With the majority of people working from home nowadays, cellular dead zones aren’t just annoying, they’re inconvenient for work. If you have weak or bad reception in your apartment, the best way for you to fix this problem is by installing a cellular signal booster or amplifier.
The basic rule-of-thumb behind signal boosters is simple: the bigger the antenna, the better the reception.
So, instead of relying on that small antenna in your phone, you can use a cellular signal booster — which is essentially a large antenna that you attach to your window or outside your house — to capture the cellular signal from outside your home and rebroadcast it inside, for a cleaner and stronger connection.
Types of Cellular Signal Boosters
There are numerous types of cellular signal boosters available today. And although they basically have the same function, the type of cellular signal booster you should choose will depend on your specific circumstances. For example, the size difference between a duplex and a condo might affect your choices when looking for the perfect signal booster.
Let’s look at 3 different types of signal boosters (in-home, in-building, in-vehicle) and review their features to see which one fits your needs best.
- In-Home/Office Signal Booster
As the name implies, this type of signal booster is used for home or office settings that have smaller spaces to cover. Typically, this ranges from 2,000 to 4,000 sq. ft.
- In-Building Signal Booster
This type of signal booster is different from in-home signal boosters in that they provide a larger coverage — ranging from 6,000 to 100,000 sq. ft. if you manage a duplex or a condominium, this type of signal booster might make a huge difference in satisfying your residents.
- In-Vehicle Signal Booster
In-vehicle signal boosters can be used in about any vehicle, from cars to boats, and even military tanks. The type you choose will depend on how many people are going to connect to it. Often, in-vehicle signal boosters can only support 1 user at a time.
What to Look for in a Cellular Signal Booster
When it comes to choosing the right cellular signal booster, there are a couple of things you have to consider, such as:
- Highest Downlink Power & Uplink Power
Downlink is basically the signal from the cell tower that goes into your Smartphone or mobile device. Uplink, on the other hand, is the signal that leaves your phone for the closest base station or cell tower.
When the uplink connection is strong, a caller’s voice can be heard clearly by the other party; however, if it is too weak – the caller’s voice won’t be heard or will appear choppy to the other party.
Similarly, when the downlink signal connection is strong, the other party’s voice will sound clear, but if it is too weak – their voice won’t be heard or can be choppy for the caller.
- Highest Gain In Decibels
Check the Decibel (dB) gain (+ve figure) offered by your provider and choose the one with the most powerful boost. When comparing cellular signal boosters, for example, a positive number +70dB Gain is better than +60dB Gain as it adds more power to the signal strength.
- Outside Signal Strength
Outside signal strength can affect the way cellular signal boosters function, which is why it’s recommended for first-time buyers to know what their outside signal strength is to help them make a better choice of signal boosters. (Tip: You can use a signal meter to find out what your outside signal strength is or ask an installer to check if for you.)
- Type Of Antenna Needed
There are different antennas made for different conditions. For example, if you live in a busy city or urban area with great exterior signals, an omnidirectional antenna would suit this situation.
- Number Of Users Supported
If you’re living with your family or sharing an apartment with your friends, you’re going to want a multi-user cell phone signal booster. Make sure to consider the numbers before settling for a device.
- Product Support Provided
Manufacturer support is important. Check for warranties and choose a provider that offers at least two years of warranty and/or money-back guarantees. Tech support can also be a factor, such as through live chat, email, social media or phone.
- FCC Compliance
In recent times the FCC has changed and updated the regulations and guidelines regarding cellular phone signal amplifiers manufacturing and use. Since the certification standards, permissions and compliances keep changing, it’s important to ensure the cell phone signal booster you select today is certified, permitted and in compliance with all the regulations and guidelines adopted by FCC.
Visit the FCC website to see recent updates and news.
The Best Cellular Signal Boosters for Home in 2021
Now that we’ve brushed up on how signal boosters work and what types there are available in the market, in this part of the article we’ll go over 5 of the best cellular signal boosters to have in 2021 to see which can benefit you the most.
- SureCall Flare 3.0
This signal booster is ideal for small homes or apartments with 1 or 2 rooms of up to 2,500 sq. ft. Cost-wise, it’s a fairly affordable signal booster, priced at around $299.99. The unit supports AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, and uses a directional antenna outside, but an omnidirectional antenna inside. It’s easy to set up and install, so even a beginner can do well on the first try.
Here’s a complete review of the SuraCall Flare 3.0 from PC Mag.
- SureCall Fusion4 Home
This model stands a few levels higher than the Surecall Flare that was previously mentioned. It provides strong reliable connections for talk, text, and fast 4G LTE data in buildings spanning 2,000 to 5,000 sq. ft. It’s also compatible with all phones and carriers in North America.
There is a variety of versions available depending upon the types of exterior and interior antennae bundled with the kit. You can check that out on SureCall’s website, here.
- weBoost Installed Home Complete
We’re now leaning towards the more expensive side of cellular signal boosters — weBoost Installed Home Complete is the best seller in its class. Priced at $1199.99, they offer their users high-speed coverage that spans throughout the entire home. They also provide professional installation services, so clients can rest assured that their units are set up and installed properly. This is perfect for families or friends who are living in the same house.
Read more about weBoost Installed by visiting weBoost’s website, here.
- SureCall Fusion5s Home & Building
Fusion5s is one of the best mid-priced signal boosters from SureCall that has the capacity of increasing the reception strength in any large home or mid-size building with an area of up to 10,000 square feet. Priced at around $850, Fusion5 works well with most cell phones and carriers in North America and is also configurable for all types of indoor environments.
- Cel-Fi GO+
Cel-Fi GO+ is popular for being the world’s first “all-in-one” coverage solution for both outdoor and indoor environments. It has two modes:
- Mobile mode (The best solution for addressing the universal challenge of poor cellular coverage on the road.)
- Stationary mode (Ideal for use in commercial properties, government buildings, agricultural settings, small manufacturing operations, rural areas, and large homes.)
Priced at $651.98, it’s perfect for customers who are looking for a signal booster with a little more flexibility.
Whichever signal booster you choose in the end will depend solely on your needs as a consumer. So, we advise that before you settle for a product, make a detailed list of all the features and services you’re looking for and start searching for the perfect fit online. There are tons of resources and websites you can visit that have valuable information that can help you on your search.
Here’s a link to SignalBooster.com’s cellphone signal booster finder to get you started on the right path.
Ultimately, what you’ll want is a product that won’t cost you too much and will last you a considerable amount of time.