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Lifewire / Hayley Prokos
Easy to set up
Comes with two 30-foot coax cables
Compatible with all U.S. cellular carriers
All components needed for installation included
Contains Nickel and Bisphenol A
The weBoost Home 4G Cell Phone Signal Booster is a quality cell booster for homes and businesses up to 1,500 square feet, for users with all main carriers except, perhaps, Verizon.
The weBoost Home 4G Cell Phone Signal Booster is the classic signal booster for anyone looking to improve their signal in a few rooms, or an area of up to 1,500 square feet. It's perfect for home offices or apartments, as it boosts an existing 4G LTE signal and is compatible with all major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, Straight Talk, and more.
The Home 4G doesn’t have many, if any, standout design features, much to our dismay. It’s not particularly sleek from an aesthetic perspective, and it’s also not compact, despite being made up of mainly lightweight pieces, because it has so many pieces in the kit (e.g. an outdoor antenna, an indoor antenna, a booster, two coax cables, a power cord, and accessories to mount the outdoor antenna).
Following weBoost’s User Manual, we first measured signal strength for the inside antenna by checking cellular connection via the *3001#12345#* number—although, alas, the Manual later told us that iOS 11 no longer displays the decibel (dBm) reading in ‘Field Test Mode’ and that tracking the bars on the cell phones being used can assist in finding the strongest signal. So, that’s what we did, and we did the same to measure signal strength for the placement of the outside antenna. (Android users, by contrast, can check signal strength in Settings.)
Data signal noticeably increased, loading social media applications like Instagram and Facebook lightning fast.
We then installed the outdoor antenna, propping it up against an exterior wall for the purposes of this testing process. (However, weBoost recommends mounting it on a pole on the roof, or sticking it on an exterior wall of the building using materials in the Home 4G kit.) It was then just a matter of connecting the coax cable to the indoor receiver and connecting an indoor antenna for more stability inside before powering it up via a nearby outlet—all of which was easy enough.
Upon plugging it in and letting it calibrate, there’s not much more to be done with this device, other than to sit back and reap the benefits. This was a pleasant surprise, having tested some of the Home 4G’s competitors and being required to manually adjust power levels in order to optimize signal.
weBoost claims this product strengthens signals, both 4G and 3G, up to 32 times their previous magnitude, which means fewer dropped calls and fewer spinning loading wheels. We put those claims to the test with two carriers—T-Mobile and Verizon—in a home with significantly different reception on each. Both cellular services seemed to improve, at least slightly, with the Home 4G. (Although, the bigger difference was certainly seen in the T-Mobile phone, perhaps as the carrier is well-known for its limited services in the U.S., unlike Verizon, which has generally better coverage). Data signal noticeably increased—particularly for the T-Mobile phone, which has terrible signal on average without the cell booster—loading social media applications like Instagram and Facebook lightning fast.
An apparent added benefit is the extension of phone battery life, as weBoost says users can get up to two additional hours of talk time since the phones aren’t searching for one or two bars of signal.
We tested this product on the first floor of a roughly 3,400 square-foot home, i.e., in roughly 1,700 square feet of space, which is a little more of an area than what weBoost advertises its product is capable of covering. We saw steady benefits throughout most of the first-floor space.
At just shy of $400 MSRP, we are hard-pressed to call this product a ‘great deal’ in any way, though given its power and reliability that price point isn't outrageous.
The Verizon phone reported three to four bars wherever we moved on the first floor. Meanwhile, with the T-Mobile phone, the maximum we saw was two bars. Data on the T-Mobile phone went from a slow or non-functional 4G/LTE (E) to functioning LTE speed.
At just shy of $400 MSRP, we are hard pressed to call this product a ‘great deal’ in any way, though given its power and reliability that price point isn't outrageous. The signal strength is good and the coverage range is solid, though we do take issue with how much of a chore managing the many included accessories is.
While the SureCall Flare Kit and the weBoost Home 4G differ significantly enough in design, configuration and price, we find the two products easy to compare given the amount of coverage each offers.
To be clear, both products offer lightweight boosters (it’s the rest of the kit that makes the Home 4G feel bulky) run by coax cables and short power cords. They also both have self-adjusting features, so that you don’t have to mess with frequency bands in order to troubleshoot an apparent glitch. Yet, the SureCall Flare Kit covers about 1,000 square feet more space than the weBoost Home 4G and offers an overall more simple, travel-friendly design, for $100 less. And, really, doesn’t that sound enticing enough?
A great option for those satisfied with up to 1,500 of coverage.
The weBoost Home 4G Cell Phone Signal Booster performed within the parameters that it advertises, though it comes at a steeper cost than some of its competitors. While there are a lot of components to contend with, this product is great for boosting signal for anyone traveling in an RV, living in an apartment, or working in a small office.