I finally got my cell phone reception booster kit. I’ll post a more thorough review once I test it up at the ranch. But I’ve posted a short video of what it looks like, meantime (bottom of page.)
Of course, I couldn’t wait until I got to the ranch so I did a very rudimentary test in my dining room today. I pieced it together which took all of about 5 minutes and that includes unwrapping all the little doo dad connectors that keep the wires screwed to each other. Then I plugged it in to see what it would do with my Verizon cell service (it works for all major cell companies, though.)
To give you an example of just how well it worked, I tested my phone with a signal meter.
Side note… almost all phones actually have a built in signal meter. Not the bars. That’s crap. I mean an actual power meter that shows you the exact level of power you’re getting for your signal. Here is a list of phones and how you access that power meter for each. For the iPhone, you dial *3001#12345#* and then hit Send. The screen will come up immediately and you’ll be able to see in the place of the bar meter in the upper left corner, your actual signal power measured in dB. It’ll be a negative number. The closer to 0 the number is, the better. A good signal would be in the low -80s.
My normal cell signal at my house is about -85dB to all the way up to -92dB. It fluctuates. When I hooked the booster package up and just held the outside antenna up in one hand and standing about 15 feet from the indoor antenna (the one that receives and transmits to your cell phone inside the house), my signal went to -81dB. Now, remember, I’m in a suburb of Phoenix, where my signal is SUPPOSED to be good anyway. But with this signal booster, my reception DOUBLED (at the minimum). To understand that better, each -3dB that the number goes down, your power actually doubles. So, -81dB is actually double the power of -84dB. And it doubles again at the next -3dB. So -78dB is double the -81dB and actually 4 times greater than -84dB.
I also tested my data speeds. Unamplified, my data speed was PATHETIC. My ping time was 110ms and my download speed was a paltry, 40kbps (.04mbs) and my upload speed was .22mbps. (I just tested it again, later at night, and it was better with .43mbps download and .52mbps… but still.) My bandwidth numbers with the booster on was 96ms ping and 1mbps download and a .7mbps upload.
Remember, this was with the omni-directional OUTDOOR antenna, being held up with my right arm in the middle of my two story house. Imagine if you put that out on the eave where it was designed to go? Your signal would be rocking.
Reminder… if you get one of these, be sure to do your bandwidth speed testing with your wifi off. Otherwise, it’ll be testing your wifi speeds… not your cell data speeds. You can test your bandwidth speed by getting an app for your smart phone. Just search for “Speed Test” in your app store and you’ll find a lot of various speed testers. I use this one for the iPhone. It’s nicely laid out.
I’ll post my data and cell power tests from the ranch, later. I’m going out there next week.