Where should you mount the cell booster in your car?

You’ve finally decided to do it. You’re tired of dropped calls and slow data transfers while you’re driving. Not only that, you’re tired of losing your place in your Spotify playlists and having your kids complain about jerky videos. You’re ready to always-on cellular connectivity. Awesome!

You’ve bought the right booster…

When looking at mobile boosters, the biggest decision you need to make is whether to get a cradle booster or a whole-vehicle booster. Cradle boosters attach directly to the phone. They provide great boost for one phone, usually the driver’s.

That is a great solution for solo commuters, but it’s not for everyone. Unless cost is a really a consideration, you’ll probably want a whole car booster.

A whole-vehicle booster uses an antenna mounted on the vehicle’s roof and brings cell service to the entire inside of the vehicle. Generally boosters of this sort support up to 8 devices, which should be enough for almost any trip in a car, truck, or RV. It’s the best choice in almost every case.

You also looked at the great selection of boosters available at Solid Signal and decided whether you want a 3G or 4G booster. Generally a 3G booster is best for voice only, and most people don’t want that. If you want great cell service for web surfing, navigation, podcasts, music, and videos you want a 4G booster.

So ok, all the decisions are made and you’ve bought that booster. Now, for the tough part, where to install it?

The rule is… there’s no rule

Realistically you can install the booster itself anywhere that it will fit. It’s designed to work in tight spaces and the key for you is finding a place where it can mount securely without moving around. The life of the booster will be a lot shorter if the cables are being yanked around. So, look for somewhere it can get screwed, bolted or at least zip-tied in.

Avoid heat problems easily

There are basically two different booster designs, and the key to keeping them working is managing heat.

Surecall boosters (and others)

Most mobile boosters look a lot like this SureCall Fusion2Go. There’s a grey metal box with a bunch of fins on it. This is the traditional look for cellular signal boosters.

When mounting something that looks like this, make sure the fins are facing up. This will give the most heat dissipation. Heat will destroy any electronic device quickly. If you are going to mount this to the floor under the seat, then that’s fine as long as the fins are facing upward. In other words, don’t mount it to the seat with the fins facing down. It’s also ok to mount this sort of booster vertically with the fins facing forward.

weBoost Boosters

weBoost’s vehicle boosters have a unique design that puts the airflow vents on the side. The electronics run cool enough that you don’t need large metal fins. This makes them easier to mount because you can put them on any surface as long as the airflow vents aren’t covered. This can make for a much cleaner installation depending on where you choose to put the booster.

A note about electric cars

Electric cars are becoming more and more common. Cell boosters work great in electric cars, although you may need to check with the manufacturer if you want to wire directly into the 12 volt power system rather than use the “lighter socket” adapter. That’s an article for a different time, though.

The big thing to know about electric cars is that they generally have the battery under the floor. This can mean the floor of the car gets hotter than it does in a traditional car. In electric cars, I’d tend to want to mount the booster in the trunk or behind the seats if possible. If it’s a weBoost booster you can mount it underneath the seat as long as there is really good airflow under there.

Do you have other questions about cell boosters?

If you’re confused about which cell booster to buy, we have answers. Our team can help with choosing a booster for home, vehicle, or work, and can even help with installation tips. You can contact us over live chat at Solid Signal, or call our offices during business hours at 888-233-7563.

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.