Most of us try to get the latest and best smartphones, however, having an advanced smartphone and no carrier reception will do you no good. Yeap, cell phone signal is the basis for using any phone. As such we decided to prepare this extensive article to reveal the best cell phone signal booster.
Actually, there is no single best cell phone signal booster, thus we will present you with a list of 8 cell phone reception booster models, their features and advantages. However, before we get to that section, we have quite a lot to cover the fixed and portable cell phone signal booster models.
Since there are probably many of you who are wondering what cell phone reception booster even is, we will start by providing you with a definition. We will move on to cover the 3 main causes for bad or no cell signal inside a home or business and as such address the reasons for the need of getting the best cell phone signal booster.
We will continue by covering the types of cell phone signal boosters and how exactly they work. For those of you who like to get things done yourself, we will also devote a section to explain how to install a cell phone booster. Then follows the list of 8 best cell phone signal booster models with features and specs. In addition, we will list the names of best cell phone signal boosters for rural areas.
For those who will decide to steer away from our suggested cell phone reception booster models, we will also provide you with tips on how to buy the best cell phone signal booster in form of a buyer’s guide. We will wrap things up by answering the most frequently asked questions.
So, are you ready to dig into the ‘cell phone signal booster for home’ topic? Let’s do this.
What Is A Cell Phone Signal Booster?
A cell phone signal booster or a cell phone reception booster is a device or a setting of hardware that boosts the cell phone signal. The English language tends to be great in naming devices as they most often get self-explanatory titles. Thus a cell phone signal booster does exactly what one would expect; it boosts cell phone signal.
Most typically the best cell phone signal booster is used for indoor signal boosting. As such, it is also referred to as the cell phone signal booster for home, though it is often used in offices and many commercial buildings.
A typical cell phone reception booster consists of two antennas – an outdoor antenna and an indoor antenna, which are connected by a signal wire or can also exchange signal wirelessly. The two antennas together ensure that the users get enhanced signal in areas that otherwise get very poor reception or even no reception at all. We will take a closer look at how a typical best cell phone signal booster works in one of the following sections.
3 Main Causes for Bad or No Cell Signal inside a Home or Business
People tend to want to understand the reason behind certain problems. As such, it seems only fair that we tell you what are the main causes for bad or no cell signal inside a home or other particular building.
Though it may be cool, we, unfortunately, can’t see the cell phone signal. However, if we could, we would be able to see where exactly the signal degrades and what the interferences on its way to your device are.
There are devices that enable measuring signal power and provide us with an understanding of the 3 main causes of bad cell phone signal. They are as follows:
- The distance between you and the cell tower is too great. Cellular signal is broadcast from cellular towers that were installed by your major carrier (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, etc.). The closer you are to a tower, the stronger the cell signal your phone detects. As you move further away from the tower, the signal becomes weaker; this phenomenon is called attenuation (and it applies to all electromagnetic signals). At a certain distance, the signal becomes too weak to hold a call or transfer data. This is the most common reason for a weak cell signal. It is often experienced by those who live or travel in remote rural areas.
- There are many obstacles in the way of the cell phone signal from the cell tower to inside your home or business. The presence of any large obstacles between you and the nearest cell tower, like a mountain, hill, building, or even large trees weakens the signal. This may also be experienced if you’re located at the bottom of a valley or underground, where you evidently don’t have a line of sight to a nearby tower. The signal is not able to penetrate through huge obstacles, so it cannot reach you. Luckily, the cell signal may bounce off of surrounding hills or buildings and reach you through reflection. However, the reflected signal is always noticeably weaker and may fluctuate up in down.
- Certain construction materials used on the exterior roof or walls of the home, building, or vehicle that you’re in can act as signal blockers. Metals and other dense materials, including concrete, brick, and wire mesh cause the most problems. Moreover, things like energy-efficient window coatings, tiles, water fixtures can also cause major signal issues and large mirrors. Construction materials are the most likely the reason when you notice a large signal drop when you enter a specific building, room, or vehicle.
