4 Things to Know Before Getting a Signal Booster

4 Things to Know Before Getting a Signal Booster

Written by Alex Baker
18th Feb 2021

Do 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.

See complete cell signal booster kits for your situation:

Home / Small Office
Car / Truck / RV / Boat
Commercial Building

1. Boosters are Dependent on Your Outdoor Signal Strength

A 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.

outdoor signal strength


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 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 cell 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 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.

Below are our top recommendations.


Cell Signal Boosters For Homes

Our Pick: weBoost Home MultiRoom - 470144

weboost home multiroom
weBoost Home MultiRoom - 470144

For mid-size homes and offices with a strong outside signal.

Buy Now at $549.99

weBoost Home MultiRoom Overview:

  • Boosts Voice, Text, and 3G & 4G LTE Data. 5G Ready.
  • Covers up to 5,000 sq ft
  • Up to +65 dB Gain
  • Works with ALL cellular devices across ALL carriers

The weBoost Home MultiRoom is the most popular home booster for good reason. It’s a dependable performer that covers most homes for better service.

The average home size in North America is around 2,500 sq ft. Under perfect conditions, meaning excellent reception and zero signal interference, the Home MultiRoom can cover areas up to 5,000 sq ft. However, coverage is determined by your outside signal strength. People with below average outside signal (1 to 3 bars or -95 dB to - 115 dB) can expect between 1,000 to 3,000 sq ft of coverage.

Overall, the Home MultiRoom is perfect for mid-size homes in the city with great outside signal or small homes in the countryside with poor cellular reception due to far distanced towers and outdoor interferences.

Upgrade: weBoost Installed Home Complete - 474445

weboost installed home complete
weBoost Installed Home Complete - 474445

For large homes and offices with a strong outside signal.

Buy Now at $1,199.99

weBoost Installed Home Complete Overview:

  • Boosts Voice, Text, and 3G & 4G LTE Data. 5G Ready.
  • Covers up to 7,500 sq ft
  • Up to +72 dB Gain
  • For large building coverage
  • Works with ALL cellular devices across ALL carriers

The weBoost Installed Home Complete is the most powerful home booster available for consumers and the only one that includes a professional installation. If you would rather install the booster yourself, we also offer a Do-It-Yourself version.

weboost home complete
weBoost Home Complete - 470145

DIY booster for large areas with a strong outside signal.

Buy Now at $999.99

With gains up to +72 dB, the Installed Home Complete can cover homes and offices up to 7,500 sq ft. Coverage depends on how strong or weak your outside signal is. Weak signal areas might get between 4,000 to 6,000 sq ft of coverage - fringe zone can expect a little less. And, with its max uplink output power of 24 dBm, it can reach far distanced towers, much further than the Home MultiRoom, to provide you with superior service indoors.

Perfect for people who live in remote areas where having a consistent signal feels impossible, as well as those who don’t struggle with a reliable connection outside their home but experience spotty service indoors.

Budget: weBoost Home Stuio - 470166

weboost home studio
weBoost Home Studio - 470166

For small homes and office spaces for all carriers.

Buy Now at $349.99

weBoost Home Studio Overview:

  • Boosts Voice, Text, and 3G & 4G LTE Data. 5G Ready.
  • Covers up to 2,000 sq ft
  • Up to +60 dB Gain
  • Works with ALL cellular devices across ALL carriers

The weBoost Home Studio is the newest addition to the weBoost home booster family, and the most affordable. It’s perfect for apartments and dorms that allow you to install a Yagi antenna on the roof or balcony, as well as homes that need better coverage in one large room or multiple small ones. Not to mention, its compact design allows you to place the amplifier on any flat surface without it clashing with your home décor.

It can cover areas up to 2,000 sq ft under perfect conditions. But, if you have weak outside signal, expect between 200 to 500 sq ft – enough for 1-2 rooms. It’ll work best in urban and suburban areas but is not the strongest performer in remote locations.


Cell Signal Boosters For Vehicles

Our Pick: weBoost Drive X - 475021

weboost drive x
weBoost Drive X - 475021

For drivers in urban, suburban, and some rural areas.

Buy Now at $399.99

weBoost Drive X Overview:

  • Boosts Talk, Text, and 3G & 4G LTE Data. 5G Ready.
  • For multiple cellular devices.
  • Up to +50 dB Gain.
  • Works with ALL cellular devices across ALL carriers
  • Extremely customizable, with variants for any type of vehicle and situation

The weBoost Drive X is a relatively inexpensive yet extremely reliable vehicle booster.

