How to Choose the Best Cell Phone Signal Booster

In this day and age connectivity issues should have been eradicated, but they are still very much alive and disrupting the lives and work of many people around the world. 

Luckily, there is a great solution to this problem, that will put a stop to your inconvenience once and for all! 

Yes, you guessed right – a mobile signal booster. 

They are not all the same and are not meant to solve the same issues. 

This is where we come in to help you in the matter and guide you on the right path of choosing the best cell phone booster for your needs. 

Types of Boosters

Let’s start from the fist distinction – portable vs fixed. 

If you are looking to improve cell reception in your house or office, then the best option for you would be the fixed office cell phone booster

If you are looking for a booster for vehicle or even for boats, then your best bet would be the portable one. 

Let’s get into each type in a bit more detail and explain their main differences. 

Fixed Mobile Signal Boosters

In this category, we have 2 main subcategories a booster for Home and for Office. 

Signal Booster For Home

In case you need to enhance the signal in your house and make sure that no one is left without a voice signal or data, then the best option for you is the fixed mobile signal booster. 

Later on, we will touch upon the issue of what things you need to consider when choosing a booster, but here are the major things to keep in mind: 

  • What’s your provider – most likely, all the members of your household belong to the same network provider, which makes it easy to choose the best home cell phone booster
  • What’s your area size – this is also very important to consider as if you get a booster, that only covers 1000 sq. ft., but your house is 2000 sq. ft., then you would spend your money in vain, as the booster won’t solve the issue in the whole house. 

Thus the best cell phone booster for home, needs to cover the needed area, and the provider and band you need to enhance. 

Signal Booster For Office

When you need to enhance the signal in the office, that’s a whole other story. An ideal office cell phone booster needs to be able to cover all the operators – as there is no chance that all your employees are using the same provider unless, of course, you have a corporate package contract. But even in that situation, you most likely will have business meetings, people coming in and out, who need their phones and data working at all times. 

Thus, a great office cell phone booster will be multi-band, meaning it can cover all the frequencies of all operators, enhancing both voice and data signals, and be powerful enough to cover all the area. You might also need a sophisticated system of a strategically placed antenna and booster combinations, to ensure maximum results. 

Portable Boosters 

Portable boosters have 2 main categories, which include boats and vehicles. 

Boosters for Vehicles

In case you are a truck driver, a delivery person or have any other profession, where you spend most of your day in the car, then this is a great option for you. There are many different types of vehicle boosters, from ones that resemble a phone holder, and support a single device, to those that come with an antenna and can support multiple devices. 

Hence, depending on your needs, you will need to get either one or the other. If you are the only one in the car most of the time, probably you don’t need to spend extra money or obtaining a bigger model, and the holder type booster will suffice. 

However, if you are an Uber driver, or frequently host carpool, then most likely the more powerful version is your best bet. 

Boosters for Boats

In case you own a boat or a yacht, there is no need to vanish from the face of the earth every time you decide to take your beauty out of the marina and enjoy the beautiful sea. 

Installing a booster would not only make sure that you can call your loved ones or post pictures of your adventures on Instagram but also ensure your safety, making it possible to connect to the world, in case an emergency presents itself. 

Questions to Answer When Choosing the Best Signal Booster

There are many things that you need to answer yourself before you can go about choosing the best cell phone booster, whether you need it for your house, office, boat or car. 

As promised, below, you can find all the key questions that you need an answer to, in order to start your best home cell phone booster search. 

What’s my signal strength and how many bars do I have? 

The signal strength is shown on your phone in the form of bars or a signal icon, but that’s not the most accurate way of measuring the signal. 

The signal strength is measured in dBms, and the range is more or less from -30 to -120 dBm. The ideal signal strength lies between – 90 to -70. If you get anything else, your signal is weaker, and about -119 indicates that you virtually have no signal at all. 

All phones have test mode, where you can access this information, and have a very accurate measurement of your signal strength. 

In case you have an iPhone, dial  *3001#12345#* and press call. Now on the upper right corner, you will see a negative number that indicates your cell signal strength. 

If you have an Android user, the instructions might vary depending on the system version and phone brand you are using, but here are the general ones. 

  1. Go to settings
  2. Then About phone
  3. Then Status. 

Do I need to strengthen voice, 3G or 4G signal? 

If you are experiencing problems with your voice calls, they don’t get through, or the calls drop all the time, then surely you have a voice issue. In case you need to go outside to be able to connect to your internet, then it’s a data issue. 

Now to the question of what kind of data you have 3G or 4G. You can easily see the icon on the upper right or left corner of your phone, depending on the brand, the status of your data. It either says 3G, 4G, E or H+. 

The numbers are pretty clear, but what do the E and H+ mean? 

Well, the H+ has been created before 4G and pretty much means that it offers the fastest possible internet connection within the 3G network. So when you are out of 4G range, then you most likely will get that icon on your screen. 

The E icon shows up on your phone when you are out of reach of both 3G and 4G networks, meaning you are not connected to any data internet. 

Also bear in mind, that not all phones support 4G internet, both hardware and software-wise. Thus make sure you update your phone’s software periodicly, and in case it’s a hardware issue, get a new phone if having 4G is a critical matter. 

