Why Is My Cell Phone Booster Not Working? (2023)

If your cell phone booster isn’t working, there are usually two main issues at play: an overload or an oscillation problem. Cell boosters are designed to work in rural and urban areas and should significantly improve your experience with 2G, 3G or 4G LTE networks.

If yours isn’t working, there’s no need to despair — it’s usually a simple fix to get the loading times, call quality and connection speed on your phone back up to usable levels. Read on to find out exactly how a cell signal boosting device works, and learn how to troubleshoot for the two primary problems that could be affecting your signal strength.

Why Is My Cell Phone Booster Not Working? (1)

What Is a Signal Booster?

Cell phone signal boosters are growing in popularity as smartphones become increasingly indispensable in daily life. Modern phones load webpages, apps, emails and YouTube videos among many other processor-intensive tasks, and as a result, many people who live in rural areas have been investing in a cell phone booster so they can use their phones to their full potential. The use of cell phone boosters has also expanded into urban areas as cities and larger suburbs become even more densely populated.

While an affordable device that improves the speed of your phone’s cellular network speed might sound too good to be true, the technology is certified to boost your existing 2G, 3G and 4G LTE networks, and cell phone boosters that are 5G-ready are also available. Cell phone boosters work to improve weak cell signal and call quality and provide faster data speeds.

If you find that your signal is great outside of your home or vehicle, but it’s weak inside, a cell signal booster is the answer. You can eliminate slow data speeds, dropped phone calls and unsent text messages without the need to connect to Wi-Fi, switch carriers or have endless arguments with your current service provider.

How Does a Signal Booster Work?

A signal extender works by drawing in the weak signal from outdoors and boosting it by rebroadcasting the improved signal to the desired areas. In some cases, a signal amplifier works in reverse, where it receives the signal from your cell and transmits it back to the tower.

Cell phone boosters fall into two primary categories:

  • Vehicle cell boosters: These boosters are ideal for cars, RVs, trucks, SUVs, fleet vehicles and boats.
  • In-building cell signal booster: This type of booster is ideal for a home setting or any other property that requires a signal boost.

A cell booster only works if there is an existing signal outside of your property. They improve the signal rather than creating it from scratch. The majority of signal extender kits include these three components:

  • Indoor antenna:This rebroadcasts the enhanced signal within your home or vehicle
  • Amplifier: Boosts the signal itself
  • External antenna:An external antenna captures the weak cell phone signal from outside

How to Fix Cell Phone Booster Overload

If there is more than one service provider with a super strong outdoor signal, it can overload the amplifier. This causes an immediate reduction in boosting power. Although this might correct itself, there’s a strong chance it’ll max out before this happens. Even if it does resolve on its own, it’ll potentially lead to a continuous state of dropping off and recalibrating.

There are three steps to fixing an overloaded cell signal booster:

1. Adjust the Outdoor Antenna

If you’re using a directional antenna, incrementally move the outdoor antenna so it receives slightly less signal. Stop each time to check for overload warnings and assess the status of everyone’s signal strength. When you find the sweet spot, the amplifier will work at full capacity to evenly distribute the signal.

2. Try an Attenuator

If you’re in an unfortunate location, such as one where you’re surrounded by multiple towers at close range, an attenuator might be the perfect solution to improving your signal strength. This accessory decreases decibels from the incoming signal by simply resting on your antenna cable.

Although an attenuator will prevent signal from cutting out as a result of overload, it may still result in reduced cell signal across all carriers and bands. As such, anyone with weak cell signal will also lose signal strength.

3. Switch the Amplifier

The last resort should be switching to an amplifier that can handle a more powerful signal. They vary in price significantly, but if you’re in a particularly difficult location or have an especially weak signal, you may want to consider spending a little more to ensure you maximize your signal strength.

How to Fix an Oscillation Issue

Sometimes, when you broadcast a boosted signal from interior antennas, it reaches the exterior antenna. The result is a feedback loop, which can cause your signal strength to get worse or drop out entirely. This is because the cell booster tries to resolve the problem by lessening boosting output on the affected band. In turn, this weakens the coverage area to stop the signal from transmitting to the exterior antenna.

