Choosing a gateway

I need to buy a gateway and I am therefore seeking advices on how to choose it. More specifically:

  1. I see two The Things Gateways. One is labelled “indoor”, with a price tag of ~80€. The other is just called “The Things Gateway” and has a price tag of 300€. What are the differences ?
  2. I see here a very low cost raspberry hat. Would it do the job ? What are the limitations ?

Thanks for any hint

Number 2 is not a gateway and can’t be used for the purpose. It has about 1/64 of the capabilities a gateway requires.

The low priced gateway is an entry level gateway that works fine if you have a WiFi network to connect it to. The other one is the original, by now far too expensive, Kickstarter gateway that helped launch TTN. Because technology moved on the ‘cheap’ one is as capable and will cause less headaches.
There are plenty of other choices available as well, it helps if you specify some requirements. Indoor/outdoor? WiFi or wired connection? External antenna (that could be mounted outdoors for larger coverage) or internal antenna with limited range?

1 Like

Thanks Jac

WIFI should be fine


I’ll buy first an indoor one and then another gateway for another place, where external antenna would be great. From your answer an understand that the TTIG is a good choice for the indoor one. Any suggestion for a gateway with external antenna ?
Thanks again

1 Like

Please determine and share your requirements for the gateway.
This will help you get relevant advice and prevent unnecessary discussions.

Sorry but I have no idea. I would like to take the problem the other way around: understand what are the differences between existing gateways and see which ones I can accommodate.

For varying levels of precision, nothing - they all use the same chips. There are some build quality considerations, but you can’t just knock out a gateway PCB so that’s less of an issue.

It’s more about the user interface, the connectivity options (Ethernet, WiFi, LTE), how its powered, its case (waterproof is best), how the antenna is connected.

Then there is the whole world of antenna’s, at which point I’ll leave that to someone that knows about the dark arts of antennas. The performance of the gateway is all about the antenna, so buying a lesser gateway & a better antenna is preferable to an antenna from a suspect source with a poor cable and having a top of the range gateway.

I have a variety from vendors that have their own proper website, they all work, I’m told a MikroTik wAP LoRa8 is a good choice with an internal antenna - you can add a bigger better one on once you’ve got over the initial “getting started” phase.

You will have to do your own homework. :wink:
If you want to let others ask you the questions and do any thinking I suggest you hire a consultant.

Just some examples: why do you need an external antenna? External antenna or outdoor antenna?

Your requirements are yours. If you can’t think of any then better do some reading of existing information on the forum and the internet first.

Thanks much, this is very helpful !

The answer from descartes was helpful. This is exactly what I was asking for and therefore I believe my question was not irrelevant as you are eluding…

This is what I bought. I’ve been very happy with it. It works well for my small Lora network in my yard. I have never been able to connect to it from far away. “Far away” meaning over 500 feet.

You got exactly one suggestion for a gateway to which you can connect an external antenna without specifying any requirements. If that is exactly what you were looking for then you got your question answered.

More experienced users on the forum know that you need the gateway for some purpose (whichever that may be). If some gateway is suitable for your application depends on your requirements, which you have not made clear whatsoever. So when asking for advice it will be useful to provide some relevant information.

Requirements for a gateway can be many e.g. price, robustness, user friendlyness, indoor or outdoor use, for hobby or professional use, tweakability, upgradability, if indoor use is it for a small home or a large building, if outdoor use what coverage would you need, wired or wireless network connection, power over ethernet, mountability on a pole/mast etc. These are all aspects that can play a role in the selection of a gateway.
You will have requirements for at least some of these aspects, so why not share them when asking for advice.

Not sure where you get the “irrelevant” from.
The request to you was to provide some information, i.e. requirements for what you want to use the gateway for, which you did not.

One of the main issues on the forum is people asking for help but hardly providing any information about their case resulting in assumptions, guessing, unnecessary questions and responses not relevant for what the OP is looking for (another is new users asking for help without searching for information that is already available on the forum/questions already answered). That’s not efficient and is often wasting time from other users who are trying to help.

5 posts were split to a new topic: Not a gateway recomendation

Depends on your needs…

Things to consider:

  • Coverage. If outdoors, will you need an external antenna??
  • Internet Uplink: will it be wireless (2.4GHz, 5GHz?) LTE? Cable (ethernet) , Fiber? (SFP)
  • Any Additional services required (providing wireless coverage? GPIO sensing, ModBus, bluetooth beacons?)

I assume you’re on EU band 868.

First option that comes to mind is Mikrotik wAP Lora8 for indoors/outdoors. Weatherproof, self contained and affordable.

If you plan to use other features (bluetooth beacons like TG-BT5-IN etc), play with canbus, interface with GPIO’s etc, then a KNOT LR8 kit may suit your needs better specially in a lab or development environment.

If outdoor, widespread coverage is needed, I’d assemble a BaseBox 2 + R11e-LR8 + 868 Omni antenna and mount it on a proper spot. Basebox2/5, Netbox5 are equally suitable, I used Basebox2 because I fitted a couple 2.4GHz 180 sector antenas to provide outdoors wireless coverage also… pick the one that matches your needs better.

Been providing coverage with this exact equipment until a storm knocked down the pole destroying the LoRa antenna and pigtails recently. Depending on placement (mine was good, highest spot in 50km, and so was coverage) so will be coverage.

If cost is no object, or if internet uplink will be LTE, then would consider LtAP LR8 LTE kit + external antenna.

I am a Mikrotik certified consultant but any opinions/advise written here are exclusively personal.

Thanks much, very helpful !

1 Like

We have written a little article about How To Choose Lorawan Gateway Antenna

Hope that will make a little help.

Thanks much !

It would be helpful if the article included comments on legal operation.

For sure directional, high gain antennas, can improve range, but in most places in the World they would be illegal to use on LoRaWAN gateways or nodes.

Same goes for Gateways that have a TX power capability of 27dBm, which does imply more range, but again that would be illegal to use in a lot of places in the World.

1 Like