These days, having consistent cell phone service is a necessity. Thankfully, if you're getting low bars where you live, one of the best cell phone signal boosters may help.
Signal boosters are designed to locate the nearest signal and amplify it to support all your devices. However, while you can pick up a signal booster from both carriers and third-party manufacturers, they're not quite plug-and-play solutions. It's not as simple as dropping an antenna by a window and plugging it in.
Most signal boosters come in three parts: an outdoor antenna, a booster to amplify the signal and an indoor antenna. There are also different kinds of boosters — directional ones, which target a specific tower belonging to a certain carrier, and omnidirectional ones, which pull in service from multiple towers belonging to multiple carriers, albeit without quite the same strength of the directional variety.
Here are our top picks for the best cell phone signal boosters, for different use cases and price points. One of these picks is even designed to improve signal quality in your car.
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What are the best cell phone signal boosters?
It must be said that there is no single "best" cell phone signal booster, as the very nature of the technology means that different options are suited for different purposes. However, we think that one in particular is likely the best booster for most people.
That would be WeBoost's Home MultiRoom, which employs a directional antenna to deliver an optimal signal from your carrier of choice, and can cover a medium-sized, 5,000 square-foot home. For those in smaller homes, or perhaps those that only have one room or office that presents issues, there's WeBoost's Home Room.
SureCall is another popular brand in the signal boosting realm, and its Fusion4Home is an omnidirectional solution that is a bit easier to set up, because it doesn't require you to go through the arduous trial-and-error process of pointing an outdoor antenna a particular way before pulling down a signal. SureCall even offers an in-car booster, called the Fusion2Go Max, that will improve connectivity while on the road.
Both WeBoost and SureCall's offerings are convenient in that they play nice with all carriers. Being that signal boosters are quite expensive — often costing at least $250 on the low end, and stretching up toward the four-digit mark for more powerful, whole-home solutions — their versatility in network support makes them good investments.
But what if you're happy with your carrier and don't want or expect to change service providers anytime soon? In that case, you might be best served by contacting your carrier and finding out what network-specific booster they can offer you directly.
For example, Verizon offers the Samsung 4G LTE Network Extender 2, which covers 7,500 sq ft and can support 14 connected devices at once. Plus, because the gear is coming from and certified by the network directly, it may even work better than one of the third-party options in this guide.
Read on for our full recommendations for the best signal boosters for those plagued by spotty cell phone service.
The best cell phone signal boosters you can buy
If you need a signal booster in the first place, you're probably not looking for a slightly better connection — you need serious improvement, and not only in one room in your home. If that's the case, the WeBoost Home MultiRoom is a good fit. The directional antenna design may make it a little more challenging to setup than a booster of the omnidirectional variety, but the tradeoff is an efficient, powerful signal with up to 65 dB in gain.
Like all WeBoost's offerings, it's designed to pull in bands from all networks — Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint and even US Cellular — on any carrier, whether you're subscribed to one of those aforementioned providers or a virtual operator like Metro or StraightTalk that piggybacks off one of the major carrier's towers. That's great news if you see yourself changing carriers, or expect to get many years of use from the Home MultiRoom — which you probably are, because, at $550, it's far from the cheapest option.
SureCall's Fusion4Home omnidirectional offering doesn't need to be focused at one tower in particular to improve your connection at home. It also works with all networks across all bands, so it's really as hassle free as signal boosters go. The catch is, that because this is an omnidirectional antenna, it likely won't improve things quite as much as a directional one would. Therefore, if you get few to zero bars at home, this probably isn't the booster for you.
On the flip side, if you just need a little extra signal, the Fusion4Home could be helpful. Furthermore, it's going for pretty steep discounts at the time of writing — you can save as much as 40% off this model's $450 list price on Amazon right now, making it an even more attractive choice.
Just because you need a signal booster doesn't mean you want a mess of ugly wires and boxes running through your home. To that end, the Flare 3.0 is a more elegant option from SureCall that you'd be less embarrassed to have out and visible to the world. It's not exactly a work of art, though it is compact enough to place on an end table, thanks to its small footprint.
It also boasts a few advantages over SureCall's other offerings. Because it sports a directional antenna, it delivers a bigger bump to signal strength, especially if you're on the edge of a network. Its 3,500 sq ft of coverage makes it a good fit for apartments and small homes. Plus, at well under $400, it's not even particularly expensive for a directional option with this kind of range.
If you really do only have that one problem room in your house where signal just doesn't reach for some reason, the WeBoost Home is designed to greatly enhance connectivity in smaller areas, for less money than other boosters may set you back.
A directional antenna design and broad support for all networks in the U.S. makes the WeBoost Home especially attractive. It's also easy to install without any tools — this model comes with a flat-ribbon cable that can easily tuck underneath a window. WeBoost cites up to a 32x stronger connection, so whether you're streaming video, working or taking a phone call, the Home offers surprising power despite its rather unassuming looks and compact size.
If you find your signal is weaker than you'd like while driving, SureCall's Fusion2Go Max is the cell phone signal booster for you. This multi-carrier solution offers up to 50 dB gain and can blanket a vehicle of any size with increased service, which is sure to come in handy on those long road trips.
SureCall's Extended Range Technology is designed to mitigate signal loss by boosting the signal twice: once at the antenna, and then again inside the vehicle, to ensure service is as strong as possible. At $499, the Fusion2Go Max is surely an expensive add-on for your vehicle, though depending on where you live or perhaps your line of work, it could be extreme handy.
How to choose the best cell phone signal booster for you
Before you even start shopping for signal boosters, take stock of the network you use for cell phone service, and the bands your phone operates on. While all of the products in this list work on all networks across every carrier, some lack that universal support, and you definitely don't want to end up with a signal booster that boosts the wrong signal. Also keep in mind you will have to register whatever you buy with your carrier — both because it won't work otherwise, and because it's a legal requirement.
Then, it's important to assess what exactly you need from a signal booster. If you find yourself always struggling to connect at all, prioritize finding an option that utilizes a directional antenna, as these are more focused and can deliver stronger, more efficient and consistent connections. If your situation is less dire, an omnidirectional option should do fine.
Of course, you also have to consider the space you need to fill. Unsurprisingly, signal boosters that can blanket a whole home in signal will cost more — potentially hundreds of dollars more — than those that are designed to outfit smaller spaces with service. It also must be said that vast number of signal boosters on the market today aren't built to improve 5G service, so you'll have to wait a little while if you want something geared for next-generation networks.
Finally, if you are committed to your cellular provider of choice and don't plan to switch in the foreseeable future, why not entertain one of your network's first-party extenders or signal boosters? Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint all offer products designed for exactly that purpose, and because they're uniquely attuned into your particular network's infrastructure, they might work even better than some of the options on this list.