In some instances, you might see a warning that indicates oscillation in the amplifier. This tells you that the antenna hasn’t been able to resolve the problem independently.

You can try the following steps to try and resolve this issue:

1. Check the Directional Antenna

Your directional antenna must be facing away from the building itself. If it’s pointed inwards towards the roof, there’s a strong chance that it’s picking up on ambient signals radiating from inside the property.

2. Move the Interior and Exterior Antennas

Attempt to reposition the exterior and interior antennas so they’re further apart. Always make sure you switch off the power to the amplifier before trying to move the antennas. The optimal solution is to move the antennas further away, but you can also position them so they’re higher up — provided they still offer ideal signal strength.

Bear in mind that separating the antennas vertically is usually more effective than doing so horizontally, although both options are advantageous. Once you’ve made the necessary adjustments, switch the amplifier’s power back on and check if there’s still an oscillation issue. If so, it’s worth trying a few different positions for the antennas.

3. Shield the Exterior Antenna

If you’ve tried every possible position for the antennas and still aren’t having any luck, try shielding the exterior antenna. This involves moving it to a spot where you align it with a large object such as an air conditioning unit or chimney. The idea is to put a significant mass between the antenna and the rest of your property.

In case you have to place your exterior antenna indoors, you can shield it with something made from metal, such as aluminum foil or a filing cabinet. If you wanted to block the signal, you’d place it behind the interior antenna.

Boosting Signal for Multiple Carriers

If you need to boost signal strength for more than one carrier with similar strength, your amplifier should be able to resolve the oscillation issue independently. There might be occasional blips where the signal strength seems to vary between carriers, but this is usually just because the amplifier is working to resolve the problem.

Get Help with Your Cell Phone Booster

If you need more help with troubleshooting your cell booster, check out our handy guide or give us a call at (866) 294-1660. weBoost has the resources and expertise to make sure you get the most out of your phone signal at all times.

FAQs

Why is my cell phone signal booster not working? ›

If your cell phone booster isn't working, there are usually two main issues at play: an overload or an oscillation problem. Cell boosters are designed to work in rural and urban areas and should significantly improve your experience with 2G, 3G or 4G LTE networks.

How do I know if my cell phone booster is working? ›

So put your phone into test mode and then do a test with your signal booster on and off you'll see

How do I reset my signal booster? ›

No matter which booster you have, rebooting is easy. Just pull the power plug. Wait 30 seconds, then plug it back in.

How do I connect my cell phone booster? ›

Using the supplied barrel connector. Next mount the inside antenna locate. Where you will need the

Do cell phone boosters wear out? ›

Do cellular boosters wear out? Like all things in life, eventually a cell booster will die. But there's nothing about a cell booster system that expires or prematurely breaks. The cell boosters originally made in the early 2000s are still capable of working.

Where should I place my cell phone booster? ›

It's recommended to place the antenna on or near the edge of the roof. If you're using a directional antenna, such as a yagi antenna, make sure to point it away from your roof and in the direction of the nearest cell tower provided by your carrier.

Do cell phone signal boosters work in rural areas? ›

If there's a sliver of cellular signal outside, cell boosters work wonders in rural areas. They use powerful antennas and an amplifier to keep you connected.

What causes poor signal strength? ›

Averse weather, interference from building materials or terrain, distance from your nearest cell tower, or network overload can all contribute to poor signal.

Are cell phone signal boosters worth it? ›

Now that many of us are working from home, cellular dead zones aren't just annoying, they're mission-critical. If you have weak or no cellular signal in your home, a cellular signal booster can really help. The basic principle behind signal boosters is simple: A big antenna is better than a small one.

Why is my antenna booster not working? ›

There are two reasons your cell phone signal booster isn't working. Either it is experiencing overload, or there is an oscillation problem. Most of the time, the solution is simple and can result in improved loading times, call quality, and connection speed.

Why is my ATT cell booster not working? ›

Make sure your Ethernet cable is connected to the WAN port on your Cell Booster and your router or gateway. If you have a modem and a separate router, try connecting your Cell Booster directly to your modem. Check the internet connection on other devices. Restart your router or gateway and your Cell Booster device.

