Depending on where you live, you may find yourself susceptible to poor mobile phone reception, where the best cell phone signal booster may be required. For instance, I have Verizon - known for having the best coverage among the four major wireless carriers - but while Verizon's signal strength is often fantastic in most areas in the United States, I still suffer from poor signal where I live.
I, unfortunately, live in an apartment that is literally beneath the ground. Because of my location, my phone suffers from shoddy coverage.
In our guide to the best cell phone booster kits, you'll not only find information on the top five best cell phone boosters, but also the methodology and the key considerations when deciding on a cell phone booster.
Hopefully, by the time you finish reading this guide, you'll be able to find what cell phone booster kit will suit your needs best.
In This Guide
The Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters: Our Top Picks
zBoost SOHO Review
- Dual-band device that works with 800/1900 Mhz frequencies from all major carriers
- Omni-directional antenna
- Easily can boost your signal from one bar to five
- Not compatible with Nextel
- Vertical separation between the internal and external antennas is critical
Though a tad bit on the expensive side, the zBoost SOHO is a great solution for the dropped and missed calls. This handy kit, which features an omnidirectional antenna, draws in the reliable cellular signal outdoors and redistributes the signal indoors, so you can enjoy a more reliable service without interruption. Of course, the coverage will vary with the outside signal strength, the composition of the walls and the distance from the base unit. You'll receive up to a 64 dB system gain, leading to a reduction in dropped and missed calls. Furthermore, you'll be provided with faster 3G data performance for multiple users. Not only that, but the phone battery life will be extended too!
Many consumers praised the power of the zBoost, stating that the bars would jump from one to five easily, but there have also been complaints.
For one, consumers have complained that the product would immediately die after a short period of time. A couple hundred dollars for a product that fails within a month or two - that's rather upsetting. Second, the instruction manual can be a tad confusing. Plenty of consumers, however, pointed out the proper way to assemble the zBoost ZB545, which involves ensuring that the internal and external antennas are vertical.
Overall, if you're lucky, you should consider a zBoost ZB545. You'll be able to have the cell phone signal you'll always need in your home with this product.
weBoost Drive Review
- Works for your car, truck, or RV
- Boosts both 4G LTE and 3G signals
- Supports all networks
- Can be temperamental
- Can be incredibly hot to the touch
Looking for a mobile phone signal booster for your car, truck, or RV? Well, you can thanks to the weBoost Drive 4G-M Cell Phone Signal Booster from weBoost (formerly known as Wilson Electronics). You'll be able to not only enhance your 4G LTE and 3G signal up to 32 times, but you can cover up to four devices with this product. This means fewer dropped calls, better voice quality, faster upload and download speeds. Furthermore, this rather expensive monster of a cellular signal booster is compatible with all US networks. So yes, you can use the weBoost 4G-M cell phone signal booster on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Straight Talk, and more. You'll also gain up to two hours of phone battery life.
Many consumers have praised the weBoost Drive 4G-M's capabilities, but they have also noted potential drawbacks. For instance, the heat coming off the booster measures at extremely high temperatures when running on a 12v DC cord, though when running on 120v AC, the heat can run as high as 150 degrees, making it too hot to touch.
Furthermore, the unit can be temperamental. Sometimes, the unit will work, whereas, at other times, you won't receive any boosting results. Some people have reported that the booster will only work when you have an average "base" signal, not a very weak signal. Of course, it appears as if most signal boosters have mixed results with customers.
Overall, if you're on the hunt for a cellular signal booster for your car, truck, or RV, then you should definitely give the weBoost 4G-M a try.
Cisco Microcell Review
- Supports voice and 3G data
- Cisco Brand is highly reliable
- Quick and easy setup
- Must have an official AT&T account (not an AT&T MVNO either)
- May not always work
The AT&T Microcell provides up to five bars of AT&T cellular signal to both 3G and 4G mobile devices (compatible devices include iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, and more). The setup takes just ten minutes and is included in the "quick-start" guide. Furthermore, the device will be running within two hours of setup. However, the device requires internet connectivity through a wired Ethernet connection, but the cable is included. No need for antennas or drill holes.
However, while this product has been touted as one of the best cell phone extenders available, it only supports those with an AT&T Wireless plan. However, very few consumers have stated that the product doesn't always work, though when it works, the signal you'll receive is nothing short of amazing.
Overall, if you have an AT&T Wireless account, then the AT&T Microcell is perfect for you. As one of the best cell phone boosters on the market right now, it will be unlikely that you regret your purchase, especially since the product is from Cisco.
weBoost EQO Review
- Can boost coverage area signal up to 32 times
- Compatible with all US-based cellular networks
- Does not support all Sprint frequencies
The weBoost EQO Cell Phone Signal Booster is another wireless signal booster from weBoost (formerly Wilson Electronics) that we highly recommend. Why? Because with this product, you'll be able to enhance your 4G LTE and 3G signal up to 32 times, meaning fewer dropped calls, faster download speeds and upload speeds, and better voice quality. Furthermore, it can cover up to 1500 square feet and can be used by multiple cellular devices and users.
