on August 06, 2016 James N
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.
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:
If you don't have landline internet, then this can't be an option.
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.
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 *?
First, the GOOD points about a signal booster:
Now, the BAD points about a cell booster:
MAIN TAKEAWAY: A cell phone signal booster for your cabin & cottage only works (and works well) if you have enough working signal!
So how much is "enough" working signal? 1 bar? 2 bars? 3 bars?
The number of bars on your phone?
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?
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:
At -115 dB to -120 dB, a boost might have limited to no impact, unless you get a pro-grade model.
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.
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 neigbhoring 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.
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:
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