Having a steady and reliable cell signal is essential. No one wants to deal with dropped calls or conversations cutting out. When you’re using your data plan, you want to feel confident that content will load smoothly and not cause your phone to struggle.
For many people, there are two main ways to enhance to utilize your phone’s cell signal: signal boosters or femtocells. It’s normal to find yourself unsure which one to choose, cell phone signal boosters or femtocells. This helpful guide from SureCall Boosters explains these two options and covers some pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision that best suits your personal needs.
What Is a Cell Phone Signal Booster?
Cell phone signal boosters are devices that work to amplify nearby signals. These boosters latch onto weaker signals and power your phone from an office building, vehicle, or residential area. Cell phone signal boosters work both ways and create a stronger connection from your phone to the cellular tower.
What Is a Femtocell?
A femtocell, sometimes called a microcell, operates similarly to a miniature cell tower. These devices create their own signal, allowing residents or workers to have their own signal in a home or office environment.
When trying to choose between cell phone signal boosters and femtocells, each of these two options has distinct advantages and disadvantages that may help you make a better decision.
Advantages of Cell Phone Signal Boosters
There are many different things to consider when looking at the advantage of signal boosters. One of the main upsides and purposes of a signal booster is that they amplify the signal to enhance it in areas that typically don't have strong signals. These areas may include rural locations or indoor/underground structures that don't usually receive much power.
Cell phone signal boosters can latch onto and increase the power of any nearby signal, regardless of carrier, making them more beneficial for people with different cell phone plans.
Signal boosters operate purely through electricity without requiring an internet connection or subscription fees. It's easy to keep a cell phone signal booster running, and it can operate in multiple places. These boosters work in residential areas, office buildings, and, most notably, remote locations like cars and recreational vehicles.
Disadvantages of Cell Phone Signal Boosters
The most notable disadvantage of a cell phone signal booster compared to a femtocell or microcell is that signal boosters do not create a signal. Since these boosters can only amplify an existing signal, they won’t work in areas or regions that don't have a signal to latch onto.
Cell phone signal-boosting technology has made it easier for these devices to connect with weaker signals. However, a booster can still not connect if there is no detectable signal in the area, which puts users at a slight disadvantage in regions lacking reliable cellular service.
Advantages of Femtocells
Since femtocells or microcells can create their own cellular signal, many advantages of using one work around some disadvantages of cellular boosting technology. Femtocells make and produce their own signal, meaning you can create a signal even if you’re in an area with no cellular service.
Compared to cellular boosting signals or natural connections, many femtocells provide a faster and more reliable signal than other options. Different femtocell models have different coverage ranges, whether you want to focus on a single room, an office area on a single floor, or an entire building.
Femtocells are often low-power devices that won't drive up your energy consumption. They may even reduce the amount of data your phone uses when operating on a limited data plan. While you may need to take some additional steps to sync your phone to the femtocell device, once synced, you may notice an increase in both speed and performance with your phone.
Disadvantages of Femtocells
While femtocells are great for creating a signal where one doesn't previously exist, there are some notable downsides to using these devices. For starters, femtocells or microcells require a stable internet connection to operate. While you may take advantage of the other benefits of using a femtocell, it may be unlikely that you will find yourself in an area with zero cell service that still provides you with steady internet to operate it.
Because they rely on an internet connection, femtocell devices typically lack the beneficial capabilities of working in a vehicle or other similar remote options that you can work with a cellular boosting option. The internet connection means your femtocell uses some of your available bandwidth, which may result in slower internet for other devices in your established area, like computers or tablets.
While cellular signal boosters work to amplify existing signals and may become weaker the farther away someone is from the device, femtocells will frequently drop calls entirely if you step out of their limited range.
Since femtocells create their own signal, the signal is typically tied to a single cellular provider. So, people with phones with other carriers will be unable to take advantage of what the femtocell offers. This may make things more difficult when using the device in an office or environment where people may have phones with many different carriers. On top of that, certain carriers may require a monthly subscription fee to use a femtocell device to create a signal for their services.
Which Should You Choose?
Both options have distinct advantages and weaknesses that the other may cover and work in different situations. Cellular boosting devices are great when traveling. A femtocell option might be your best bet when you need a low-power, data-reducing alternative in an environment with a steady internet connection.
No matter what type of cellular boosting technology you’re looking for, SureCall Boosters has the devices and helpful specialists you need to improve your cellular connection. If you’re looking for more information on cell phone extenders for your home, feel free to browse through our catalog. SureCall Boosters has helpful and informed staff who can help you with your needs, so contact us anytime by email at email@example.com.