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​Will a magnet-mount antenna work if installed on a non-metal surface?

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015

magnet mount antenna

No. A magnet mount antenna must be placed on a ferrous metal surface (a metal surface that has magnetic properties such as iron or steel), in order for it to work properly.

Here is a Magnet Mount Antenna Installation Guide for your reference.

Placing a magnet-mount antenna on a non-metal surface does not work because an antenna is designed to mount on a ground plane. A ground plane “is a flat surface of ferrous metal... that a magnet-mount antenna uses as an integrated part of it.” (“What is a Ground Plane?”). Put simply, this statement means that you place a magnet-mount antenna on a ferrous metal surface not just so it will stay in place, but also because that is how it becomes functional. A magnet-mount antenna placed on a non-metal surface may stay in place, but it is not going to connect and receive signals properly.

Magnet-Mount Antenna Features

So why would you choose a magnet-mount antenna? Well here are some reasons:

Easy Installation

It has one of the easiest installations of all the antennas! All you have to do to install an antenna, is place the base (the bottom of the antenna with the magnet) on a metal surface and you’re done with the mounting part. Then you take the cable and use the connecter to connect the cable to your signal booster. This is definitely a lot faster than the work you would have to go through to install a glass mount antenna or a NMO (Non-Magnetic Option) antenna. You also don’t have to do anything out of your comfort zone like drill a hole into your car to install such an antenna. However, it is important to do two things: 1) make sure that the metal surface fits the right dimensions for antenna (the required metal mount plane should be mentioned in user guide) and 2) place an antenna in a location that is clear of obstacles and as high as possible (such as the highest part of your vehicle).

Easily Transferable

One of the great things about the magnet-mount antenna is that you can easily remove it from where it is mounted and place it somewhere else. It is not a permanent addition to the metal plane you’ve placed it on. It has a strong magnet at base that keeps it from falling off, while being easy to remove by hand. While we encourage use of the magnet-mount antenna in vehicles because its able to pick up signals the best when placed outside, it can also be brought inside your home and used as an inside antenna. So as long as you have an appropriate metal surface inside your home, you will be able to use it to receive your signal booster’s boosted signal (You can also use a magnet-mount antenna with an adapter for your aircard, as mentioned in this previous entry https://cellphonesignalbooster.us/blog/are-connectors-adapters-for-aircards-available-for-purchase/). If you prefer to keep it on top of your vehicle, the antenna will also work as an outside antenna and excellently receive signals from the closest cell phone tower.

Useful Replacement for Other Antennas

If you have a smaller antenna, choosing a longer magnet-mount antenna can cause an improvement in poor ability to get a signal. The longer antenna has better reach for a signal than a smaller antenna, which can greatly increase how much signal is gained (from the cell phone tower if outside, and from the signal booster if inside). A mini magnet-mount antenna can also be a good replacement for a worn out antenna because it comes at a decent price (most around 14 dollars), is easy to install, and has the same omni-directional feature as the bigger version.

No Additional Parts

With the magnet-mount antenna, you get everything you need for its set up (antenna, cable, and connector). Whereas with other antennas, like the NMO mount, you might have to buy extra pieces to complete the installation (like an NMO mount to place the antenna on).

Other Features of the Magnet-Mount Antenna

The magnet-mount antenna also has other features that make it a worthy purchase, such as:

  • Omni-directional (the antenna can send and receive signals from any direction, so you don’t have to face it any certain way)
  • High-gain (the antenna can pick up weak signals and create a reliable connection)
  • Weatherproof (this makes the antenna stable against weather conditions, such as high rain and wind)
  • Powerful magnetic base (the antenna won’t fall off at high car speeds)
  • Applicable to different vehicles (antenna can be used for cars, trucks, RVs, boats, and other types of vehicles)
  • Affordable price (most antennas range from prices anywhere between $14 to $26 dollars)
  • Reliability (antenna is extremely durable and long lasting)
  • Coverage (antenna comes with a guarantee to work and a 60-day refund policy)
  • Lowest price guarantee (we guarantee to price-match any retailer in the United States or Canada that offer a lower cost)

All these features are included with the magnet-mount antenna so that you get the best-quality product available to help you with your specific needs.

Types of Magnet Mount Antennas Available

The magnet-mount antennas we have available can be found at https://cellphonesignalbooster.us/outside-mobile/. Here you will see that 13 magnet-mount antennas are available. These 13 antennas are grouped into two categories: regular magnet-mount antennas and mini magnet-mount antennas. Regular magnet-mount antennas are 12 inches long and come with 10 inch cables or 12.5 inch cables. Mini magnet-mount antennas are 4 inches long and come with 10 inch cables or 12.5 inch cables. While both versions provide improved signals when connected to a signal booster, they each have their pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Regular Magnet-Mount Antennas


Magnet-mount antennas that are 12 inches in length have performed better than the 4 inch versions in some cases. With a 12 inch antenna you have a better guarantee that you’re going to get great performance.


With a large magnet-mount antenna, there may be a concern for theft since it is not only noticeable on the vehicle, but also easy to remove.

Pros and Cons of Mini Magnet-Mount Antennas


Because of its smaller size, the mini magnet-mount antenna can fit into small spaces or areas with a tight fit. It is also a lot less noticeable on the car, which can prevent theft.


In some cases, users have found that the mini versions did not give as strong as a signal as the bigger versions.

How to Choose Your Magnet-Mount Antenna

Once you decide whether you want a regular or mini version, there are a few other factors to pay attention to - These include:

  • The length of the cable (Antennas with higher-priced options usually include a longer cable.)
  • The bandwidth available (Antennas will be either dual band or multi band. Dual-band antennas work on at least two frequencies, while multi-band antennas can work on many different frequencies in up to five bands.)

With these factors in mind, choosing a magnet-mount antenna for your vehicle or home should be no problem. However, if you’re worried about an antenna being stolen and would prefer a more permanent antenna, you can choose a glass-mount antenna or a NMO-mount antenna. These antennas will be addressed more specifically in later blog entries.


“What Is a Ground Plane?” Criterioncellular. Criterion Cellular. n.d. July 15, 2015.

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