4G Cell Phone Booster Comparison – 2016
This day in age it seems like all the big name carriers, Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and of course T-Mobile. Not in any particular order of course, fight for the maximum coverage. Most of us have been in the cell phone game long enough you know who the top carriers are. Luckily, no matter who you have there is a 4G Cell Phone Booster out there for you that should fit your budget.
When it comes to a 4G cell phone booster it’s important to look at the companies track record. Some companies have been in the business for years and offer quality warranties that they have no problem honoring. After all, when you’re in the business of boosting cell signal, you may run into problems. It’s important to note that before buying a 4G cell phone booster that you must have some signal for it to work. However I have received good signal in an area my phone never worked before. I blame them on the use of an external antenna vs the built in phone antenna.
The main option people go to for a 4G cell phone booster is the brand WeBoost. As you may know they’re formerly Wilson Electronics. They have been known for years for their 3G cell phone boosters. They quickly made the leap to the next generation when the time came. The newest versions are able to provide better coverage on all carriers. Not only that but they can provide voice, and data coverage to multiple devices at once.
The first thing we need to do is decide, what kind of booster will be required? Will you be using it while mobile, or prefer a permanently mounted home installation? The mobile versions are nice because they can be taken anywhere, and with a proper AC adapter can be used in the home, or RV.
Weboost Connect 4G is the go to home 4G cell phone booster. It provides coverage up to 5,000 sq feet and has a high gain antennas. It comes with an assortment of items so you have everything you need for the install. The only thing you might need to buy is a J Pole, or a post to mount it on. If you’re really far from where you want to mount the antenna you may need more coax cable, however quite a bit is provided. Setting up a home installation can be a little bit trickier than a mobile version. However it should be completed in a few hours.
If you have a very large home, the Weboost Connect 4G-X may be your better option. However the price goes up quite a bit for that. It also comes with a higher quality coax for less signal loss. It shows off an impressive 70db gain estimate. This will give you the extra power to cover your home with signal. Much like the Weboost Connect 4G mentioned above it comes with everything you will need for installation for the most part. You can of course go crazy and build a tower, or use an old TV tower.
When installing a 4G cell phone booster on a tower, be sure to have plenty of coax cable. Keep in mind that extra cable running too and from the booster will cause poorer performance. Cable loses signal as it runs, the shorter the cable the higher quality the signal. With the higher end booster you can run 50ft and only lose 2.5db of signal. Where the cheaper model you would lose 5db of signal roughly. These are not massive numbers, but in a tight situation they might matter. Ninety-nine percent of the time though that will be meaningless to most.
One other mild obstacle to overcome with a home booster is getting the outside antenna (and inside) pointed correctly. If pointed incorrectly your 4G cell booster will lower its own power. We have a great write up on our Wilson booster not working article on how to fix any issues. The short version though is that the antennas need rotated, or moved. They’re amplifying the signal too much, and must power down to protect the network. Once it’s set up properly though it should work great. The only reason to touch it afterwards would be if something around it changes. As an example a new cell tower that is really close.
With mobile installations it can be very quick to set up. I prefer a mobile booster due to their portability. Yet they still retain very high gain numbers up to 50db. However the downside is with the inside antenna coverage. We mentioned 5000 sq feet above, best case scenario. With a portable unit like the Weboost Drive 4G-X we talk in terms of 5 feet or less for range. Generally you want your phone to be touching the indoor antenna because you lose range quick. However using your cellular device to tether this can work wonders. Boosting data speeds on the go to an extremely usable level.
The mobile boosters offer all the benefits of a home booster minus the thousands of sq ft coverage. This includes voice and data for various bands and all carriers in the states. So if you have four people in the car, close to the antenna, everyone has service. You can of course bring them in the house also, just stay close to the antenna. Many times sitting the phone on the antenna then turning on your mobile hot spot works wonders. You can then broadcast WIFI throughout your home.
The other option for a 4G cell phone booster is the Weboost drive 4G-S, it offers “small” but useful 20db boost. The phone must sit in the cradle for it to work though. This booster is cheaper but will work better than nothing. However when comparing it to the larger Drive 4G-M and X it stands no comparison.
The Drive 4G-M is equal to the 4G-X except the X model has more output power back to the cell tower. So a faster upload speed will be possible under the right conditions.
You will be satisfied with any 4G cell phone booster you buy from the list above. As with any 4G cell phone booster you must have a little signal in order for it to boost it. If you decide on a mobile booster to use at home, and in the car. It may be wise to put Velcro on your phone, and the inside antenna. This will keep them together and easier to hold. However it’s not required for your 4G cell phone booster to work.