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Signal Booster FAQ

1. Can a Booster's 12V DC Power Connection Be Wired Directly into a Vehicle's Electrical System?

Yes, it can. We have an optional hardwire kit that allows you to connect directly to the electrical system of your vehicle. Note that with some older model vehicles, wiring the signal booster into the ignition system may prevent it from discharging the vehicle's battery when the vehicle is not running.

2. Are weBoost Cell Phone Signal Boosters Able to Simultaneously Boost Both Data and Voice?

Yes, they are. Most of our signal booster models are able to support multiple simultaneous connections. This means that you could use your mobile phone for phone-calls whilst simultaneously operating a JetPack or MiFi cellular hotspot to provide Internet connectivity.

If your phone and service plan allows you to simultaneously conduct a call and use your phone as an Internet hotspot, then the weBoost Drive 4G-S and Drive 3G-S cradle boosters will also support simultaneous data and voice.

3. Is the 3G Model Sufficient or Do I Need a 4G Booster?

The answer to this question is - it depends. At the moment, the benefit of 4G service is the speed by which the 4G network is able to transfer data, meaning how fast it can download to, and upload from your phone or other cellular device. Currently, the 4G service does nothing to enhance voice calls for most North American cell phone customers, although this will likely change in the future.

So these are the questions you should ask yourself:

• Is your phone 4G-capable?

• Do you currently have a 4G data plan with your cell service provider?

• Do you download a lot of data, like music and/or streaming videos; Or do you upload a lot of data, like video files and/or large photos?

If the answer to all these questions is yes, then you probably need a 4G booster.

However if your phone is primarily used for texting and voice calls, then the 3G booster should be adequate. Most of the commonly used mobile apps, like social media, email, web browser, weather and so on - Work very well on a 3G network.

Note that both types of boosters are compatible with all cellular devices: This means you can use a 4G phone with a 3G booster, and vice versa.

4. How Do I Know If I Need a Cell Phone Signal Booster?

There is a very simple exercise to determine if a cell phone signal booster will give you a stronger signal and better reception in your office, home, or other interior space.

Answer these two questions:

• When inside a building, are you experiencing problems with lost connections or dropped calls, texts, voicemails and emails showing up in your inbox many hours after they were sent, and/or poor call audio quality?

• When outside, do the above problems seem to go away? Is it easier to complete calls and keep connections? Do you have improved audio quality? Are you able to download files to your phone faster than when indoors?

If the answer is, "yes" to these questions, then a cell phone signal booster will probably provide better signal coverage to your office, home, or other building.

If you're still unsure whether a cell phone booster can help, please contact us for assistance. This is a free service. An agent can quickly determine if a signal booster can help by simply asking you a few questions.

5. Is An Internet Connection Required For a weBoost Cell Phone Signal Booster to Operate?

No, you do not need an Internet connection. The way the weBoost signal booster works, is by detecting and boosting the ambient cellular signal that is outside your office, home, or vehicle.

6. Do I Have to Register My Booster with WeBoost?

You are required to register your booster kit with your phone service provider. Please visit our website page titled, Register Cell Phone Signal Booster for links for most service carriers.

You may register your booster kit with the manufacturer, weBoost, but this is optional.

By registering your weBoost signal booster, it makes it much easier for the manufacturer, weBoost (which was formerly Wilson Electronics), to offer assistance should you ever need to contact their customer service, because your details would already be on file. And, in an unlikely event that your cell phone booster should break, it would be much easier for them to replace your cell phone booster under warranty.

Naturally, weBoost customer service is always there to assist: Even if your booster is not registered. You can still replace a failed booster, but you will be required to provide a dated record of purchase, like a purchase receipt. Fortunately, this is rarely a problem because weBoost units hardly ever fail.

Once you have registered with your cellular service provider, and if you choose to register with weBoost, these are your options:

• On the Web: Go to register.weboost.com

• Fill in the form.

