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How Do Cell Phone Boosters Work in Canada? (10 FAQs Answered)

Quick Summary of Do Cell Signal Boosters Really Work In Canada? (Yes, And Here’s How)

1. How Do They Work?

2. Are They Legal?

3. Do They Work On My Network Carrier?

4. What Is A Single-Carrier Amplifier?

5. Do They Need Internet To Work?

6. Do They Work Outside?

7. Can I Use Them In The Mountains?

8. Can My Neighbor Leech Off My Boosted Signal?

9. Are They 5G Compatible?

10. Are They Waterproof?

Tired of poor cell phone reception? You’re not alone. Even though we live in a time where mobile technology is thriving, it still has a ways to go. Every Canadian carrier’s goal is to deliver a great signal in as many places as possible. That—when it comes down to it—is the original purpose of cell phone technology: to communicate with anyone no matter where you are. But as you and I both know, a quality cell signal is not available everywhere. And no one enjoys losing service and dropping calls.


Fortunately for all of us, cell phone signal boosters exist.


They’ve been around for a number of years. But in recent years, the technology has progressed and now they work incredibly well. More Canadians are purchasing them than ever before. But do cell phone boosters work? How? Are they legal? Do phone carriers approve? Do boosters require Wi-Fi? Can you take one camping?


All these questions and more will be answered here.


1. How Do Cell Phone Boosters Work?


We’ll explain how cell phone signal boosters work in simple terms. Basically, they operate in three stages: locate a signal, enhance it, and rebroadcast it. Each one of these actions is performed by a particular component of the device. Let’s start with the first step.


Step 1: The Outside Antenna Locates A Signal

One of the main things to remember about how cell signal boosters work is this: they can’t create a signal out of thin air. They boost existing signals. This means that there must be a signal (however faint) outside your home for the device to function properly. The outside antenna locates and captures the appropriate existing signal. This antenna is one of the main components of a cell signal booster and is placed on the roof or other exterior location. There are two types of outside antennas: omni-directional and uni-directional.


Omni-directional antennas can scan at a 360º angle for available signals and don’t need to be pointed in a particular direction. Uni-directional antennas are shaped like a triangle and can scan for signals at a 45º angle. Uni’s need to be deliberately positioned, pointing in the general direction of the appropriate cell tower. Neither antenna type is better than the other one. Most uni-directional antennas can actually reach farther than omni’s. The type of antenna appropriate for your property is circumstantial.


How do you know which type of antenna you need? If only one carrier exists in the home and your signal is poor, a uni-directional antenna is likely in order for you. But if your outside signal is adequate and there are multiple carriers in your home, an omni-directional antenna is probably best.


Step 2: The Amplifier Boosts The Signal


After the outside antenna does its job of locating a signal, the cell phone amplifier now comes into play. This is where the actual boosting takes place. The amplifier is either a rectangular or square-shaped component that is placed somewhere inside your house. Most people put it in a closet or attach it to a wall. And FYI, cellular repeater is an alternate name for the amplifier.


Amplifiers come in many different strength levels. Some models have the ability to cover more square feet than others, from 500 to 7,000 sq ft. Regardless of what kind you get, all models have the same method of measuring their strength. And that’s by decibel output (or dB). Decibels are on the radio wave spectrum. Did you know that cellular frequencies are radio waves?


Amplifiers In The Home (Understanding Decibels)


When we talk about cell phone signals, people refer to them in terms of how many “bars” you have. Full bars, for example, is -50 dB. On the other end of the spectrum, no bars is -120 dB. Now that you know these two numbers, it’ll help you make sense of what cell signal boosters can do. A regular, middle-grade booster should boost your existing signal by around +60 dB. So for example, if the signal in your home is at -110 dB (1 bar), a signal booster will bring it to -50 dB (full bars).


Some signal booster kits on the market today come with amplifiers capable of a +70 dB increase. And as technology moves forward, we’ll see boosters capable of even more.


Amplifiers In The Car


Some signal boosters are designed for automobile use. These models don’t typically have the strength of home boosters, but they still work wonderfully. Car cell signal boosters, depending on the model, boost signals anywhere between +25 dB and +50 dB.


Things That Affect How Well Your Signal Booster Works

The materials used to construct your home can interfere with your cell signal. Steel walls, for example, can make it difficult for outside cell signals to penetrate. Large objects like trees, nearby landscapes like big hills or mountains, and large neighboring buildings can all affect the effectiveness of your booster. If the cell tower is unusually far away from your property, that can be a hurdle as well.


But obstacles can be overcome—you just need to be strategic. Call us at (888) 389-5799 and we’ll give you advice based on how you describe your home. You can even send us photos of potential signal blockers directly outside or near your house. We’ll help you assess your dB reading, potential interference, and recommend the right booster kit for you.


Step 3: The Inside Antenna Broadcasts The Boosted Signal


Lastly, after the signal has been amplified, the inside antenna broadcasts it throughout your home. Inside antennas come in two varieties: panel antenna or dome antenna. Each one rebroadcasts the signal in a different way. With a panel antenna, the signal is stronger the closer you are to it. With a dome antenna, the signal is equally distributed throughout the area.


Panel antennas are usually wall-mounted and dome antennas are usually ceiling mounted. People who want the signal to be strongest in a specific room often use a panel antenna. But if your goal is to have the signal as evenly distributed as possible throughout the home, a dome antenna is the way to go.

That being said, our experience and research at SureCall Canada have led to a firm conclusion: in almost every circumstance, a dome antenna is the best choice. There are signal booster companies out there that lean heavily toward panel or dome depending on the situation. But because we view dome antennas as much more effective, we include them in all our booster kits.


Choosing the Right Cell Phone Booter is Key


Knowing these three steps of signal booster functionality will ensure that you choose the right model. Just think: no more dropped calls, poor call quality, texts that lag, slow internet, or poor reception. These are things that cell phone signal boosters eliminate from your life. Also, remember that SureCall Canada devices have no contracts or monthly fees and come with a 3-year warranty. And we’re here for you in the long run. Five years down the road, if you suddenly have a question about your booster, reach out. We’d love to talk to you.


If you know you need one, make sure to call us first and speak with one of our booster system design experts. Sometimes, people in certain locations need something stronger than a standard-strength booster kit. We’d hate for you to set up your whole system only to learn that it isn’t strong enough. By talking to us first, we can make sure you get the right model.