Do Cell Phone Boosters Work In Cities?

Do Cell Phone Boosters Work In Cities?

If you’re trying to improve your reception, a cell phone booster could be the answer. This handy device can improve the speed and strength of your cell phone signal in areas with generally poor service. Do cell phone boosters work in cities?

Yes, cell phone boosters (also known as modem signal boosters) work in cities and can amplify an existing signal in the middle of a city, in buildings, vehicles, or also at remote locations. They can reduce call dropping and improve overall connection quality.

The right cell phone booster depends on your area and device requirements. Read everything you need to know about choosing cell phone boosters in the helpful guide below. 

What Is a Cell Phone Booster?

What Is a Cell Phone Booster?
An exterior building antenna connected to an interior cell phone booster?

A cell phone booster is essentially adding an exterior antenna to an interior receiver specifically for a cellular phone signal. You are adding a larger stronger antenna and receiver to a building or vehicle specifically for your cellphone.

A cell phone booster strengthens the surrounding cellular signal to reduce dropped calls and improve usage. They can be used by tablets, smartphones, and multiple electronic devices to achieve faster data speeds and more. 

Cell phone boosters are useful in areas with obstructions, such as large buildings, mountains, supermarkets, or places far from the nearest cell tower. Cell phone boosters are also useful if you need a cell signal in remote areas when hiking or camping.

Cell phone boosters only work if you separate the indoor antenna at the minimum required distance from the outside antenna.

The three most important components of a cell phone booster are the following:

  • Exterior antenna: Receives a cell signal from a nearby cell tower.
  • Amplifier: Boosts cell service within the designated area. 
  • Interior antenna: Distributes the cell signal to nearby devices.

Note that boosters cannot create the radio frequency (RF) waves cell phones use to communicate with cell towers on their own. For the booster to work, there must be a cell phone signal nearby. 

Types of Cell Phone Boosters

There are different cell phone boosters for various applications in residential and commercial settings. You should consider your needs carefully before choosing any type of cell phone booster. 

Most cities usually provide very good and reliable cellular signals but there are always dead spots caused by terrain or large structures blocking the signal. it also matters who your cellular service carrier is because they are not all equal.

In-Building Cell Phone Boosters

In-Building Cell Phone Boosters
A young business woman at the window of a large building that uses smartphone signal boosters.

An in-building cell phone booster or repeater system uses an exterior cellular signal to improve service indoors. The cell phone booster is typically placed by a window or wall with a strong cellular signal. 

In-building cell phone boosters are perfect for residential buildings or businesses that need better cell phone service. The average homeowner can install most in-building cell phone boosters.  

In many large cities with high-rise buildings, there can be issues with signal reception and cell phone signal especially 5G. That is where cell phone boosters in large cities can be the answer to poor cell phone reception.

Vehicle Cell Phone Boosters

Vehicle Cell Phone Boosters
A young woman standing on the hood of her car trying to get a cell phone signal.

Vehicle cell phone boosters work well for cars, trucks, boats, and vans that need better cell service. Moving vehicles can use boosters with an omnidirectional antenna to pull cell signals from nearby cell towers. 

On the other hand, stationary vehicles such as RVs are better suited to boosters with a uni-directional antenna that pulls cell signal from a concentrated, 45-degree area.

Benefits of Cell Phone Boosters

Benefits of Cell Phone Boosters - Graph-1.1-Who-Owns-Cell-Phones-Per-Age-Group
Graph-1.1-Showing who owns cell phones (Per Age Group) Reference – Pew Research Mobile Fact Sheet

There are multiple reasons homes and vehicles should use cell phone boosters. For starters, almost everyone 97% of Americans, to be specific) needs to be connected via multiple devices for work and leisure. Unreliable cell service can cause stress and negatively impact businesses, and cell phone boosters can mitigate those issues. 

In addition, a cell phone booster:

  • Improves battery life: Searching for a cell signal is power-intensive and can drain your phone battery. Installing a cell phone booster reduces the amount of energy your phone needs to connect to a reliable network.
  • Saves money: Boosting the existing cellular signal in your building can reduce the need for a landline and eliminate the monthly costs of paying for a stationary phone line. 
  • Increased security: Homes with a cell phone booster can operate reliable alarm systems that must contact monitoring stations ASAP. Residents will also have better access to emergency services with improved cell phone signals.

Disadvantages of Cell Phone Boosters

The main downside of cell phone boosters is that they cannot create a strong signal on their own. If your home has little to no cell service, you may not find a cell phone booster useful at all. 

Other disadvantages of cell phone boosters are:

  • Installation of the exterior antenna requires a little more DIY know-how.
  • Improper installation can cause interference.
  • Most brands are expensive.

Are Cell Phone Boosters Legal in the U.S.?

Cell phone boosters are prohibited in some countries, but they are legal in the U.S. and Canada. That said, it’s important to ensure your cell phone booster is certified by the proper authorities (depending on your area) and sold by a reputable business. 

Time Spent on Smartphones

Graph 2.1 Mobile App Usage in the U.S. (Hours) 2021 through 2023
Graph 2.1 Mobile App Usage in the U.S. (Hours) 2021 through 2023. – Reference: Insider Intelligence “How mobile users spend their time on their smartphones in 2023”

People are spending more and more time on their smartphones. The effect of this behavior change is prevalent with wifi and cellular signal availability.

In an article by Insider Intelligence “How mobile users spend their time on their smartphones in 2023” “In 2022, daily time spent on mobile devices in the U.S. was up 39.3% from three years ago and 8.9% from 2021.

