Cell Booster or Wi-Fi Extender: Which do you REALLY need?

So, you want to improve reception in the house. That makes perfect sense… it’s frustrating that you can use your phone anywhere but in your own home. Yet, the construction of a lot of homes isn’t cell-phone friendly at all. Brick, cinder block, and stucco all contribute to real reception problems indoors, and since a lot of homes are shrouded in trees, it can be very hard to get a signal through the beautiful tapestry of sylvan wood.

So, you’re looking for options and you’d like to make sure you’re not overspending. What should you buy? The answer comes when you ask yourself what you really use your phone for. If it’s voice, then you’ll need a cell booster. If it’s data, you probably want a Wi-Fi repeater instead.

If you talk on the phone a lot but you don’t have a lot of “bars” indoors, then you want a cellular booster. A cell booster takes the signal from outside and pumps it up inside. You put an antenna up as high as possible, to get the best signal possible, and then run a cable into the house where another device rebroadcasts it. Cell boosters are a little expensive although you get a lot of value out of them. You can buy ones that just boost voice, or also boost voice and data. Of course, they’re available at Solid Signal and our team can even help you find the right one with a free referral service.

If you really don’t talk on the phone you might just find that a Wi-Fi repeater is the best choice. You probably have Wi-Fi somewhere in the house but it’s possible that it doesn’t reach all the way to the rooms where you actually use the phone. This is a pretty common problem especially in mid-to-larger size homes. That’s where a Wi-Fi repeater comes in. You put it somewhere in the home about halfway between where the router is and where you want to use it. It picks up the Wi-Fi signal and creates a whole new Wi-Fi zone. You connect to this new Wi-Fi network and because the extender is closer than the router, you get better signal. Of course Solid Signal has a wide variety of Wi-Fi extenders and we can help you choose the right one if you call us at 888-233-7563. We can even help you with a large system that covers a virtually limitless area with Wi-Fi coverage. Wi-Fi extenders are a lot less expensive and easier to install than cell boosters, so if voice isn’t a consideration, or if you use Skype, Facetime or some other VOIP solution, you might find that a Wi-Fi extender is the right choice.

Of course it’s possible too that you’ll need both items; unfortunately there isn’t a catch-all device that will boost Wi-Fi as well as cellular, but there are cellular boosters that will also boost your LTE signal so you will get a strong data connection through your phone’s data plan.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.