Keep in mind that there are many locations where all three causes can mix and as such reduce the signal power extremely.
Types of Cell Phone Signal Boosters
There are two main types of cell phone signal booster:
Building/fixed cell phone signal boosters:
A building signal booster works as explained in the previous section. There are different levels of building boosters and they vary by signal strength and coverage area. Entry-level units cover a few feet of space, while enterprise systems cover vast areas with better cell phone signals. Aside from the boosting power of the amplifier, the quality of the components (cables, antennas, connectors) also improves as you move from the entry-level to up-scale. Building cell phone signal boosters can further be divided into subcategories according to the coverage area, building type, type of donor antennas (directional (LPDA or panel) or omnidirectional), indoor antennas (panel or dome)
Vehicle cell phone signal boosters (also referred to as Portable cell phone signal boosters):
As the name suggests, these boosters are engineered to be used in cars, trucks, RVs, boats, or other vehicles. They need to be able to handle the constantly changing signal environment outside. Vehicle signal boosters come with a small outside antenna. It is often magnetic for cars and trucks, and with more permanent fixture-type for RVs and boats. The outside antenna is connected by a cable to the vehicle signal amplifier, and then another cable is run to a small inside antenna, which broadcasts the boosted signal to the mobile devices. There are two types of portable cell phone signal boosters – Multi-carrier (give you more choice but slightly poorer signal range) and Single-carrier (offer stronger power range but limit you to a single carrier).
How Does A Cell Phone Signal Booster Work?
Parts of a typical cell phone signal booster:
As mentioned above, a cell phone signal booster is a system of an outside antenna (aka ‘a donor antenna’), a cell phone signal amplifier, one or more inside antennas, and a cable to connect them all together.
How a typical cell phone reception booster works:
- The outside antenna receives a cellular signal from the nearby cell towers.
- That signal is passed over a cable to the signal amplifier.
- The signal amplifier boosts the strength of the signal and then passes it over another cable to the inside antenna (or multiple antennas), which broadcast the strong cell signal to the area that needs it.
The above steps also work in reverse; when a phone call is made or data is used by a mobile device, it passes through the system, is amplified, and then broadcast to the nearby cell towers.
Note: If there is no signal outside in your area, then even the best cell phone signal booster won’t be able to help you. It needs a threshold signal to collect it and boost it. However, as long as you have some usable cell signal outside, a cell phone signal booster should be able to solve your signal problems and provide you with much better service in your home, business, or vehicle
How to Install Cell Phone Signal Boosters
We have a lot more to cover, thus we won’t go into details in this section. We will provide you with the main steps that need to be followed for the proper completion of the installation. We will focus on building cell phone booster installation. Vehicle cell phone signal booster installation is more advanced and not many dare to do it themselves, thought the concept is the same.
Note: If you need visual guidance, use a YouTube video. If you are not confident that you can install the best cell phone booster yourself, call the professionals or a friend, neighbor, or a family member with experience in that area.
Basic 5 steps to install the best cell phone booster:
- Finding the Best Cellular Signal Outside Your Home: Before you can start the installation, you must locate where is the best spot – the strongest signal. You can use any cell phone and use the signal bars. However, if you want more detailed feedback, you may use the Signal Strength app on your smartphone to get the results in graph form.
- Installing the Outdoor Antenna: Once you have located the right spot, you will want to install your donor antenna first. Make sure to use the right tools. Fix it using the bolts, wires, or powerful laces. Make sure to account for harsh weather conditions.
- Connect Outdoor Antenna to Amplifier: For this part, you will start to set the cable in place. Make sure to measure how much cable you need. Account for nice placement. You may need to drill some holes in the walls to make the cable path shorter. If you do not want to drill a hole in your house, consider using a window-entry cable.