How do you reset a Verizon cell phone booster? ›

Via Device

Press and hold the reset button for at least 10 seconds, until the Power LED displays solid white, indicating a reset. Wait a few minutes for the device to restart. The factory reset button is located on the back of the Network Extender next to the AC adapter port.

What does red light on booster mean? ›

A red light indicates a feedback loop condition called oscillation. When oscillation is detected, your booster shuts down or reduces gain. This is typically caused when the outside antenna and the inside antenna are placed too close together and noise is created on the system. To correct this: First, unplug booster.

How high should my cell booster antenna be? ›

The sweet spot is going to be 15-30 feet off the ground and most people are not going to put anything up higher than that. If you are an antenna enthusiast with a tower, you'll find it best to put that cell booster antenna somewhere up in that 15-30 foot range.

What is the disadvantage of signal booster? ›

Cons of Cell Phone Boosters

Cell phone boosters don't create cellular signals on their own. They just draw the existing signals from a transmitter and improve them. But if you live in a dead spot area, there is no booster that could come to rescue. You need to invest some time when selecting a booster for your needs.

What interferes with cell phone signal? ›

Hills, mountains, bluffs, heavy vegetation, and even weather can kill your cell signal. Glass/windows. When cell phone users lose signal or drop a call inside of a building, it can seem instinctive to move near a window.

Do signal boosters work for all carriers? ›

All signal boosters work with virtually every network carrier. The only known exception is that in some very local, rare markets, many boosters don't work for Sprint users. But even if you're with Sprint, the likelihood of you living in one of these areas is very low.

What causes bad cell phone reception indoors? ›

It might be because your house is too far from a cell tower; there are tall trees, hills, or high structures surrounding your home; your house is built with heavy materials; or there could be an interference caused by electronics, weather, or something metal in your home.

Can I use a TV antenna to boost cell phone signal? ›

Television antennas not only aren't designed for broadcasting signals, it's generally illegal to use them that way. Using a TV antenna for broadcast may result in too much or too little signal getting to the cell tower and that can cause problems for the cell tower and the whole network.

How can I increase my android signal strength? ›

How to increase network signal strength in Android
  1. Restart your phone. ...
  2. Turn off Airplane mode and on again. ...
  3. Update the system. ...
  4. Open the windows. ...
  5. Use your phone in another place. ...
  6. Remove case or cover. ...
  7. Switch between 3G/4G. ...
  8. Check whether the battery is low.
1 Feb 2021

What is the best phone for signal strength? ›

Smartphones with the best antennas
  • Samsung Galaxy S22+ (Android) 128 GB. Test Score 91/100. ...
  • Samsung Galaxy S22+ (Android) 256 GB. Test Score 91/100. ...
  • OnePlus 10 Pro 5G (2022) 256 GB. ...
  • OnePlus Nord (2020) 256 GB. ...
  • OnePlus Nord CE 2 (2022) 128 GB. ...
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G 128 GB. ...
  • Test Score 72/100. ...
  • Apple iPhone 12 128 GB.

How far can cell towers reach? ›

What's interesting is that a cell tower will sometimes have their transmitter seat to a lower power on purpose to ensure it doesn't interfere with neighboring cells. But even with all of those factors, the typical cell tower can provide service up to 45 miles away.

How can I boost my mobile phone signal at home? ›

Easy Ways To Improve Mobile Phone Signal Reception in Your Home
  1. Identify the nearest mobile phone tower. ...
  2. Consider using femtocells. ...
  3. Use a cell phone signal booster. ...
  4. Always keep your battery charged. ...
  5. Use an external antenna for your phone. ...
  6. The bottom line. ...
  7. This Month's Hot Offers.

How do I perform a signal refresh? ›

Perform a signal refresh

Step 1: All you need to do is shut down your phone entirely. Step 2: Then start it back up. Step 3: Another option is to switch on airplane mode for a few seconds or so and then turn it back off.

What happens when you dial * 3370? ›

Does the *3370# Code Improve Battery Life? No, pressing the *3370# keys on your Apple or Android device does not improve cell phone battery life. The hidden battery claim originated from Nokia phones. Some Nokia phones had the ability to switch to a different mode after the user punched in a “secret code”.

