Updated: December 2017

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.
wireless extenders

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.

Best Wireless Extenders:

The top rated Wireless Extenders zBoost SOHO YX545 is one of the newer models on the market and so far reviews are very positive. The price is about $275 and it claims up to 3000 square feet of coverage. Very similar in specs to the YX-510 (see below) but it also handles 3G networks. Inside the box you will find zBoost amplifier base unit, base unit antenna, power supply, coaxial cable (RG59-mini), signal antenna and mounting hardware. Consumers say the setup is easy, the reception is "way better than before" and works well in office environment or in your home. We found positive comments for those with iPhones or even Droid X cell phones with Verizon. The zBoost SOHO YX545 cellular extender works great in getting rid of annoying dropped calls and allowing you to use your cell phone where you live or work.

Cell Phone Signal Booster:

RECOMMENDED - Looking for that added cell phone signal strength at home or in the office, go with the zBoost YX-510 Cell Phone Signal Booster Dual Band unit for Home or Office. The YX-510 gets mixed reviews, although the vast majority are still very positive. It will extend your cellular coverage (single and multiple users) in your house or at the office. The dual band device works with 800/1900 MHz frequencies from all major carriers (not compatible with Nextel). The unit will receive signals from multiple cell towers and supports network formats like CDMA, GSM, TDMA, AMPS, GPRS, EDGE, 1xRTT, EVDO, HSDPA. Owner comments include "does exactly what I needed" and "solved my problem with dropped calls". Several consumers mention that trying the antenna in different spots will allow you to see which location gets the best reception. This cellular signal repeater is the best of the bunch and certainly very popular, but don't expect miracles says one buyer.