals of the satellites are. Typically, you will see a dot on a digital map. This is an indication of your location.

However, when there is an interference that obstructs the signal of a GPS device, then it won’t be able to recognize satellite signals. Unfortunately, this can result in inaccuracy or failure to identify the location of the device. Some of the common causes of signal disruptions are tall buildings and metal roofs of vehicles.

These signal interferences can be alleviated by putting your GPS device near the window of your vehicle. Although this is not usually the best solution. For instance, thicker roofs can hinder signals more compared to the thinner ones. Also, tinted windows have small metal particles that can hinder GPS signals.

Why Do you Need a GPS Antenna?

Why Do you Need a GPS Antenna - What Is A GPS Antenna and How Does It Work?

Typically, a number of GPS navigation devices include internal antennas. In most cases, they work just fine, however, there are some circumstances that an external antenna is needed in providing information to the GPS device.

This is often used when there is an extreme obstruction between the sky and the GPS device. External antennas are also valuable to older GPS units that do not use the latest internal antennas. If you can’t find an accurate signal with your GPS unit, then perhaps you will need an external antenna.

Although, you could try moving around inside your vehicle to get a strong signal. However, if it cannot solve your obstruction and interference problems, then the best solution to your problem would be to install an amplified external antenna.

On the other hand, if you have been using your GPS device for a long time, and you have never experienced any signal interference, then you don’t need an external antenna. But if you are frequently experiencing failure in obtaining a signal or you are getting inaccurate information, then it’s time that you get an external antenna to fix this issue. External antennas are also very useful when you are traveling in a remote place, where the GPS signal can be unpredictable.

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