To locate the model number of your booster, look on the side of the weBoost box for a stick-on label with a barcode. You will see a 6 digit number above the barcode starting with the number, "4". This is your model number. Once you start typing the model number into the field on the registration page, a list of model numbers will drop down. From here, select your model.

Please note that Wilson Electronics-branded boosters have a model number that may start with the number 8.

Look at the barcode label described above to find the booster serial number: The 15 or 16 digit number below the barcode is your serial number. Type this number in the required field.

Complete the form with all the required information, then click the Register button.

Choose an answer for each of the optional short survey questions, and that’s it!

If that sounds like a lot of work and you want to register your weBoost product even quicker, then do this:

On your smartphone:

• Using your smart phone, take a photo of the "camera" icon on the lower left corner of the registration card that came inside your weBoost booster box;

• Text the photo to 71403 if you're in United States;

• If you're in Canada, email the photo to weboost@photoregister.com. You can also email the photo if you're in United States.

• Complete the blank fields on the form with your information when it pops up on your screen.

• Click the Register button.

• Answer any short survey questions (optional), and that is it!

7. Should I Unplug the Signal Booster before Making Any Changes to the System?

Yes, any time you make a change to the system, you should unplug the signal booster from its power source. For example, it is very important that you disconnect the signal booster from power to prevent any damage when disconnecting antenna from the booster.

8. What is the Best Way to Boost My Cell Phone Signal?

Slow data rates and dropped calls are usually caused by distance from a cell tower, man-made obstructions like buildings, and terrain features like trees and hills.

By using either a high gain antenna, or a bi-directional signal booster system/antenna combination, cellular signals can be boosted for both data and voice. We're proud to be able to offer our customers multiple solutions to help people stay connected.

There are two aspects to ensuring you receive a reliable cellular communication:

• The first aspect is receiving a strong signal. High gain antennas from weBoost collect distant or weak cellular signals and send them to the signal booster. Those signals are then amplified by the signal booster and rebroadcast inside a building or vehicle for use by cellular devices.

• The second requirement of receiving a reliable cellular communication is transmitting a strong signal back to the cell tower. The weakest part of the mobile communications link is the limited power of unaided cell phones. You will not be able to transfer data, text, or talk, if the signals from your phone cannot reach the tower.

Using a weBoost bi-directional signal booster will allow you to broadcast a much stronger signal back to the cell tower at a much greater distance than using an unaided cell phone. A high quality weBoost signal booster system is vital to improving signal quality in weak signal areas and in maintaining constant connectivity.

All the weBoost signal boosters are FCC certified. We offer our customers a wide range of powerful building and vehicle signal boosters for all carriers, in addition to high gain antennas with multiple mounting options.

9. How Do I Go about Registering My Booster with My Cell Service Provider?

FCC regulations state that anyone operating a cell phone signal booster must register the booster with their cellular carrier. Our cell phone signal booster registration page provides links to booster registration forms for the main United States carriers.

If your service provider is not listed at the link above, then you should contact your provider's customer service department and ask for information on how to register your signal booster.

At this point in time, Canadian customers do not have to register their signal booster with their cellular service provider.

10. How Do Cell Phone Signal Boosters Work?

Actually, they operate very simply. All the complexity of the system lies behind the scenes, making them operate efficiently and transparently.

Mobile phones are really just two-way radios. The communication function of your cell phone is essentially a two-way radio, operating behind a modern user interface. Your mobile phone uses radio frequency signals to communicate with the cell tower.

Generally, a cellular signal booster works like this:

• It detects and collates very faint signals - A lot fainter than your cell phone can detect.

• It assists those faint signals in bypassing various obstructions.

• It then amplifies the faint signals to a more-usable level.

• The amplified signals are then broadcast to an interior space allowing them to be used by a cell phone or other cellular device.

• Then when your phone transmits a signal back to the tower, this process is repeated in reverse order.

