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Cell Phone Signal Boosters The Ultimate Guide

We rely on our cell phones and mobile devices too much for bad signal to disrupt our day to day life. But what can be done about it?

We have a solution for you:  A cell phone signal booster.

A cell phone signal booster can take a weak existing cell signal, amplify it, and provide you with great cell signal in your home, business or vehicle.

In this guide, we're going to cover everything you need to solve your problem of bad cell signal, once and for all.

Chapter 1: Why You Have Bad Cell Signal

Before we talk about solutions, we need to cover the reasons why you’re experiencing bad cell phone signal.

There are three main causes bad cell phone signal:

We’ll cover each of these in more depth.

Distance from the Cell Tower

Signal Problems - Distance from Tower

Cellular signal is broadcast from towers that are installed by your carrier (AT&T, Verizon, etc.). The closer you are to a tower, the stronger the cell signal is going to be. As you move further away from the tower, the signal becomes weaker, which we call attenuation, until at some point it’s too weak to hold a call or transfer data.

How cell signal attenuates over distance

Being too far away from a cell tower is the most common reason for weak cell signal, and the one you’ll often experience if you live or travel in very rural areas.

Obstacles in the Way

Signal Problems - Obstacles in the Way

The second cause of poor or erratic cell signal is the presence of obstacles between you and the nearest cell tower, like a mountain, hill, or building. You may also experience this cell signal problems if you’re at the bottom of a valley or underground and don’t have line of sight to a nearby tower.

Signal is not usually able to penetrate through large obstacles, so it's not able to reach you. The cell signal may bounce off of other hills or buildings and reach you through reflection, in which case you’ll notice that your signal is weaker and may fluctuate up & down, otherwise you’ll most likely end up with no signal in your location.

Construction Materials

Signal Problems - Construction Materials

That last major cause of cellular signal problems is the construction materials that make up the building or vehicle that you’re in.

Brick, block, concrete, sheet metal and wire mesh construction materials are some well-known and obvious blockers of cell service, but things like energy efficient window coatings, tile or metal roofs, and water fixtures can also cause major signal issues.

If you find that you have a usable cell signal outside of the building or vehicle, but it drops significantly once you step inside, then construction materials are the most likely culprit.

Combinations of Causes

Unfortunately, these causes of bad cell signal frequently work in combination, so you'll find a rural warehouse with weak outside signal and sheet metal walls that completely block the signal from entering the building, or a house in a valley without a clear line of sight to the nearest cell tower, and no other nearby cell towers with which to receive a signal.

When we're looking at solutions to solve your cell phone signal issues, it's good to have an idea of what combination of causes is creating the problem that you're facing, so that the right solution can be put into place.

Chapter 2: How a Cell Phone Signal Booster Can Help

Now that we have an idea of what causes bad cell signal, it's time to look at what we can do to fix it.

First, we'll cover whether cell phone boosters really work, then discuss the basics of how a signal booster works, and finally go into more depth on the two main types of signal boosters:

Lastly, we'll cover how signal strength affects coverage and 2G, 3G and 4G LTE networks.

Do Cell Phone Signal Boosters Work?

One of the biggest questions that we get, apart from "what is a signal booster?" is "do they really work?". This is a fair question, with all of the scammy products that have been released in the past claiming to give you better signal.

Fortunately, you don't have to take our word on whether these solutions work. The FCC and the major cellular carriers have all independently tested every signal booster that is sold on the market today, and have not only approved them for use, but recommend them as a preferred solution for getting better cell signal in your home, office or vehicle.

We'll cover how cell phone signal boosters work in the next section, so you'll see that it's not a magic solution, but rather a combination of high grade cable, antennas and a powerful signal amplifier that receives, boosts and distributes cell signal where you most need it.

Cell Phone Signal Booster Basics

A cell phone signal booster is a system made up of an outside antenna (called a donor antenna), a cell phone signal amplifier, one or more inside antennas, and cable to connect them all together.

The outside antenna receives cellular signal from the nearby cell towers and passes it over a cable to the signal amplifier. The signal amplifier boosts the strength of the signal, and then passes it over another cable to the inside antenna (or multiple antennas), which broadcast the strong cell signal to the area that needs it.

The signal booster also works in reverse, so when a phone call is made or data is used by a mobile device, it passes through the system, is amplified, and then broadcast to the nearby cell towers.

A cell phone signal booster is designed to solve the three main causes of poor cell phone signal in the following ways:

  • Distance from the Cell Tower - The signal booster amplifies the weak outside cell signal, both to and from the nearby cell towers, to compensate for the distance.
  • Obstacles in the Way - An omni outside antenna can receive and broadcast strong cell signal in all directions to maximize the chance that the signal will make it around the obstacles in the way.
  • Construction Materials - The signal booster uses high quality cable to route cell signal around the construction materials that are blocking signal and then distribute it to the areas that need better reception.

As long as you have some usable cell signal outside, a cell phone signal booster should be able to solve your signal problems and provide you with much better service in your home, business or vehicle.

Types Of Cell Phone Signal Boosters

There are two main types of signal boosters:

  • Vehicle signal boosters are designed for use while moving (like while driving in a car) and stopped.
  • Building signal boosters are designed to be used in one location only and provide significantly more boosting and coverage than a vehicle signal booster.

We'll cover both in more depth below.

Vehicle Signal Boosters

Vehicle signal boosters are engineered to be used in a car, truck, RV, or boat, and thus need to be able to handle the constantly changing signal environment outside.

Vehicle signal boosters typically have a small outside antenna, that is usually magnetic for cars and trucks, and permanent for RVs and boats. That antenna is connected by a cable to the vehicle signal amplifier, and then another cable is run to a small inside antenna, to broadcast the boosted signal to the mobile devices.

Cell Phone Signal Booster for Car Diagram

The automatic gain control (or ability to adjust the boosting power of the amplifier) is designed to constantly adjust the strength of the amplifier based on the changing outside cell signal and maximize the amount of coverage that the booster can provide inside of the vehicle.

Multi-carrier vehicle signal boosters are limited to a maximum of 50 decibels of boosting power by the FCC, so the size of the coverage area that you'll receive from a vehicle signal booster is going to be much smaller than you would receive from a booster designed for a building, but every carrier will be boosted simultaneously.

Single-carrier vehicle signal boosters have a higher limit of 65 decibels of boosting power, so you'll receive a larger coverage area inside, but will only work with the carrier that the equipment was designed for.

There is a class of vehicle signal boosters that are designed to boost the signal for a single mobile device at a time. They are lower powered and also lower cost, so they'll work well for situations where only you need your phone boosted and you have occasional dead zones outside, but are not going to be the best solution for extremely rural areas or if you need to boost multiple devices.

A vehicle signal booster can make a huge difference in keeping you connected while traveling in areas with dead spots or weak cell signal, so if you spend any amount of time in a car, truck, RV or boat, and need fast data and voice calls, then a vehicle signal booster is going to be a great option.

We'll cover how to choose the best vehicle signal booster below.

Building Signal Boosters

Signal boosters for use in buildings, like a home or business, are designed to be permanently installed in one location and provide coverage to the inside area of the building.