Not only that, but it is compatible with all US-based cellular networks - cellular networks such as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Straight Talk, and more. However, regarding this, this product does not support a specific frequency employed in some parts that use the Sprint network. However, most Sprint customers will still be able to see a boost when using the product.
Even better is that this signal booster kit is the first plug-and-play booster that requires a setup time of just a few seconds and doesn't use an external antenna. All you need to do is place the window-based unit in a window with good signal, connect the 25-foot cable, and then place the coverage area unit in a location that needs a better signal. Finally, just plug the booster in and it will begin running.
While it works great for most consumers, many who own the product expressed that the unit is incredibly pricey. Not only that, but the booster does not feature wall mounting, which is a desirable feature for many customers.
SureCall TriFlex Review
- No cradle or docking station required
- Withstands extreme heat or cold
- Incredibly expensive
- Does not work for some
If you're hunting for better cell phone reception with service provider Verizon, then you should consider this signal amplifier. The SureCall TriFlex2Go-V, while only used in your vehicle, boosts talk, text, and 4G LTE signals for Verizon. While this is the most expensive option among the top five we've listed, it's a strong piece of equipment.
Furthermore, no cradle or docking station is required, and stealth technology has been incorporated. What do I mean by "incorporated?" Well, when the transmit signal is not in use, it becomes dormant.
How it works is that the interior antenna of SureCall's TriFlex2Go-V rebroadcasts the amplified cellular signal throughout either your car or truck. This product can also withstand varying thermal conditions and dust, and it can operate between -4 degrees Fahrenheit and 158 degrees Fahrenheit a. Additionally, this signal booster kit fits in cars, SUVs, convertibles, vans, trucks, and limousines.
Consumers have praised its ability to operate as advertised, though some have complained that it doesn't work whatsoever. However, that's the issue with most signal amplifiers - it may not work for you.
How Does a Cell Phone Signal Booster Work?
A mobile phone signal booster, which has recently been approved by the FCC, relies on an antenna to draw in weak signals surrounding the building or your vehicle. After the antenna collects the signals, it then amplifies said signals before redistributing them inside the vehicle or building. This leads to better cell phone coverage for your mobile phone.
Key Factors in Finding the Best Wireless Signal Booster
According to a Pew Research Center survey held back in August 2012, 72 percent of cell phone owners experienced dropped calls at least occasionally. 32 percent of cell phone owners encountered the problem a few times a week.
Of course, the number could have most certainly improved with time, but the point is dropped calls are no fun. But if you happen to live in an area or at least visit an area where cell phone reception is rather lacking, then you may want to consider one of the best cell phone signal boosters available.
There are a few key factors in determining what you should purchase for your cell phone booster signal:
What service provider is the signal booster compatible with? Does it support all major service providers and their cell phone towers? Or just one provider and its cell phone towers? Honestly, this factor shouldn't matter as long as your service provider is supported.
How large is the coverage area? Does the cell phone antenna booster cover up to 2500 square feet of your home? Or does the cell phone antenna booster cover just 750 square feet? The wider the coverage area, the better - well, unless you're using a booster inside your vehicle.
How tricky is the installation? Does the installation require outdoor and indoor antennas? Does the placement of the outdoor and indoor antennas need to be specific? Is the kit just plug-and-play, meaning that it will run within a few seconds of plugging it in? Is the cabling messy? The installation procedure should be either short, simple, or both.
The pricing of the signal repeater kit is also important. While most kits are hundreds of dollars, some may be far more expensive than others. Before purchasing an expensive kit, it's best to read the critic and consumer reviews.
So what's our methodology for finding the top five signal repeaters?
- We browsed many retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, and more before creating a list of cell phone signal boosters. We also did research on the best brands of signal boosters and compiled the cell phone signal boosters based on our findings.
- We then curtailed several signal boosters by relying on the following factors: coverage area, pricing, and installation difficulty.
- Finally, we dwindled the number of cell phone signal boosters to five after reviewing critic and user reviews of the cell phone boosters.
Overall, you should certainly consider purchasing a cell phone signal booster if you're having difficulties with your coverage, even though the cell phone signal booster can be on the expensive side. No one likes to experience dropped or shoddy phone calls, especially if the phone call is important (e.g. job interview or an important meeting).
You don't have to rely on our top five, but if you do hunt for another cell phone signal booster, then you should be sure to read all of the consumer and critic reviews before purchasing a booster kit.