Range of a two way radio is determined by several things. Wattage, terrain, location, weather, obstructions, and frequency.
Your radio may be 4 to 5 watts with a promised 25 mile range but in reality your radio will only reach 2 miles. Even though this may not seem like a lot, it is. Radio wattage ranges from .5 watts (talkabouts) to 5 watts. The more watts you have the more money you will spend but rightly so. A .5 watt radio may only be able to go up to a quarter of a mile in range. This will come with plenty of static if you are in a dense area.
Terrain is a key issue in how much range you will get. If you are out on a boat on water, there are no trees or obstructions. On water the terrain is flat and you will be able to communicate much better because nothing is in the radio waves way. If you are in a dense wood somewhere with tons of trees and shrubs your radio waves will be interrupted, cut off, or choppy.
Depending on your work environment or location you will receive better or worse range. If you are working on two very tall buildings and one person is on the roof of one building and another person on the other roof ten miles away, you will have perfect range. There are no obstructions that far up. In contrast, if you are in a very large warehouse with many steel constructions and equipment, the range will not be far. With so many things blocking the radio waves you will have trouble getting a signal.
Weather is also a factor. It may be a sunny day and a cloud moves which in turn interrupts your radio signal. There also may be a storm and you notice your radios cutting in and out. Lightning is a cause of this along with the clouds, rain, and wind. Snow will be an issue as-well-as hail.
One thing that you can control that will help you determine which radio would be best for you even though the inevitable range amount will vary, is choosing the correct frequency. VHF (Very High Frequency) was created for mariners. This frequency is best for open, flat areas where obstructions are minimal to none. UHF (Ultra High Frequency) was created for use in areas (work or recreational) of higher density. Areas with trees, concrete, or other obstructions.
Remember when purchasing a radio to make sure you check how many watts the radio has, which frequency (VHF or UHF), and keep in mind the location you will be using your radio in.
If you need any advice or help in choosing which radio is right for you among our many choices CONTACT US directly at: 1-800-984-1534