Wi-Ex ZBoost 510

This cell phone booster will increase your signal strength by one or two bars. If your home or office has dismal cell phone coverage, as mine does, this booster can make a difference. Often a spot outside your building, or on top of your building will have better coverage. This device picks up the signal from a small stick-like antenna and relays it via a cable to a book-size station where you want the signal. Using this in my studio I can now get two bars where before I had none. The zBoost is the least expensive signal repeater I could find.

A few important caveats. This is not a miracle machine; if you have no bars outside, there is no signal to amplify, so you will still have none inside. Also, the antenna and relay station need to be separated by a wall or ceiling or several rooms so that you do not simply create a feedback loop where the antenna is recirculating the stations emissions, creating a useless squelch. Lastly, the radius of boosted signal is small. It can serve a large room, or maybe a few small rooms. In my experience it will not fill a home, or office with a boosted signal. It is best to think of this as providing a boost to a room. To cover a large area you’ll need more than one, but I don’t have any experience in what happens with overlapping coverage.

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I have the dual spectrum variety of EZBooster, which covers most carriers, in part as a service to visitors. I also found that finding the optimal location for the antenna is not obvisous or trivial. Placement makes a huge difference; it’s worth trying all kinds of positions. Sometimes attics and corners of rooms will work, and sometimes near windows are NOT better. There’s a 50-foot interconnecting white coaxil cable which should be long enough, but can be ugly.

For years I’ve tried to get my local cell phone companies to boost the signal in our neighborhood, but with no success. This modest gadget at least gives me coverage in my home office.

-- KK  

Wi-Ex ZBoost YX 510
$290

Available from Amazon

Manufactured by Repeater Store