A building signal booster works by mounting a powerful antenna outside on the roof of the building that receives the existing outside cell signal, and then passes it over a low loss cable to a signal amplifier located inside of the building. The signal amplifier will boost the existing cell signal, and then pass it over a cable to one, or many, internal antennas that will broadcast the boosted signal to the inside area that needs the coverage.

Cell Phone Signal Booster for Home or Office Diagram

The booster also works in reverse, receiving the signal coming from your phone, amplifying it, and then broadcast it to the nearby cell towers through the outside antenna.

There are a different levels of building boosters, from entry level units that cover a few feet of space, to enterprise systems designed to cover vast areas with better cell phone signal. As you move up from the entry level to enterprise, the boosting power of the amplifier goes up and the quality of the components (cables, antennas, connectors) improves.

The boosting power of a building signal booster can range from around 55 decibels for entry level boosters, all the way up to the FCC maximum of 72 decibels for amplifiers designed to boost multiple carriers in a large building. If the amplifier is designed to only boost a single carrier, then the FCC allows the maximum amplifier gain to be 100 decibels.

If you find that one signal booster kit cannot provide the necessary coverage for a large space, then multiple amplifiers and a network of antennas can be used to scale up the system and cover areas of 500,000 sq ft or more in size.

We'll cover how to choose the best signal booster for your home or business below.

Signal Strength & Coverage

The most important thing to understand with cell phone signal boosters is that the strength of the outside signal has a major impact on how much coverage you're going to receive from a booster.

If you have a weak existing outside signal, you're only going to receive a small amount of coverage from a signal booster, since the booster does not have much existing signal to actually boost. If the outside signal becomes stronger, then the size of the coverage area inside of the home, business or vehicle would also grow.

If the outside cell signal remained at the same weak level, then the next best way to provide more coverage inside would be to purchase a signal booster with a more powerful amplifier.

If you're already at the maximum boosting power that the FCC allows, then the only option would be to install a second signal booster system.

For this reason, it's very important to know what your existing outside cell signal is, since that will determine what size booster you should purchase to adequately cover your inside area with boosted signal, or whether you need to install multiple systems.

2G, 3G and 4G LTE

You've probably heard the terms 2G, 3G and 4G LTE mentioned before and wonder how those fit in when improving your cell phone signal.

  • 2G was the second generation of cellular technology and was used for allowing people to make and receive voice calls using their cell phone, as well as send text (SMS) and picture (MMS) messages. 2G is in the process of being decommissioned and the frequency bands repurposed for new technologies, like 4G LTE and 5G in the future.
  • 3G was the next generation of cellular networks and allowed data to be sent over the cellular networks, in addition to voice calls and text/picture messages.
  • 4G LTE is the newest generation of cellular technology and is characterized by significantly faster data rates, as well as allowing voice calls to be sent over the data network, called VoLTE. All cell phones and mobile devices sold in the past few years support 4G LTE and prioritize this network for calls and data.
  • 5G is currently in development, but we won't see any widespread deployment for another couple of years. It will be characterized by significantly faster data rates than 4G LTE.

Even if you are only interested in boosting voice calls and not fast data, we still recommend that you purchase a signal booster that amplifies 4G LTE. With all modern phones supporting and prioritizing 4G LTE, getting a 4G LTE capable booster is the best way to future-proof yourself and ensure that your booster will continue to work even as the carriers decommission their older 2G and 3G networks. Every signal booster that supports 4G LTE should also support the 2G and 3G networks, so you've covered all of your bases.

 

Chapter 3: The Best Signal Boosters for Every Situation

Now that you know the basics about cell phone signal boosters, it's time to figure out which signal booster is right for your situation.

We've taken decades of signal booster experience and distilled it down to the best solution for every situation. Get started finding your solution:

Best Vehicle Signal Boosters

If you're looking for better signal on your daily commute, while exploring the country in your RV, or during your day on the lake, then we have a signal booster for you. Below you'll find our recommended signal booster solutions for every situation you may encounter in your car, truck, RV, or boat. We also have a solution if you only want to boost signal for a single phone at a time.

Best for Cars & Trucks

Best for Cars & Trucks

If you need a solution that can handle any type of outside cell signal and give you miles of extra distance from the nearest cell tower, then the SureCall Fusion2Go 3.0 is going to be the best signal booster for your car or truck.

It has the maximum boosting power allowed by the FCC for a multi-carrier mobile signal booster, supports all of the major networks & carriers, and can provide boosted signal to multiple people in your vehicle.

How to Install the Fusion2Go 3.0

The installation for the SureCall Fusion2Go 3.0 is very easy and can be completed in just a few minutes. Here is the process:

  1. The kit comes with a 4 inch magnetic mount antenna for the roof of the vehicle. You should place this on the roof, away from your sunroof, if you have one, and then run the attached cable through the molding of one of your car doors, and connect it to the outside antenna port of the amplifier.
  2. The amplifier can be located under one of the seats, as long as it can be reached by the power cable and both antenna cables.
  3. Attach the inside antenna cable to the inside antenna port on the amplifier, and then run the cable to the front of the vehicle. The inside antenna broadcasts in all directions, so it can be mounted to the dashboard using the attached vent clip or to the side of the one of the front seats.
  4. Finally, plug in the power supply to the amplifier and your cigarette lighter, and you should start to receive boosted signal right away.

Take a look at the SureCall Fusion2Go 3.0 product page for more information about the kit and installation.

Best for RVs

Best for RVs & Large Vehicles

If you're traveling in an RV, then you're most likely going to be spending a lot of time far away from cell towers, both while you're on the road and parked at your final destination. Unfortunately, this also means that you'll be frequently dealing with poor reception and weak cell signal.

With the SureCall Fusion2Go 3.0 Extreme RV kit you'll be able to be miles further from your carrier's cell tower and still be able to make voice calls and have fast data. It has the strongest mobile amplifier on the market, boosts all networks and carriers in North America simultaneously, and is the perfect addition to your RV.

How to Install the Fusion2Go 3.0 Extreme RV

The installation for the SureCall Fusion2Go 3.0 Extreme RV kit is fairly straightforward, with running the antenna cable from the outside to inside being the most difficult part. While every RV is slightly different, here is the general installation overview for the Fusion2Go 3.0 RV kit:

  1. The kit comes with a small omnidirectional outside antenna and mounting hardware to afix it to a vertical pole. Ideally, you would attach the antenna to the ladder at the back of the RV (if you have one). Otherwise, you may have to be creative with attaching the outside antenna to the roof of the RV. As long the antenna is not obstructed in a 360 degree view, then you should be ok.
  2. Run the included cable from the antenna into the RV. You may need to drill a hole at this step, in case there isn't an existing opening to take advantage of. Run the cable to the location where you frequently use your mobile devices and mount the amplifier, and then connect the cable to the outside antenna port.
  3. Mount the amplifier and then attach the included whip antenna to the inside antenna port of the amplifier.
  4. The kit comes with both AC and DC power supplies, so choose the one that makes sense for your installation, then plug it in to the amplifier and power source. The system should power up and immediately start providing you with boosted signal.