- Install the Inside Antenna: This step depends on the type of indoor antenna. It may be a self-standing one, however, in most cases, you’ll want to fix it to the wall. Some drilling may be required here. You may also consider powerful double-sided self-adhesive tape. Make sure to have enough cable to connect the inside antenna with the amplifier.
- Power On the amplifier: once you have connected all parts with the cable, you may power on the amplifier and enjoy the signal.
8 Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters
As promised in the introduction section, we will cover 8 best cell phone signal boosters. That way you can make your selection much simpler by focusing on the models herein.
Cel-Fi GO X
The Cel-Fi GO X amplifies the signal to the highest legal limit. It provides you with as much as 100 dB gains. You should keep in mind that for every additional gain of 3 dB, the boosting power doubles. This tells you that this is one powerful cell booster. The Cel-Fi GO X takes a bit more know-how to install (you may need professional help) and it’s only compatible with AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. But if you are using any of these carriers, there’s probably no stronger booster you can get for a small space.
- Signals: 3G/4G/LTE Voice and Data
- 100dB max signal gain with typical coverage area 15,000 sq.ft/1400m2
- Supports one network per device, can be switched between networks – Easily switch between boosting Vodafone, O2, EE or Three signal using the WAVE App
- Indoor/Outdoor NEMA 4 Rated
- Network Safe
- IntelliBoost Chipset unconditionally network safe
- Licence-exempt under UK law and fully meets the requirements of Ofcom SI 2018/399
- Licence-exempt under Irish law and fully meets the requirements of ComReg S.I. No.283 of 201
- Max Coverage Area: Up to 15,000 sq ft
- Frequency: 700MHz, 800MHz, 1900MHz, 1700/2100MHz
- Specific Frequency (Up/Down): 698 – 716 MHz / 728 – 746 MHz, 776 – 787 MHz / 746 – 757 MHz, 824 – 849 MHz / 869 – 894 MHz, 1850 – 1910 MHz / 1930 – 1990 MHz, 1710 – 1755 MHz / 2110 – 2155 MHz
- Gain: 100dB/100dB
- Impedance: 50 ohm
- Power Requirements: AC Power Adapter – 15 volts, 1.6 amp
SureCall Flare 3.0
The SureCall Flare 3.0 is the right choice for you if you need a bit more coverage than the size of a small apartment. This cell phone signal booster for home is made to cover the space of a medium-sized home and can provide as much as 72 dB gains. The SureCall Flare 3.0 is extremely affordable for the amount of boost it gives. It has a directional antenna that can help you capture the best outdoor signal from any direction.
- Coverage area: up to 3000 square feet
- All-in-One Kit
- Compatibility: This amplifier supports 700mhz/800mhz/1700mhz/1900mhz/2100mhz networks (which includes most 2G, 3G, and 4G providers in the US).
- Significantly improved uplink power and high-gain Yagi antenna for best performance in the toughest environments without sacrificing performance in urban locations
- Newly added gain expands indoor cell coverage for those located at the edge of the network
- Frequency: Uplink: 698-716/776-787/ 824-849/1850-1915/1710-1755; Downlink : 728-746 / 746-757 / 869-894 / 1930-1995 / 2110-2155
- Impedance: 75 ohm
- Gain: Cellular-65dB / PCS-72dB / LTE(A)-63.5dB / LTE(V)-64dB / AWS-71dB
- VSRW: ≤2.0
- Standard Supported: CDMA, WCDMA, GSM, EDGE, HSPA+, EVDO, LTE, and all cellular standards
- AC Power Transformer: Input AC 110-240V, 50/60 Hz
- Maximum RF Output Power: 1 Watt EIRP
- Noise Figure: 7dB
- Cable: RG6
- RF Connectors: F-Female
- Power Consumption: <12W
- Dimensions (amplifier): 5.125″ × 7.25″ × 5.625″
- Weight: 1.81 lb (amplifier)
HiBoost 10K Signal Booster
If you have a big space that you want to cover, the HiBoost 10K Signal Booster may be the best cell phone signal booster. It can cover as large areas as 10,000 square feet. It’s compatible with every 3G/4G LTE carriers in the US and Canada as well. The HiBoost 10K Signal Booster has a unique function; it has two options for gain adjustments. You can choose the Smart Auto option for an automatic signal gain according to the strength of the input signal or control the signal manually with the manual gain adjustment option.
