Best Buy Cellular Booster
With that in mind, these are the best boosters for homes, apartments, cars, and anywhere else you might need better coverage. Below these picks, we cover everything you need to know before your purchase.
best buy cellular booster
The weBoost Home Studio is a two-piece booster with a particularly small, low-key indoor emitter, so it won't crowd an already cluttered room. Like other weBoost products, it relies on a directional antenna you mount on a pole or roof outside to capture the best possible signal. Within the room it covers, its boosting potential is about the same as the larger SureCall Flare 3.0. But because it's compact, it offers a bit less range than the Flare and much less coverage than a whole-home system like the weBoost Home Multiroom.
Cel-Fi's devices can get you 100dB of signal improvement because they boost the frequencies of only one carrier. Just keep in mind that its premier Go+/Go X home boosters cost much more than other consumer models and that this approach means you can't switch carriers without switching your booster.
Don't fret if you don't own a home where you can install an outdoor antenna for a signal booster: This indoor Cel-Fi model still offers powerful boosting of up to 100dB. Though like the other Cel-Fi Go X, this one also supports just a single carrier and is quite pricey.
If cost isn't a concern and you need to cover an extremely large space, you won't find a more suitable consumer option than the HiBoost 15K. If you're just looking to get cellular connectivity in a traditionally sized home, however, the SureCall Flare 3.0 above is a more reasonable choice.
Although this model isn't as powerful as a home booster (it offers just 50dB of gain), it's still better than regular car boosters. RV owners just need to make sure to place the indoor and outdoor components far enough away from each other and in the proper direction.
Booster manufacturers have to use various tricks to detect the best signal from surrounding towers and then amplify the signal without messing up the carriers' systems. That's why you need to stick with boosters primarily from the big four companies: Cel-Fi, HiBoost, SureCall, and weBoost (we also include one from Wilson for a special use case you can read about below). Cheaper boosters available from Amazon often aren't FCC-certified, which means they can cause trouble with surrounding cell sites and networks.
If you're hesitant to invest in a home booster and primarily need coverage to make phone calls, make sure to try out Wi-Fi calling. All of the major carriers support this feature and you can often get better call performance over a connection to your Wi-Fi network.
The basic principle behind signal boosters is simple: A big antenna is better than a small one. Instead of relying on the tiny antenna in your phone, they capture cellular signal using a large antenna in your window or outside your house (or car), pass that signal through a device that cleans and amplifies it, and send it out through a rebroadcaster inside your home.
Boosters generally have three main components: an external antenna that sits outside your home; a booster that cleans and amplifies signal; and an antenna you keep inside your home. A coaxial cable connects them all.
Some of SureCall's products combine booster and indoor antennae into one unit. That makes SureCall's boosters easier to install and place, which is part of why the SureCall Flare 3.0 is our top pick for in-home boosters. But if you own a larger home and are willing to run some coax cable, you can greatly extend the boosters' range with some splitters and several panel antennas. This can get complicated, so, at that point, you might want to get a professional installer to set the system up (especially to reduce interference between multiple, in-home antennas.)
Most boosters handle bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 13, 17, and 66. That includes base coverage bands for AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. The important missing band is 71, T-Mobile's 600MHz rural coverage band. Because it took a while for TV stations to get out of that band, the FCC hasn't approved any consumer boosters for band 71. If you really want to boost that band, you need to get an industrial booster such as the WilsonPro 710i or SureCall Force8.
Most home boosters also boost between 64 and 71dB of signal. Once again, that's due to FCC regulations. If you need more of a boost than that, you need to move up to Cel-Fi's single-carrier booster line, which can get to 100dB by boosting only the frequencies from one wireless carrier at a time.
Boosters for your car are similar to in-home boosters, with one exception: You can only get single-device, in-car cradle boosters. These are much less powerful than in-home boosters (the ones we tested boost by 23dB instead of between 65 and 75dB) but are less expensive, take seconds to install and remove, and don't radiate beyond the cradle that grips your phone. We like the weBoost Drive Sleek as a single-device booster.
RV owners and people who need to boost multiple devices in a vehicle can get in-car boosters with small radiating antennas that can handle several devices. These can be tricky, though, because of how close the output antenna is to the input antenna.
You can install all retail cellular boosters by yourself without any drilling, although ideally, you should hide the cables against your baseboards. You also need to find the optimal antenna position outside your home.
Both SureCall and weBoost have options that let you lean on a professional installer to handle the tricky bits like sticking the antenna on your roof and orienting it properly. SureCall works with Dish subsidiary OnTech(Opens in a new window) to install any of its boosters for an extra fee. weBoost has a specific product, the Installed Home Complete, which comes with OnTech installation. The installation costs $200 for the weBoost product (it varies for SureCall products) so whether it's worth it really depends on your budget and DIY ability.
Cellular boosters generally can't boost the "good parts" of 5G networks. AT&T and Verizon carry a small amount of 5G on the old cellular bands 2 and 5. Boosters handle that, so a booster may summon you a 5G icon, but that signal doesn't give you an experience that's much different from 4G. The fastest 5G networks for AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon are currently on bands n41, n77, n260, and n261; no consumer boosters support those bands reliably.
There is a sneaky way around this. While no powered boosters work with these bands, passive antennas can still improve signal on bands 41 and 71. They may only get you 10dB to 20dB of gain as opposed to 70dB, but that isn't insignificant (and even just the fact that the antenna is outside can help). Meanwhile, Waveform's Griddy parabolic antenna(Opens in a new window) and MIMO panel antennas(Opens in a new window) improve signal on the new 5G band n77. Connecting an outdoor cellular antenna(Opens in a new window) to a Wi-Fi hotspot that has a TS9 connector, such as the Netgear Nighthawk M5, can also turn an outdoor cell signal into an indoor Wi-Fi signal.
Cellular signals aren't the only ones that can benefit from a boost. Check out these quick tips to improve the wireless signal from your router, extend and optimize your Wi-Fi coverage, and speed up your surfing. Or go right to our roundups of the best USB Wi-Fi adapters and the best range extenders.
Bad reception can ruin a good phone conversation, and getting a good signal in some areas can be really challenging. Cell phone boosters amplify the signal to help mobile devices keep working and communicating in weak or dead zones.
Not all cell phone signal boosters are built for the same settings. A booster for the home may be necessary if indoor reception is often poor or weak, leading to dropped or choppy calls. Some building materials can impact signal quality. Older buildings with thicker bricks or a lot of steel and concrete can block signals from coming in with the same fidelity as outdoors.
Vehicle signal boosters keep reception going on the road, where driving in more remote areas might make it harder to catch a good signal. They can work in any passenger vehicle, but also work just the same for fleet vehicles. If you have an RV or boat, you can find a signal booster made for them as well.
All cell phone signal boosters, including those from weBoost, SureCall, Smoothtalker and other vendors, work with current network technologies, like GSM, UMTS, CDMA, HSPA+ and LTE. They also support a wide range of frequency bands those networks work on, helping boost signal strength further.
That means they will work with all major cellular carriers in both Canada and the United States. There may be some band restrictions limiting compatibility with certain carriers, like Freedom Mobile, though newer model boosters have fewer issues that way. 041b061a72