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AT&T Signal Booster Guide: Recommended Products

AT&T Signal Booster Guide: Recommended Products

Problem

The AT&T network is one of the strongest cellular providers in the United States, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t vulnerable to outages or common obstacles.

Proximity to cell phone towers and nearby natural and manmade obstructions can all impact your ability to make calls and send texts. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Outside interference: Mountains, hills, tall trees, and buildings
  • Inside interference: Metal, glass, concrete and bricks .

On occasion, these factors can even drop your coverage all the way down to zero bars. It’s not always the provider’s fault - even the signals can only go so far.

Luckily, there exists third-party equipment that empower consumers with getting even more out of their cell phone service.

Solution/How It Works

Signal boosters do exactly what their name implies. They can add anywhere from one to two bars to your coverage.

Available for homes, offices, and vehicles, signal boosters work by amplifying pre-existing signals within a given radius to help prevent dropped calls, unsent texts and emails.

After 100,000 solutions provided nationwide, we've compiled a list of recommended signal boosters for improving your AT&T service.


AT&T Signal Booster for Home

Our Pick: Cel-Fi Pro for AT&T

  • Boosts 3G & 4G LTE indoors (AT&T-only)
  • Up to 13,000 sq ft coverage
  • Up to +100 dB Gain

Without a doubt, this is the most powerful home signal booster that AT&T has available right now. That's because Cel-Fi is the only manufacturer to do carrier-specific models which allows for +100 dB gain compared to the +60 to +70 dB gain from their competitors.

A no-muss, no-fuss model with no cables or wires to hook up. Comes in two wireless units, one near the window to pull in signal and another in the opposite side of the house to broadcast the boosted signal.

Please note that this device only works with the AT&T network, meaning changing carriers renders this device useless for your new service.

Also Good: SureCall Fusion4Home

  • Boosts 3G & 4G LTE indoors for all carriers
  • Up to 4,000 sq ft coverage
  • Up to +72 dB Gain

Under ideal conditions, SureCall Fusion4Home is capable of boosting signals inside an entire home. Depending on how you plan to set it up, you can increase your coverage to five bars within a 4,000 square foot area.

As an all-carrier booster it's also compatible with other carriers should you want to future-proof. SureCall produces some of the highest-rated home boosters.

For Smaller Spaces: weBoost Home 4G

  • Boosts 3G & 4G LTE indoors for all carriers
  • Up to 1,500 sq ft coverage
  • Up to +60 dB Gain

For those needing signal for a particular area, the weBoost Home 4G is a good choice.

This reliable, budget-friendly performer works with all carriers and provides coverage up to 1,500 square feet. Although it's best to think of this unit as a desktop to one-room performer.


AT&T Signal Booster for Vehicle

Our Pick: Cel-Fi Go-M

  • Boosts 3G & 4G LTE for AT&T
  • For any car, truck, RV, and boat
  • Up to +70 dB Gain

With gains of over +70 decibels (compared to the +50 or so for the competition), this is the most powerful car signal booster available for customers on the AT&T network. However, other carrier users such as Verizon can download an app to switch carrier boosting.

NEMA 4-rated enclosure allows it to be installed either inside or outside with some protection against dirt, rain, sleet, snow, windblown dust, and water.

No other vehicle signal booster has that level of outside protection.

Also Good: SureCall Fusion2Go 3.0

  • Boosts 3G & 4G LTE for all carriers
  • For any car, truck, RV, and boat
  • Up to +50 dB Gain

One of the best all-carrier car signal boosters around. Durable, all-metal construction allows for better heat dissipation. Upgradable inside and outside antennas allows for better customization.

This is SureCall's third iteration of the Fusion2Go, so expect major improvements and upgrades.

For Cradle Mounts: weBoost Drive Sleek

  • Boosts 3G & 4G LTE for all carriers
  • For any car, truck, and RV
  • Up to +23 dB Gain

This weBoost Drive Sleek comes with a cradle mount to accommodate a wider range of smartphone and tablet sizes, so great for a hands-free experience.

It can be used in rural settings, but consumers tend to get more bars and better coverage in urban areas. With gains of more than +23 decibels gain, the device works in cars, trucks, and RVs.


AT&T Signal Booster for Commercial Buildings

Our Pick: Cel-Fi Quatra for AT&T

  • Boosts 3G & 4G LTE indoors for AT&T
  • Up to 200,000 sq ft coverage
  • Up to +100 dB Gain

Hands down, AT&T’s most powerful signal booster for commercial buildings available on the market. All-carrier boosters will only provide gains of around +70 decibels, whereas this AT&T-specific device will boost to over +100 decibels. That's about 1000x more stronger! This model comes in two parts:

  • A network unit (NU) works with amplifying existing signals and supports up to four coverage units.
  • A coverage unit (CU) broadcasts amplified signals in areas up to 50,000 square feet. So a fully-stacked Quatra is capable of covering up to 200,000 sq ft.