Take a look at the SureCall Fusion2Go 3.0 Extreme RV product page for more information about the kit and installation.

Best for Boats

Best for Boats & Marine Craft

Any time you're away from land, the cell signal is going to suffer. If you want to extend your voice calls and fast data as far as possible from the shore, then the Drive 4G-X Extreme Marine kit is going to be the signal booster for you.

The Drive 4G-X Extreme Marine kit has the maximum boosting power allowed by the FCC, so you can be miles further from shore than normal and still receive good cell signal. It supports all of the major networks & carriers, comes with marine grade components, and the installation requires minimal effort.

How to Install the Drive 4G-X Extreme Marine

The installation for the weBoost Drive 4G-X Extreme Marine kit is fairly easy, with the most difficult part being the mounting of the marine antenna and running the attached cable to the inside of the cabin. While every boat is different, here are the general instructions for installing the Drive 4G-X Extreme Marine:

  1. The kit comes with a marine grade external antenna and marine mount, which you'll want to mount up as high as possible on the boat. If you have a sailboat, then this would be on the top of the mast. Then run the included 20ft white cable from the marine antenna into the cabin of the boat, to the location where you plan to mount the amplifier.
  2. Connect the outside antenna cable to the outside antenna port on the amplifier, and mount the amplifier in a location that is out of the way and near a power source. Then connect the included 20 ft black cable to the inside antenna port, and run to the location in the cabin where you need better cell signal.
  3. Attach the white panel antenna and mount the antenna with the front pointing towards the area that needs better signal.
  4. Finally, plug in the power supply to the amplifier and your cigarette lighter, and you should start to receive boosted signal from the inside antenna right away.

Take a look at the Drive 4G-X Extreme Marine product page for more information about the kit and installation.

Best for Single Device Use

Best for Single Device Use

If you need a signal booster that will work for only one mobile device at a time while you're in your vehicle, and you're ok with the device sitting in a cradle while it's receiving boosted signal, then the weBoost 470135 Drive Sleek Cradle Signal Booster is going to be the best and most economical option for you.

The weBoost Drive Sleek has been designed to be able to accommodate any size phone and will provide boosted signal directly to the antenna located in the back of the mobile device. The booster supports all carriers and networks in North America, installs in just minutes, and looks great in your vehicle.

You'll need to use a bluetooth headset or speaker phone while making calls, as the device must stay in the cradle at all times to receive boosted signal.

How to Install the Drive Sleek

The weBoost Drive Sleek is one of the easiest mobile signal boosters to install. It only takes a few minutes to be up and running with boosted signal. Here is the installation process:

  1. Start the installation by placing the magnet mount antenna on the roof of the vehicle, towards the back of the vehicle and away from any sunroof. Run the attached cable through the molding of one of the doors or trunk, to a location under one of the seats where you plan to locate the signal amplifier.
  2. Connect the signal amplifier and then the cable attached to the cradle inside antenna, and run to the front of the vehicle.
  3. Attach the cradle to the dashboard of the vehicle using the magnetic vent clip and place your phone or mobile device in the cradle.
  4. Finally, connect the power supply cable to the amplifier and then plug the DC adapter into your cigarette lighter, and you should start to receive boosted signal to the phone in the cradle right away.

Take a look at the weBoost Drive Sleek product page for more information about the kit and installation.

Best Signal Boosters for Home

The term "home" can mean a lot of different things to different people, from an apartment to a mansion, or a condo to a cottage. No matter what your definition is, we have a solution that will allow you to have better signal in your home.

Get started with our recommended solutions for single rooms, small to midsize homes, and large homes.

Best for Single Rooms

  • SureCall Flare Signal Booster Kit - Voice, 3G & 4G LTE

    $299.99
    3G | 4G LTE All Carriers

    Estimated Coverage

    • Up to 2,500 sq ft with 5 bars of outside signal
    • Up to 1,500 sq ft with 3-4 bars of outside signal
    • Up to 250 sq ft with 1-2 bars of outside signal

    Why Buy

    • Best for large or multiple rooms where you can mount an antenna outside on the roof.
    Bestselling Signal Booster for Homes - Small Spaces
    View Details

Best for Single Rooms

If you need to boost signal in a single room or a small space, like a home office, studio apartment, or living room, then the SureCall Flare Signal Booster is going to be the best solution for you. It's one of our most economical signal boosters, supports all networks and major carriers in North America, and is fairly easy to install on your own.

How to Install the SureCall Flare

The most difficult part of installing the SureCall Flare is running the cable from the roof into the home. If you're able to do that, then the rest of the installation should be fairly straightforward.

  1. Climb up on the roof of the house, and walk around (if possible) with your phone to determine the side that has the strongest signal. This will be the side of the roof to install the outside omni antenna on.
  2. The omni antenna can be mounted either to a vertical flat surface, like the peak of the roof of the house, or to a vertical pole. Mount the antenna whichever way works best for you, then attach the included RG6 cable and run into the house through an existing penetration, or you may need to drill a hole at this step.
  3. Run the cable to the location in the house that needs better cell signal and attach the signal booster unit, then place on a desk or table in the center of the space that needs better signal.
  4. Connect the power supply to the signal booster and then plug into an AC outlet to start the system and begin boosting signal.

Take a look at the SureCall Flare product page for more information about the kit and installation.

Best for Midsize Homes

  • weBoost 470103 Connect 4G Signal Booster Kit

    $549.99
    3G | 4G LTE All Carriers

    Estimated Coverage

    • Up to 5,000 sq ft with 5 bars of outside signal
    • Up to 3,000 sq ft with 3-4 bars of outside signal
    • Up to 1,000 sq ft with 1-2 bars of outside signal

    Why Buy

    • The bestselling midsize system.
    Bestselling Signal Booster for Small to Midsize Homes
    View Details

Best for Small to Midsize Homes

If you have a small to midsize home, cottage, cabin, etc. and need to cover the inside with boosted signal, then our #1 bestselling signal booster, the weBoost 470103 Connect 4G is going to be the best option for you. It comes with a powerful yagi outside antenna, is a step up in power from our entry level line of boosters, and will boost all networks and all carrier in North America.

The weBoost Connect 4G is a great balance of boosting power and cost, and should be a good option for you if you have a smaller house (up to 1,000 sq ft) with any strength signal outside, or midsize home (up to 2,500 sq ft), with a medium to strong existing outside cell signal.

If you have a weak outside cell signal or a larger home, then we recommend you choose our bestseller for large homes.

How to Install the Connect 4G

The weBoost Connect 4G installation does require you to climb up onto the roof of the house and mount an antenna on a vertical pole, and then run a cable into the house. If you're comfortable doing that, then you should be able to install the Connect 4G. If you're not comfortable with that level of installation, then we recommend you hire an electrician, general contractor or cable repair person to complete the installation for you.

