What's in an Ohm?
When it comes to 50 vs 75 Ohm, it's all about two things: footprint & power.
Especially when it comes to 50 Ohm vs 75 Ohm coax cables. In short, cables are measured by impedance, how much resistance there is to the flow of electrical energy. A 50 Ohm cable provides much better results than a 75 Ohm cable for boosting cellular signal.
Signal loss on 50 vs. 75 ohm cable depends heavily on what radio frequency you're trying to transmit. At very high frequencies, certain 75 ohm cables work better than 50 ohm.
However, for boosting cellular signal, the common 50 ohm solutions (Wilson400, LMR®600, etc.) always provide better loss than a 75 ohm cable such as an RG-6.
Here is a guide to smaller 50 ohm cables and their frequencies, which frequently have a higher degree of signal loss than the common RG-6.
Most home cell phone signal boosters come in 75 Ohm systems with 75 Ohm cables such as RG-6 with F-connectors.
Most commercial cell phone signal boosters come in 50 Ohm systems with 50 Ohm cables such as LMR®400 with N-connectors.
As you can see (pictured above), there's a sizable physical difference between the two in terms of wire and connector width. Here we'll explain the key differences.
75 Ohm: The Friend You Already Know
Why consider 75 Ohm?
That's because 75 Ohm cables are the standard coax cable you find everywhere inside your home and offices.
From the back of the tv to cable & satellite tv boxes and internet routers, they're commonly used and are often pre-wired in many homes and businesses.
75 Ohm is primary used for video and audio, hence why its rapid adoption and use as standard in the country.
For home applications, they do a perfectly fine job of transmitting signal up to 50 feet of cable with home or small building installation topping out at 5,000 sq ft.
The The weBoost Connect 4G is our best-selling 75 Ohm cell phone amplifier system:
Whole home coverage:
Improves 4G LTE & 3G coverage up to 5,000 sq ft (most homes).
Most popular home booster:
Trusted by hundreds of thousands of people across rural & urban America.
- High-powered range: Up to +65 dB gain for 32X stronger signal.
The The weBoost Connect 4G has been the most recommended home cell phone booster for nearly 5 years in a row 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 absolute best conditions, the Connect 4G covers up to 5,000 sq ft with great outside signal and an open-spaced layout home.
Real world results and customer reviews put it around 2,500 to 3,000 sq ft, a little less for rural areas.
Great option for most homes, small offices, farm houses, and buildings under 5,000 sq ft wide. If you're getting some spotty reception, we'd recommend to start with this first since this tends to be the Goldilocks or "just right" model.
- FREE shipping, no minimum purchase.
- 90 Day money back guarantee.
- Lifetime support.
50 Ohm: The Big Gun
For commercial installations running cable 100+ feet with building coverage at 7,500 to 100,000+ sq ft, then high-quality 50 Ohm cable is the clear winner.
50 Ohm cable is primary used for data, and there's this thing called "the internet" that uses a lot of it. It's a much better cable for cell phone booster systems since 4G LTE data (and soon to be 5G) is what we're looking to get a lot of.
But what's the trade-off?
50 Ohm cables tend to be thicker and have larger connectors. And since 50 Ohm cables aren't as ubiquitous as 75 Ohm cables, running cable is potentially more difficult if your building is not prewired for it.
There are, also, certain varieties of 50 ohm cable which have greater signal loss than a 75-ohm RG-6 cable, so make sure you're getting LMR®400 spec cable or above when looking for a cellular solution.
The WilsonPro 70 is our best-selling 50 Ohm cell phone signal booster system:
Up to 15,000 sq. ft.
- Boosts voice, text message, 3G & 4G LTE data
- Works for multiple cell devices
- Works with all carriers, networks, and phones
- Up to +70 dB Gain
- Great for rural areas
The Wilson Pro 70 - 50 Ohm is the most popular commercial booster.
With a gain of up to +70 dB, it can cover up to 15,000 sq ft under best conditions. Installers say on average they see around 5,000 to 8,000 sq ft. However, poor signal areas and other factors such as internal building material and layout could see much less.
Nearly 73% of commercial buildings in the USA are 10,000 sq ft or less, so the Wilson Pro 70 is a good basic kit. Many owners of large homes also select this kit when they need something more robust than the residential units.
Great for rural areas. Commercialized areas, however, should stick to the Wilson Pro 70 Plus due to possible attenuation issues (see next).
- FREE shipping, no minimum purchase.
- 30 Day money back guarantee.
- Lifetime support.
So what's right for me: 50 or 75 Ohm?
75 Ohm or 50 Ohm?
- Cable run is under 50 ft.
- Home coverage is under 5,000 sq ft.
- House is pre-wired with F-connectors.
- Best solution for most homes & small buildings.
- Cable run is over 100 ft.
- Building coverage ranges from 7,500 to 100,000 sq ft.
- Want the absolute best in terms of power.
- Best solution for buildings and commercial spaces.
For those who understand dB gain, 75 Ohm can lose as much as -1.1 dB compared to 50 Ohm per 100 feet of cable. In essence at 100 ft of cable, 50 Ohm is roughly 1.3x more powerful than the 75 Ohm in terms of maintaining signal coming from the same source.
1. What kind of cable is 50 Ohm, and what kind is 75 Ohm?
We've written a guide for that, because coaxial cable is a topic into itself, but in general, anything LMR® is 50 Ohm, and anything RG is 75 Ohm.
2. What kind of loss can I expect by running long cable?
A great question, and one we've prepared this image for:
As you can see, the thicker 50 Ohm cable has much less loss per 10 feet than any of the smaller 75 Ohm bunch, which is part of why the WilsonPro brand of commercial signal boosters boasts its superior performance.
Hope this helps. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below.
How May We Help You?
Wilson Amplifiers is the leading provider of cell phone signal boosters. Cell phone boosters amplify 3G & 4G LTE for any phone with any carrier for home, office, or vehicle.
We seriously hate dropped calls and poor coverage, so it's our goal in life to stomp on spotty signal like the little roaches they are:
- Free consultation (ask us anything) with our US-based customer support (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call us or at 1-800-568-2723.
- Free shipping.
- Better signal or industry-leading 90 money-back guaranteed. No questions asked.
- We want everyone to be satisfied, so we provide lifetime technical support and a 2-year warranty for all products.
Ask us anything and we'll be glad to help.
LMR® is registered trademark of Times Microsystems.