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Verizon Network Extender: Is It Worth It?

Verizon Network Extender: Is It Worth It?

Verizon Network Extender Is It Worth It

Problem

Consumers and businesses rank Verizon as one of the top networks available in the United States, but even the strength of their signals can be compromised for reasons they unfortunately can't control.

Both natural and manmade structures contribute to slowing down and otherwise disrupting signals - the providers aren't at fault when these particular hiccups happen. Some of the obstructions include, but aren't limited to, the following:

  • Inside interference: Metal, concrete, bricks, glass, etc.
  • Outside interference: Trees, skyscrapers and similarly big buildings, hills/mountains, construction equipment, etc.

In some unfortunate cases, particularly when multiple factors are layered on top of one another, your service can drop completely. As mentioned previously, this isn't usually the fault of your providers - they don't have any control over the obstructions near your location.

Verizon Wireless does offer the 4G network extenders to help you make calls around the obstructions. They're probably one of the strongest options, with a range of about 7,500 sq. ft.

Unfortunately, these models are only capable of working when connected to wifi or landline internet In short, they convert wifi to cellular and vice versa, but if the internet or power goes down in your area, then no luck.

That's a major drawback if you require portability, or don't have access to landline internet like Comcast or Uverse, or want to boost other carrier services like Sprint or AT&T.

But there's a better, cheaper, and better alternative.

The Solution: Cellular Signal Boosters (aka 4G Network Extenders)

Cell phone signal boosters are equipment that amplify your existing cellular signal. They work by pulling in weak signal from the nearest cell tower, amplifying it, and then rebroadcasting into your home or car.

The end result: more bars, better signal, and faster internet.

Carrier-specific boosters will support only ONE carrier at a time but are more powerful. All-carrier boosters support all major carriers but are less powerful.

To help you make the right decision for your Verizon network extender needs, we've made a listing of some of the best choices for any budget and any location. Our recommendations for home, office, and vehicle follow.


Verizon Network Extenders 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

Probably the strongest Verizon network extender for home use on the market.

Cel-Fi brand products are some of the best on the market, boasting increases of +100 dB, as opposed to +70 dB for their leading competitors; that's a difference of 1000x radio frequency power. The only drawback is that this is a carrier-specific model, so it exclusively works with the Verizon network. While the best available, if you think you might switch to a different provider eventually, it might not suit your needs.

What we love most about the Cel-Fi is that there are no wires or cables necessary to hook it up. Instead, it comes with two wireless units. You place one close to a window to attract the signal, while the other goes on the opposite side of your home to broadcast the aforementioned signal. You should be able to see increases in most rooms.

Also Good: SureCall Fusion Professional

  • Boosts 3G & 4G LTE indoors for all carriers
  • Up to 8,000 sq ft coverage
  • Up to +72 dB Gain

The Fusion Professional is a professional grade signal booster. Designed to improve your Verizon signal in large homes or offices with great cellular signal outside, or in mid-size homes and offices with weak outside cell signal. With its 2XP technology, you are guaranteed to receive double the Verizon signal power, providing your Verizon devices with a reliable connection in rural, suburban, and urban areas.

Not only will it improve your Verizon signal like the Cel-Fi DUO+ or Verizon’s 4G network extender would, but it’s compatible with all US carriers and devices. No one in your household or office will ever have to deal with dropped calls, unsent text messages, or slow data again.

For Smaller Spaces: HiBoost Home 4K Smart Link

  • Boosts 3G & 4G LTE indoors for all carriers
  • Up to 4,000 sq ft coverage
  • Up to +60 dB Gain

If you need whole building coverage in your home or office no larger than 4,000 sq ft, or a small section of your house where it’s difficult to maintain a consistent Verizon connection, the Home 4K Smart Link would be a great investment. It features the HiBoost Signal Supervisor app, which allows you to easily monitor the booster’s performance and troubleshoot it from the palm of your hand. You will always be in the know as to why your signal is not performing at its peak.

Keep in mind that the amount of coverage the booster provides will vary based on the strength of your outside signal. Under perfect conditions, it can cover areas up to 4,000 sq ft, but in areas with ok to weak signal, you can expect about 2,500 to 1,000 sq ft of coverage.


Verizon Network Extender for Vehicle

Our Pick: Cel-Fi GO+ for Verizon

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

Because it boasts gains of up to +70 dB, this is the strongest of the Verizon car signal boosters available to consumers. Its competitors reach up to +50 dB, for comparison's sake. Although carrier-specific upon purchase, consumers can download an app to switch their coverage to someone other than Verizon should they wish to change carriers.

Also Good: SureCall Fusion2Go Max

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

The SureCell Fusion2Go Max features a durable, all-metal construction to mitigate heat dissipation. We also quite like the internal patch antenna and external magnet mount antenna for fast and easy installation. The booster is equipped with Extended Range Technology™ (ERT) for maximum Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint signal performance. Due to the Fusion2Go Max’s increased vehicle to tower reach, you and your passengers will experience fewer dropped calls, better signal quality, and faster data.

For Cradle Mounts: weBoost Drive Sleek

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

Many states have restrictions dictating that you can't operate your smartphone or tablet while driving unless you're using a hands-free setup. The weBoost Drive Sleek helps make sure you get clear, crisp calls without breaking the law thanks to the included cradle mount capable of holding different-sized phones - even some tablets! With gains of up to +23 dB, you can hook this device up in most cars, trucks, and RVs/campers.