Why do I only have 1 bar on my phone? ›

Usually, one bar of service on your phone means you're receiving poor signal because you're too far from the nearest cell tower or something is blocking the signal from getting to your device.

How do I check the signal strength in my area? ›

How to Read Your Android Cell Signal?
  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap About Phone.
  3. Tap Status or Network.
  4. Tap SIM Status.
  5. Your dBm is under Signal strength.
17 May 2022

Do signal boosters work on 5G? ›

Yes, weBoost signal boosters are 5G compatible. Our signal boosters for your home, vehicle, or small business work with every network, including 5G, on any U.S. carrier.

Why is my antenna saying no signal? ›

The signal being received may be weak. If using an over-the-air antenna, make sure the coaxial cable connection is secure and don't use a signal splitter. The antenna may need to be adjusted to improve the signal quality. If using cable or satellite, make sure the connection to the back of the TV is secure.

Why is my antenna not getting signal? ›

The signal could be lost in the coaxial cable distribution.

If you are using a splitter, this could also weaken signal strength. Try disconnecting the splitter and running the cable directly into the TV/converter box and run a channel scan. If reception improves, a distribution amplifier is likely to be the solution.

How do I know if my antenna is working? ›

Guide To Testing Your Antenna
  1. Inspect Your Antenna Visually. ...
  2. Check the Input At Your TV. ...
  3. Consider the Age and Type Of Antenna or TV. ...
  4. Check the Cords and Cables. ...
  5. Check the TV Outlet. ...
  6. Check Your TV Tuning. ...
  7. Check Your TV Mode. ...
  8. Check Your Amplifier.
14 Nov 2018

How do I reset my AT&T Cell Booster? ›

To reset the AT&T Cellbooster Pro, use a SIM tool or paperclip to press and hold the reset button located on the back of the device for 5 seconds.

How do I know my AT&T Cell Booster is working? ›

Ensure that you are on the AT&T Cell Booster Pro network, and not the Macro Network (which may have poor coverage). The 4G C1 & C2 LEDs will flash white when an active wireless user is using the AT&T Cell Booster Pro network, and will be solid white when the device is ready for use.

What lights should be on ATT Cell Booster? ›

The 4G LTE LED will flash white when an active wireless user is using the AT&T Cell Booster network, and will be solid white when the device is ready for use.

Why is my Verizon Network Extender Not Working? ›

If unable to connect to the Verizon Network, go to the Admin Website to see if the service connectivity status is reachable or not. If not reachable, please check the LAN/firewall setting or contact your network administrator. : Verify firewall settings and ensure router ports are not disabled.

How do I troubleshoot my Verizon Network Extender? ›

How to Troubleshoot the Verizon Samsung Network Extender
  1. Change the location of the Network Extender. ...
  2. Check the connection to the Network Extender's power supply. ...
  3. Check the Ethernet connection to your DSL or cable service. ...
  4. Perform a power-cycle on the Extender if the device is still not working properly.

How do I test my Verizon Network Extender? ›

Alright, now that we're up and running, you can dial #48 to check to see if you're connected to your Verizon LTE Network Extender. If you hear a welcome message stating, "you are under 4G LTE Network Extender coverage" with ID, then you're good to go.

What color should the light be on my Wi-Fi extender? ›

Connect the power cords from the router & extender to an electrical outlet. 4. The light on the extender should turn solid white within 10 minutes, indicating the connection is complete.

Why is my WIFI booster flashing green? ›

Usually if its blinking green, something went wrong during the update and its stuck. You can force install the firmware to the device. Any time you do an update I recommend doing it over a hardwired connection.

Why is my Verizon extender red? ›

A solid red light on the GPS indicator means that it is unable to acquire a GPS signal https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/how-to-use-network-extender-led/.

Where is the best place to position an antenna? ›

Structures such as floors, cabinets, and walls can impact signal, so placing your antenna high in a window is ideal, as long as it's free from exterior obstructions (trees, buildings, billboards, etc.).

