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4 Things to Know Before Getting a Signal Booster

on November 08, 2018

Do Cell Phone Signal Boosters Work?

Yes. No. Kinda.

It can be baffling to see these kind of responses if you are simply trying to find out if a product works.

Fortunately, most of these responses can be understood better with a little education.

So, without further ado, these are the four things everyone should know before buying a signal booster.

1. Boosters are Dependent on Your Outdoor Signal Strength

A cell phone signal booster is like a megaphone - it takes an existing signal and makes it louder. How much coverage you can expect depends on how strong the outside signal is, and how powerful is your amplifier.

Places with poor signal such as remote, hilly, or wooded areas might need a more powerful booster to get any significant change in signal strength. Areas with strong signal may get away with a cheaper option, but your coverage can be greatly expanded with a more powerful amplifier.

2. Know What Area You’re Trying to Cover

If you’re only interested in better signal in a single room, great. If you want it in your entire house, that’s also great. However, the booster you need will change depending on your square footage, coupled with the outdoor signal strength in your area.

Booster performance varies depending on the inside layout of your home. Open spaces generally have better booster coverage, while multi-walled and thick-material homes may have reduced booster coverage.

Buying a booster with the appropriate power specs to cover what you’re wanting to cover is essential, and if you have a very complex layout, multiple indoor antennas might be necessary, as well.

3. Ditch the Bar Talk

Cell phone signal strength is actually measured in decibels (dBm). Cell phone bars are subjective to the phone manufacturer and carrier. So what might be 1 bar of service on a Samsung Galaxy might be 3 bars on an iPhone, or 2 bars on any other Android phone!

Similarly, what may be 1 bar of service on Verizon could be 2 bars on AT&T or 3 bars on T-Mobile - despite getting the exact same signal and performance.

Decibel measurements are standard, and work across all manufacturers and carriers. -50 dBm is considered great signal (full bars) and -120 dBm is considered poor signal (a dead zone). Most signal boosters work very well with -95 dBm or better outside signal. From -95 dBm to -120 dBm, a signal booster can work but results will vary.

Knowing your outside signal strength in decibels will go a long way toward figuring out whether or not a signal booster will work for you.

See our blog post on finding your signal strength the right way for more information.

4. Booster Kits Come With Everything Needed for an Easy Install

Cell phone signal boosters are required by FCC Regulations to come supplied in a kit with all the requisite parts needed for a proper installation.

For the vast majority of our customers, what comes in the box is all that’s required, and with the exception of some common tools and items (a drill, a hammer, a power strip, and perhaps others depending on the situation), everything you need to install your booster is at your fingertips. The kits also come with an easy-to-follow instruction manual.

And that's it! If you know these four things, you should have a much easier time enjoying your new boosted signal.

Want to learn more about cell phone boosters? Read more with our definitive guide:

How We Can Help:

Wilson Amplifiers is the leading provider of cell phone signal boosters. They amplify 3G & 4G LTE for any phone with any carrier for home, office, or vehicle.

  • Free consultation (ask us anything) with our US-based customer support (sales@wilsonamplifiers.com).
  • Free shipping.
  • Better signal or money-back guaranteed.

We want everyone to be satisfied, so we provide lifetime technical support and a 2-year warranty.

Read real reviews from our customers.

Ask us anything and we'll be glad to help.

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