The weBoost Drive Sleek works best in urban settings, but can still function fine in remote areas.


Verizon Network Extender 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

Easily the strongest Verizon network extender intended for use in commercial buildings. The Cel-Fi Quatra is around 1000x more powerful than the competition. It can provide gains up to +100 dB, compared to the next leading booster's gains of +70 dB.

Unlike many commercial building booster models, you're going to be dealing with two different parts, as follows:

  • A network unit (NU) boosts existing signals and can cover up to four coverage units.
  • A coverage unit (CU) broadcasts boosted signals. This can cover an area of about 50,000 sq. ft. A fully-stacked device is capable of covering up to 200,000 sq. ft.

The Cel-Fi Quatra requires power of ethernet (PoE) Cat5e cables as opposed to coax cables, making it a unique device. Such a switch increases digital signal quality and sustainability - you'll get a much more reliable boost than you would with analog cables. The cable runs on this device are about 3x the size of their RG-6 and LMR400 counterparts.

Also Good: WilsonPro 1100 (50 Ohm)

  • Boosts 3G & 4G LTE indoors for all carriers
  • Up to 35,000 sq ft coverage
  • Up to +70 dB Gain

The WilsonPro 1100 is a powerful booster designed to improve the cell signal in large homes, commercial offices, and buildings up to 35,000 sq ft. It’s able to communicate with far distanced towers to provide you with the best possible signal. You and your family members, guests, or employees will no longer experience poor cell phone reception indoors.

In addition, the WilsonPro 1100 features XDR technology, which allows the booster to automatically adjust itself to any changes in outside signal. This way the booster is always working at peak performance.

Budget: WilsonPro 70 Plus (50 Ohm)

  • Boosts 3G & 4G LTE indoors for all carriers
  • Up to 25,000 sq ft coverage
  • Up to +70 dB Gain

The WilsonPro 70 Plus consistently lands on our bestseller list. This device can service an office or building up to 25,000 sq ft and provide excellent signal quality indoors. The 70 Plus booster is not just designed to improve the signal inside commercial buildings, it’s also a great option for those who have large homes with poor Verizon signal indoors.


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

building materials

Because 80% of all smartphone calls are made indoors, it makes sense that indoor cell phone use is the leader in dropped calls. About 72% of smartphone calls are either compromised (slow internet, voice quality issues, etc.) or dropped entirely.

Why does this happen?

No matter how strong your provider - and this includes Verizon - your signal quality can lower if you're in a building (home or office) constructed of thick, heavy materials. While how far you are from a cell tower still obviously has an effect on your call, text, and internet access quality, outside issues like mountains, hills, tall buildings and even trees can also interfere. In fact, the #1 reason why calls drop is because of building materials and layout.

The following 7 factors are the most likely to negatively impact your signal quality:

  1. Metal: The type of metal doesn't matter here, as most are going to prove disruptive. Tin, steel, iron, aluminum, brass, and copper are the most common used in buildings.
  2. Low-E- Glass: Low-E Glass does a great job in helping buildings become more eco-friendly and energy efficient, but a major downside is that it does cause signal problems when you use your phone indoors.
  3. Brick/Concrete: Depending on the thickness of the nearby bricks or concrete, your signal can be blocked entirely.
  4. Plaster/Drywall: Plaster and drywall aren't as much of a problem as bricks and concrete, but still acts as a "dampener" of sorts to your signal.
  5. Wood: Thick wooden planks have the same disruptive capability as plaster and drywall.
  6. Thick Walls: Most problematic in the center of a building.
  7. Electromagnetic Interference: Try to avoid standing near wireless devices, computers, TVs, and other machinery that emits RF noise whenever possible, as they can also be an issue when trying to get a clear signal.

No matter how close you stand to a cell tower, obstacles such as these are still capable of compromising your signal access. Signal boosters are a great "anytime, anywhere" investment.

Verizon Frequency Bands

The following are the major Verizon frequency bands. These may change on a statewide or local level, however.

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

Most of us look at our bars to gauge the strength of our cell phone signals, but that isn't the most accurate - or even the only way to figure it out.

An accurate dBm reading is the most accurate option, as it's the metric by which signals are measured. -50 dBm usually corresponds with full bars, and -120 dBm with only one bar.

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. ios 11
  • Tap on 1x EV-DO.
  • The number next to RX AGC0 is your dBm reading.

It's not a big deal if these techniques don't allow you to see your specific dBm. You can download an app to help you figure it out. We've listed some of our favorites below.

For Android Users

Android’s open system makes it simpler to find your dBm than if you're an Apple user. Every Android phone is going to be a little bit different in terms of labeling, but these are general instructions that should be close enough to most setups.

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

Smartphone Apps

If you're unable to find your dBm readings with the aforementioned methods, try one of these apps to check your signal strength instead:

For iPhone Users:

For Android Users:

We offer complete cell phone signal booster kits for any situation:
Attention business & property owners, installers and integrators

Take advantage of our system design and installation services. Learn more or call us for a free consultation: 1-800-969-8189.


Need to Boost Signal for Another Carrier?


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.

SignalBoosters.com
19th Jan 2021

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