Users are spending more time with apps than browsers on their mobile devices. Mobile app use grew to 3:22 per day in 2022 and will grow to 3:28 per day in 2023, up from 2021’s 3:14.”

Insider Intelligence “How mobile users spend their time on their smartphones in 2023”

Best Cell Phone Boosters

Now that you know what cell phone boosters are, what they can do, why you need them, and a few of their disadvantages, let’s go into the best ones you can find on

Best Home Cell Phone Booster: SureCall Flare 3.0 

Best Home Cell Phone Booster SureCall Flare 3.0 
Best Home Cell Phone Booster – SureCall Flare 3.0 available on Amazon.

The SureCall Flare 3.0 is a directional cell phone booster that can improve weak cell signal up to 3,500 square feet (325.16 square meters). This product is perfect for residential use, as it can boost cell signal across multiple rooms in an average-sized home.  It supports all major carriers, including T-Mobile, Straight Talk, and US Cellular. 


  • Excellent signal boost
  • Supports multiple carriers
  • Affordable price


  • Tricky setup process
  • Difficult to adjust the antenna
  • Doesn’t support 5G signals

Best Cell Booster for Cars and Trucks: SureCall Fusion2Go Max 

Best Cell Booster for Cars and Trucks SureCall Fusion2Go Max 
Best Cell Booster for Cars and Trucks: SureCall Fusion2Go Max is available on Amazon through this link.

If you travel or work in multiple locations, you need a signal booster that can move with you. The Fusion2Go Max by SureCall is a versatile cell phone booster that operates within your vehicle to improve cell signal. The omnidirectional booster pulls signals from multiple directions for strong cell reception. Installation takes less than 30 minutes and it does a great job of improving cell service. 


  • Easy installation process
  • Provides strong cell service
  • Supports all major carriers


  • Expensive 

Best Coverage: HiBoost Super Signal Cell Phone Booster 15,000 sq ft.

Best Coverage: HiBoost Super Signal Cell Phone Booster 
Best Coverage: HiBoost Super Signal Cell Phone Booster and available on Amazon through this link.

The HiBoost Super Signal Cell Phone Booster can improve cell phone signal across a range of up to 15,000 square feet (1393 square meters). Unlike other boosters, installation does not require drilling for the installation, and cables can be fed through the bottom of a window to connect the outdoor antenna to the cell signal booster.

The HiBoost cell phone booster has an excellent signal control system and two indoor antennas. HiBoost provides US-based tech support for users via email, online chat, or phone. 

HiBoost Super Signal Cell Phone Booster 15,000 sq ft.
HiBoost Super Signal Cell Phone Booster 15,000 sq ft.


  • Extremely powerful and delivers astonishing high speed
  • Has a useful app to help with the setup
  • Perfect for large homes and buildings
  • Supports all U.S. and Canadian carriers
  • Minority-Owned Business
  • Supports 5G
  • Easy to install
  • High-quality after-sales service and a 3-year warranty


  • Expensive
  • Supports 5G only that’s been or will be deployed in current 4G bands by DSS (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing) by carriers.

Best Omnidirectional Booster: SureCall Fusion4Home

Best Omnidirectional Booster: SureCall Fusion4Home
Best Omnidirectional Booster: SureCall Fusion4Home.

As mentioned earlier, omnidirectional cell phone boosters can communicate with cell phone towers in multiple directions to increase coverage. The SureCall Fusion4Home booster gathers cell signal across 360 degrees to provide at least 1,000 square feet (92.9 square meters) of coverage.


  • Compatible with all major carriers 
  • Provides up to 3,000 square feet of coverage
  • Affordable price


  • Poor performance in areas where the signal is very low

Best for Small Rooms and Apartments: WeBoost Home Studio Cell Phone Signal Booster

Best for Small Rooms and Apartments: WeBoost Home Studio Cell Phone Signal Booster
Best for Small Rooms and Apartments: WeBoost Home Studio.

Some cell phone boosters provide more coverage than you will ever need in a small space, making them unnecessarily expensive. Luckily, the WeBoost Home Studio is perfect for small spaces or single rooms. It provides up to 2,000 square feet (185.8 square meters) of coverage and supports all major networks. 


  • Easy to install
  • Perfect for single rooms
  • Can support multiple users


  • Not suitable for multiple rooms

How To Install Cell Phone Boosters

How To Install Cell Phone Boosters
Diagrammatical rendering showing a typical Cell Phone Booster installation courtesy of SureCall.

Cell phone boosters are pretty easy to install. All you have to do is follow the steps below.

  1. Use a smartphone app to identify the strongest exterior cell signal.
  2. Mount the exterior antenna as high as possible in the area with the best cell signal.  
  3. Connect the exterior antenna to the amplifier.
  4. Install the interior antenna.
  5. Turn on the power and enjoy boosted cell signal.

If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can always have your cell phone booster installed by a professional. 

Key Takeaways

Cell phone boosters are a great way to solve signal and connectivity issues in a vehicle, building, or commercial space. A signal booster can help with:

  • Improving signal in well-insulated areas.
  • Enhanced security. 
  • Higher-quality phone calls.
  • Increasing download speeds.

Finding the right cell phone boosters for your needs can eliminate communication issues and improve your quality of life. 

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John Mortensen

As a kid I wanted to be an astronaut, geologist, or scientist. I became a project manager which is involved with many of those things. I am a project manager and tech writer who researches the latest alternative and green technologies. We write helpful articles about green electronics and green technology products. AI, extreme weather, electric vehicles, are all in our future and we want to know the best way to deal with the effects of these on the power grid and emergency preparedness.

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