The Complete Guide to Understanding How a Cell Phone Booster Works

If you live in the United States, chances are good that you own a cellphone. In fact, the odds are really good. Only four percent of Americans don’t own a cellphone.

As their use is so widespread, why do we often have to contend with bad cell phone signal? How can we help the situation? The answer lies in the fairly simple device that is the cell phone booster.

A cell phone booster takes the existing signal, no matter how slight, and augments it. This means that if you use one, you can have a fantastic cell phone signal in remote areas. The only requirement is that you can get a cell phone signal: it won’t work if there’s nothing to boost.

How do these devices work? That’s the question we’re going to answer in this here guide. Read on, learn more, and get boosted!

How a Cell Phone Booster Works

A cell phone booster is a simple concept to understand. The cell phone repeater takes the signal that permeates your area, picks it up, and retransmits it, which your cell phone antenna picks up. This means that no matter how far you are from the base station, it’s like your standing right next to it.

As a result, in remote areas, you can get awesome call quality and no more dropped calls. It can also boost 3G and 4G, which means that you get lightning fast internet in remote areas too.

They’re compact too. You can install a cell phone booster in your car for long road trips, which means you’ll never be cut off from service if you need to call for a tow.

Modern cell phone boosters, like those sold on, allow you to boost mobile signals of any kind. No matter how modern they are, they can be boosted. This means that you’ll never have to deal with bad service again.

Different Types of Cell Phone Booster

There are a few different types of cell phone booster. The two most common are bi-directional boosters and smart signal boosters.


A bi-directional booster works on a wide-band. Any kind of mobile communication is boosted by a bi-directional amplifier. This includes two-way radios like those used by first responders.

This kind typically requires a great deal of work for installation and is not typically used by individuals.

Smart Signal Boosters

A smart signal booster offers clean and more powerful boosts to your coverage. They’re also easier to install. They are more expensive than bi-directional boosters but they offer a much better solution for individuals.

Different Styles of Antenna

As well as the two types of booster that we’ve covered, there are also two major kinds of antennae. These are panel antennae and dome antennae.

A panel antenna is flat and works best in one direction. This means that if there’s one room in your house where you need a better signal, you can mount a panel antenna on your wall and bask in a better signal. If you want the boosted signal to spread across a wider area, you might be better with a dome antenna.

The dome style of antenna is mounted on your ceiling and rebroadcasts your signal across a wide area. While it might not be as powerful in one area, it will cover a much wider area.

What Do You Need to Make a Cell Phone Booster Work?

There isn’t a great deal of work that goes into making a cell phone booster work. Most of them are easy to use but you do need certain things.

You Need Signal

If you want your cell phone amplifier to work, there needs to be a signal that it can amplify. If you don’t have a signal, the booster won’t help you as it won’t be able to pick it up either.

Your cell phone antenna will show if there is any signal in your area. Check out the bars at the top of your screen. As long as there is at least one, you can make use of a booster.

Space For a Booster

You need to have the physical space for a booster. If you’re hoping to mount one in your car or your home, you could try mounting one with a bracket.

Reasons You May Need a Cell Phone Amplifier

There are many reasons you may need a cell phone booster. A lot of different things can cause issues with your signal. Let’s take a look at some of the most common issues.

You’re a Long Way From the Base Station

A cellphone can pick up a signal from up to 45 miles away. While this may seem like a long distance, there are some parts of the United States and other countries where it’s impossible to get a signal. This is particularly common in areas that are sparsely inhabited such as the Great Plains or the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

Something is Blocking Your Signal

There is any number of natural or manmade objects that can mess up your signal. These include trees, large hills, buildings, and anything else that disrupts the line of sight between you and the base station.

Your house’s construction could also be interfering with your cell phone signal. For instance, if you have thick concrete walls or if there is a great deal of metal in your home, this can create a Faraday cage and completely cut off your signal.

Radio Interference

Interference from other sources of radio waves can cause your signal to drop.

Final Thoughts

A cell phone booster can be a great help if you’re having issues with your signal. We’d recommend looking into the different kinds of antennae that are available and find the one that works best for you.

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Lana Martinez is a freelance technical writer living in the Santa Clara. She's a gadget and tech geek who loves to write how-to articles about a wide range of topics. When she's not writing about technology, Lana loves watching and reading mysteries, cross stitching, and attending musical theatre. She's also an avid Doctor Who fan.