Find out everything there's to know about cell phone signal boosters, amplifiers, extenders, and repeaters with our short and concise signal booster guide. What are boosters in networking? Boosters are simply cell phone tower extender machines that amplify radio signals whether Cellular, Wi-Fi, or both.
If you're interested in finding out what one looks like, go to signal booster recommendation tool to find one that will enhance the type of signal you need to boost whether wifi, mobile phone, or television.
How does it improve signal?
It absorbs weak signal available outside and then amplifies that signal inside homes and vehices.
How does it work inside home?
Click above for IN-HOME cell phone boosters.
How does it work inside car?
Click above for IN-CAR cell phone boosters.
This is how it works inside homes and buildings.Exterior antenna mounted on roof or window absorbs weak signal from outside and channels it indoors to an amplifier which amplifies that signal many fold. That signal is distributed indoors through interior antenna(s) placed in areas of poor signal in home or office.
This is how it works inside cars and trucks.
Exterior antenna mounted on roof of vehicle absorbs weak signal from outside and channels it inside car, truck, or RV to an amplifier which amplifies that signal many fold. That signal is distributed inside through internal antenna.
What Has Happened in 30 Years of Cell Phone History.
Did you know that the first mobile phone was released in 1983? It was called the Motorola DynaTAC and was priced at a whopping $3,995! Since that time, the evolution of the mobile phone has progressed. However, adoption of this technology was very slow initially due the high cost. However, the cell phone penetration skyrocketed worldwide in leaps and bounds since 2007 (only last ten years) when it because affordable for most people, if not all. Today, our cell phones have become our lifeline to almost everything and everyone. Most people have a mobile phone. We're spending more time on our phones today than almost any other device. So-much-so that many people are realizing they no longer need their old landline. Why pay for something you no longer need? Especially when cell phones meet all those needs, and even more!
Only One Impediment To Seamless Connectivity and Access to Information.
Cell phone penetration has been steadily increasing due to lower cost, thanks to competition among mobile service providers. Convenience of wireless connectivity has therefore been appreciated by many as a good proposition. However, the problem that arises with cell phones is that oftentimes we experience poor reception, resulting in dropped calls. The frustrating phrases, "Are you there?" and "Can you hear me?" are very real in many people's lives. Fortunately, there's a very simple solution! Cell phone signal boosters, amplifiers, extenders, or repeaters. The wide variety of synonyms of signal booster include signal amplifier, repeater and coverage range extender. These basically mean the same, meaning that they are synonyms of a product that improves wireless reception indoors and in vehicles. Using a cell phone signal booster can often eliminate, or certainly help, when mobile phone users are experiencing painfully slow 4G LTE data speeds and dropped phone calls.
Why Do Some Cell Phone Users Experience Poor Signal and Dropped Calls?
There are three main culprits when it comes to poor cell signal and dropped phone calls as follows.
- Cell Tower Capacity.
Most cell phone users will have had the following experience: You're at a concert or sporting event and simply want to text a friend or post an update on social media, and you notice that you have four bars of reception. But then you realize your text or post is not going through. Why? Cell phone towers are usually erected based on distance and the number of users they will serve within that radius. The problem arises when a large group of people are gathered together in a space normally suited for fewer people. This is when a "phantom signal" occurs. It is similar to when four lanes of traffic are trying to merge into one lane on the freeway, and you're stuck. What you end up with, is a bottleneck - a signal traffic jam.
- Building Materials.
There have been huge advancements in today's construction industry which have led to more environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient homes. Unfortunately, these building materials act to prevent the penetration of cell phone signals, which leads to problems for people within these buildings being able to receive a reliable cell signal. Buildings primarily constructed of concrete will typically block cell phone signals from penetrating into interior rooms. This problem arises in both new buildings and existing buildings with added new construction.
- The Environment.
Mother Nature can also create barriers to cell phone signals. Of course, it depends on where cell towers are located, but if there's high land between the cell tower and your device, such as a hill, it is very likely you will experience spotty or dropped calls. It is important to note that cell phone signals bounce off hills, so if you're in an especially hilly area you will probably become aware of unreliable cell phone reception. Another issue adversely affecting cell phone signals are trees. While trees are the reason for our survival on the planet, they are dense objects capable of preventing cell phone signals from passing through. Therefore, trees are also the cause of weakening cell phone signals.
Summary of Cell Phone Signal Boosters, and How They Work.
A cell phone signal booster is a device that takes an existing cellular signal and magnifies or amplifies it to ensure that users with weak or no cell phone signal can achieve a reliable cell signal. There are many purposes and capacities where cell phone signal boosters can be used effectively, such as industrial and commercial buildings, small offices, homes, and even vehicles. Variations of cell phone signal boosters depend on needs, such as square footage covered, the environment, and the number of people that may be in the given area. Boosters intended for use in small offices, homes, and vehicles, can be DIY installed or with the help of an installer, while boosters designed for commercial buildings often require professional installation.
Regardless of whether the cell phone signal booster is required for a home, business, or vehicle, it will still consist of a booster, an inside antenna, and an outside antenna. The placement of the booster and outside antenna, plus the strength of the existing cellular signal where the outside antenna is placed, will determine the effectiveness of the booster.
Keep in mind that a cell phone signal booster is not a microcell or femtocell. A cell phone signal booster works by taking an existing signal and amplifying it, whereas a femtocell needs to be paired with the device via a wired Internet connection (like a Bluetooth connection or Wi-Fi). Because they are carrier-specific and the phone must be paired with the femtocell, these are typically sold through a carrier. Femtocells are also susceptible to security vulnerabilities. However, with cell phone signal boosters, anyone within range of a booster can benefit from the improved signal because they're carrier agnostic. Cell phone boosters cannot compromise security of any mobile phone voice or Internet connection.
Do I Need a Cell Phone Signal Booster?
In the past with landlines, the phone would ring and we would run inside to pick it up. Today when our mobile phone rings we often go outside to answer the phone and get a better signal. If this is your story, then you probably need a cell phone signal booster. Of course, it is not that simplistic, so below we have listed other ways to determine whether or not a signal booster should be installed in your home or building.
- Constantly Losing Calls.
Are you tired of having dropped calls, or struggling to send text messages or data? If the answer is yes, then you probably need to install a cell phone signal booster.
- Sluggish 4G LTE Data Speeds.
Signal bars can certainly be a fairly reliable indicator. However, in some cases they might not be the best indicator (like "phantom signals" mentioned above). You can determine your actual signal strength by testing your data speeds on an app like SpeedTest or a speed test website. You can also determine what level of decibels your phone is currently receiving by putting your phone in Field Test mode. Because decibels are measured in the negative, the closer your score is to zero the better signal you have. For example, a score of around -50 dB means you have excellent signal strength, whereas a signal of -120 dB indicates you have no service at all.
How Will I Know Which Booster to Buy?
This is a good question, and the answer is that certain factors will determine the type of cell phone signal booster you should choose for your own specific needs.
- Coverage Area Desired.
Firstly, estimate of the square footage of the area you want to improve cellular coverage. Signal boosters are designed to boost signal for certain areas, such as large sections of a building, a designated area inside a house or building, and sometimes throughout an entire building. Choose a signal booster that offers a little more coverage than you actually need, just to allow for any unforeseen obstacles that might affect booster performance.
- Coverage Area Layout.
Signal boosters typically work best in open spaces and single floor areas, and this is because buildings consist of walls, ceilings, floors, and other obstructions that prevent cell signals penetrating through desired coverage areas. For open spaces, a cell phone signal booster kit with internal Omni antenna will typically work best (this means it will have a 360° signal distribution). Whereas, a cell phone booster kit with internal directional panel antenna will work more effectively to penetrate, floors, and ceilings.
- Outside Signal Strength.
The performance of your signal booster will be directly related to the signal strength received by an external antenna. A booster kit with an external Omni is more suited for situations where there's a strong outside signal; meaning full bars. However, a booster kit with an external directional antenna is more effective in areas where there's a weak outside signal; meaning two bars or less. There's probably not going to be enough signal for a cellular signal booster to effectively boost indoors if there's a very weak outside signal – meaning it is too weak to make and hold a phone call. Your best option in this case would be to select a booster kit with external directional antenna from a supplier who's happy to offer a 60 days money-back guarantee.
- Voice and 4G LTE Data.
Generally, cell phone providers use a combination of five frequency bands to transmit all 4G LTE data and voice communications. In our opinion, you should choose a 5-band booster because you know it will be compatible with 4G LTE data and voice signals for all carriers. It is true that dual-band and tri-band boosters are generally cheaper than 5-band boosters, but there's no guarantee they will be compatible with the frequencies used by your carrier in your area.
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