What’s the Needed Coverage Area in Sq. Ft.? 

Coverage area is a very important factor to consider, as the signal repeaters vary not only by band but also by coverage size. 

If you have a small area of let’s say under 1000 sq. ft. then you need to filter the option by the size, not to overpay on a very powerful product, when the smaller one will do the trick. 

In case you have a big area, then a smaller booster will not be enough, and you will still experience bad signal in remote places. 

Which is your network operator?

Make sure you know the network operator that you are using, as each one uses different frequencies or bands to broadcast their various signal types, i.e. voice, 3G and 4G. 

Also, know if your family members are planning on switching to a different provider, get a universal one to cover all bands and providers. 

The single band booster would be an ideal solution for those, who are experiencing troubles with one of the services, either 3G, 4G or voice. 

If you are experiencing issues with voice and data alike, your best bet would be to look within the dual or multi-band options, to cover all signal types and operators. 

What is the building material?

Believe it or not, but building materials are a significant source of signal disruptions. If you live in a building made with concrete and cement, thick stones and such, then your signal issues may be coming from them. 

There is a great article that did a deep dive on the matter. Make sure to check it out to see how much your house is affected by the building materials. 

Is the building single-storey or multi-storey?

The number of floors in your house is important, for the same reason it’s as the building materials. Plus, walls are much thinner than the ceilings and the floor, thus, there is much more building material that goes into it, including sometimes metal bars. 

In this case, the more stories you have, the weaker the signal transmission will be. Thus you will need a more powerful booster. 

What’s the Number of Users/Devices?

The bigger the number of users, the more powerful booster you will need. When it comes to fixed repeaters, they all usually support numerous devices at once. However, if you are looking for a portable one, there are some, that only support one device. 

In this case you will have to evaluate how many devices on everage you have in the vehicle and how critical it is for every device to have a perfect reception. 

Things to consider when choosing a booster

Above, are all the questions you need to ask yourself, before you decide to land on a particular product that will be your best cell phone booster. Below are some other notes, that need to be taken into consideration, before ordering a booster and deciding whether or not you need particular extras. 

Type of the antenna needed

There are 2 main types of external cell phone signal booster antenna out there: omni-directional or LPDA and directional or Yagi. 

The use of those depend on many different factors, however as a rule of thumb, if you have a strong outside signal the LPDA one is best, as it can catch a signal from many different directions, and in case one tower is down, will use another one from other direction, to make sure that you have a signal.

The Yagi antenna on the other hand is best used when your outside signal is weak, as Yagi antennas are a bit more powerful and it will deliver best results when you direct it towards the nearest tower. 

However for a detailed information and in order to find out what will work best in your particular case, please feel free to contact us for details

There are also 2 main types of internal antennas: dome and panel. 

The dome antenna is usually for the ceiling mount, and sends signal to all directions. This is a very powerful and popular choice among many users. 

The panel antenna is meant to be mounted on the wall, and is used to eradicalte signal issues on a more local scale – a room, an open floor space, and so on. 

Cable length

When it comes to cable length, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. 

First and foremost, the longer the cable, the weaker the signal. Most commonly you will find coaxial cable signal booster, which means you will lose signal strength if the cable is too long. 

The cable also can’t be too short, which will only mean that the outside cell signal booster antenna, the booster and the indoor antenna are way too close.

This situation can cause all sorts of interference with the signal, your booster might not work at it’s optimal capacity and not deliver the desired results. 

All the recommendations on how close the booster should be to the antennas and how far antennas should be from one another you will find in your manual, when you are ready to install your best signal booster

Plus, all the cables that are included in the kit are of the optimal length, which will also give you a clue of how much cable to use. 

In case you are planning to install more than one indoor cell phone signal booster antenna, then you will need extra cables, but be sure to contact us to make sure you get the right amount and the right type of antenna.  

Multi-band support

As we have already mentioned above, when it comes to bands, there are some advantages of covering all the basis, but in other cases it might not be so necessary. 

In case you need to solve your connection issues at your place of business, a multi-band office cell phone booster will be exactly what you need. All your employees will thank you for it, for sure! 

In case, however, you have a household, all the members of which are experiencing problems with only 4G, let’s say, a multi-band best home cell phone booster might not be ideal choice for you. 

However, if you have frequent guests and people are coming over all the time, at least one of their complaints of not getting a signal in your house will be solved. 

Also keep in mind, that different operators transmit their voice and data signals on different frequencies. If T-Mobile, for example, uses one frequency or band to transmit voice, AT&T might use the same to transmit 3G. 

Thus, weather or not get a multi-band solution or not depends solely on your needs and situation. 

Let us help you choose the right booster

Hope this guide provided helpful information on how to go about choosing the best signal booster that will ideally fit your every need and solve all the issues you are having with the signal. 

If you need more information, or want to discuss your particular case, please feel free to contact us for details. We will be more than happy to provide you will full information and make recommendations. 

We also offer floor plan analysis and installation services through our very trusted partners, and the results won’t disappoint.  

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