Is there a way to boost cell signal at home?
Yes. Look into getting a cell phone signal booster, a femtocell, or turn on WiFi calling. There are pros and cons to each, and the rest of this article will break these basic methods down.
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1. Get a Cell Phone Signal Booster
If you are looking to boost cell signal, consider a cell signal booster. Cell phone signal booster, also known as a cellular repeater, is a device which exists to boost cell signal across multiple carriers in a confined area. If there is even a smidge of cell signal in your area, a cell phone booster can be used to grab it, amplify it, and rebroadcast it at a higher strength. This eliminates dropped calls, unsent texts, and slow data.
They have several advantages over femtocells and WiFi calling. For one, they boost signals for all carriers. For another, they work within the confines of the cellular network. They are simple to use and operate. Once set up and powered on, they just work, and require no WiFi, internet connection, monthly fees, or software.
Their disadvantage is cost. Depending on the size of your home and the strength of your outdoor signal, a quality signal booster will run you anywhere from $300 to over $1000. It depends on how much area you are looking to cover. In addition, if you have no usable cell signal anywhere near your home, cell phone boosters will not help at all. No signal, no boost.
2. Try a Femtocell
Femtocells are your best bet if you live in an area with no cell signal outside at all. They require a broadband internet connection to work. They work by acting as a mini cell tower – called a small cell – and generating local radio waves. They are a bit like a wireless router, but for cell signal. If you have reliable, cabled internet but poor outdoor cell signal, a femtocell is for you.
Unfortunately, they have some significant disadvantages when compared with a cell phone booster. For one, they are locked to your carrier. This means if you wish to switch carriers, you will have to return your femtocell. In addition, if you have guests or family members on a different carrier, they will receive no improved signal. They often come with monthly fees on top of the upfront cost to add one to your home. Finally, they place constant stress on your internet connection. If your connection is slow to begin with, it will become even slower and less reliable with a femtocell in your home.
3. Use Your WiFi for WiFi Calling
This is the least costly option for getting better cell signals in your home. Most phones can make use of WiFi calling. Enable this and you will be using your WiFi signal to make calls and send texts. Simple and easy. WiFi calling also allows calls over third-party apps like Skype, WhatsApp, and WeChat, so you’re covered there.
There are obvious downsides here. Using WiFi to make calls puts great stress on your WiFi network. If you have inconsistent WiFi signal, it will be made worse. If no WiFi is available, or if it cuts out at any time, you are in no better position than if you had no cell signal. It will also cause interruptions for those who are streaming or otherwise using WiFi for work. Finally, this does nothing to boost your cell signal: it simply crams your phone onto your home internet setup.
Which Method is Best?
The only situation in which cell phone signal boosters are not the best for boosting signal is if you have no outdoor signal. Femtocells are better in that case. WiFi calling may be cheap, but it is more of a stopgap measure than a real solution, as it does nothing to boost your cell signal.
Here's an article if you want to explore free ways to get better cell signal. Try some of these mini fixes and see how they work for you.
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