Here is the best way to install the weBoost Connect 4G for maximum performance:

  1. Start by walking around the house and taking a signal reading on each side to determine what side has the strongest signal. You'll want to install the outside antenna on the side of the roof where you have the strongest signal.
  2. Next, climb up on the roof, and mount the yagi directional antenna on a vertical pole as high up on the roof as possible, ideally on the side of the house where you took the strongest signal reading.
  3. Once the antenna is mounted, connect the included RG6 cable and run into the house through a soffit or existing entrance. You may need to drill a hole or you can use the included flat cable to run the cable under a closed window.
  4. If you have an attic, we recommend locating the rest of the equipment in there. Run the cable from the outside antenna into the attic and connect it to the "outside antenna" port on the amplifier, then connect another RG6 cable to the "inside antenna" port on the amplifier and run to the center of the attic.
  5. Connect the included panel antenna and lay it face down on the floor of the attic, so that it's broadcasting boosted signal through the floor and into the living space below. If there is a specific area in the house that you want to make sure receives good signal, then try to locate the panel antenna above that space.
  6. Plug the power supply into the amplifier and then into an AC outlet to power up the amplifier and start boosting signal.
  7. Please Note: The yagi antenna on the roof may need to be adjusted so that it is aimed towards the cell tower for your carrier. Please follow our instructions for aiming a directional antenna to fine tune your antenna direction.

Take a look at the weBoost Connect 4G product page for more information about the kit and installation.

Best for Large Homes

  • Wilson 465134 Pro 70 for Voice, 3G & 4G LTE

    $1,099.99
    3G | 4G LTE All Carriers

    Estimated Coverage

    • Up to 7,500 sq ft with 5 bars of outside signal
    • Up to 4,000 sq ft with 3-4 bars of outside signal
    • Up to 2,000 sq ft with 1-2 bars of outside signal

    Why Buy

    • Great performance and easy troubleshooting.
    • Bonus: Includes 3-year manufacturer's warranty, lighting protector, and LCD display for easy installation
    Bestselling Signal Booster
    View Details

Best for Large Homes

If you have a large home or a space to fill with boosted signal, then you need the Wilson 465134 Pro 70 signal booster, which has the FCC maximum allowed boosting power, the highest quality components, and the built in tools you need to maximize your boosted signal.

The Wilson Pro 70 boosts all networks on all carriers, and can take a weak outside signal and amplify up to a level that can cover around 2,000 sq ft inside of your home. If your outside signal is stronger, then that coverage area will be even bigger. It has a built in LCD display to show you what your signal booster is doing and allow for easy tweaking and troubleshooting, if necessary, and an industry best 3 year manufacturers warranty.

Finally, it includes a lightning protector so your amplifier is safe from electricity surges running down the outside antenna cable and frying the booster.

How to Install the Wilson Pro 70

The Wilson Pro 70 is going to be the most difficult of our signal booster for home because it has the most shielded cables included in the kit. The more shielding a cable has, the less flexible it is, so it makes running this cable a bit more difficult than your standard RG6 cable. If you're able to mount an antenna on the roof and run the low loss cable, then you should be able to install the Pro 70.

Apart from the more shielded cable, the installation for the Pro 70 is the same as the Connect 4G:

  1. Start by walking around the outside of the house and take signal readings on a phone that is from the carrier you want to boost. Determine what side of the house receives the strongest cell signal, and then mount the external antenna on that side of the roof of the house.
  2. The included yagi directional antenna must be aimed away from the house, so temporarily point it in that direction, and then connect either the 60 or 75 ft cable to the outside antenna. If you can make the run from the outside antenna into the house with the shorter cable length, then use the 60 ft, otherwise use the 75 ft.
  3. Once inside of the house, connect the cable to the included lightning protector, then connect the jumper cable, and finally connect it to "outside antenna" port on the blue amplifier and then connect the other cable to the "inside antenna" port. If the house has an attic, we typically recommend locating the amplifier and inside antenna there, otherwise try to find a location in the house that the amplifier will be out of the way and has power.
  4. Run the cable to the location where you plan to mount the inside antenna, either the center of the attic or the ceiling of the upper floor of the house, mount the antenna, and then connect the antenna cable.
  5. Connect the power supply to the amplifier and then plug it in to a standard wall outlet to start amplifier and begin boosting signal.
  6. Please Note: The yagi antenna on the roof may need to be adjusted so that it is aimed towards the cell tower for your carrier. Please follow our instructions for aiming a directional antenna to fine tune your antenna direction.

Take a look at the Wilson Pro 70 product page for more information about the kit and installation.

Best Signal Boosters for Business

In this day and age, it is a requirement that businesses have good cell phone signal for its employees and customers. Our professional level signal boosters are designed to provide maximum coverage and handle a large number of simultaneous users for consistent, reliable signal.

While our standard signal kits should be sufficient for smaller businesses, if you have a large or uniquely shaped space, you may need a custom system designed and installed by our team of experts to ensure complete coverage and maximum performance.

Get started with our recommended solutions for small spaces, midsize spaces, or large spaces in your business, or take a look at our M2M solution for your internet enabled devices.

Best for Small Spaces

  • weBoost 470103 Connect 4G Signal Booster Kit

    $549.99
    3G | 4G LTE All Carriers

    Estimated Coverage

    • Up to 5,000 sq ft with 5 bars of outside signal
    • Up to 3,000 sq ft with 3-4 bars of outside signal
    • Up to 1,000 sq ft with 1-2 bars of outside signal

    Why Buy

    • The bestselling midsize system.
    Bestselling Signal Booster for Small to Midsize Homes
    View Details

Best for Small Spaces

For businesses that only take up a small space, but need quality signal throughout, the weBoost 470103 Connect 4G is going to be a great balance of boosting and affordability. It can provide boosted signal between a few hundred to a few thousand sq ft, depending on the outside signal, and supports all networks on all major carriers simultaneously.

As long as you're able to mount an antenna outside of the building that the business is in, and run a cable inside, then the Connect 4G will be able to boost it and broadcast the quality signal throughout the space that needs it.

How to Install the weBoost Connect 4G

The weBoost Connect 4G is fairly easy to install, as long as you're able to mount an antenna outside, ideally on the roof, and run a cable into the building. While every business is different, we'll run through the installation from a high level, so you can determine if the Connect 4G will work for you.

  1. The installation of the Connect 4G starts with mounting the included yagi directional antenna outside of the building, ideally as high up as possible, such as on the roof. Before mounting the antenna, walk around the outside of the building in the areas where you have the opportunity to mount the antenna with a phone from the same carrier as the one you're trying to boost, and determine where the best signal is. Once you've located the best signal, mount the antenna on a vertical pole in that location, as high up as possible.
  2. Attach the included RG6 cable, and run into the building through an existing wall or roof penetration. If that does not exist, then you can use the included flat cable to run the cable under a closed window. Run the cable to the location inside where you plan to locate the amplifier.
  3. Connect the cable to the "outside antenna" port of the amplifier, then attach the other cable to the "inside antenna" port, and run to the location where you plan to mount the inside panel antenna.
  4. The panel antenna can be located either on the ceiling in the center of the space that needs better signal (preferred), or on the wall facing across the space that needs better signal. Mount the panel antenna in the desired location and then connect the cable.
  5. Plug the included power supply into the amplifier and then plug it into a wall outlet to power on the unit and start boosting signal.
  6. Please Note: The outside yagi antenna may need to be adjusted so that it is aimed towards the cell tower for your carrier. Please follow our instructions for aiming a directional antenna to fine tune your antenna direction.