There are three basic components to a cell signal booster system, in addition to the coaxial cables that connect these components:

• The first component is the tower-side (outside) antenna. This antenna is generally mounted on the roof or an exterior wall and communicates with the cell tower. Signals are passed through the coaxial cable to the second component.

• The booster unit is the second component. This is mounted in a storage space or utility closet. The booster unit amplifies the signal and passes it along a the length of coaxial cable.

• The third component is the device side (inside) antenna. This is mounted on the ceiling or an interior wall. It distributes the amplified signal to an interior area so cellular devices can use it.

Typically, we are inside, but the cell signal is outside. Cellular coverage problems are generally caused by obstruction from building materials, such as concrete, low-emittance glass, stone, steel, metal roofing or siding, and so on. These obstructions can be effectively bypassed with a cell booster system. It collects outside signal, amplifies it, and the amplified signal is distributed to areas inside where it is used by cellular devices.

You could think of this process as if we were describing an FM radio. The FM radio operates in a very similar fashion. The antenna collects the radio signal, this signal is boosted by the amplifier, and the amplified signal is distributed as audio by the speakers.

Of course, the difference here is that your mobile device both transmits and receives signals, unlike an FM radio. The booster system repeats this process, as described above, when a cellular device transmits a signal back to the tower - But in reverse order. Therefore, once again, it enables bypassing of any potential obstructions:

• Your mobile device transmits the signal which is then collected by inside antenna.

• This signal is passed via the cable to the booster.

• The amplified signal is passed through the cable to the exterior antenna, which distributes the signal to be received by the cell tower.

For more than one hundred years, humans have known how to transmit, receive, and amplify radio signals. Even though cell phone signal boosters may at first feel somewhat unfamiliar, when you actually consider it, they are just an evolution of the communication technology.

Our blog post titled, "What Is a Cell Phone Signal Booster" is interesting reading if you are looking for more information.

11. How Long Does Installation of a Cell Phone Booster Take?

It ranges widely depending on circumstances of which booster is being installed, and where the booster system is being installed. Typically, vehicle cell signal boosters can be installed quicker than indoor boosters. The installation of a weBoost Drive 4G-S could take between five and ten minutes, with the Drive 4G-M or Drive 4G-X taking just a little longer.

The installation of a Home 4G should take between ten and fifteen minutes, while a little more time should be allowed for the Connect 4G. If the building requires a more complex installation such as multiple device-side antennas or maneuvering coaxial cable through a crawl space or attic, then the overall installation might even take between two and three hours.

12. How Many Phones Can Be Connected Simultaneously on a Wireless Signal Booster System?

Our wireless signal booster models are capable of supporting multiple simultaneous connections across different carriers. The number of simultaneous connections that any booster is capable of supporting is not limited by weBoost. Obviously there would be a theoretical limit to the maximum number of connections that can be supported simultaneously. However, that limit will be determined by the strength of the cellular signal outside the building, prior to the signal being boosted. Basically, it just means that a stronger signal outside the building, will allow for more simultaneous connections. Conversely, a weaker outside signal will support fewer simultaneous connections.

13. In Square Feet, How Much Area Does an Indoor Booster Cover?

There are two factors that dictate how much area an indoor booster will cover:

• The first factor is the strength of the cellular signal, prior to being boosted.

• The second factor is the booster system's gain level, or signal boosting level.

The square-foot area of coverage that any booster can provide can vary a lot, because it depends on the strength of the tower signal received. The stronger the cell signal received by outside antenna, the greater the indoor coverage area in square feet. This basically means that a stronger signal from the cell tower results in more indoor coverage area from the booster system. That is why it is very important to place the outside antenna in a location that allows it to receive the strongest possible tower signal. This also means it must be pointed in the right direction.

If you're still unsure which booster system would provide the coverage area you need, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will help you determine which booster model will provide the indoor coverage area you need for your specific circumstances.

