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Cell Phone Signal Booster Buying Guide

Posted by on Dec 26, 2015

Maximize the potential in phone and reduce dropped calls.

Cell Phone Signal Booster Buying Guide

We live in an age where the cell phone is just as much a part of our lives as the family pet. From work to pleasure, phones such as IPhones, Android Smartphones, and even tablets have become the standard in communications, entertainment, and social media interaction. Yet, the advances in the design and data capabilities of a phone have not sparked a tremendous enhancement to the method in which data and voice signals are transmitted. Yes, you can use a satellite service and get expanded reception than you would from a local tower, but the truth is that the dropped calls and bad signals are still a very present problem with cell phone users. As such, many users are turning to additional products and services to increase their voice and data signals, specifically cell phone signal boosters.

What is a cell phone booster?

Just like the name would suggest, a cell phone booster is a device that boosts the signal on a cell phone. This may seem a bit vague for a description, and you would be correct in thinking this. A booster can be many different things and so it is important that you understand what a cell phone booster entails and what it does not. Primarily, you have three main portions, parts, or devices which combine to boost the voice or data signal on your phone. These are, the tower antenna (external), the booster unit (internal amplifier), or a device antenna (indoor).

Tower Antenna

The tower antenna is the most recognizable way in which to boost your cell phone signal. Typically, the tower antenna will be mounted on the vehicle or on an external surface such as a roof or the side of a building. They are not very large, generally, and can increase the signal to be up to 30 times faster than a standard phone can, by itself. The downside to the tower antenna is that it is mounted. From high winds and falling branches to forgetting to take the antenna off when you go through a car wash (if using vehicle amplifier), there are tons of ways in which an exterior antenna can become damaged. However, if you travel a great deal and need to get quicker response times from your phone, it is a welcome addition.

A booster unit

A booster unit is a component that is attached to your phone (in some cases) to help boost the cell phone signal. There are a few different boosters within this category, but the functionality is the same. The booster can come in a cradle booster or a wireless booster.

Device Antenna

Where you may still be able to find a few device antennas that stick out of the cell phones, these are pretty much outdated (except in home cordless phones where they still seem to be prevalent). Traditionally, the device antenna will be associated with devices such as televisions and require the use of the bunny ears or an signal booster for the cable or such. The device antenna is mounted inside the house or vehicle within close proximity to the device which is to be used. Think of the device antenna in the same way that you would think of a modem booster (as that is basically what you have just for a cell phone). Your booster must be close to the source and free from any blocking of the signal. The benefit of such boosters is primarily for home offices or for personal use. If you have a great deal of cellphone use within an office (such as with a telemarketing or customer relations field), then you would need to ensure that the concrete and structural elements of the building do not hinder the signal. A device antenna helps in this instance.

What a cell phone signal booster cannot do

A cell phone booster helps to increase the signal response time on the phone. That is the primary purpose. It is not magic and therefore cannot generate signal where there is no signal. In other words, if you go through a concrete tunnel or if you are in the middle of the woods where no signal exists, you may still get dropped calls and not have great data and voice reception. A cell phone booster amplifies and redistributes the signal for maximum performance. It does not create a signal.

The main benefits of a cell phone booster

Because most places have some form of a signal due to the implementation of satellite signals and the overabundance of radio and cell phone towers, cell phone boosters will work in almost any area. Additionally, the booster helps the user by providing this amplification of the signal using current wireless transmissions that include voice and internet capabilities using your data plan. The device simply finds the signal and uses the hardware and software already installed in the device to bring that signal forward. And while you can add additional subscription features to your current cell phone plan which may or may not help your signal and your data usage, a cell phone booster has no recurring fees.

How to determine the cause of your weak signal

If you are reading this article, the odds are that you have had a bit of a problem with your cell phone signal. It is important that you diagnose the potential areas that are causing problems so that you can better determine which cell phone booster is right for you. Usually, the trouble in getting a reliable signal can be broken down into four main areas:

Geographic Location – depending on where you live, the terrain may be a bit hilly or there may be mountains, ridges, bluffs, and valleys. All of these geographical features play a part in your signal reception. Booster devices and exterior antenna mounts may be the best choice if you live in an area which has a great variation in the terrain.

Vegetation – Plants and trees are nature’s barrier for many things. And while we may appreciate the reduction in the wind and noise from our foliage, the high levels of vegetation can cause you to lose some of the quality of your cell phone signal. Those who are using a cell phone on recreational vehicles and ships may find that dense areas produce lower quality. It is recommended that a specific booster device for recreational vehicles or for ships be used.

Man-made objects – buildings, bridges, and even other radio towers can minimize the signal on your phone. Envision your cellphone signal as traveling the same way an echo would travel in a cave. If you are in a large cave without any other rocks and debris, it is quite easy for a person on the other side of that cave to get a clear message. However, if the cave is filled with rocks and hanging stalagmites and such, the message has to bounce around these obstacles to reach the other side. The same theory applies to your cell phone signal. If you are in an open area that has a strong signal then the signal will be strong. On the other hand, if you are in a city where there are a great deal of buildings, towers, signal disruptors, electronic waves, and other man-made objects, the strength of the signal can be tremendously weakened.