Take a look at the weBoost Connect 4G product page for more information about the kit and installation.

Best for Midsize Spaces

  • SureCall Fusion5X 2.0 Signal Booster for Voice, 3G & 4G LTE

    $1,399.00
    3G | 4G LTE All Carriers

    Estimated Coverage

    • Up to 25,000+ sq ft with 5 bars of outside signal
    • Up to 15,000 sq ft with 3-4 bars of outside signal
    • Up to 3,000 sq ft with 1-2 bars of outside signal

    Why Buy

    • Designed to handle any signal environment and give you the most signal possible inside your home or business.
    Recommended Signal Booster

Best for Midsize Spaces

Since every business is unique, it can be difficult to recommend a single product to cover as many scenarios as possible, but the SureCall Fusion5X 2.0 signal booster kit is as close as we can get to doing just that. The Fusion5X 2.0 is designed to boost all networks from all carriers simultaneously and can handle every possible outside signal environment, from very weak to very strong signal, and provide the maximum boosting possible. It also comes with a choice of inside and outside antenna types, so you can customize the kit to your specific situation.

The SureCall Fusion5X 2.0 is the best signal booster kit for any business that does not need a professionally designed and installed passive DAS system. You can install the Fusion5X 2.0 yourself, or our team of signal experts can work with you to design a custom solution for free. Contact us for more information on that.

How to Install the SureCall Fusion5X 2.0

The SureCall Fusion5X 2.0 allows you to choose the type of outside and inside antennas for maximum customizability for your situation. Every situation is different, especially for midsize businesses, so we'll cover the installation from a high level, and then feel free to contact us to discuss your situation in more depth and receive assistance on antenna placements and additional customization for maximum performance.

  1. The SureCall Fusion5X 2.0 comes with either an omni or yagi directional outside antenna. Start the installation by mounting your chosen antenna type as high up on the building as possible, in the location where you receive the strongest cell signal for the carrier that you're trying to boost. Connect the included 400 series cable and run into the building to the location where you plan to mount the Fusion5X 2.0 amplifier.
  2. If you have a lightning protector, connect it to the cable, then connect the jumper cable to the "outside antenna" port of the Fusion5X 2.0 amplifier, otherwise just connect the outside antenna cable to amplifier. Then connect the other cable to the "inside antenna" port and run to the location where you plan to mount the inside antenna.
  3. If you're using a dome inside antenna, then mount the antenna to a drop or suspended ceiling in the center of the space that needs better signal, or if you're using a panel antenna, mount it to either the ceiling or a wall in the center of the area that needs better signal. Once the antenna is mounted, connect the cable from the amplifier to the antenna.
  4. If you're using multiple inside antennas, then you'll want to run the cable from the amplifier to a splitter, and from each port on the splitter run cables to each antenna location, then mount as previously described.
  5. Finally, plug the included power supply into the amplifier and then into a standard wall outlet to start the amplifier and begin boosting signal.
  6. Please Note: If you're using the outside yagi antenna, it may need to be adjusted so that it is aimed towards the cell tower for your carrier. Please follow our instructions for aiming a directional antenna to fine tune your antenna direction.

Take a look at the SureCall Fusion5X 2.0 product page for more information about the kit and installation.

Best for Large Spaces

  • SureCall Force5 2.0 Enterprise Signal Booster for Voice, 3G & 4G LTE

    $3,510.00
    3G | 4G LTE All Carriers

    Estimated Coverage

    • Up to 25,000 sq ft with 5 bars of outside signal
    • Up to 12,000 sq ft with 3-4 bars of outside signal
    • Up to 3,000 sq ft with 1-2 bars of outside signal

    Why Buy

    • The new and improved version of the original 5-Band amplifier.
    • Features stronger downlink, SureCall IQ gain technology and remote monitoring.
    Bestselling Signal Booster

Best for Large Spaces

Unlike smaller spaces, large spaces, like manufacturing plants, hospitals, warehouses, hotels and apartment buildings, typically require a full site analysis, custom system design and professional installation. The custom system is built around one or many enterprise level amplifiers, like the SureCall Force5 2.0, WilsonPro 1000, or the WilsonPro 4000 and use a network of high performance components, cables and antennas to distribute the amplified signal evenly throughout the space.

The SureCall Force5 2.0 is designed to adapt to any outside signal environment, from extremely strong outside cell signal all the way down to very weak, and can handle as many simultaneous users as the nearby cell towers can. Depending on the outside signal, multiple SureCall Force5 amplifiers can be used throughout the facility to amplify and provide the necessary coverage in the most efficient manner possible.

About Professional Design and Installation

While most of our signal booster kits are designed to be able to be installed by someone how is fairly handy and provide boosted signal for small to medium size spaces, at some point, the size and complexity of the situation will be too much for a single booster kit with pre-terminated cables to handle.

At that point, a custom system must be designed to take the existing outside cell signal, adequately amplify it with one or many enterprise amplifiers, and then distribute that signal evenly throughout a network of internal antennas, ensuring that coverage is sufficient throughout the space.

In order to design such a system, a lot of information is required, including:

  • The existing outside signal strength and quality for all of the major cellular carriers
  • Floorplans or diagram of the building
  • Visual inspection of the existing cable runs, penetrations, and construction materials throughout the space that requires signal
  • Building regulations and applicable codes
  • Geographic or man-made obstructions in the surrounding area

This information is used to model and design out a system that will provide the necessary coverage throughout the required space.

Once the design has received signoff, the installation can be performed by our team of highly qualified signal specialists, or the components and cabling can be installed by an in-house crew, and our team can tune and balance the amplifiers for maximum performance after the installation.

Take a look at our professional design and installation services for more information or to get started.

Best for M2M

Best for Machine to Machine (M2M)

With the increasing popularity of the Internet of Things, cellular connectivity for data to each device is becoming much more important. In order to serve that need, we have a whole class of signal boosters, called Machine to Machine (M2M), that are designed specifically to provide boosted signal directly to the antenna port of the any cellular enabled machine, such as ATMs, vending machines, security equipment, remote gate openers, and more. If you need better, more consistent data to a cellular enabled device, then the Wilson Signal 4G is going to be the best option for you.

The Wilson Signal 4G will boost the 2G, 3G and 4G LTE networks for all of the major carriers in North America, so will work with any device. The Signal 4G sets up in minutes and provides a reliable data connection to devices that are currently experiencing interrupted or inconsistent cell service.

How to Install the Wilson Signal 4G

The Wilson Signal 4G Direct Connect signal booster is very easy to install and should only take a couple of minutes for anyone to set up.

  1. The Signal 4G comes with a small, magnet mount antenna that you should locate on the top of the device, on a metal surface for the antenna to stick to. Run the attached cable to the location on the device where you plan to locate the M2M amplifier.
  2. Connect the cable to the "outside antenna" port on the M2M amplifier, and then connect the included jumper cable to the other port, then run to the antenna port of the device that needs better signal.
  3. Connect the jumper cable using the SMA-Male connector to the antenna port of the device. You may need to unscrew and remove the existing antenna in order to do this. The Signal 4G will now act as the antenna for the device.
  4. Finally, connect the power supply to the amplifier, and then either plug it in to a standard wall outlet, or hardwire to the device, depending on what power supply you purchased. The amplifier should immediately start supplying quality signal to the device.

