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Improving Your Verizon Jetpack & MiFi Mobile Hotspot: Signal Booster Guide

Improving Your Verizon Jetpack & MiFi Mobile Hotspot: Signal Booster Guide

Problem

Verizon Jetpack and MiFi hotspots are 4G LTE internet devices that provide Wi-Fi connections through the use of cellular connection, which is great for people in areas where landline internet service is limited or you're always on the go.

However, there are limitations and one most people are very familiar with: poor signal.

A Jetpack and MiFi device are basically cell phones without the functionality. They pull in cellular signals from the nearest source then become a portable Wi-Fi router for other smartphones, tablets, and computers.

And much like cell phones when a Jetpack or Mifi is far away from the cell tower or inside a dense area like a building or valley, you get the same results as anyone else using a cell phone: dropped connections, poor speeds, and limited coverage.

That's when a signal booster comes in.

Solution/How It Works

Signal boosters work by amplifying existing 3G & 4G LTE signal to AND from the cell tower, thereby improving your connection, speeds, and reliability.

Although signal boosters are made for cell phones, they also work for Verizon hotspots since both use cellular technology. So a signal booster will help improve hotspot speeds and coverage.

In this Guide, we've combed through our database of over 100,000 signal booster solutions provided across USA and Canada, consulted with our in-house experts, and looked at the top manufacturers in the signal boosting space.

The end result is our Recommended Picks for all things Verizon mobile wifi hotspot.

Some quick notes:

There are two types of hotspot signal boosters: all-carrier boosters and carrier-specific boosters. All-carrier boosters are all-around performers capable of boosting signal for all major carriers at the same time. Carrier-specific boosters are more powerful units that boost signal for ONLY one carrier at a time.

So if you're only looking to boost Verizon service, then carrier-specific solutions are the best choice, but if you're looking to switch carriers or have some flexibility, then all-carrier solutions may be worth consideration.

We've also narrowed the recommendations into three categories: home, office, and vehicles. So enjoy!


Verizon Mobile Hotspot Signal Booster for Home

Our Pick: Cel-Fi Duo for Verizon

  • Boosts 3G & 4G LTE indoors for Verizon
  • Up to 13,000 sq ft coverage
  • Up to +100 dB Gain

Easily the strongest Verizon hotspot booster available for your home.

Cel-Fi is the ONLY manufacturer that provides carrier-specific models, which makes their devices more powerful than the competition. +100 dB gain versus +70 dB gain (competition) means an extra + 30 dB gain performance or about 1000x the power.

And for people who like easy installation, this is a set-it-and-forget-it model with no messy wires and cables. It comes in two wireless units. Set one unit near the window and the other on the opposite side of the house, and that's it. More signal instantly.

As mentioned earlier, this is a carrier-specific solution, so it only works with the Verizon network. However, Cel-Fi provides a mobile app to switch to T-Mobile, so that's an added bonuses right there.

Also Good: SureCall Fusion4Home

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

This is an all-carrier solution. Under best conditions, this model can boost signals inside your whole house with coverage up to 4,000 sq ft.

SureCall is known to make quality products with underpromising and overdelivering, and we're confident this is a good investment if you're looking to boost signal for all carriers.

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

If budget is an issue, you can't go wrong with the weBoost Home 4G. It's a good choice for smaller areas in your home that might need a little help with signal boosting.

Although advertised with coverage up to 1,500 sq ft, our data shows it's more desktop to 1 room range. So excellent for that one home office or single room use.


Verizon Mobile Hotspot Signal Booster for Vehicle

Our Pick: Cel-Fi Go-M Verizon

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

The Superman. The Tony Stark. This isthe strongest Verizon car signal booster on the market. +70 dB gain compared to the +50 dB gain of the competitors, so about 100x the power output.

Although a carrier-specific model, a mobile app allows to change to AT&T or T-Mobile service.

Also comes with a weatherproof NEMA 4-rated enclosure, so perfect for extreme conditions or outside-the-vehicle installations.

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

With a durable, all-metal build making heat dissipation a snap, this is one of the top all-carrier car signal boosters available to consumers. It also comes with internal and external antennas capable of being upgraded for enhanced service.

SureCell is committed to consistently improving its Fusion2Go model - this is the third - so you know this is a good one.

For Cradle Mounts: weBoost Drive Sleek

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

While the cradle is made to hold a smartphone, you can easily slide your Jetpack inside for boosted service.

The weBoost Drive Sleek's cradle mount attaches to the air vent, so great for hands-free experience.

Really good performer in the city, decent in rural areas. It's also one of the cheapest options here.


Verizon Mobile Hotspot Signal Booster for Commercial Buildings

Our Pick: Cel-Fi Quatra for Verizon

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

The best, strongest Verizon signal booster for commercial buildings is roughly 1000x more powerful than the comparative leading all-carrier booster, a difference from +70 dB to +100 dB, in fact.

