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If you’re noticing a lot of dropped calls, delayed texts and slow data speeds in your home or office, there’s a quick and easy solution – a cell phone signal booster.
Signal boosters increase the bars on your phones and tablets. They’re excellent for rural areas, or even apartments where a cell signal is lacking. Using powerful high-gain antennae and low signal-loss cables, these can also be known as signal amplifiers, repeaters, and network extenders. Here’s what to know when searching for the best cell phone signal boost for you.
How Do Cell Phone Signal Boosters Work?
There a few things to consider when looking for a device to boost your cell phone signal, both in terms of speed and strength.
Coverage: How big is the area that you’re looking to cover? These range from hundreds of square feet up into the thousands, so first get an idea of the space that needs a boost. Also note that providing a boost to a weak signal is very different than if you have zero signal to start with. If you’re completely off-grid with no signal at all, a booster may not provide much help. You’ll also want to consider how many devices will be used, and if the booster is designed to handle all that bandwidth.
Antennae: Most of these will come with an antennae component meant for your roof, a window, or somewhere equally high up, since they’ll need to communicate the nearest cell towers. A directional antenna will require you to point it in the direction of the nearest tower, while omnidirectional antennas free you up to point it in any direction, sometimes up to 10 miles away. These are better if you’re not sure where the nearest tower is, so you can adjust accordingly to wherever you’re getting the strongest signal. Dome antennas spread the signal out in all directions, and are best placed inside a ceiling, while panel antennas send a signal straight out, and are better for walls.
Installation: Many of these offer tool-free installation, making the process of setting it up easier. You’ll also want to consider the weather in your area, and invest in a weatherproof antenna to handle whatever nature can throw at it.
Extras: Other perks like monitoring your booster signal remotely via the company’s app, or even on the unit itself with a built-in screen are a big help too.
With coverage, always underestimate. If a booster says it can cover 1000 square feet, assume it’ll actually be half of that, just to be on the safe side. Make sure it works on 5G, or at least is 5G-ready, so you won’t need to buy another one as soon as the 4G network is obsolete. You’ll also want to clarify if the booster you’re eyeing works with your carrier. Most, in North America anyway, work with the big providers, but it’s always best to check, and if you’ll need to register the booster with the carrier too.
1. SureCall Flare 3.0 Cell Signal Booster
This powerful booster set utilizes a Yagi outdoor omnidirectional antenna for increased gain to the amplifier via a 50-foot coaxial cable, resulting in up to 3,000 square feet of indoor coverage. There’s also an Omni/Whip kit available for smaller spaces, which still reduces dropped/missed calls and boosts signals over a smaller space.
The booster and indoor antenna are combined, making setup simple, and small enough to fit on any shelf or end-table. Plus the build quality is noticeably solid metal, able to handle the long term effects of weather and constant usage.
2. Cel-Fi GO X Cell Phone Signal Booster
This signal booster bundle provides a powerful 100dB cellular signal boost – often up to 40dB more than other boosters.
Data moves fast, and the accompanying app gives you control over things like which carrier to boost and detailed diagnostic information.
It’s also fully FCC-certified too, and works on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and US-Cellular.
3. weBoost Home MultiRoom Signal Booster
If you’ll need a booster to amplify 5G, consider this kit. This covers an impressive indoor area of up to 5,000 square feet, across three different rooms, for uninterrupted data and clear calls on all U.S. carriers.
The directional outdoor antenna allows you to attach it to the side of a building if a roof isn’t an option, and can pick up a tower’s signal up to ten miles away.
4. Goboost Cell Phone Signal Booster
This six-pound kit stands out with its colorful LCD display, clearly showing signal strength, voltage and connectivity at all times. There’s also an included heat sink in the build, which is ideal for preventing overheating in situations where you’ll be using this constantly.