There are hundreds of different cell phone signal booster models on the market.
And it’s hard to tell them apart. But trust us – not all of them are the same. There are some critical differences that you’ll want to know before buying one.
We update this list of the top 10 best boosters regularly. The last update was on September 20th, 2018.
First off, we rigorously tested all the boosters we sell in our lab to confirm their specs.
Specifically, we measured the following things for each booster:
But theory and practice are a world apart. So we also did heads-up, real-world testing.
For example: we recently took 6 in-vehicle signal boosters out into an area near our Southern California office with weak reception and tested all of them side by side to see which performed best.
Finally, we got feedback from our enterprise installation team and our customer support teams. We've installed and sold boosters to every environment (okay, maybe not underwater), and our install and support teams understand these products better than almost anyone.
There are four major booster manufacturers who make devices for use in the US and Canada:
No one product or manufacturer is best for every application, so you'll notice we broke this list down by the most common applications. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to our customer service team by clicking this link or using the blue live chat box in the bottom right of your screen.
Now, on to the fun part: the 11 best signal booster according to our testing!
If you have weak signal outside your home or office, there's one booster spec that matters: amplifier gain. Gain is a measure of how much the signal is amplified.
There's one way you get a unique gain advantage over most boosters, allowing you to amplify your signal to the highest legal limit: using a “provider-specific” booster.
The Federal Communications Commission (the FCC) regulates the booster market and has two classes of boosters: “broadband” and “provider-specific.”
Each category has different regulations. The biggest difference is that “provider-specific” devices can amplify signal by 100 decibels (dB), while “broadband” boosters can only amplify by around 65 dB . That extra 35 dB gain can make a huge difference. Particularly when signal outside is weak.
While the GO X can only amplify signal for one carrier at a time, and can be a little bit more complicated to set up than other devices, it’s an excellent choice if you have weak signal outdoors. We’ve sold hundreds of units of the GO X and the feedback from both our install teams and consumers has been excellent.
A few caveats:
If signal outside the building is strong, you don’t necessarily need to purchase a carrier-specific booster. A “broadband” booster can work just as well, and save you money and installation time.
The HiBoost Home 15K has proven very popular with many of our customers. HiBoost – an upstart Chinese manufacturer of devices - has packed a lot of features into a cost-effective package. (If they were a home audio brand, they’d be comparable to Denon, in that they’re a newer entrant to the market, but they deliver high quality and lots of features at a low price).
The unit offers 12 dBm of downlink output power. Downlink output power is the specification that most directly affects the coverage area of the system when you have stronger outdoor signal. 12 dB downlink out power makes the HiBoost Home 15K competitive with more expensive offerings from Wilson and SureCall. And, similar to the Wilson Pro line of products, it has an LCD screen that shows signal strength levels.
If you’re in a smaller apartment, and outdoor signal is reasonably strong (2 bars or more), the SureCall Fusion4Home can help improve your coverage, and it’s relatively quick to set up.
That said, don’t expect a gigantic increase in signal. You get what you pay for. With 2 bars of coverage outdoors, you can expect to cover around 500 sq ft of indoor space.
We also recommend selecting the version of this product with a yagi outdoor antenna and a panel indoor antenna. The whip antenna version of the device may save you a bit of money, but the performance is considerably worse.
The Wilson Pro 70 Plus is one of our most popular signal booster kits. And for good reason: it offers excellent performance at a great price point.
The Wilson Pro 70 Plus gets close to maxing out most of the FCC’s rules for “broadband” boosters, with up to 70 dB gain and 10 dBm downlink output power. Those specs mean it’ll offer a solid coverage area, particularly when outdoor signal is on the stronger side (2-3 bars or more).
Surecall’s Fusion5X 2.0 is an excellent choice for larger homes and mid-size offices. It’s unique in its price range because it comes in configurations with 4 in-building dome or panel antennas, and has even higher gain and output power performance than the Wilson Pro 70 Plus.