- Powerful built-in antenna for the simplest installation without compromising on signal
- Supported by HiBoost’s cloud-based troubleshooting app, Signal Supervisor
- Exquisite aesthetics and design to match your home’s decor
- Customizable with additional antenna kits to allow you to optimize your signal solution
- Fully compatible with all North American carriers and each of their 4G LTE and older networks
- Working bands: 698-716, 776-787, 824-849, 1850-1915, 1710-1755
- Gain: 68 dB (max gain: 72 dB)
- Output power: 12 dBm
- Impedance: 50 ohm
- Environmental condition: IP40
- Dimensions: 6” x 9.7” x 1.4”
- Weight: 5 lbs
- Power supply: input AC 100-240 V, 50/60 Hz; output DC 12 V, 3 A
- 11 dB gain outdoor Yagi antenna
- High performing 6 dB internal antenna
- LMR 200 Low-Loss coaxial cable
The SureCall Fusion4Home is a perfect solution for smaller homes and apartments. It covers approximately 500 square feet of indoor space. Since it is highly affordable, it is also a great option for those on a tighter budget. For the SureCall Fusion4Home to work, you’ll need at least two bars of outdoor signal to work from. To make the signal even stronger, we recommend avoiding using the whip antenna version of the device. Instead, focus on purchasing the version with the Yagi outdoor antenna and a panel indoor antenna. The SureCall Fusion4Home comes with durable metal housing for improved booster performance.
- High gain directional external antenna
- Independently reconfigurable for each band
- Dual Embedded CPU for smarter technology
- Eight RSSI detectors for all inputs and outputs
- Stealth technology incorporated – uplink becomes dormant when not in use
- Auto Gain Control (AGC) and manually adjustable dB gain and attenuation
- Uplink/downlink oscillation detection with automatic shutdown
- Lowest Out of Band Emissions (OOBE) to date
- Uplink Frequency: 698-716 / 776 – 787 / 824-849 / 1850-1910 / 1710-1755 MHz
- Downlink Frequency: 728-746 / 746 – 757 / 869-894 /1930-1990 / 2110-2155 MHz
- Input Impedance: 50 Ω
- Maximum Gain: 65 dB Cellular/72 dB PCS
- Noise Figure: 7 dB
- Supported Standards: CDMA, WCDMA, GSM, EDGE, HSPA+,
- EVDO, LTE & all cellular standards
- AC Input: 5-15V
- Max Output Power: 1 Watt EIRP
- RF Connectors: F Female (outside), N Female (inside)
- Power Consumption: <10W
- Dimensions: 8” x 1.25” x 5”
- Weight: 1 lb 8 oz.
- FCC ID / IC: Pending
weBoost Home 4G
The weBoost Home 4G is a go-to cell phone signal booster for home if you only need spot coverage in a very small space. It is a highly economic choice. It’s made for boosting signal in one room. However, with a stronger outside signal, you might get coverage in up to two rooms as long as they’re side-by-side and walls are not too thick. The weBoost is suitable for US and Canada carriers for at least 60 dB in gains. Moreover, it uses a lot less of your mobile battery than other boosters.
