Updated: June 14, 2015
Wireless Extender Reviews and Buying Guide:Ever been sitting at your house talking on your cell phone and all of a sudden the reception goes haywire? I live in a hilly suburb outside of Portland, Oregon and our cell phone coverage has always been hit and miss in our house. You walk from one room to the next and the call is dropped. Who wants a dropped call? It's not just me, as I've heard dozens of friends mention the same issue no matter what town or part of the country they live in. Can you do anything about it? There are products out there that are specifically designed to help improve your cell phone signal. They are referred to as wireless extenders and they have proven to be very effective in both homes and offices. You'll find them used for cell phone coverage and some are designed for wireless internet access so that those in an office building get good signal strength no matter where they are located.
What is a wireless extender? - We are talking about a box, similar in look and functionality to a wireless router. You place the antenna either outdoors (above the roofline) or in your attic or near a window. The antenna picks up signals from almost all major carriers and sends it to the amplifier base unit. Are these products foolproof? No, but far more people have success with them than you might imagine. They help increase your cell phone signal strength - even going from 2 to 3 bars can be the difference between a dropped call and one that keeps the connection. They create a "cell zone" within your office building or home. There are some models that work specifically with certain cell carriers like AT&T or Verizon. All major carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Alltel) are covered with the zBoost YX-510 Cell Phone Signal Booster which goes for about $300. A few claim to give you up to 2500 square feet of coverage, although consumers will question that #. The top brands for cell phone signal boosters are from zBoost, Wilson, Wi-Ex, and Wireless Extenders. Expect to spend at least $100 and upwards of $350. You will have to do a bit of handyman work when installing the antenna, but most consumers say it's rather easy. The hard part of trying to get it placed in a spot that guarantees good coverage. You may have to tinker a bit with the location and position of the antenna. Cell phone signal booster reviews can be found online at CNET, Spotwave, and Amazon.com. You can browse the best selling cell phone signal boosters here.