The additional antennas and power allow the Fusion5x to cover a larger idea despite its relatively modest size. One big disadvantage of this kit compared to the Wilson Pro 70 Plus and Force5 2.0 (see below) is that there’s no ability manually control the device’s gain on each band, to shut off particular bands, and no LCD screen to show you what the unit is doing.
Along with the SureCall Force5 2.0 (below), the Wilson Pro 1000 and 4000 line are our most popular cell phone signal booster kits for larger buildings. These devices are hefty, commercial-grade products that can cover larger areas than the other products in this list.
We’ve clumped these five products together because they’re very similar, but with minor differences:
All four are excellently designed. Unfortunately Wilson prevents us from listing pricing for any of the devices online – but there’s a good reason for that – all four need to be configured as part of a custom solution anyway.
SureCall’s Force5 product line has long been one of the leaders in the commercial amplifier space.
SureCall added higher power, and greater coverage to the updated 2.0 version of the Force5, released in late 2017. It has some excellent new features, including built-in remote monitoring and a higher downlink outpower. The higher downlink power means even more coverage than the previous generation device.
We’ve installed hundreds of Force5 boosters over the course of the last decade, and it remains one of the best boosters that money can buy, especially for the price.
If you’re wondering if there’s something cost-effective that you can do with all of the ethernet cabling that you have running around your office or building, Cel-Fi may have figured that out.
The Quatra 2000 is the newest product in this list. And it features some real innovation.
Like it’s smaller sibling, the GO X, the Quatra 2000 can amplify signal by up to 100 dB. That’s 30 dB more than similar boosters from other manufacturers, which can make a huge difference if outdoor signal is weak. However, each Quatra 2000 system only supports 2 carriers at a time. If you need all four carriers, you’ll need two systems.
We’re using the Quatra 2000 for more and more of our large building installations. Unfortunately Cel-Fi doesn’t allow us to make pricing on these devices public, but we’ll gladly quote you a solution using this system.
The unit also uses Cat5 and Cat6 (normal ethernet cable) for distribution instead of coax. That can be a huge time-saver, particularly if you’re familiar with running ethernet cable inside buildings, or have some unused ethernet cable already installed.
The new weBoost Drive Reach is a powerful in-vehicle signal booster.
The Drive Reach offers the maximum 50 dB of gain permitted by the FCC for broadband in-vehicle boosters, as well as significantly improved uplink and downlink power. Power output for a single cellphone (uplink) dBm is increased by up to 5 dBm compared to the weBoost Drive 4G-X, while downlink power is increased from 2 - 3 dBm, to over 5 dBm on every band. weBoost really put a lot of attention to detail into the products. One small example: the Drive Reach comes with special mounting gear that makes it possible to install the outside antenna on non-magnetic vehicles (for example RVs, fiber glass and any kind of non-steel vehicle).
If you’re looking for a booster to use in a vehicle or truck, the weBoost Drive Reach is hard to beat. One tip: you’ll want to make sure that your phone is sitting directly up against the in-vehicle antenna for best performance.
For large trucks, weBoost's 4G-X OTR is another powerful mobile booster which includes a clamping truck-mount antenna.
In the RV signal-boosting space nothing beats the Drive 4G-X RV. The Drive 4G-X mobile amplifier at the heart of this kit is one of the most powerful boosters available for mobile use, with 50 dB gain.
The RV variant of weBoost’s Drive 4G-X kit comes with everything you need to get your system installed in an RV, including an omni-directional antenna outdoor antenna, desktop indoor antenna, as well as both AC and fused hardwire power adapters.
The Drive Reach is the best amplifier for any kind of mobile amplifier, and the marine antenna makes installing the systems much simpler.
One note: you’ll want to keep your phone on top of the Drive Reach’s indoor antenna for best performance. Just use a bluetooth headset to stay mobile :).
Want to know more about the ins and outs of boosting signal?
Check out our in-depth Guide to Cell Phone Signal Boosters for information on a range of topics, including: