Is there a way to block access to a cell booster?

Ah, the questions we get at Solid Signal. Of course, we tell people our cellular signal boosters are perfect for helping everyone in the home get great cell service. Other than single-user boosters intended for cars, every booster will help at least 8 people get better reception. But, what if you don’t want that? Check out what one user wrote:

Here’s a problem I didn’t expect. Now that I have great cell service in the house, my kids are on their phones constantly. Is there any way to control who gets a boost and who doesn’t?

How a cell booster works

A cellular signal booster works by acting as a “middleman” between you and the cell towers. It takes in signal from outside using a large antenna that’s more efficient than the one on your phone. Then, it amplifies and rebroadcasts that signal. It does the same thing with the signal from your phone: it intercepts it and rebroadcasts it from outside the home using a strong antenna.

Does a cell booster know what devices are being used with it?

Yes, in fact it does. Each device has a unique number called an “International Mobile Equipment Identity” or IMEI. This is a special identifier that helps the cellular system route calls to the right place. Your cell booster also uses it for the same reason. So, at least while a phone is connected, it knows what that phone is in some way. This is true even if you aren’t making a call.

However, most cell boosters don’t store this information. Some of the very expensive cloud based systems have this capability but for the most part it’s nothing to worry about. It’s no different than the cell network having this information in general. Yes it can be used to track you. So, if you’re going to do something illegal and you don’t want to be found, then don’t turn on your phone.

Can you block one phone from being able to use a booster?

Ah, back to the actual point of this article. It could technically be possible to block one IMEI, that is to say one phone, from using a cell booster. But you’d need to be able to get into the phone’s software to make that happen. There isn’t any cellular booster that actually allows this. Truth is it’s just not something that people ask for very often.

A better way of dealing with this particular issue is to set up usage limits on the actual device. iOS and Android devices both have ways to place time restrictions on phone usage and to put in a passcode so those settings can be locked. When the device is set so it can’t be used, then the problem goes away.

Of course, you’ll have to get the phone out of the kids’ hands first and then make sure you choose a passcode they can’t hack. In many ways, that can be the hardest part of the process.

You can’t use it to block calls, but shop for a cell booster anyway

There’s a great place to find all the best brands of cellular signal boosters. Check out Solid Signal for the selection and prices you crave, and you’ll be on your way to getting great cell service throughout your home. Whether or not it’s too good… that’s up to you.

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 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.