A magnetic mount outside antenna picks up the signal, and a low-profile inside antenna (usually installed on a seat or dashboard) broadcasts the signal inside. More often than not, you have to be about an arm's length from the inside antenna to benefit from the boosted signal, so it's best for your typical sedan, truck, or SUV. Different Drive X kits are available for different types of vehicles, such as RVs, large trucks, and boats.

The Drive X has incredible range, meaning it can reach relatively far distanced towers to provide you with better cellular signal inside your vehicle whether you’re driving in the city, through rural roads, or parked in a parking garage. In weak signal areas, however, you and your passengers might have to be closer to the inside antenna to benefit from the amplified signal.

Upgrade: weBoost Drive Reach - 470154

weBoost Drive Reach Overview:

  • Boosts Talk, Text, and 3G & 4G LTE Data. 5G Ready.
  • For multiple cellular devices.
  • Up to +50 dB Gain.
  • Works with ALL cellular devices across ALL carriers
  • Extremely customizable, with variants for any type of vehicle and situation

The weBoost Drive Reach is the most powerful vehicle cellular booster, designed to boost up to 4 cellular devices across all carriers. It’s the booster we highly recommend for all situations.

With its increased uplink output power of 29.5 dBm, it can reach towers that are 2x further for twice the signal strength, making it much more powerful than the Drive X. In other words, it has 30 – 60% more reach to the cell tower than your typical car booster. As a result, it’s a great performer in the most rural of roads and highways. Like the Drive X, different Drive Reach kits are available to get the range you need for any type of vehicle.

People who live in areas with a strong signal may get away with a cheaper option, but your coverage and amplification can be greatly enhanced with a powerful amplifier. So, for those extreme cases of poor cell reception, the Drive Reach is the way to go.

Budget: weBoost Drive Sleek - 470135

weboost drive sleek
weBoost Drive Sleek - 470135

For drivers in urban and suburban areas.

Buy Now at $199.99

weBoost Drive Sleek Overview:

  • Boosts Talk, Text, and 3G & 4G LTE Data. 5G Ready.
  • For a single cellular device, cradle signal booster
  • Up to +23 dB Gain.
  • Works with ALL cellular devices across ALL carriers

The weBoost Drive Sleek is the most affordable vehicle cell phone booster capable of boosting one cellular device at a time.

The kit includes a magnetic vent mount for easy installation and an adjustable cradle that can fit any size phone or small tablet. To receive boosted service, your smartphone must be sitting in the cradle. Perfect for hands-free calling and navigation.

It's ideal for people who heavily rely on their cellular device while driving.

It’ll work best in urban and suburban areas but is not the strongest performer in extremely rural areas. However, as long as you have a sliver of signal, the Drive Sleek will not let you down.


Cell Signal Boosters For Commercial Buildings

WilsonPro 70 Plus (50 Ohm) - 463127

wilsonpro 70 plus
WilsonPro 70 Plus - 463127

For large commercial and residential buildings with weak outside signal.

Buy Now at $1,199.99

WilsonPro 70 Plus Overview:

  • Boosts Voice, Text, and 3G & 4G LTE Data. 5G Ready.
  • Covers up to 25,000 sq ft
  • Up to +70 dB Gain
  • For large building coverage
  • Works with ALL cellular devices across ALL carriers

The WilsonPro 70 Plus is a reliable commercial booster for midsize commercial buildings, as well as large homes with extremely poor cellular signal outside. This model happens to be the sweets spot between price and performance.

With gains up to +70 dB, it can cover up to 25,000 sq ft under best conditions. Our professional installers say that on average they see the booster system provide 10,000 – 15,000 sq ft. However, areas with poor outside signal combined with other factors, such as internal building material and building layout, could receive much less coverage.

Great for midsize commercial buildings who don’t struggle with a reliable connection outside but experience spotty signals throughout the building, as well as large homes and midsize companies located in remote areas where tower distance makes maintain a reliable connection extremely difficult.


How We Can Help:

Wilson Amplifiers is the leading provider of cellular signal amplfiers. 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.


Need help? Email us today ( sales@wilsonamplifiers.com) or give us a call at 1-800-568-2723. A cell phone signal expert will gladly assist you in getting better signal instantly.

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About The Author of This Article
Alex Baker
Senior Copywriter - Wilson Amplifiers
Alex has been studying all things signal boosters for the past 5 years. His technical knowledge is matched only by his writing prowess. In his spare time, he enjoys long walks, stimulating conversation, collecting video games, and trying unusual recipes.