Take a look at the Wilson Signal 4G product page for more information about the kit and installation.

Best Signal Boosters for Rural Areas

Rural areas frequently have cellular signal problems due to distance from the tower, terrain (mountains, hills, valleys), and obstructions, like trees & leaves, so a strong cell phone signal booster is necessary to take the weak signal you'll find outside and boost it to a usable level.

In addition, it is often necessary to make long outside cable runs in order to place the outside donor antenna as high up on the roof or mast as possible, so ultra-low loss cable is needed to ensure that minimal signal is lost on the way to the amplifier.

The following signal booster solutions are ideal choices for anyone who lives or frequents rural areas and experience weak outside signal. They'll create the largest possible coverage area inside of your home, office or other type of building, so you have reliable cell signal, no dropped calls, consistent text messaging, and fast data speeds.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or to discuss your situation in more depth and have one of our signal experts help you determine the best solution for your needs.

  • Wilson 465134 Pro 70 for Voice, 3G & 4G LTE

    $1,099.99
    3G | 4G LTE All Carriers

    Estimated Coverage

    • Up to 7,500 sq ft with 5 bars of outside signal
    • Up to 4,000 sq ft with 3-4 bars of outside signal
    • Up to 2,000 sq ft with 1-2 bars of outside signal

    Why Buy

    • Great performance and easy troubleshooting.
    • Bonus: Includes 3-year manufacturer's warranty, lighting protector, and LCD display for easy installation
    Bestselling Signal Booster
    View Details
  • SureCall Fusion5s 72dB Yagi Signal Booster Kit

    $850.00
    3G | 4G LTE All Carriers

    Estimated Coverage

    • Up to 7,500 sq ft with 5 bars of outside signal
    • Up to 4,000 sq ft with 3-4 bars of outside signal
    • Up to 2,000 sq ft with 1-2 bars of outside signal

    Why Buy

    • Best for areas where you don't need long cables and have a weak to medium outside signal.
    Bestselling Signal Booster for Homes
  • Cel-Fi GO X Smart Signal Booster System

    3G | 4G LTE One Carrier

    Estimated Coverage

    • Up to 15,000 sq ft with 5 bars of outside signal
    • Up to 10,000 sq ft with 3-4 bars of outside signal
    • Up to 5,000 sq ft with 1-2 bars of outside signal

    Why Buy

    • Most powerful single carrier (either Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile) booster on the market.
    • Can be configured for either stationary or mobile use.
  • SureCall Fusion5X 2.0 Signal Booster for Voice, 3G & 4G LTE

    $1,399.00
    3G | 4G LTE All Carriers

    Estimated Coverage

    • Up to 25,000+ sq ft with 5 bars of outside signal
    • Up to 15,000 sq ft with 3-4 bars of outside signal
    • Up to 3,000 sq ft with 1-2 bars of outside signal

    Why Buy

    • Designed to handle any signal environment and give you the most signal possible inside your home or business.
    Recommended Signal Booster

Chapter 4: Accessories That You Should Consider

While every booster kit includes everything that you need to get started boosting signal, there are some accessories that can improve the effectiveness of your system or provide added protection against failure.

In this chapter, we'll review the accessories that we recommend you take a look at, including:

Lightning Protectors

After purchasing a high quality signal booster system, the last thing you want is anything to happen to the amplifier. This is where a lightning protector comes in.

Contrary to its name, a lightning protector (also known as a lightning surge suppressor or arrester) does not protect specifically against a lightning strike, as that would physically destroy the building that the amplifier is in, but rather it prevents against the build up of static electricity in the air caused by storms or other atmospheric conditions that can travel down the antenna cable and electrify the amplifier.

The lightning protector prevents this by connecting directly to the outside antenna cable between the outside antenna and the amplifier. The protector acts as a fuse, so if there is too much current running down the line, the fuse will blow and prevent the surge from reaching the amplifier.

If your building signal booster did not come with a lightning protector, we highly recommend that you purchase one to protect your amplifier. Electrical surges are not covered under any manufacturers equipment warranty, so it's worth the investment to protect your signal booster.

Cables

Cables are an important part of any signal booster system, as the quality and length of each cable determines how much signal will be lost between the amplifier and the antenna(s). The less signal you lose in transit, the larger the inside coverage area will be, so it's good to understand the types of cable available.

Quality and Length

In theory, you would want to use the lowest loss cable possible, but there are tradeoffs to consider.

The lower the loss of the cable, the larger it is in diameter with extra insulation and shielding, making it less flexible and harder to work with. Extremely low loss cable can be as thick as a garden hose and very difficult to run in anything but a straight line. In addition, the lower loss the cable, the more expensive it is, so long cable runs can dramatically increase the cost of a system.

Each cable type will lose a certain amount of signal over a distance, with lower loss cable obviously losing less signal. Depending on how much signal you have to begin with, a long cable run can result in all of your signal being lost, with none left when you get to the end of the cable.

It's important then to use the shortest length cable possible, and use the highest grade (lowest loss) cable that you can afford and that you're able to run from the amplifier to the antenna(s).

Types of Cables

There are a few different types of cables that are used with signal booster systems. We'll cover them in depth below:

  • RG174: This is the cable type that comes attached to the magnetic mount antennas included in the vehicle kits. It is the most flexible, so it can be run through a closed car door, but that also means it has the most signal loss of all of the cables we'll cover. The length for this type of cable is typically limited to about 10 ft to ensure minimal signal loss.
  • RG58: This cable has less signal loss than RG174, but is still fairly flexible. RG58 is usually limited to about 20 ft in length and is used in situations where a short but flexible cable is needed, such cable runs in an RV or boat.
  • RG6: This is the standard coax cable that you get with cable TV. RG6 is low loss and flexible enough to run throughout a house or small business, with cable lengths kept to a maximum of 50ft.
  • RG11: This is the lower loss, more shielded cousin of RG6. It can be used for longer cable runs than 50 ft, or for less loss during shorter cable runs. RG11 is less flexible than RG6, so it's a bit more difficult to install.
  • LMR400: This is the ultra low loss cable included with our large building signal booster kits. LMR400 is very shielded, so it is challenging to run the cable during an installation, but the cable runs can be up to 100ft in length.
  • LMR600 and above: This and any higher grade cable types have even more shielding than LMR400 and are used in professional installations for either very long cable runs or to prevent as much signal loss as possible for maximum coverage. This cable is typically sold in rolls and a cable expert uses special tools to terminate the desired cable length. You will typically find this cable our commercial installations.
  • Plenum: This is a special type of cable that is required in plenum spaces in buildings in the United States by the National Fire Protection Association for fire safety. It is available in different grades of cable.

The cables that are included in the signal booster that you purchase will usually be sufficient for your situation, but if you have a unique floor plan, very large area, or require professional installation, then it may be worth taking a look at other cable options.

