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Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Cabins & Cottages: Get Better Reception

on August 06, 2016

Hello from the country side. I've dropped my call a thousand times.

This is the life, isn't it?

You're in your summer cabin or mountain cottage, off the grid, away from the noise, and surrounded by that peace only Mother Nature can provide.

But, as they say, every rose has its thorns.

Living in a remote, rural area also means having limited cell phone signal. And dropping calls, unable to use the internet, and at best, having spotty service isn't quite the ultimate convenience you're hoping for.

And let's not forget about emergencies, too. Being able to connect becomes the only thing that matters then.

But there are some solutions

1. Wifi Calling

If your cabin has landline internet connection (like AT&T Uverse or Time Warner Cable), your phone may be able to use a feature called Wi-Fi calling. Meaning it uses your broadband landline to make calls instead of using cellular 3G & 4G LTE signals.

Learn more about wi-fi calling for the following major carriers:

  • T-Mobile (supports any Wi-fi capable phones)
  • Verizon (supports select Samsung, Apple, LG, and HTC models)
  • AT&T (supports mostly Samsung Galaxy & Apple iPhone models)
  • Sprint (supports most Android & Apple phones)

If you don't have landline internet, then this can't be an option.

2. Your Carrier Builds a New Tower Near You

Carriers are always building new cell towers; however, most are built where the customers are active. 

In other words, if there are thousands of signal hungry citizens (i.e. money), AT&T will construct a tower. But for the ones and twos like youself? Most likely not, until Sprint or Verizon can justify the cost. 

3. Cell Phone Signal Booster

The best option of the bunch. Why?

Cell phone boosters (aka cell phone repeaters) are all-carrier approved devices that boost weak 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE cellular signals. 

If you have any type of weak outside signal, a cell phone signal booster potentially can deliver more bars, more coverage, better talk & text, and faster internet & data. 

This is how a cell phone booster works in 3 easy steps:

1. The Outside Antenna pulls in weak signal surrounding your property. 

2. The Amplifier boosts the signal multiple times, up to 32X.

3. The Inside Antenna rebroadcasts the enhanced signal inside your cabin.

So yes, it absolutely works*


Hey, what's with the *?

What a Signal Booster Can & Can't Do

First, the GOOD points about a signal booster:

  1. Boosts 2G, 3G, 4G LTE signals.
  2. Works for ALL carriers (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc)
  3. Works for ALL cellular devices (cell phones, smartphones, tablets, etc.)
  4. Complete easy-to-install kits 
  5. One-time purchase, no monthly fees or recurring fees
  6. Set-&-forget-it devices, automatically adjusts for maximum signal boost
  7. 2-year manufacturer's warranty (anything goes wrong, you get a new one)
  8. 30-day better signal or money back guarantee
  9. Free shipping & no taxes outside Texas
  10. Made in the USA

Now, the BAD points about a cell booster:

  1. Does not boost landline broadband wi-fi internet.
  2. Does not create cellular signal. There must be some signal for it to boost.
  3. Needs "enough" weak signal in order to provide decent signal amplification.

MAIN TAKEAWAY: A cell phone signal booster for your cabin & cottage only works (and works well) if you have enough outside working signal!

So how much is "enough" working signal? 1 bar? 2 bars? 3 bars?

Field Test Mode: The best way to read signal

The number of bars on your phone?

Completely subjective.


Completely subjective!

There is no industry standard for the number of bars on your phone and signal strength. In other words, what's 1 bar on T-Mobile might be 2 bars on Sprint, 3 bars on AT&T, and full bars on Verizon, DESPITE receiving the same signal and performing at the same speeds.

It's up to the carrier to define what they think is 1, 2, 3, 4, and full bars on their own networks.

That's why you need to use Field Test Mode. It's available on most cell phones. But what is it?

Cell phone signals are basically radio waves (the AM/FM kind). They operate within a certain standard: -50 dB to -120 dB. dB stands for decibels.

-50 dB is basically full bars. -120 dB is a dead zone. 

This signal level is true for all cellular devices and for all carriers.

So how do you access Field Test Mode? 

For Apple devices

  1. Go into Phone or Call mode.
  2. Dial exactly: *3001#12345#* [Don't forget to dial the *!]
  3. Press call.
  4. You'll enter Field Test Mode.
  5. Swipe your Notifications Bar down from the top of the screen.
  6. You'll see your dB reading on the upper-left-hand side of the screen.

For Android devices

  1. Access the Settings option on your phone.
  2. Then choose General.
  3. Then choose About Phone.
  4. Then choose Network or Status depending on your model
  5. You'll see your dB reading.