14. What Is the Cost of a Cell Phone Signal Booster?

The answer to this question depends on the cell signal booster model you need. Do you need it for your vehicle, or for an indoor space like your office premises or your home? If you need it for a vehicle, do you want the signal boosted for the driver only, or also for passengers? If the cell phone signal booster is required for an indoor space, how many square feet of signal coverage is required?

These questions must be answered before anyone can estimate how much a signal booster that fits a specific situation might cost.

A driver-only vehicle booster, such as the weBoost Drive 3G-S can be purchased for around $100. However, the Drive 4G-X that offers 4G LTE coverage for multiple simultaneous users, including maximum uplink and downlink power for reliable connections over long distances from the closest cell tower, could cost more than $400. It would cost approximately $200 for a home 3G indoor booster to cover up to 2 rooms with signal; whereas if you need 4G LTE coverage for an area up to 7,500 square feet, then the connect 4G-X retails for about $900.

Please contact us if you have any questions about which booster model will provide the signal coverage you need. You will be asked a few questions by our trained service representatives and, based on your answers, a recommendation will be made. This is a free service.

15. How Much Separation Distance Should I Allow between the Device Antenna and Tower Antenna?

There is no straightforward answer to this question, because it depends on various factors. Every weBoost signal booster has a specific Minimum Required Separation Distance (MRSD) between the device antenna and the tower antenna, and this distance must be strictly observed. To find the Minimum Required Separation Distance for your specific booster model, please refer to the installation guide that came with your booster. You can also download the installation guide from your booster's product listing page at our website under, "resources".

Generally, though, an indoor signal booster providing 50 dB of gain will require 40 feet of separation between the device antenna and the tower antenna. A 60 dB gain booster should have a separation distance of a minimum of 75 feet.

It is important to note that separation is not measured by the length of cables connecting the two antennas to the booster. It is measured as a straight line between both antennas.

For a vehicle booster installation, it is best to place the tower antenna either centered or toward the rear on the vehicle roof. Antenna placement is less critical for vehicle boosters because the metal roof of your vehicle acts as a shield between the two antennas. If you place antennas too close together the booster may experience oscillation, which occurs when the antennas pick up each other's signals and create a feedback loop. The booster will immediately shut down when this happens in order to prevent damage to the mobile network, and won’t resume operation until the separation distance problem has been corrected.

A red light will typically display on the weBoost signal booster, indicating that oscillation has been detected, and thus prevented. If this should occur, you need to increase the straight-line distance between the two antennas. The signal booster unit itself does not require Minimum Separation Distance (MSD) from the tower antenna or the device antenna; but it must be observed between the two antennas. This is critical to the booster's continued operation.

16. Can You Explain What a Basic Wireless Signal Booster System Is, and Whether It Will Work for Me?

The basic system consists of 4 components:

• The tower antenna, to collect the signal from the cell tower.

• The signal booster, to amplify the signal.

• The device antenna, to broadcast the amplified signal throughout the building's interior so it can be used by mobile devices.

• The coaxial cable to connect the first three components.

To determine whether a wireless signal booster will work for your situation, go outside the building and make a phone call. If you are unable to complete the connection due to a weak signal, move to a different site of the building. When you locate a position where you're able to successfully make a phone call, this is the side of the building where your tower antenna should be placed. If you're receiving a signal strong enough to make a call outdoors, this means that the signal is probably sufficiently strong enough for a booster to amplify the signal for interior use.

17. What is Automatic Gain Control?

AGC, or Automatic Gain Control, is possibly the most advanced feature available on a cell phone signal booster today. The best thing about AGC for owners of signal boosters is that once the booster has been installed, they never have to worry about it again. You will never need to re-tune or re-adjust the booster regardless of the fact that the local signal environment may change. Everything is taken care of, by AGC.

