The 10 Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters
Cell Phone Signal Boosters
Our Picks in Detail
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* Last update of prices was on 2019-01-20 09:37:20 via PA API. Prices or conditions may have changed in the meantime.
11 Best Cell Phone Signal Booster Alternatives
Cell Phone Signal Booster Buying Guide
Best cell phone signal boosters reviewed
1. Wilson Electronics DT
Wilson Electronics was recently rebranded weBoost but its old products remain the highest rated cell phone boosters on the market. This particular model uses an outdoor antenna that connects to an indoor antenna via a coax cable. The outdoor antenna offers up to 56 dB signal amplification. However, the fact that it is directional means that you won’t be able to get a signal if there are major obstructions between your location and the nearest cell tower.
The mounting hardware for a window, pole or wall helps correct this problem by maximizing your signal. The indoor antenna is omni-directional and is best suited for small homes or offices. The call networks supported by this booster include EDGE, GPRS, CDMA, GSM, EVDO, AMPS and more. It also works with most cell carriers. The drip hole on the underside and rubber seal help this unit survive rainy days without damage. On the downside, this kit is made with lightweight materials and handles major obstructions poorly.
2. Smooth Talker Mobile X1
This is one of the few signal boosters that is compatible with 2G, 3G and 4G networks but the tradeoff is that it’s only limited to two bands i.e. 800MHz and 1900MHz. The lack of 700MHz means that you have access to limited 4G networks. Its amplifier offers a gain range of 50 dB, making this a suitable booster for vehicles.
Being a wireless signal booster, the Smooth Talker Mobile X1 comes with six installation features i.e. an amplifier box, indoor and outdoor antennas, two coax cables as well as a car charger. A magnetic base on the outdoor antenna allows for easy removal without worrying about damaging the paint. A 15-feet coax cable connects the outdoor antenna to the amplifier while a 4-feet cable connects the amplifier to the indoor antenna. The antenna offers a gain range of 50 dB, making it ideal for use in rural areas.
3. SureCall Flex 2Go
This is one of the few cell phone signal boosters for vehicles offered by SureCall. The dual internal CPU and amplifier are both housed in a hard metal casing for longevity. This casing also makes it easy to install the unit in the glove compartment or trunk. Many customers love this signal booster because it provides great control over the gain and frequency bands. You can manually adjust the gain and tune the two frequency bands i.e. 800MHz and 1900MHz to achieve the strongest signal. The Auto Gain Control setting is a welcome addition that automatically adjusts the gain depending on the strength of the outside signal.
This unit comes with an amplifier that offers a maximum gain of 50dB, which is the highest allowed for vehicles. The outside antenna is 12 inches long and receives the signal from all directions. The biggest concern with this unit is that it’s not compatible with 4G networks.
4. Cisco AT&T MicroCell Wireless Tower Antenna
This booster utilizes your broadband to make a personal cell tower. It supports data on 3G/4G/LTE as well as voice, but only on phones with AT&T. There are models made for specific service providers including Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint just to name a few. While this limits your options, the upside is that you don’t have to worry about complex installations where you have to mount antennas. All you have to do after installation is register your phone and connect the MicroCell to your WiFi network.
Like every product, this unit comes with a few disadvantages. For instance, it’s impossible to transition to a cell tower without losing your phone call. In addition, those who don’t use AT&T cannot use it. The battery also drains quickly.
5. weBoost 3G-X Extreme
This is an upgrade of the Wilson Mobile Maxx 3G and comes with several improvements including an aluminum casing for longevity. It also comes with a 3G and 2G dual band coverage, long range antenna as well as 50 dB amplifier. The 12-inch high gain outdoor antenna has a 60% further reach compared to most antennas that have a 4-inch coax cable. A longer reception range is achieved with the help of the forward gain of 5.62 dBi, making this unit ideal for rural areas that are far from cell towers.
The 3.5 inch magnetic base makes it easy to attach the antenna to the roof of the car and remove it without worrying about damaged paintwork. The 5-inch indoor antenna can be installed in the middle console with Velcro or on the side of the seat. Another notable feature is that the weBoost 3G-X Extreme is compatible with 2G and 3G, but not 4G.
6. zBoost ZB545 SOHO
This is an affordable cell phone signal booster for the rural homeowner on a budget. The setup includes an external antenna that can be mounted on the top story window or the roof. This is connected to a base unit via a coax cable then amplifies the signal throughout the house. The radio systems supported by the dual band antenna include GSM, 3G, EDGE, HSPA, EVDO and CDMA just to name a few. You will however have to look elsewhere if you need something that’s compatible with 4G or LTE. The main downside is that the minimal power amplifier only covers a short gain range, but the included bracket mount helps dispel this issue.
What to look for in a cell phone signal booster
Cradle vs. wireless signal boosters
These gadgets come in two main types i.e. cradle and wireless. The latter amplifies the existing signal into a wireless coverage area. It supports many users at a time, making it useful for homes and businesses in rural areas. Cradle signal boosters require one to place the phone in a holder. While one has to use Bluetooth or speakerphone for calls and can only support one phone at a time, they are considerably more affordable compared to wireless signal boosters.
Another important feature to look for is the signal boosting performance. Strict rules enacted by the FCC in 2014 outline much an amplifier can boost the signal in a vehicle. These regulations help ensure that drivers don’t interfere with cell tower signals. That said, the best cell signal boosters offer up to 50 dB gain. The frequency bands covered by a signal booster also affect performance. Most models broadcast on two channels i.e. 800MHz and 1900MHz. However, your money will be well spent if you purchase something that covers up to five bands and boosts 2G, 3G as well as 4G signals.
The antenna attaches to the outside of the car or house window, and receives the signal to be boosted. It then emits the boosted signal to your smartphone. The best cell phone signal boosters feature high-gain antennas of at least 5 dB, allowing them to cover a longer range. Lower gains are best suited for mountainous terrains while antennas with a higher gain are great for rural areas.
While they don’t require professional installation, it’s important to check for features that make installation easy. Such include the length of the outside and inside antenna’s coax cables. This helps you determine where to install both antennas as well as the amplifier. In the case of a cradle signal booster, the only thing you have to concern yourself with is the outside coax cable of the antenna.
More Research on Cell Phone Signal Boosters
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