Antennas

The performance, gain and distribution pattern of your antennas can greatly affect the performance of your booster system. We'll cover the different building antenna and mobile antenna options available, and discuss the pros and cons of each.

Building Antennas

Building antennas are designed to be permanently mounted in one location and handle a signal environment that is fairly consistent (unlike mobile antennas that are constantly in motion). These antennas are typically larger and more powerful than their mobile equivalents.

While most signal booster kits come with a single inside antenna, in many cases adding an additional antenna(s) can help to increase the inside coverage area, or to craft the way that the signal is distributed in uniquely shaped areas. If you have a medium to strong outside signal and aren't getting full coverage throughout your space, then you an additional antenna could be a good option for you. Please note: adding an additional antenna also requires a splitter or tapper and additional cable, so please feel free to contact us for assistance selecting the right components.

We'll cover the different types of antennas for both outside and inside the building.

Building Outside Antenna Options

There are two main types of outside antennas for buildings: omnidirectional and yagi directional:

  • Omni Antenna Omnidirectional (Omni) Antenna: This type of antenna is designed to send and receive in all directions simultaneously, so cell towers from different carriers can be in opposite directions and the booster will still be able to communicate with them. An omni antenna is a great option for situations where you have a medium to strong outside signal and need to boost multiple carriers at the same time, or if you have fluctuating outside signal due to the signal bouncing off other objects and need to be able to receive the signal from any direction. The downside of an omni antenna is that it is not as strong as a yagi directional antenna, because it's sending in all directions, and not focused on one direction.
  • Yagi Directional Antenna Yagi Directional Antenna: This type of antenna is designed to send and receive in one direction, so it is ideal for targeting distant cell towers in weak signal areas. If you have a weak outside signal and need too boost one carrier, or multiple carriers with towers in the same general direction, then a yagi antenna is a great option. They are not recommended if you have a fluctuating outside signal, as the bouncing signal will not be received by the yagi antenna if it's not coming from the direction in which it is aimed.
Building Inside Antenna Options

There are three types of inside antennas for buildings: dome, panel and whip:

  • Yagi Directional Antenna Dome Antenna: This type of antenna is designed to be mounted to a drop ceiling tile or a location where you can run a cable to the back of the antenna, and broadcast signal in all directions on the same floor. Dome antennas typically should not be mounted higher than 15 ft above though floor, though some dome designs may allow for up to 20 ft. Domes are most often used in professional installations.
  • Yagi Directional Antenna Panel Antenna: This type of antenna is shaped like a square and is directional, with the signal being broadcast in one direction from the front of the antenna. It can be used to penetrate and cover multiple floors with signal when mounted facing downwards or to cover a long, narrow space if mounted on a wall and facing across the space. A panel antenna is most often found in signal booster kits designed for residential use, because it is so versatile and can handle many different situations. In some entry level kits, the panel antenna is used as a directional outside antenna, instead of the inside antenna.
  • Whip Antenna Whip Antenna: This type of antenna is designed to attach directly to the "inside antenna" port on an amplifier and broadcast signal in all directions, similar to a WiFi access point. While it is less powerful than other types of antennas, it compensates by having no signal loss between the amplifier and the whip antenna. This type of antenna is typically found with entry level signal booster systems.

Mobile Antennas

Mobile antennas are typically designed to be easy to install in a vehicle, like a car or truck, though they are sometimes more permanently installed, like with an RV, semi-truck or boat. All need to be able to handle a constantly changing outside signal and to be able to efficiently deliver signal to the mobile devices in the vehicle. We'll cover the different types of antennas for outside and inside the vehicle.

Mobile Outside Antenna Options

There are three main types of outside antennas for vehicles: magnet mount, spring or fixed, and marine:

  • Magnet Mount Mobile Antenna Magnet Mount Antenna: This type of antenna is designed to easily attached to the roof of a vehicle using a strong magnet as the base of the antenna, and then have a flexible cable run inside to the amplifier. Magnet mount antennas are typically either 4 inches tall for multi-band systems or 12 inches tall for dual band, and are omnidirectional, so they send and receive in all directions while you're on the move.
  • Spring Mount Antenna Spring or Fixed Antenna: This type of antenna is more of a permanent mount and is designed for use on larger vehicles, like semi-trucks, RVs, delivery trucks, and more. It comes with either a spring mount, which can handle an impact with a low clearance object, or a fixed mount, which is not able to handle an impact. Each type comes with a 3-way mount to allow for flexible mounting options, and both types are omnidirectional antennas, so they send and receive in all directions at the same time.
  • Marine Antenna Marine Antenna: This type of antenna is designed to be permanently installed on a boat in marine environments, and the included marine mount will attach to any standard marine fixture. The marine antenna is omnidirectional, so it sends and receives in all directions while you're on the water or at the dock, and can withstand the elements during any type of weather. It also has no exposed elements, so is safe for use on a sailboat.
Mobile Inside Antenna Options

There are three types of inside antennas for vehicles: low profile, cradle and panel:

  • Low Profile Antenna Low Profile Antenna: This type of antenna is designed to be a balance between size and broadcasting power. The low profile antenna is the standard antenna included in most of the mobile signal booster kits, and is omnidirectional, so it will send and receive signal in all directions from where it is located. The low profile antenna is typically mounted on the dashboard of the vehicle or on the side of a seat to provide boosted signal to the driver and passenger of the car or truck.
  • Cradle Antenna Cradle: This type of antenna is typically connected to a mobile amplifier (or the amplifier is built into the back of the cradle) and funnels all boosted signal to the mobile device that sits in the cradle. If you are in a very weak signal area or need to ensure that all of the boosted signal is passed to your mobile device, then a cradle is a good option for you. Please note: with a cradle, the phone or mobile device must sit in the cradle at all times, so you would need to use speaker phone or a headset to make and receive calls.
  • Panel Antenna Panel Antenna: This type of antenna is meant for larger vehicles that have extra room to fit a building level antenna. The panel antenna is the same that is found in our building kits and is directional, so the signal comes out of one side of the antenna. It is more powerful than the low profile inside antenna, so should provide more coverage, but its size makes it challenging to use in a smaller vehicle, like a car or truck.

Splitters & Tappers

Splitters and tappers are important components of any signal booster system, as they allow you to split the signal being passed over a cable so you can create a network of inside antennas to distribute boosted signal throughout a location. They can also be used to combine signal coming from multiple antennas into one input for an amplifier. We'll cover both in more depth below.

Splitters

Splitter A splitter is a component that evenly splits signal from one input to multiple outputs, and vice versa. Splitters typically come in two, three and four-way versions, so you can split a single signal into up to four evenly split outputs. There is typically a small amount of loss when you use a splitter, so you should take that into account when designing an efficient signal booster system.

Tappers

Tapper or Coupler A tapper, otherwise known as a coupler, is like a splitter, but it splits a signal unevenly, rather than evenly distributing the signal across multiple outputs. It is a critical component and is used when designing signal booster systems for situations where you need to split a signal, but send more signal in one direction and less in another. Tappers come in different ratios of splitting, depending on how much signal you need to send in each direction.