18. Can a Cradle Booster Improve Both My Cell Phone Reception and Laptop and Tablet Reception?

Both the Drive 4G-S (previously the Wilson Sleek) and the Drive 3G-S will boost signal for devices that have been placed in the cradle. These cradle boosters are capable of accommodating devices and phones up to approximately 3.25 inches wide.

Many users improve connectivity for their other devices by employing their phone placed in the cradle as a hotspot device. This meaning that tablets, laptops, cellular modems, and so on are able to benefit from the boosted signal of the phone placed in the cradle by using its mobile hotspot. In order to be used this way, your phone must have a hotspot capability. Practically all new smart phones are capable of creating a mobile hot spot. Alternatively, place a mobile Internet hotspot, like JetPack, MiFi, etc. in the cradle. This hotspot will provide Wi-Fi signal by which you can connect tablets, laptops, and other devices to the Web.

Consider using a wireless vehicle booster such as the Drive 4G-X or the Drive 4G-M, if you require a cell signal booster that will boost signal for tablets, laptops, as well as phones without having to connect to a mobile hotspot of one device.

19. Can Mobile Wireless Signal Boosters Work with Glass-Mount Tower Antennas?

Yes, they can. However, with our higher gain wireless vehicle boosters, the glass-mount tower antenna should be mounted as far away as possible from the device antenna. An example would be placing it on the rear window of the vehicle. This is required to prevent oscillation.

Oscillation can occur when two antennas pick up each other's signals and create a feedback loop. Oscillation is detected by the signal booster and, in order to prevent damage, it is shut down. Typically, you will see a red indicator light, signalling that oscillation has occurred. For more information on oscillation, please consult the specific booster installation guide.

When you use a magnetic mount roof antenna, the metal roof will act as a shield between the tower and device antennas, thus preventing oscillation. However, if a glass-mount antenna is used, the signal is capable of passing through the glass and causing oscillation. With a magnetic-mount roof antenna, the metal roof acts as a shield between the tower antenna and device antenna, preventing oscillation.

20. Can a weBoost 4G Cell Phone Signal Booster Boost the 3G Signal If 4G Is Not Available?

Yes, it can. All weBoost signal boosters, and this includes both 3G and 4G models, are engineered to be backward compatible with earlier generation networks. This means that if you have a 4G booster, it will boost the 4G signal when it is available. However, if you're using a 3G service (like voice on most North American mobile networks) or 4G signal is not available, then the booster will boost the 3G signal. Interestingly, if you found yourself in a situation where neither 3G nor 4G service were available, the booster would still boost signal on an available 2G network.

21. Will a weBoost Cell Phone Signal Booster Work on a Home with a Metal Roof or Metal Siding, or on a Mobile Home?

Yes, it will. However with a home with a metal roof, or a metal building, you should ensure that outside antenna (tower) is mounted on exterior of the home, either on an exterior wall or on the roof, and pointed at the cell tower. If such a location is not possible for the tower antenna, please contact us so we can assist in determining the best way to install a booster for your particular situation.

22. Do weBoost Signal Boosters Work on GSM Mobile Networks?

Yes, they do. weBoost signal boosters work with 4G LTE and all cell phone networks and technologies used in North America, with the exception of Push-to-Talk (PTT) networks.

23. What is a Cell Phone Repeater?

Cell phone repeater frequently asked questions and answers have been posted in a blog entry here: https://cellphonesignalbooster.us/blog/cell-phone-repeater-faqs/. Thank you.

24. Does your 3G & 4G marine booster kit work with Sprint, and how far off shore does it work?

Our marine boosters will definitely work with Sprint's 3G only. Sections of Sprint 4G bands are too close to emergency network bands so unfortunately no booster will be able to help. Also, there's no set distance for any signal booster by any manufacturer. They work solely based off of the available service that is in the area. It will "improve" reception if there's slightest reception at the location of the marine vessel. Unfortunately we cannot quote any length of distance, per se. Thank you.

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