Going Where No Cell Phone Signal Has Gone Before.
If These Things Don’t Fix Your Cell Phone Reception Issues, Then You Need To Give Up!

By: Mike Lipshultz

If you have cell phone reception issues then you need to read this story. You may have issues when traveling, or camping, or in your home or office. In your car, truck, RV, boat or wherever.

Now to understand why your Cell phone has these issues we must remember they are not Phones! Our Cell Phones are real very low powered two way radios. At way less then a watt of power they are only strong enough to reach to a nearby Cell Tower. If that tower is to faraway, or you are in a radio unfriendly area or building, Bingo… No cellular reception.

Now with radios to get better coverage or reception you need to either get closer to the unit you are connecting to, or up the power you are transmitting with. Along with boosting the incoming signal.

Well the power your cell phone is set at is set by regulation, so you can’t just up it’s output. Besides if you could, you battery would die really fast.

As for getting closer to a tower, well that is easer said then done.

So what can you do? You can get a Cellular Booster. These Boosters have the effect of both amplifying (Boosting) your outgoing signal, and also the incoming signal from the tower.

The Boosters work like a Mini Cell site. The booster talk to your Cell phone. Sending it the signal from the tower, and sending the signal from your phone back to the tower. So as long as the Booster can connect with a tower and your phone, you are good to go. And the Boosters have much more transmitting power then your cell phone does.

The Booster get their power from either a wall outlet or a 12 volt power source like your car battery. Additionally the Booster has a much better antenna connected to it. Depending on how you use it and set it up, it could be one mounted by a outside window, or a magnetic mount to the vehicles roof, or on the roof of the building.

There are a several manufactures of Boosters out there. Some I know of, others I have never heard of. Some have been around a long time, others are new to the game.

Most all Boosters will work with either a Data Cellular card, as well as a Cell Phone.

Before shopping for a Booster you need to know what network your Cell phone runs on. You see, different networks work not only on different frequencies, but also have other unique qualities about them that a Booster needs to be built to handle. So there is no Booster that will work on all networks with all phones.

There are also two ways to connect your phone to a Booster. By a direct connection ( a antenna wire that connects to your phone), or by a proximity connection. You just need to be close to the Booster. The units that connect directly to you phone give the absolute best results. The ones that work by being close to the phone work almost as well. The direct connection units can only work with one phone at a time. The one they are connected to. Some of the units that are connected by proximity can connect to or Boost several phones at the same time. So if you want to use more then one phone on a system, at the same time, a proximity connector or Repeater type would be best for you.

We will look at and review units from three of them as follows:

Wilson Electronics:


Wilson has been in and around the world of Radio for as long as I can remember. They have been in the Cellular Booster part of things for a long, long time. And in fact if you use a phone that runs on the Nextel System, then as fare as I know, Wilson is it for you. Wilson is the only company that makes a repeater that works on the Nextel system. Wilson also makes other repeaters/Boosters that will work for just about every other cell phone career out there. Wilson makes units for in vehicle use, in building use, and portable units. Of the three we tested, Wilson has been around the longest and has the largest assortment of units and options to customize the usage to your needs.

We tested the Nextel unit from them, the “Direct Connection iDen Single-Band 806MHz -866MHz Amplifier (814001)”. The unit from Wilson worked great. It was not as easy to hook up or “install” as the 5 Barz unit. But it was much more secure in place on the car then the 5 Barz unit. Wilson’s expertise has been in fine tuning the application and usage of it’s products to your needs. So they have the widest number of different units and accessories/adapters to make sure you can get the job done the way you need it. If maximum results are what you need we would recommend the Wilson Units. BizNet OnLine Magazine Gives the Wilson Unit the Editors Choice Award, because they were the only unit that worked for Nextel.


Editors Choice? Simply put, we the Editors at BizNet OnLine Magazine, give the Editors Choice Award to any product that we personally would choice use over the other products in the same category. It is what we consider to be the “Best Of The Best”.



5 Barz is one of the newer players in the game. Unlike Wilson, they make it real easy to choice the right “Model” from them. They only have one, the 5BARz Road Warrior. An extremely easy to use unit. It will work with all careers except Nextel. Easy to move from home, office, to vehicle. They plan on coming out with a home or office unit soon. The Road Warrior needs to have the phone in the supplied cradle or close to it to work. If you are in the car. Most times anyplace in the car will be close enough to the phone for the unit to work. But it performs best when in the supplied holder, and with you using a Bluetooth connection to you phone. This unit also works with Data cards. But remember it will not work on Nextel or iDen systems or phones. The 5 Barz is the easiest to use. In exchange for the ease of use in a vehicle, it is not as securely held in place as the Wilson unit is. The marketing “niche” for the 5Barz unit is it’s extreme ease of use. Check out their online videos. If ease of use is what you seek, then you need to think 5Barz. The 5Barz unit is truly the easiest to use of the three we tested so it gets the BizNet A-OK Award for easy to use right out of the box!


The A-O.K. Award is awarded to products or services that are just that: A- O.K.. So, what makes them A-O.K.? Easy they just simply have to do exactly what they claim to do, and be easy to use! Now if your thinking, come on, any thing can win an A-O.K., award, then think again. When was the last time you paid good money only to find out the damn thing won’t do what it claimed, or you had to spend six days on the phone with tech support to get it to work. Makes you want to kill someone! So, it really is nice when you pay your money and you get an A-O.K. product!

The last unit we tested came from Wi-Ex


The makers of the ZBoost units. If the 5Barz unit is the easiest to use, and the Wilson lets you customize the application the most for your needs, ZBoost would be right in the medal of the two. Almost as easy as the 5Barz, but more options to better fit how you are going to use it. But still simpler then the Wilson Units. ZBoost has two travel options. One for in building, one for in vehicle. They offer three units for strictly in building usage. Two of them are somewhat permanently located as you must mount an outside antenna to connect to the indoor unit. They do offer the YX400 that can be moved from room to room as easy as can be, or from building to building. Basically just plug it in, set it by a window and use it. The one we tested was the zBoost SOHO cell phone signal booster extend a Cell Zone™. This unit works for most US cell phone systems (but not Nextel or iDen). It was easy to install with the hardest part being the mounting of the outside antenna. Yes, an all in one unit like the YX400 is much easer to install, but the SOHO unit having an indoor and outdoor antenna works a lot better. So if you are in a really fringe cell phone area the SOHO would be the way to go. For being a good compromise between easy to install and use, and giving maximum performance, we give the SOHO unit the Winner Award!


The Winner Award is given to products or services, that are just that, Winners! So, what makes a product a Winner? Lots of things. It can be as simple as making you or your business look like a Winner or as complicated as being so new and innovative that it solves long standing problems. A Winner can even be an old problem solver, or a basic product that has been around for some time but is now being offered at such a super price that it can now be a Winner for even the Guy or Gal on a budget.

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Last modified: December 05, 2010

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Editor: Tyler Harwood, Mike Lipshultz