Pole Mounts

Pole Mount The yagi directional antenna that comes with most building signal boosters is designed to be mounted to a vertical pole or mast on the roof of the building and then aimed at the nearest cell tower. A pole mount is an accessory that includes the vertical pole and mounting hard to make it easy to install a pole on the roof and mount the external antenna.

Pole mounts vary in length, width and functionality, with some being a very basic one foot pole with an L bracket, to more complex units that use angled poles and mounting hardware with multiple installation options to precisely situate the pole in the best possible location. Choose the one that will solve your specific situation the best.

Chapter 5: Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Booster

Every situation is a little different, so you may encounter some challenges while installing and using your cell phone signal booster.

In this chapter, we'll cover the most common issues you may run into with your booster and how to fix them, and then discuss some tips for getting the best performance from your system.

Already know what you're looking for? Jump ahead to learn more:

Troubleshooting

While there are many different issues that can arise when boosting cell signal, most fall into one of two buckets: oscillation and overload. We'll cover both of these below and discuss the steps on how to fix each.

If your problem does not fall into either of these buckets, then contact us and our team of signal experts can talk through your situation and recommend ways to remedy it.

Oscillation

Oscillation occurs when the boosted signal that is being broadcast from the inside antenna(s) reaches the outside antenna and causes a feedback loop, similar to a high pitched sound you hear if you take a microphone too close to an amplified speaker.

About Oscillation

The signal booster amplifier will try to mitigate this issue by reducing the boosting power on the band that is causing the oscillation, which shrinks the coverage area so that it doesn't get back to the outside antenna.

This works a lot of the time, and because it does it automatically, you typically would not notice that it even happened. If you're seeing warning indicators on the amplifier that it is experiencing oscillation, then that means that the amplifier has tried to fix the problem and has reached it's limitations, so we need to do other things to fix the problem.

One other thing to note: If the carriers that you need to boost all have roughly the same outside signal strength, then having the amplifier adjust the boosting power to fix oscillation is a good solution. If one carrier is strong and others are weak, then the strong carrier is going to have a much larger coverage area inside of the building, but the amplifier will reduce all boosting by the same amount, and shrink the weak carrier signals to almost nothing while it's trying to fix the strong signal causing the large coverage area. In this case we'll want to try and fix the problem in another way and let the amplifier work at full power.

Fixing Oscillation

The very first thing to check when dealing with oscillation is whether the directional antenna is pointed across the roof or away from the roof (if you're using an omni antenna, then this does not apply). If the directional antenna is pointed across the roof, then there is a high likelihood that it is picking up boosted signal radiating out, so you should move the antenna to the other side, so that it is facing away from the building.

Once you've confirmed that the outside antenna is facing away from the building, then the main way to fix oscillation is to move the antennas further apart. Typically this means moving the inside antenna further from the outside antenna, but if there is an opportunity to move the outside antenna further away, and potentially higher, while still receiving the same outside signal strength, then that is a good option.

How to fix oscillation

When moving antennas, vertical separation is more important than horizontal, though a combination of both are good. We also recommend powering down the amplifier before moving the antennas. Once the antennas are in the new positions, power up the amplifier and see if you're still experiencing oscillation. Keep moving the antennas if so.

If you've moved the antennas as much as possible and are still experiencing oscillation, one last thing to try is to introduce shielding for the outside antenna. If the antenna is outside on the roof, then moving it so that an object, like the chimney or air conditioning unit, is between the antenna on the roof and the rest of the building. If the outside antenna is installed inside, then placing metal, like foil or a metal filing cabinet, behind the antenna to block the boosted signal is an option as well.

Overload

Overload occurs when the outside signal from one or multiple carriers is very strong and is overloading the amplifier with too much cell signal. The amplifier will attempt to compensate for this by reducing the boosting power, but frequently the signal is too strong and the amplifier reaches its limitations before the problem is solved.

About Overload
Fixing Overload

If you're using a yagi directional antenna for the outside, then the best way to mitigate overload is to change the direction of the outside antenna to receive less signal, and allow the amplifier work to at full capacity to boost and distribute the signal.

Follow the instructions in the How to Aim a Yagi Directional Antenna guide to incrementally change the direction of the yagi antenna, and then check the amplifier for overload indicators and take signal readings inside with cell phones on each carrier you need to boost.

If it turns out that you're in an urban area and have multiple towers nearby that are overloading your antenna with strong signal from every direction, then the next best option is to use an attenuator, which is a component that sits on the antenna cable and cuts out a set amount of decibels from the signal coming in. An attenuator will cut back the cell signal across all carriers and bands, irrespective of if they are strong or weak, so it's not an ideal solution and should only be used if re-aiming the outside antenna does not help, as it may cause carriers with weak cell signal to have sub-part coverage and performance inside.

Finally, if re-aiming the outside antenna and cutting back the existing cell signal with an attenuator does not provide you with adequate coverage, the last option is to move to a more advanced amplifier that can handle a much stronger outside signal, like the Wilson Pro 70 Plus, and/or scale it's boosting power significantly all the way down to 0, so it can handle any outside signal environment, like the WilsonPro 1000.

Tips to Improve Performance

While most standard signal booster installations should provide you with sufficient coverage for quality voice calls and fast data, if you're looking to tweak your system to provide even more performance, here are some things that you can do:

  • Reduce cable lengths: If the cables that you received with your system are longer than you really need, then purchasing a shorter cable will reduce the amount of signal loss and increase the amount of coverage that your system will be able to provide. Also, be sure that your excess cable is NOT coiled, but rather laid out in a back and forth pattern, as coils can cause interference.
  • Upgrade to a lower loss cable: In addition to shortening cable lengths, you can upgrade your cable to a lower loss version (more shielded), so your system has more signal to work with and provide more coverage inside.
  • Add more antennas: If you're using one inside antenna, and have a medium to strong outside signal along with a powerful amplifier, then you may have excess boosting capacity that is not being used by the single antenna. Adding another antenna can take advantage of this excess capacity and increase your total inside coverage area. You'll need to add additional cable and a splitter to add the second antenna to the system.
  • Upgrade your antennas: We offer higher performance antennas that can replace the existing antennas that come with your signal booster system, for more coverage and a better looking installation.
  • Increase the separation between your antennas: Amplifiers automatically reduce their boosting power if there is any oscillation (feedback) from the inside antenna(s) to the outside antenna. If your amplifier shows any indicator lights or readings that there is oscillation and it's working at reduced capacity, then increase the distance between antennas to allow the amp to work at full boosting power.

Chapter 6: Additional Resources & Assistance

While this guide should address most situations that you'll encounter when choosing and installing a booster, especially for residential or vehicle use, we wanted to provide you with a list of resources for continued reading and to reference for further assistance.

You can also always contact us at any point with questions and we'll be happy to help.

Further Reading

The following reading will dive further into topics discussed in this guide:

Professional Installation

If you have a large project and require a custom system design and installation, please feel free to call us at 800-590-3564 or send us a message. You can also request a consultation online and provide us with some preliminary information, and we'll follow up to schedule a call and discuss your situation.

Product Wizard

Finally, if you would like to answer a few questions and have our product wizard determine the best signal booster solution for your situation, you can get started with that below: