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5 Tips to Empower Your Signal Booster's Performance

Oct 20, 2017

5 Tips to Empower Your Signal Booster's Performance

Going through the trouble of adjusting the booster and antenna positions every day? Let us help you set-up the booster right the first time for optimal signals.

Amidst lush green trees and concrete structures, cell phone signals are rare. If you reside in the midst of such wooded area, or in a concrete jungle (downtown of major cities), you may need a signal booster to put an end to all your cell phone signal reception problems. If you have made up your mind to purchase a signal booster, you will probably be going through catalogs and calling up signal booster companies to inquire about the best booster according to your needs.

We understand that all the technical details on a multitude of signal booster websites out there, are bound to overwhelm you. Especially, if you have zero technical knowledge on this subject. This being said, whether you're a novice user or you have already installed a signal booster at your place, you wish to get every last bit of detail right to get the maximum possible output out of it.

Of course, it is next to impossible to be looking up the bars on your phone and going through the trouble of adjusting the booster cable, antenna, and their positions every day. This is why we have brought to you five ways in which you can make the right choices before, during, and even after installation of your signal booster in order to get the best performance out of it, without having to configure its settings or calling up the booster company for assistance again and again.

1. Choose the Right Booster for Your Carrier and Frequency.

Cell phones can do so much these days: voice, text messaging, and internet. When you opt for a signal booster, you don’t want to miss out on any of these functionalities. This is why it is necessary to look for boosters that support your carrier’s operating frequency. For instance, Verizon operates 3G and 4G frequencies on 800 MHZ Cellular and 1900 MHz PCS frequencies in North America.

This means that if you're in North America, you need to get a dual band booster (lte booster 850mhz+1900mhz) that operates on these two frequencies to boost 2G/ 3G/ 4G signals on your mobile phones. Then again, Verizon's 4G operating frequency varies to 700 MHz, 1700-2100 MHz, and even 2500-2700 MHz in some markets. Therefore, a booster that works on 800 MHz and 1900 MHz will not work for you if you're living in one of these areas. Hence, you need to inquire about the frequency on which your carrier operates in your region and need to search for a booster that operates on these very frequencies.

If you want to support more than one carrier or more than one frequency with the same booster, you can go for dual-band (support for two frequency bands), tri-band, quad-band, or even our quint band boosters (for five frequency bands) as well. It all comes down to your carrier’s operating frequency. All signal boosters marked with "4G" in their name, are all quint band boosters that work for all carriers in USA & Canada.

Pro-Tip: Contact the booster company to inquire about the booster’s operating frequency if it is not already listed on their website.

2. Choose the Right Antenna.

Whenever you're installing a signal booster, a good booster company will always offer you choices between yagi or omni-directional outdoor antennas and dome or panel indoor antennas. The role of an outside antenna is to capture the best possible signal that it can get. Signal boosters do not generate signals. They only amplify the signal available to them. Hence, better the strength and quality of available signal as input, better the output it can yield. Yagi antennas are unidirectional antennas best suited at attract best signal from a single carrier.

You can adjust the direction of a yagi antenna to point towards the nearest cell phone tower that belongs to your cellular service carrier in your area. These outdoor antennas are best suited for rural settings where a handful of dedicated cellular towers are erected for specific carriers. Moreover, if the signal strength is very poor in your area, you need to go for a yagi antenna. On other hand, if there're a fair number of bars on your phone and you are looking for consistent signal, you can go for an omnidirectional antenna that captures signal from all around, from all carriers. Moreover, omnidirectional antennas eliminate the need to have to point them in a specific direction.

For indoor antennas, you have got a choice between the dome and the panel antenna. An indoor antenna will decide the way in which the boosted signal will be broadcasted in your home or office. Panel antennas work in a conical shape. If you are looking to boost signals in a specific section of the place, say a small room for studying, your bedroom, or your conference room, you can opt for a panel antenna. These antennas are usually mounted vertically on a wall from where they broadcast signals in a conical fashion.

On other hand, if you want the signal to be available in your entire room, you can go for the dome antenna which is mounted on the roof and delivers an amplified signal in all directions. Places with higher ceilings might weaken the effect of a dome antenna so you might want to consider installing more than one panel antennas in two or more places in your home or office. 

ⓘ Pro-Tip: Make sure you attach outside antenna securely such that it is minimally impacted by a bad weather outside.

