The newest cell phone signal boosters recommend up to 45 feet between antennas. Yes really.

A cell phone signal booster is a great investment for home or office. In most cases installation is easy enough for people to do themselves. With nothing more than a wrench and a drill, you’ll find that you can get great cell service indoors for you and everyone around you.

It’s so easy, in fact, that you’ll find the hardest part is figuring out where to put the cell booster’s antennas. This part may take some planning, in order to make sure you’re getting the best value out of that booster.

Planning for the outdoor antenna

First and foremost, that outdoor antenna needs to be placed up pretty high. Most cell phone booster companies recommend that the outdoor antenna be 15 feet higher than the indoor antenna, or more. This means you’ll need to get creative if you’re in a single-story house. Many folks clamp a mast to a chimney using a chimney mount. A chimney mount is an inexpensive, non-destructive way to clamp any pole to your chimney. Using a chimney mount you can get that antenna up pretty high, so that signals aren’t blocked by other buildings or trees.

You’ll also need to get a general idea where to point the antenna. Most boosters today come with directional antennas. While omni antennas are easier to install, directional antennas offer a lot better performance. So, you’ll need to know where the cell towers are. There are a number of free cell tower mapping apps for both iPhone and Android and the truth is they are all pretty good. Choose the one that suits you and take note of where the closest tower is for your preferred carrier. Then simply point the antenna in that general direction.

Planning for the indoor antenna

Ideally, the indoor antenna should be located so that it’s close to where you’re using the phone. It’s also best, if possible, to put the antenna in the middle of the home or office so that it covers as much of the area as possible. Sometimes this can seem like a challenge, but with a little thought you can usually come up with the right location.

Dealing with separation between antennas

Separation between antennas is absolutely critical. As the title of this article states, some manufacturers now say that you should have up to 45 feet between outdoor and indoor antennas for some of their larger booster systems. If you have less than that, you may not get the performance you’re expecting from the booster.

Generally, looking at the manual included with the booster, or available online, will give you the distance recommendation you need to know. More powerful boosters need more separation, while smaller boosters designed for a single room don’t need as much.

There’s a reason for all of this. If the signals from the two antennas can reach each other, it can set up a feedback loop. You know that howling sound that speakers make when the microphone is too close? Imagine that same sort of thing happening to your cell phone signal. It could create damage to your phone or even to the whole cellular network.

In order to prevent feedback, cell phone signal boosters automatically reduce power when they need to. This stops feedback loops from starting. But, of course you don’t want that. You want your booster operating at max power all the time. That way you get the best result and the best value for your money.

How to create antenna separation

The easiest way to create the separation you need is simply to put that outdoor antenna up as high as you can get it. If that’s not possible, you’ll need to keep looking at where your antennas can be placed. You might need to move that indoor antenna away from the center of the building, a little further away from the outdoor antenna. This may create a dead spot near the outdoor antenna, but if you think about it, that’s the closest part of the building to the cell tower and you might just have good cell service there anyway.

Get a cell phone signal booster from Solid Signal

Solid Signal has all the best brands of cell phone signal boosters all at the best prices. We can help you find the one that’s best for you! If you know what you need, shop the great selection available online. If you need help choosing, call us at 888-233-7563 during East Coast business hours and we’ll be happy to help you with a recommendation!

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.