- Stronger cellular signal in 1 to 2 rooms
- Fewer dropped calls and lost connections
- Faster data downloads
- Longer battery life – up to 2 hours longer talk time
- Works with all cellular carriers
- All needed components included in the kit
- Works with virtually all smartphones and mobile hotspots
- Simple installation
- FREQUENCY: BAND 17: 700 MHz; BAND 13: 700 MHz; BAND 5: 850 MHz; BAND 4: 1700/2100 MHz; BAND 25/2: 1900 MHz
- MAX GAIN: 60 dB
- POWER REQUIREMENTS: 110-240 V AC, 50-60 Hz, 8 W
- CONNECTORS: SMA-Female (inside antenna) / F-Female (outside antenna)
- DIMENSIONS: 6.375 x 1.125 x 4.35 inches
- WEIGHT: 0.4 lbs
Wilson Pro 70 Plus
The Wilson Pro 70 Plus offers some of the highest gains. It is suitable for multiple carriers. This cell phone signal booster for home can be used in medium to large-sized homes and comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty. It also comes with a lightning arrestor kit that protects the device from electricity surges. This cell phone reception booster is one of the more expensive options on the list, however, its price brings the quality; in terms of signal boosting capacity, durability, and ease of use it is one of the best cell phone booster options offered by Wilson.
- Graphical uplink & downlink power meter
- Boosters sold in kits with antennas
- Expansion kits available for large scale installations
- Works on every North American network, all bands, every device
- Three-year warranty
- FCC and Industry Canada certified
- Faster, cleaner data uploads & downloads
- Strong, reliable
- Frequency (UL): 698-716 MHz, 776-787 MHz, 824-849 MHz, 824-849 MHz, 1850-1915 MHz, 1710-1755 MHz
- Frequency (DL): 728-746 MHz, 746-757 MHz, 869-894 MHz, 1930-1995 MHz, 2110-2155 MHz
- Max Gain: 70dB
- Power Requirements: 110-240 V AC, 50-60 Hz, 20 W
- Connectors: 460127 – F-Female / 463127 – N-Female
- Dimensions: 8.875 x 6.0 x 1.5 inches
- Weight: 2.81 lbs
- Integrated Power Meter: Yes
- Enhanced Indoor Coverage Under Certain Signal Conditions: Yes
The Amazboost is great if you’re looking for something that combines simplicity and functionality. This cell phone reception booster is highly affordable, easy to use, durable, and offers many of the same qualities of the more expensive options. Thought, you should know that it doesn’t look as pretty. Most decide to position it in a concealed place as possible. It is compatible with all American carriers and enables several devices to be connected to it at once.
- Multiple devices can connect at the same time.
- Easy to mount.
- Supports most major American carriers.
- It can reduce the electromagnetic radiation by reducing your cell phone’s transmission power.
- The booster consumes less battery charge to offer you prolonged battery life.
- It provides 60 dB of gain to offer you the strongest signal and better performance.
- It enhances the chance of getting faster internet speed and lower dropped calls.
- It comes with a larger RG6 cable of 60 feet to offer more wiggling room.
- Coverage Area Range: Depend On The Outdoor Signal Level: 1-2 Bars ~200 sq ft, 3-4 Bars ~800 sq ft, 5 Bars ~3000 sq f
- Multi-User Concurrent: Smart Phone, Pad, Data Modem All Connected Directly Same Time
- Frequencies: 700MHz, 850 MHz, 1900MHz, 2100MHz
Cel-Fi QUATRA Active DAS Hybrid
The Cel-Fi QUATRA Active DAS Hybrid can boost up to 100 dB gains, which is the highest legal limit for consumer cell boosters. There is also a version of this system that boosts two carriers at one time but is still classified as a provider-specific carrier. This cell phone signal booster for home system works with either a donor antenna or with an enterprise network extender. The Cel-Fi QUATRA Active DAS Hybrid is without a doubt one of the best cell phone boosters currently on the market. It packs some impressive features and offers a wide range of options. Considering the latest, this makes it one of the most expensive cell phone signal boosters.