3. Type of Cable and its Length.

 When it comes to signal booster cables, the rule of the thumb is to choose a good quality cable and have it run over as small lengths as possible. For one, inferior quality cables distort signals and bring about noise or interference in the signal so even if your antennas are doing their job right, you may be losing out on a poor quality cable for all you know.

Secondly, the longer the cable runs over walls and floors, the more the signal attenuation or loss it suffers. Think of it as your signal racing through the cables to reach your cell phone. A longer run implies that it will get tired by the time it reaches you. An impact of these "runs" is measured in terms of loss per feet and ohms of the cable. A lower Ohm number and loss per feet imply a better quality cable. If your hands are tied and you must absolutely use a longer cable, think of using an inline booster to minimize the signal loss during transmission.

ⓘ Pro-Tip: Inquire about purchasing shorter cables before installation, if the ones provided in the booster kit are too long for your particular signal booster set-up.

4. Conducting a Site Survey and Mapping Out Mounting Points for Antennas.

The position of your signal booster antennas plays a vital role in actual boosting process. Hence, a field test and mapping is a prerequisite to installation of the booster. If your booster company is not doing this for you, you might consider doing this yourself. You will need to put your cell phone in a field test mode and walk in and outside the house to mark points where the signal strength is minimum, maximum, or zero. As a rule of the thumb, outside antennas should be placed at a location closest to your carrier’s cellular tower because that is where it will be getting the best quality input signal to amplify. Inside antennas should be installed in locations where the cellular signals are the poorest inside, and should be positioned such that it targets those areas of the house where you're most likely to use your cell phone.

ⓘ Pro-Tip: If you can lay your hands on a signal meter (even through a neighbour, friend, relative, or an electrician), you can get even more accurate readings of multiple carriers than with the single carrier field test mode on your phone. 

5. Positioning the Inside and the Outside Antennas with Respect to Each Other.

Believe it or not, but the booster's inside and outside antennas can interfere with each other's operations as well. Thanks to a phenomenon called signal oscillation, some of the output from inside antenna is fed back to the outside antenna and what you ultimately get in the end is a distorted signal. For this purpose, boosters should be placed at a fair distance from each other. Regarding unidirectional antennas, it is necessary to ensure that their pointing directions do not fall within each other’s range. Omnidirectional antennas should be placed at separate horizontal planes to ensure that their signals do not interfere with each other.

ⓘ Pro-Tip: If circumstances bring you to a crossroad where you cannot separate your antennas no matter how much you try, try installing a metal barrier such as a metal sheet between them to minimize the interference. 

If you get all above tips right, you will almost never face signal boosting problems again. The only thing you need to do is to ensure that your device is FCC certified and is safe to use (all units we sell are FCC & IC certified). You can then sit back and relax while your booster antenna, amplifier, and cables coordinate to serve the best possible signal to your cell phone, just as if the cell tower was erected right beside your home or office.

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  • This is cool. I know that cell phone signal boosters can make a big improvement when you have poor cell phone coverage but I was unaware that you could improve the booster’s performance too. Looks like these tips all have to do with buying and installing your booster.

    Kelly Rose on
  • If your cell phone signal is weak, a booster could be a wonderful investment but you have to follow these steps (myself, I’m planning on getting my signal booster installed professionally because I want it done right and I know that no one in my home can do it). Otherwise, you’re really missing out on booster doing its job. Some boosters are two-in-one deals where the booster and installation come together. I’m looking at those too.

    Brenda Pearson on
  • There are a lot of ways apparently how to increase cell phone signal strength, but you’d better not just go in half-cocked when you want to buy one. These devices look like they can get the job done, but like any purchase do your research. I’m glad I read this article as it gives me a good how how to improve cell signal strength with maximum results. Thanks for posting this article.

    Aaron Norris on
  • Thanks for this wonderful article. It explains the point without going too much technical. My signal booster was giving poor signals and I thought this technology is just there to scam people. After reading this articles, I got another guy and had him checked line. It comes out that the antenna was not right. The last guy did not do his job well.

    Gail Johnson on
  • Wow… how was i know all these techy geeky stuff without this post. I remember there was a booster i once had long ago, i went and got a longer extension cable from ebay without knowing that was why my signal dropped. I’m impressed to learn today. Thank you

    Mary Lebron on
  • Awesome post! Great and insightful! No one would cheerfully want to get a bad signal booster, but then it might be quite a hassle for a novice to choose the right one – that’s where these tips and the right service provider comes in. I think the the 5th tip can be best done by a pro, and not just anyone efficiently.

    Samantha Caley on

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