Few things are more dangerous than being in the midst of an emergency and unable to make a call. Most heavily-populated areas have well-established cell phone networks, letting you call an ambulance or summon the police at a moment’s notice if the situation requires it. Unfortunately, more rural areas have a long way to go in order to meet that standard. Dropped signals result in risky miscommunications and, when paired with the distance between rural settings and major services, the delay is something you just can’t afford. Thankfully, cell phone boosters are built specifically to address this issue so you are never without a signal when you need one.
Of course, as with any new tech, it can be challenging to ID the best cell phone boosters for rural areas. Well, fret not, because here we break down the top selections, along with some tips on getting the most out of the booster you pick.
weBoost Home Cell Phone Booster
Those living in rural zones are more likely to have a larger area they wish to cover, and while the weBoost Home Cell Phone Signal Booster won’t be able to span an entire farm, it is able to cover an area of up up to 5,000 square feet. The compact booster is easy to install, touting a compact design that connects via a cable to your existing antenna. FCC approved, the unit won’t interfere with any cellular connection; rather, it works to enhance speed and eliminate dropped calls. The device is built to be compatible with future 5G technology. Regardless of your cell phone carrier, this booster will perform with equal success. It comes with everything you need to get it set up; so, provided you have an existing antenna and an AC wall outlet within 30 feet of it, this booster is a terrific candidate. [Buy]
Bosuru Cell Phone Signal Booster
If your rural property isn’t your primary residence, then it makes sense to be a bit more frugal when it comes to getting a booster. The Bosuru Cell Phone Booster is a good pick for these situations since it comes at a friendly price point and includes an antenna to get you set up. You mount the main part of the structure outside the home, connecting it through a cable to the booster inside. It works with any 4G LTE cellphone, provided the downlink falls between 746 and 757 megahertz. Though it takes a few steps to get the booster set up, once it’s in place, you can get a full 4,000 square feet of coverage. It helps speed up downloads and uploads, along with reducing the risk of dropped calls. By detecting the current strength of your signal, it optimizes power use and lessens the risk of overheating. Powerful yet cost-effective, this rural signal booster is a good way to go. [Buy]
HiBoost Cell Phone Booster
Technology continues to adapt, so it only makes sense to keep up with the times. Just like you wouldn’t go into the battlefield with a musket, you don’t want a booster that only works with LTE connections. The HiBoost Cell Phone Signal Booster uses a modern design to remain compatible with all the leading cell companies and signal types. It works in tandem with a smartphone app that pairs with the built-in LCD screen. Together, these precisely calibrate the booster’s performance. Despite its high-tech composition, the installation is really straightforward, simply requiring you to connect your antenna to the booster. Immediately after it’s set up, the booster drastically increases download speed and gets rid of the risk of dropped calls. Depending on its placement in the home, you can get anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 feet of coverage, making this cell booster both effective and reliable. [Buy]
SureCall Fusion4Home Cell Booster
If you want something heavy-duty, not just in terms of performance but also in its structure, consider the SureCall Fusion4Home Cell Phone Signal Booster. Though it weighs in at little more than two pounds, the design is meant to withstand all sorts of damage. It’s well-ventilated, meaning overheating isn’t a risk. Plus, the materials used in construction are tough, including the antenna and the casing for the connection cable. Once installed, it amplifies the existing signal within a range of 2,000 square feet, making your chosen area less vulnerable to dropped calls and more open to improved download/upload speeds. It’s also compatible with all major cell phone frequencies. The key benefit is the device’s ability to expand, with available extensions there to enhance the signal as you develop your rural property. [Buy]
Bolton Technical Long-Range Cellular Antenna
Do you prefer analog over digital? Have an easier time trusting technology that you can see at work? If so, the Bolton Technical Long-Range Cellular Antenna is worth checking out. Unlike some other models, this is simply a parabolic antenna that you can mount to the exterior of your property. It offers a range of up to ten miles, working with just about all frequencies (from 600 to 6,500 megahertz). It’s compatible with all types of cell phone bandwidths, so you don’t have to worry about the booster working with your provider. One of the main advantages of this device is its ability to keep working as technology evolves. The grid-style antenna will work with 5G, so you can stay up to date without making any changes. Sure, it takes a bit more effort to install, but if you’re in it for the long haul, this booster is a worthy choice. [Buy]
Types of cell phone boosters for rural areas
- Booster box: The most common type of cell phone boosters for rural areas are built to attach to your existing antenna. Most come with all the installation hardware, with the main component being the cable. You run this from your antenna to the booster box (which features an additional, built-in antenna) which you place indoors, connecting it to an AC wall outlet. The amplifier improves the power within a set range, typically no further than 5,000 square feet, though this amount decreases if the signal has to move through walls.
- Antenna: A heavy-duty way to improve your cell phone signal is to increase the capacity of the antenna itself. This works to enhance the actual signal captured by your system, helping your cell phone perform better and reducing dropped calls. Unlike booster boxes, which work within a limited frequency range and are only compatible with certain carriers, an antenna can handle a far broader range of devices and services. Keep in mind that this type of booster requires a more intensive installation and tends to come with a higher price tag.
Key features of cell phone boosters for rural areas
- Antenna: This is the component of the cell phone booster that takes in the signal. It is a key part of the booster since, when an antenna is blocked by geographical features like trees and mountains, the signal is depleted. While your main antenna may face barriers, having an antenna on the booster amplifies the signal received by the booster box. Antennae are usually made out of metal encased in a polymer for added durability without disrupting the signal.
- Repeater: Once the antenna receives the signal (measured in decibel milliwatts, or dBM) it sends the electrical impulse to the repeater. It then amplifies this frequency before broadcasting the ultimate signal, and its increased strength, throughout the area. The power of the repeater will dictate the range of the booster box itself.
- Compatibility: Depending on the frequencies with which the cell phone booster works, it will be compatible with certain cellular carriers and not others. However, since most major cell carriers work within the same frequency range, it is usually not an issue. It is particularly important to check that the device is compatible with all types of signals, including 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE. Some models are built to also work with 5G technology. A good way to check that the signal reception is reliable is to look for FCC guideline adherence.
Benefits of cell phone boosters for rural areas
Being unable to get cell phone service in a rural area is more than an inconvenience — it is a matter of safety. Whether calling in a wildfire or an ambulance, time is of the essence. With a booster, you don’t have to worry about your call getting through. For years, the only way to make a call from rural areas was with a landline. These are often costly to install and charge a monthly fee for usage. Instead, making an upfront investment into a booster lets you get rid of your landline without foregoing the ability to make calls.
Beyond emergencies, boosters come with some regular perks. A cell phone booster enables you to download files more quickly, which saves time and helps prevent premature battery drainage since it takes less power to get the same effect. A booster also lets you upload files more quickly, which generally makes it easier to share information and makes working online a whole lot less frustrating.
Cell phone booster pricing
While you can find some cell phone boosters in the under $200 range, they are usually weaker, with the amplifier having a harder time getting through walls. Between $200 and $400 is the sweet spot for cell phone boosters: In this category, you can find boosters with a broad range, high compatibility rating, and a long lifespan. For more than $400, boosters actually tend to perform equally as well as one that costs a bit less. Don’t get suckered by various technological frills — the simpler versions will often do just fine.
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