“Hello? Hello? Can you hear me? Wait. Let me go outside…”
We’ve all been there, right? You’re in the middle of a conversation and suddenly your phone call is glitchy and garbled, and you have to go stand outside to finish your chat. Or maybe you’ve been waiting for a call and then your voicemail notification goes off, even though the phone never rang. Slow internet browsing and poor download speeds are also symptoms of poor cell signals.
Problems from low-quality cell phone signals can include dropped calls, distorted calls, missed calls, poor download speeds, and more. If the problems are chronic, you might have even considered going back to the dreaded landline phone. Luckily, there is another option: a signal booster.
What is a signal booster?
A signal booster works by capturing cell signal in an existing location, amplifying it, and rebroadcasting it in the coverage area. Signal booster systems, also called signal amplifiers or signal repeaters, are composed of three main components: an exterior antenna, an amplifier/repeater, and an interior antenna. The exterior antenna captures the signal outside where it is strongest and transmits it to the repeater. The repeater then amplifies the signal and sends it to the interior antenna. The result is a much stronger cell phone signal in your home, which will give you clearer calls, faster download speeds, a stronger internet connection, and fewer dropped calls.
Can a signal booster help you?
There are a few main causes for cell phone signal problems. Geographic distance from the nearest cell phone tower, interference from building materials, obstruction from nearby objects, and other environmental factors such as trees, mountains, metal, glass, concrete, thick walls, nearby buildings, and even weather can all wreak havoc with your cell phone signal.
For the most part, there is very little you can do to eliminate outside factors like buildings and trees that interfere with your cell phone signal. Since you can’t get rid of the factors causing the problems, you need a signal booster to improve the signal that you do receive. While a cell signal booster can’t create a signal where there isn’t one available, as long as there is any amount of cellular signal reaching your home, a signal booster should be able to improve 4G, LTE, and 3G cellular signal for you.
Benefits of signal boosters
The benefits provided by cell signal boosters are clear.
Signal booster systems can be completely customized, which allows your system to be designed for your specific situation and coverage needs. That means you won’t be paying for a supercharged system when you only need coverage for a few rooms. It also means you can get a system for almost any space, whether you live in an apartment with limited outdoor access or a huge house in a rural area, or anywhere in between.
No Dropped Calls
Anyone with a cell phone has experienced a dropped call at some point. Spotty cell reception can significantly increase the amount of dropped calls you experience. Improving signal strength and reliability will reduce your dropped calls and allow you to make calls from anywhere in the boosted coverage area.
Poor cell signals can result in a variety of call problems, including voice distortions, echoes, line noise, garbled sound, choppy sound, muffled sound, and many more. Improving signal strength with a signal booster will give you clearer calls without all the problems associated with low signal strength.
Now that less than 42 percent of Americans have landlines in their homes, having high-quality cell reception in your home is more important than ever. Without a landline, having a reliable cell phone signal can make all the difference in a crisis or emergency. A signal booster can ensure that you have reliable cell signal coverage all over your home so your phone calls work perfectly every time, and especially when you need it most.
Improved Home Security
Many home security systems, such as SimpliSafe and ADT, rely on cellular signals for security monitoring in your home. Utilizing cellular technology means that your home security isn’t compromised if there’s a problem with your home’s internet or wifi. However, it can also mean that your home security could be compromised by a poor cellular signal. Adding a signal booster to your home will increase the available signal strength and improve the reliability of your cellular-based home security system.
Improved Battery Life
When devices are constantly searching for signal in areas where the signal is poor, it can drain your device’s battery much faster than it should. In addition, stronger signals require less power to send and receive data and voice transmissions, meaning you can go longer between charges when you have a consistently strong signal.
It’s not just phone calls that are improved by signal boosters. Your data transfer and download speed will also be improved when you have a stronger cell signal. Given that most of us spend an average of three hours and thirty minutes on our phones every day, improving data transfer speed can provide a lot of value for most people.
If you’re still using a landline because of unreliable cellular signal at your home, adding a signal booster to your home can eliminate that monthly expense. A signal booster will help ensure your cellular signal is reliable so there won’t be a continued need for a landline phone at home to make and receive calls.
What should you look for in a signal booster?
The first thing to think about when looking for a signal booster for your home is how much coverage you need. Will you only need the coverage boosted in one or two rooms? Do you need to be able to have a strong signal in every corner of your property? What about signal coverage in outdoor areas? The size of the area where you want to improve coverage will determine the specifications for the system that you need. Covering a larger with improved signal will require a more powerful system and cost more.
The strength of your boosted indoor signal will depend on the strength of the signal you have outdoors. You will need to know how strong your existing outdoor signal is to determine how much equipment you need to achieve the desired coverage area. You can check the signal strength outside by simply looking at your device to see how many bars you have. You can also use a signal strength app like OpenSignal for iOS or Network Cell Info Lite app for Android.
What type of signal do you need to boost? The signal specifics will determine what kind of system you need. Do you want to boost 4G, 4G LTE, and 3G signals? Do you only want to boost service for a specific cellular carrier or do you want blanket boosted coverage? What devices do you want to work with the boosted signal?
Depending on your system requirements, portions of your signal booster system might be placed in highly visible areas of your home. If that’s the case, you’ll want to consider the design aesthetics of your signal booster system before purchase. Is the design something you can integrate into your home design?
Many times, a product is only as good as the support behind it. When considering a signal booster for your home, be sure to research how much support you’ll receive both before and after your purchase. Does your provider help you design the right system for your needs? Do they offer professional installation and/or support for DIY installations? What happens if something goes wrong with the system in a few weeks or a few years?
How much do signal boosters cost?
Starting at prices as low as $100 for a basic booster and increasing to thousands of dollars for a powerful and complex configuration for a large area, cellular signal booster systems can be configured to fit within almost any budget. The final cost will vary based on a wide variety of factors, including: coverage area, type of signal booster system, any extra equipment required, and type of installation. You can shop for signal boosters online or visit a local retailer to talk with an expert about a configuration for your specific needs.
In our increasingly smartphone-dependent world, signal boosters are becoming more popular as a way to improve the reliability and functionality of communications in homes. Although in-home cellular signal boosters do require an initial investment upfront, if you choose the right signal booster, it will pay dividends in improved performance and phone reliability for years to come. Imagine a world with no more dropped calls, buffered videos, or standing outside to talk on the phone. If you choose the right signal booster for your home, then crystal clear, uninterrupted phone calls and smooth streaming data could be your new reality right now.
Do you have a cellular signal booster installed in your home? If so, what improvements have you seen? If not, what’s holding you back from buying one?
Wilson Amplifiers is a Premium Wilson Electronics provider of weBoost and Wilson Pro products, operating in the Houston area since 2011. Wilson Amplifiers provides all U.S. and Canadian customers with product expertise and real-time fulfillment capabilities. As a Premium weBoost (Wilson) Partner, we only carry genuine, US-made, FCC-approved, and fully-warranted weBoost (Wilson) equipment.
With a specialized team of 30 weBoost (Wilson) professionals, combining practical knowledge of all weBoost (Wilson) products, systems, and installations, we are ready to tackle all of your cellular reception problems. With 40 years of cell phone industry experience and 15 years of Wilson technology expertise, we will quickly guide you to the right Wilson products to improve your specific signal issues.
Alexander Baker is the Content Director at Wilson Amplifiers, and has written about cell phone signal boosters for two years. He also has a trilogy of best-selling novels in the Chinese market.