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Cell phone signal booster buying guide

How to get more use out of your phone at home, at work, and in your car

Sad girl with phone

You don't have to put up with dropped calls and sluggish downloads.

Plagued by poor cell phone reception, either indoors or while driving? The solution is a cell phone signal booster to strengthen and stabilize your phone’s connection.

The benefits of a cell phone signal booster

Using a booster can have several advantages:

  1. Fewer dropped calls and clearer reception — Conversations easier to understand for both parties.
  2. Reduced frequency/size of dead zones — Especially useful if you regularly drive through them on your daily commute, or have them where you work.
  3. More reliable data uploads and downloads — Faster data transfers; streaming music services and video players don’t have to pause to buffer.
  4. Faster text messaging — Virtually no lag between sending and posting.
  5. Longer battery life — your phone doesn't have to work as hard to continually reconnect to weak signals.

A simple system for home or car

There are two types of cell phone boosters – ones designed for home or office, and another for car use.

Home

Boosters for home or office: The outdoor-mounted antenna (orange) receives and sends cell signals. The booster (teal) enhances the signal strength. The internal antenna (purple) provides enhanced cell coverage throughout one or more rooms.

Car

Boosters for cars: The magnetically attached antenna (orange) receives and sends cell signals. The booster (teal) enhances the signal strength. The internal antenna (purple) provides enhanced cell coverage throughout the vehicle's cabin.

How to choose

While all cell phone signal boosters are essentially the same in operation, there are some things to consider when selecting one.

What type of wireless connection do you need?
There are some boosters that only transmit 3G broadband internet, some 4G, and some do both. The difference between the two is the data transfer speeds. If you’re relying on your phone primarily for internet access and have a 4G-compatible phone, you’ll probably want a 4G booster.

For a home/office system, how many rooms do you need coverage for?
Home signal boosters vary in strength. Some are designed just to cover a single room, while others are strong enough to cover an entire floor. Estimated coverage area is usually provided in the specs.

How many users will are there?
Whether for home or car, if you have multiple smartphones and tablets simultaneously using the system, you’ll want a system that can handle the traffic.

Consider a multi-bandwidth device.
In a home or office, there are usually several wireless devices already in operation. A multi-bandwidth booster can switch frequencies to minimize interference with those devices. It also ensures a stronger, more stable connection with your phone.

Shop for cell phone signal boosters

Please share your thoughts below.

  • Margo from Grand Rapids

    Posted on 5/23/2017

    @Patricia. Your carrier does provide these. Call them and ask about it.

  • Patricia Allen from Berry Creek

    Posted on 3/8/2017

    The carriers should supply these. Too expensive.

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