This model is made up of two parts:

  • A network unit (NU), which boosts existing signals for up to four coverage units.
  • A coverage unit (CU), which broadcasts these boosted signals signals in an area of up to 50,000 square feet. If you fully stack your Quatra, you’re looking at a possible coverage of around 200,000 square feet.

Also of note, rather than coax cables, the Cel-Fi Quatara instead uses power of ethernet (PoE) Cat5e cables which allows for better signal (since it's digital) and also longer cable runs.

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

Wilson Electronics, who leads the North American market in consumer and commercial signal booster sales, consistently ends up with the all-carrier WilsonPro 70 Plus on its bestseller list. It can hit a range of around 35,000 square feet with maximum outdoor signal quality.

Budget: HiBoost Commercial 20K

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

One of the most budget-friendly models available for commercial buildings. It’s ideal for smaller spaces between 5,000 and 15,000 square feet.


Why It’s Not 100% Verizon’s Fault, It’s Also Your Building Material

Indoor cell phone use accounts for the highest rate of dropped calls, given that 80% of all calls are made indoors. In fact, over 72% of instances of smartphone use indoors contends with some form of dropped calls, issues with voice quality, and/or slowed down internet.

The reason why?

Pretty much any network, Verizon included, can take a dip in quality because of the materials making up your home or commercial building. Distance between you and a cell tower will always be a factor in call, text, and internet quality, but outside obstructions like trees, tall buildings, mountains, and others can also lead to issues. The top reason why your calls are dropping is building materials and the layout of the building you’re in, though.

The following are the 7 most common materials that can compromise your cellular access’ quality:

  1. Metal: Most types of metal will be problematic to your signal. The most common metals used in building - in no particular order - are brass, copper, aluminum, steel, iron, tin, etc.
  2. Low-E- Glass: Although a great choice for making a building energy efficient and eco-friendly, it’s also a major reason why you might deal with signal issues indoors.
  3. Brick/Concrete: The thickness and durability of brick and concrete are capable of weakening - if not outright blocking - your service.
  4. Plaster /Drywall: Although less of an issue than brick and concrete, plaster and drywall can still dampen your ability to make calls and texts.
  5. Wood: Thicker plans of wood can function similarly to plaster and drywall when interacting with cell signals.
  6. Thick Walls: Thick walls are at their most annoying nearest the center of the building.
  7. Electromagnetic Interference: Standing too close to wireless machines, TVs, computers, and other devices that emit RF noise may also cause disrupts.

You could be standing immediately next to a cell tower and still experience some hiccups on your service due to these and other building materials. A signal booster is a worthwhile investment in most situations.

Verizon Frequency Bands

The following are the major Verizon frequency bands. Understand that local and statewide service can be updated.

Verizon Frequency Bands
Band 17700 MHz
Band 13700 MHz
Band 5850 MHz
Band 41700-2100 MHz
Band 251900 MHz

Finding Your Verizon Cell Phone Signal Strength & Cell Tower Location

Bars are often your first indicator of cell phone signal strength, but they aren’t always the most reliable. But they aren’t the exclusive way to gauge access.

dBm is actually your best bet in seeing just how strong your cell phone is; this is the metric by which signals are measured. -50 dBm is the ideal, and should show up as full bars, and -120 dBm is the poorest possible signal.

Use the following methods to find your dBm :

Field Test Mode (Using Your Cell Phone)

For iPhone Users:

Thanks to Apple’s removal of easy access to your dBm in Field Test Mode, it’s a little harder to get a reading - especially since there’s two different chipsets, Intel and Qualcomm.

This is how to find the dBm of your iPhone with the Qualcomm chipset for Verizon customers:

  • On phone mode, call: *3001#12345#*.
  • If you see the following options: 1x EV-DO and 1x, congrats, you can find your dBm.
  • Tap on 1x EV-DO.
  • The number next to RX AGC0 is your dBm reading.

Don’t fret if you’re unable to find your dBm this way. There are plenty of smartphone apps that can reliably give you all the info. Scroll below for a list.

For Android Users

Thanks to Android’s open system, it’s a little easier to find your dBm. Keep in mind that, despite these being general instructions, the details can vary based on who manufactured your phone. Luckily, hewing closely to these will still get you to where you need to be.

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

Smartphone Apps

Apps are extremely beneficial when you need information about the closest cell phone tower and dBm readings. Which ones to pick is another story, though. We have our favorites, though. You can’t go wrong with any of the following apps to test your cell phone or smartphone signal speeds:

For iPhone Users:

For Android Users:


Contact Us

We’re here to assist with any issues you might be experiencing with both Verizon signals and your Verizon signal booster. Contact us today.

James N
3rd Jul 2018

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