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How to Check Cell Phone Signal Booster is Working Properly?

Posted by on Feb 15, 2017

The cell phone signal booster is all set-up per instructions, and its installation is complete. The green light is on, indicating that it is properly installed. Now you can make calls without fear of dropping them. However, how can you find out what your signal booster is actually doing? How much is it boosting your cellular signal? How can you check to confirm that your cell phone signal booster is actually working?

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What is the deal with signal bars?

If you have got a really terrible signal and now you can make a call, then obviously it is working. But what if your phone just jumps up a bar or two? It is not working properly, right? Well actually, no. Did you realize that there's no standard for what a signal bar on your phone actually means? Take a look at the test demonstration in above video. We had got two smart phones sitting side by side receiving the exact same amount of signal. On one phone, it shows two bars but on the other phone, it shows four. It is a big difference even though they are getting the exact same amount of signal.

How is signal strength measured accurately, then?

Signal strength is measured in dBM or decibel milliwatts, and it always shows up as a negative number. The closer that number gets to zero, the better your signal strength. You will never actually reach zero, though. The highest you will see is about -40 which is pretty much a perfect signal and five bars on your phone. While a -120 is pretty much no signal at all or unusable signal, and would show up as no bars or no signal on your phone.

Testing the signal on your smart phone.

The best way to read this is to put your cellphone into test mode. Then perform a test with your signal booster on, and off. You will see how much the booster is improving the signal. Keep in mind that the cell phone sometimes will take a while to update. Therefore, please give your phone 30 seconds to 1 minute to make sure that it refreshes and updates the then current signal strength it is receiving.

Once you have your phone in test mode, we can turn on the power to the booster and you see the signal jump from negative -115 to -85. That is an increase of 30 dB. That is very good, right? Well, actually, cell phone signal increases logarithmically. Therefore, that 30 dBm jump actually means your cell phone signal is a thousand times stronger. If you had a 40 dBM jump, it would be 10,000 times stronger so that is a pretty massive improvement!

Tips for testing your cell phone's signal strength.

Here're couple of tips when testing your cell phone signal strength. Like we mentioned earlier, your cell-phone can sometimes take a while to update. Oftentimes, your phone will only display one band when it is actually receiving several. For example, it might only show the signal strength for your LTE from the top of your phone but it is actually receiving LTE and 3G signal. This means that the booster might be boosting 3G signal dramatically, but you will never know that because you cannot see it on your cellular phone.

Android device: To check what is really going on with your signal, you can compare the bands on your phone. On an Android device, we recommend a great app called Signal Check lite. This will allow you to see signal levels for all the bands on your phone. If you want to add a widget, then you will have to pick up the pro version. It is a great tool and worth the price.

On an iPhone: You will need to compare the signal levels with, and without a booster while your LTE is turned on. Then go into Settings and turn LTE off. Do the same test again with, and without your booster. Now, what you will be seeing is a signal reading for your 3G signal. With this knowledge under your belt, go out and do some tests and see the signal strength and how much it is being boosted.

Watch the video provided above for more details and illustration on how to check if your cell phone signal booster is working properly.

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.

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