Vehicles – If you have ever taken the time to really look at your vehicle, you will notice that it is made to reduce exterior noise, lock in heat/cooling, and provide you with a strong steel enclosure while you drive. This is all good for when you are driving, but it is a deterrent for a good cell phone signal. Granted, the newer models are implementing the WI-FI into the vehicle to help with the limitations of internet and cell phone signal reductions, but in truth there is still a high possibility that your cell phone may not get a good signal inside the vehicle.

With the signal blockers, it may be questionable whether or not a booster will do any real benefit to the signal of your phone. The question then arises “How does a cell phone booster actually work and will the booster work for my cell phone device”?

How cell phone signal boosters work

As a child you may have used a walkie talkie or a similar toy to communicate with your friends. I remember playing secret missions with a simple two way push button device. Now that I am an adult, and I have upgraded my simple walkie talkie to the cell phone, but the same two way radio technology is still being used. At its core, your cell phone is nothing more than a glorified walkie talkie or two way radio. You are communicating via a direct link to another person through a sophisticated user interface. The way in which you gain access to the interface and to the other person is through the signal. The signal is the communication or radio frequency (RF) between the radio tower, satellite, or other communication medium and your device. As stated earlier, there are many ways in which this RF can become weakened. It is the job of the booster to amplify the existing signal of the communication. This is how it is accomplished:

1. The cell phone signal booster collects a variety of weak signals in the area. The detection is much fainter than the signal that your cell phone can detect when in standard mode.

2. The booster then helps those weak signals to bypass obstructions and other blockages in order to make them usable.

3. The faint signals are clustered or made so that they can be used. Where the booster is not creating a signal it is using those signals which would otherwise be unused and bringing them together to a level that can be utilized.

4. Once a signal has been obtained, the booster then amplifies those faint signals and broadcasts them to your device through the booster, antenna, or wireless booster.

Is it a signal issue or a cell phone issue

Let us face the fact that all cell phones are not created equal. There are good ones and then there are poorly manufactured cell phones. Also, the voice and data plans through a carrier's network and the various features imbedded by manufacturers of cell phones within the cell phones greatly increase or diminishe the functionality of the phone. Where you may have the ability to use text, calling, receiving calls, social media, pictures, etc., those features may slow down the reaction time of the phone depending upon the RAM (random access memory) allotted by the manufacturer for that cell phone model. And where the signal may not be greatly affected by the content of the phone, it can be influenced by the data that is taken up in its hard disk memory space. Yes, you will still be able to find a signal, but the time it takes to find that signal may be slower. Think of it this way, if you are a runner and trying to get to a finish line, if you have a backpack on with 75 lbs of weight in it, you will get there slower. The same is true on some phones. Your low signal may just be the result of too much clutter on the system which is blocking the ability for the phone to use its core functions to find a suitable signal.

Consider also that the data plan that you have chosen will affect your cell phone signal as well. If you are using a 2G phone then the odds are that you will be very hard pressed to find an abundance of towers that are catered to that older WAP data network if it is still available through your cellular service provider. 3G phones may have a bit more success, but there will still be network issues as the 4G, 4G LTE, and upcoming 5G are becoming more dominant and in demand.

If you have a decent phone, and your network providing data plan are not the cause of your cell phone's weak signal, you can do an initial check to see if a booster would help your cell phone signal. To do this simply go to the exterior of the building in which you want to place the call and try to find a strong signal (or at least a usable signal). If you can find a signal then a cell phone booster device should be able to help you get a stronger voice and data signal indoors. However, if you are unable to get a signal it may be that there is no signal in that area or your device is not strong enough to capture a signal.

Vehicles are a bit more problematic in determining whether or not a booster would help the cell phone signal. In such cases where you will be primarily using the vehicle with your cellphone, you should try to find a few spots where most people would be able to obtain a signal (use caution and pull over the vehicle, do not use your cell phone while driving). If you can find a signal in these common places then a magnetic mount or a drill mount antenna may help to boost the reception on your phone.

What if I cannot get a signal at all? Does that mean a cell phone booster would not help?

When you cannot get a signal at all, it may be an indicator that there is no signal in the area. However, this does not mean that there are no other signals which cannot be used. Contact your cell phone company to see what towers and signals are available in your area. You can also contact a cell phone booster company to see which products would be best suited for your particular needs. Depending on the device you chose and the phone being used, there may be a device available that can help you.

Cell phone signal booster would like to extend an invitation to you to see how our products can help you boost your cell phone signal. We have a variety of options for trucks, boats, home, office, and M2M. Should you have any questions regarding cell phone boosting devices please let us know! You can contact us via the about us page on the site or chat directly with a knowledgeable team member. With all the technology available, your cell phone signal should not be an issue. Stop having dropped calls and all the frustrations that come with a weak signal by maximizing your cell phone’s potential with a cell phone booster. Try our product selector below to quickly find a perfect cell phone booster for your needs.

Questions? Call us for a FREE product recommendation or try our automated Cell Phone Signal Booster Selector Tool. Need a cell phone booster installer? We offer installation services by a certified installing team that installs boosters nationwide across USA and Canada. Submit location details for cell phone signal booster system design & installation quote to have your amplifier kit installed by professionals.

© 2021 Cell Phone Signal Booster. | Retail Storefront Address: Accessory Fulfillment Center, LLC., 9099 Westheimer Road, Ste. G, Houston, TX 77063. | AFC LLC. is an authorized reseller of Wilson Electronics, LLC. brands weBoost & Wilson-Pro. |