- Highest Coverage Gain
- Highest Downlink Power
- Highest Uplink Power
- Multi-Carrier 3G / 4G / LTE Voice and Data
- Supercell Mode
- All Digital Cat5e PoE Solution
- Built for Installers
- Cel-Fi provides the WAVE Portal application for easy setup, provisioning, and management via a Smart Phone or Cloud Portal, providing quick access to install and help your customers faster.
- Network Safe and Carrier Approved
- You have the option of QUATRA 1000 or QUATRA 2000
- Frequency: 700MHz, 800MHz, 1900MHz, 1700/2100MHz
- Configurations: Bands 2/4/5/12, Bands 2/4/5/13, Bands 1/3/8/20, Bands 1/7/8/20, Bands 1/3/7/8, Bands 3/5/7/28, Bands 4/5/12/13/25
- Certifications: FCC, CE_RED, ISED, cETL, ETL, CE, ICASA, SRRC, NAL, RCM, EAC
- Power: 54V DC
- Gain: Up to 100 dB Active DAS Hybrid (1000x Stronger)
- Impedance: 50 ohm
- Compatibility: 3G / 4G / LTE for Voice and Data
- Range: 12,500 square feet
- Power Requirements: Power consumption less than 120W max
Best Signal Boosters for Rural Areas
As explained above, rural areas frequently have cellular signal problems. Mostly due to distance from the tower, terrain (mountains, hills, valleys), and obstructions, like trees & leaves. Thus, a powerful cell phone signal booster is required to take the weak signal you’ll find outside and boost it to a usable level. Below is a list of best cell phone signal booster models that will do a good job.
- SureCall Fusion4Home
- Cel-Fi GO X
- weBoost Drive 4G-M 470108
- weBoost Drive 3G-M 470102
- HiBoost 4K Smart Link
- zBoost ZB545 SOHO Dual Band
- weBoost Home 4G 470101
- weBoost Connect 4G 470103
- Solid Five Bands 4G-S2
- Phonetone Cell Phone Signal Booster
How to Compare Cell Phone Signal Boosters
There are several ways to compare cell phone signal boosters and it is important to go with the one that suits your needs.
Here are the main points that must be taken into comparison:
- Data speeds (2G, 3G, 4G, LTE)
- Coverage surface (Square footage)
- Multi-carrier or one specific carrier
- Installation process
- Brand quality
Why buy a cell phone signal booster?
If you read the above content, you should be able to answer this question yourself. If you live or work in an area where you can get a signal outdoor but can’t get it indoor, you definitely need to consider buying a cell phone signal booster.
Best Cell Phone Signal Booster Buying Guides
This section will serve you great when buying your best cell phone signal booster. Make sure to consider each of the below-explained attributes.
Consider the area you need to cover. Is it a specific room or a whole house? It is important to go with the cell phone reception booster that will cover the entire area of your interest.
Make sure that the cell phone signal booster for home is compatible with your carrier. In certain areas, you may not have much of a choice.
Scope of use
The majority of fixed and portable cell phone signal booster will cover all that you plan to use your phone for (calls, texting, data transfer), however, to stay safe, make sure you are covered.
Gain, frequencies, battery consumption (they affect your phone), and energy consumption are the key performance features that you need to pay attention to.
Do cell phone signal boosters work?
Yes. As long as there is at least some sort of detectable signal outside, they will be able to pick it up and amplify it. They are FCC approved.
Should I buy a 3G signal booster?
3G networks are being slowly removed out of use, thus it is better to go with 4G LTE signal boosters.
Do I need a home cell phone signal booster?
If you are having poor reception inside or in certain areas of your home, where you really need a good reception, then you absolutely need a cell phone signal booster.
Is a cell phone signal booster the right solution for you?
If there is a signal available outside but you don’t get it inside (and need it), then you definitely need to install a cell phone signal booster.
Where do you need to boost your cell signal?
Where ever there is a signal available on the outside but not inside (houses, apartments, offices, cars, trucks, boats, SUVs, etc.)