For Blackberry devices

  1. Access the Options setting on your phone.
  2. Then select Device.
  3. Then select Device Status.
  4. Then select Network Info.
  5. You'll see your dB reading.

Once you have access to dB readings, walk around the outside of your cabin or cottage. dB readings take a few seconds to refresh, so make sure to walk slowly. 

Now find out which area of your house is closest to -50 db. 

So what are your results?

And how can a signal booster help you?

If your outside signal ranges from: 

  • -50 to -89 dB, then a signal booster will produce very good signal boost inside your cabin (3 to 5 bars). 
  • -90 to -99 dB, then a signal booster will produce good to average boost (2 to 4 bars).
  • -100 to -114 dB, then a signal booster will produce average to small boost (1 to 2 bars).

At -115 dB to -120 dB, a boost might have limited to no impact, unless you get a pro-grade model.

Recommended cell phone boosters

#1. weBoost Connect 4G (Model: 470103)

weboost connect 4g signal booster


  • Boosts talk, text, internet, 3G & 4G LTE data.
  • Works for all phones & all carriers.
  • Coverage range: 1,000 to 5,000 sq ft depending on signal. Our customer feedback puts it around 2,500 to 3,000 on average.
  • Most popular model. 


  • Depending on your outside signal, you may need a stronger model to pull in and boost your signal.

We say for 80-90% of our customers living in the countryside, the weBoost Connect 4G is the perfect fit. When surrounded by mountains, pine trees, and valleys, your signal will most likely be very weak.

And especially if your cabin or cottage has a metal roof or siding or built with thick concrete, then the Connect 4G does a very good job of bypassing all that interference. 

If you've done a dB reading (listed above), we'd say anything from -50 to -95 dB and you'll see noticeable improvements and whole coverage for your cabin. 

From -95 to -109 dB, you might see good enough improvements (1-2 bars) and coverage ranging from 1 room to most of the cabin . 

At over, -110 dB, we wouldn't recommend it. Even with a boost, you'd most likely be near the inside antenna (about inches) to get proper signal boost.

Still, for 80% of people deep in the woods or mountains, we recommend this model first.

#2. weBoost Connect 4G-X (Model: 470114)

weboost connect 4g-x commercial signal booster


  • Boosts talk, text, internet, 3G & 4G LTE data.
  • Works for all phones & all carriers.
  • Coverage range: 2,000 to 7,500 sq ft depending on signal. Our customer feedback puts it around 4,500 to 5,500 on average.
  • Most powerful model. 


  • Expensive. But if your signal is extremely poor, this might be your only option.

This is essentially the bigger brother of the Connect 4G. For customers with very, very bad signal like one leg on the banana peel, then it's our next recommended option. 

If your outside dB reading is at -50 to -95 db, you'll see near full bars and coverage from 4,000 to 7,500 sq ft.

 At -96 to -109 dB, 2-4 bars with coverage ranging from 2,000 to 4,000 sq ft.

At over, -110 dB, 1-2 bars with coverage from 1 room to several rooms (250 sq ft to 1,500 sq ft.).

Pricing is a concern here especially for just a single cabin especially if it's a small one. But for a lodge or multiple neighboring cabins, especially if you have decent outside signal, its quite the lifesaver.

And if you have near no-service, then this is the best choice. 

#3. weBoost RV 4G (Model: 470201)

weboost rv 4g signal booster


  • Boosts talk, text, internet, 3G & 4G LTE data.
  • Works for all phones & all carriers.
  • Coverage range: desktop to 500 sq ft
  • Powerful RV unit


  • Limited coverage area, not intended for extremely weak signal areas.

An RV unit? What's happening here?

Well, we have quite a few cabin owners who spend a few months on the road and want something that can do double-duty for the cabin and the RV.

The weBoost RV 4G is essentially an entry-level home unit that has been retrofitted for RV use. The RV has to be stationary to for the unit to work. Depending on your RV installation, you should be able to easily uninstall and move the unit inside your cottage for use.

FAIR WARNING: If you have extremely poor to mediocre signal, you may not see much of a boost if you choose to use this inside your cabin. Even with below average to good enough signal, coverage ranges from desktop area to at best 500 sq ft to even 1,000 sq ft if your current outside signal is very, very good.

So, if you're considering the RG 4G because of its double-duty nature, please note there is a trade-off of power and coverage area compare to the two other boosters.

But if you own an RV and have a small cabin and your current outside signal isn't too bad, then we'd say nothing wrong with double-dipping.

New to cell phone boosters? Learn more with our Definitive Guide to Signal Boosters:

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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Cell phone signal booster guide



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