Dec 11 , 2018
Below are the criteria you should consider when choosing a cell phone signal booster for your home.
Needed Coverage Area
The first consideration for a home cell phone booster is the coverage area you need. Does your entire home suffer from weak signals, or is it a specific area? Are there areas where there is no signal? Cell phone signals often struggle to reach basements, and energy-efficient windows can nearly block signals completely.
There are home cell phone boosters designed for a single room or an entire house. The higher the max gain, the better the range. The best cell phone signal boosters for a home have a max gain of 72 dB with a range of approximately 6,000 square feet, but you can also get cell phone boosters that only cover the range of a desk.
Outside Signal Strength
Once you've determined how much area needs to be covered, you'll need to check out the strength of the outside signal. You'll want to walk around your property and even climb onto your roof to check signal strength. Wherever you find the strongest signal is where you'll install the outside antenna. If you live in a rural area where it's difficult to find a signal outside, you'll want to hire a technician or installer to test the signal strength, because they often have better knowledge of where the nearest cell phone tower is located.
It is important to make sure that you have an existing signal in at least one point outside. If you didn’t receive a signal in any of your outside measurements, there isn’t enough signal available to amplify and a cell phone signal booster system won’t work in your situation.
Unlike with cell phone boosters for cars, there are several different types of outside antennas to consider. They each require permanent installation, so it's important that you find the best possible antenna for your property and situation. An omnidirectional antenna is ideal for urban or suburban areas where the outside signal is strong but the inside signal is weak or nonexistent. This is because it can receive signals from all directions and has a short range. Its main objective is to pump the outside signal inside.
A directional antenna is ideal for rural areas where the weak signal is the result of being too far from the cell tower. It has a much higher forward gain than an omnidirectional antenna. The best directional antennas have a forward gain of 14 dBi, which is like the difference between binoculars and a telescope. It can see much further, but it has to be pointed in the right direction to be effective.
Home cell phone boosters have two coax cables. The longest one leads from the antenna to the signal booster, while the shorter one leads from the signal booster to the inside antenna. You want to keep the length of the outside cable as short as possible, because the signal strength decreases by up to 3.9 dB for every 100 feet of cable. When you consider that every 3 dB change in a signal represents an exponential increase or decrease, cord length is important.
Whether you live out in the country or in a studio apartment in San Diego, you don't have to live with the frustrations of a weak cell signal. A home cell phone amplifier is the best way to ensure that you have excellent call quality within your home at all times.
How to check your cellphone bands?
iPhone Field Test Mode
With their recent update, iOS no longer has the robust signal strength readings it used to. However, you can still have a look at the RSSI using the steps below:
- Go into your Settings / WiFi / Turn Off WiFi
- Check your iOS and:
- For iOS 11 and later go to Settings / Cellular / Cellular Data Options / Enable LTE / Turn Off LTE
- Make a phone call to *3001#12345#* and press Call
- Select Serving Cell Measurements and refer to the top item named Measured RSSI
If you want your iPhone to always display numerical signal strength instead of signal bars, you
can perform the following process. Once in Field-test mode (accessed by entering and dialing
the code above), hold down the power button until you see “Slide to Power Off”, then release it.
Then hold the Home button until you’re returned to your main app screen. You’ll now see your
numerical signal strength while you use your phone, and you’ll be able to tap the signal numbers
to switch to signal bars, and vice versa. To exit this permanent field-test mode, simply reboot the
phone or re-load Field Test Mode and exit it via the Home button.
Android Field Test Mode
Accessing Field test mode on Android phones is also straightforward. You simply need to find
your way to “Settings” > “About Phone”, and your numerical signal strength will be available under either Network or Status, depending on the model of the phone you own.
Here’s What Those Numbers Mean:
|0 to -60||Perfect Signal|
|-61 to -75||Very Strong Signal|
|-76 to -90||Strong Signal|
|-91 to -100||Spotty Signal|
|-101 to -110||Very Poor Signal|
|-110 to -200||No Signal|