Thousands of people from far and wide can confirm that mobile signal boosters are a godsend when it comes to improving their cellular communication experience. These devices are pretty easy to use, you don’t need to attach anything to your phone, and, most importantly, they do the job well. With that being said, you need to put some effort to find a device suitable for your particular needs. Below, we put together a list of things you should focus on when being in the market for a cell phone signal booster.
Multi- and Single-Band Boosters
You know what type of cellular network you use (3G, 4G, or maybe even 5G), you surely know the name of your carrier, but are you aware of the frequency it operates on? You probably haven’t given it any thought but you need to learn all about it before you buy a booster. There are a few ways to identify frequencies used in your area including apps for Android devices, the Field Test menu on iPhones (*3001#12345#*), lookup websites, etc.
It goes without saying that a booster you have your eye on must support the same frequency as your cellular network. Now, you have two options regarding signal boosters and their operating frequencies: carrier-specific and multi-band devices. Choose the former only if you know the exact frequency in your network. If you are not sure about it, a foolproof solution is a multi-band booster.
A degree of signal straightening offered by a booster is called gain. The majority of devices for residential property feature gains of +50… +65 dB, whereas powerful boosters for large buildings will boast gains in the range of +75 dB and up to 100 dB. Clearly, the higher the gain, the stronger signals you get.
The gain grows exponentially; therefore, the difference between +65 dB and +75 dB is sizeable. If the area you live in has a good outdoor reception, you don’t really need a super-powerful device. However, if you have only 2-3 bars outside, you should consider getting a device featuring +70 dB and more.
You want to amplify a signal in a small apartment, large office, or huge commercial building? Then you need to choose a cell signal booster accordingly. Some models will cover only 1000 sq. ft. while others improve reception across tens of thousands of sq. feet.
Please keep in mind that a really weak initial signal will reduce the actual coverage so you might want to go with + 20% margin. At the same time, it is not recommended that you exceed the coverage by times since it may cause interference with existing cellular networks.
Building or Vehicle?
Cell phone signal boosters are designed exclusively for enclosed spaces whether it is a house, industrial building, indoor public space, or even a vehicle. A signal is much more efficient if it can bounce off walls, which won’t happen outdoors.
Besides, radio waves coming from a cell signal booster may cause issues with the network itself, which results in noise or signal degradation for other users. If you want to receive a strong signal when you travel, it is possible to install an amplifier in a car, boat, SUV, RV, truck, etc.
Is There Any Signal At All?
Before the idea of buying a cell signal booster even crosses your mind, you need to make sure you have any signal outside. Boosters are not transmitters, they can’t create signals. All they do is capture the existing transmission and enhance it without altering.
If there is nothing to capture, there is nothing to enhance either. So, you need to carry out a little investigation – walk around your property with a phone, learn where the signal is the strongest, and see if it is possible to install a receiving antenna there.
Those were five things to consider when buying a cell phone signal booster. Make your choice wisely and your cellular signal will be as strong, consistent, and far-reaching as it needs to be.