The Cel-Fi Quatra is also notable for using power of ethernet (PoE) Cat5e cables instead of the usual coax cables, predicated on the fact that digital signals are of a far higher quality and sustainability than their analog counterparts. So cable runs are 3x compared to RG-6, LMR400, and other analog cables.

Also Good: WilsonPro 70 Plus (50 Ohm)

  • Boosts 3G & 4G LTE indoors for all carriers
  • Up to 35,000 sq ft coverage
  • Up to +72 dB Gain

With a range of up to 35,000 sq ft depending on the configuration and strength of the outdoor signal, this popular all-carrier signal booster has been a bestseller for Wilson Electronics, one of the leading consumer & commercial manufacturers of signal boosters in North America.

Money Saver: HiBoost Commercial 20K

  • Boosts 3G & 4G LTE indoors for all carriers
  • Up to 20,000 sq ft coverage
  • Up to +72 dB Gain

The HiBoost Commercial 20k is capable of providing coverage for small commercial buildings between 5,000 to 15,000 sq ft with max reach at 20,000 under best conditions.

It's one of the more affordable commercial boosters in the market.


Why It’s Not 100% AT&T’s Fault, It’s Also Your Building Material

Over 80% of cell phone use is made indoors and over 72% of indoor cell phone use suffers from dropped calls, poor voice quality, and slow internet.

The reason why?

While some of it is AT&T’s network coverage, another major factor is your home & building. Specifically, your building material.

While cell tower distance and outside interference (trees, mountains, and tall structures) do affect your cell service, the number one reason why you’re not getting reliable service is because of building material and layout weakening and disrupting cellular signal from reaching your phone.

Let’s look at the top 7 reasons:

  1. Metal: Metal is the #1 disrupter of cellular signal. Aluminum, brass, copper, steel, iron, tin, etc. Any type is capable distorting your cell service.
  2. Low-E- Glass: Energy-efficient and green-rated buildings are great at saving energy but also great at blocking out cell signals.
  3. Brick/Concrete: Brick walls and concrete walls are robust material that weaken or block service as it passes through.
  4. Plaster /Drywall: Although it doesn’t completely shut out service, it does weaken it as it passes through.
  5. Wood: Depending on the thickness of the wood, it’s capable of absorbing cell signal.
  6. Thick Walls: Internally, thick walls absolutely hamper cellular reception, especially as it tries to reach the center of the building.
  7. Electromagnetic Interference: Any machine (TV, computer, wireless device) emits RF noise that potentially disrupts cell service.

So even if you're right next to a cell site, these factors can contribute to poor signal quality. That's why more people and companies are investing in signal boosters.

AT&T Frequency Bands

These are the known major frequency bands AT&T uses across the nation. Local & statewide frequency bands will be updated at a later time.

AT&T Frequency Bands
Band 17700 MHz
Band 13700 MHz
Band 5850 MHz
Band 41700-2100 MHz
Band 251900 MHz

Finding Your AT&T Cell Phone Signal Strength & Cell Tower Location

There are various ways to read your cell phone signal strength. While the number of bars is a good representation, it's not entirely truthful, because the number of bars that correlates to signal strength is subjective across all carriers.

The most accurate way to read cell phone signal strength is in dBm. Cell phone signal is measured in dBm, -50 dBm is great signal (full bars) and -120 dBm is poor signal.

The following methods are best practices to find your dBm :

Field Test Mode (Using Your Cell Phone)

For iPhone Users:

iPhone users have a more difficult time to find their dBm reading since Apple removed easy access to dBm readings in Field Test Mode, and they also have two iPhone chipset models: Intel & Qualcomm.

If you're an AT&T customer with an Intel chipset for iPhone, it's possible to find your dBm. Here's how:

  • On phone mode, call: *3001#12345#*.
  • If you see the following options: Device Info, LTE, UTMS, and GSM, congrats, you can find your dBm.
  • Tap on LTE.
  • Tap on Serving Cell Mea.
  • The number next to RSRP0 is your dBm reading.

If you can't find your dBm using this method, try our recommended smartphone apps below.

For Android Users

Android is an open system unlike the iPhone, so it's easy to access your dBm reading.

These are general instructions. Some manufacturers may have different options, but these instructions will get you there or mostly there. Here's how:

  • Access your Settings.
  • Tap on About phone.
  • Tap on Status.
  • Tap on SIM status.
  • Your dBm reading is under Signal strength.

Smartphone Apps

Downloading apps are a great way of finding your nearest cell tower and dBm readings. There are countless cell signal apps, luckily, we've curated a few we use regularly.

Below is our recommended apps for testing your cell phone signal speeds:

For iPhone Users:

Because Apple has hidden dBm readings, the next best thing to is to measure your internet speed which the following apps can do:

For Android Users:

These are comprehensive apps not only show your dBm but also noise (RSSNR) and quality (RSRQ).


Need to Boost Signal for Another Carrier?


Contact Us

Have any questions about improving your AT&T signal or with our AT&T signal boosters? Contact us today and we'll be glad to help in any way we can.

Meredith Nudo & James N
12th Jun 2018

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