How do I aim my cell phone antenna? ›

You should aim the outdoor antenna in the direction that best receives the signal from your carrier because a Yagi antenna will not receive any signal that is out of the direction they point to. In other words, if your carrier is out of the beam of the antenna, you won't receive the boost you're looking for.

Are signal boosters free? ›

No. There is no fee to register or use a signal Booster.

How can I boost my cell phone signal with aluminum foil? ›

Boosting Smartphone Signal - YouTube

How do you set up a signal booster? ›

Cell Phone Signal Booster Home Install Series (2 of 6) | weBoost

Why is my antenna booster not working? ›

There are two reasons your cell phone signal booster isn't working. Either it is experiencing overload, or there is an oscillation problem. Most of the time, the solution is simple and can result in improved loading times, call quality, and connection speed.

What is the use of * * 4636 * *? ›

Android code: *#*#4636#*#*

This code will open up a menu that shows information about your phone's data usages.

Why do I only have 1 bar on my phone? ›

Usually, one bar of service on your phone means you're receiving poor signal because you're too far from the nearest cell tower or something is blocking the signal from getting to your device.

What causes poor signal strength? ›

Averse weather, interference from building materials or terrain, distance from your nearest cell tower, or network overload can all contribute to poor signal.

Why is my antenna saying no signal? ›

The signal being received may be weak. If using an over-the-air antenna, make sure the coaxial cable connection is secure and don't use a signal splitter. The antenna may need to be adjusted to improve the signal quality. If using cable or satellite, make sure the connection to the back of the TV is secure.

Why is my antenna not getting signal? ›

The signal could be lost in the coaxial cable distribution.

If you are using a splitter, this could also weaken signal strength. Try disconnecting the splitter and running the cable directly into the TV/converter box and run a channel scan. If reception improves, a distribution amplifier is likely to be the solution.

How do I know if my antenna is working? ›

Guide To Testing Your Antenna
  1. Inspect Your Antenna Visually. ...
  2. Check the Input At Your TV. ...
  3. Consider the Age and Type Of Antenna or TV. ...
  4. Check the Cords and Cables. ...
  5. Check the TV Outlet. ...
  6. Check Your TV Tuning. ...
  7. Check Your TV Mode. ...
  8. Check Your Amplifier.
14 Nov 2018

What is the meaning of *# 0 *#? ›

Accessing the Secret Diagnostic Menu

To get the ball rolling, simply open your Samsung's phone app. From there, enter *#0*# using the dial pad, and the phone will immediately go into its secret diagnostic mode. Note that the process is automatic, so there's no need to tap on the green call button to enter the command.

What is the code *# 899? ›

The range of area codes 800-899 in Mexico is reserved for Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas and Veracruz. (For other areas, see Area codes in Mexico by code).

What is *# 62 used for? ›

*#62# - With this, you can know if any of your calls - voice, data, fax, SMS etc, has been forwarded or diverted without your knowledge.

Is there a way to boost cell signal? ›

Buy a Cellular Booster. This is the most expensive solution, but also the most effective. Network signal boosters collect weak signals using large antennas and then rebroadcast them within your house or car. They start at about $200 for a one-device, portable unit, and go up to $1,200 or more for whole-home systems.

What does LTE mean on my phone? ›

LTE or Long Term Evolution is a 4G wireless broadband standard used by mobile carriers to offer data and voice services on your phone. It provides faster internet speeds and lower latency than 3G.

What blocks a cell phone signal? ›

Metal is the #1 cellular blocking material across all buildings in America. Aluminum, aluminum foil, lead, brass, copper, steel, iron, etc., can absorb and reflect cellular frequency waves. Average signal loss ranges from -32 dB to -50 dB, enough to make your building a dead zone.

How do I perform a signal refresh? ›

Perform a signal refresh

Step 1: All you need to do is shut down your phone entirely. Step 2: Then start it back up. Step 3: Another option is to switch on airplane mode for a few seconds or so and then turn it back off.

What happens when you dial * 3370? ›

Does the *3370# Code Improve Battery Life? No, pressing the *3370# keys on your Apple or Android device does not improve cell phone battery life. The hidden battery claim originated from Nokia phones. Some Nokia phones had the ability to switch to a different mode after the user punched in a “secret code”.

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