Amplifier Kit Buyer Guide
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Frequently asked questions
Cell phone amplifiers improve cell phone reception by filtering cellular signals and amplifying them. Typically an external antenna is placed outside the building, car, RV, or truck. This antenna is used to send and receive signals from the nearest cell phone tower. The received signal is transferred through a cable to an amplifier unit, which filters the signals, amplifies them, and then transmits them via cable to an internal antenna that rebroadcasts the signal. By using a cell phone amplifier, you can achieve full bars on your phone in an area where you previously had no reception.
In North America, three different frequency bands exist: the 800MHz Cellular Band, 1900MHz PCS Band, and iDEN Band. The iDEN band is solely used by iDEN networks, which are Nextel in the US, and MiKE in Canada. All other networks use either the 800MHz or the 1900MHz band, depending on which bands they own licenses for in your area. Dual band amplifiers cover both 800MHz and 1900MHz bands, and can be used to amplify signals for all networks (except Nextel and MiKE). If you need to amplify signals for multiple networks, we recommend using a dual band amplifier kit.
To find out which frequency band your network is using, find your network in the expandable box at the top of this page. If your network is not listed, you can also use the Wireless Advisor website to find all the networks that are licensed to operate in your area.
Direct connect amplifiers are designed to be tethered directly to your phone. This means that a cable runs directly from the amplifier, and attaches to your phone's external antenna port via an adapter. If your phone lacks an external antenna, direct connect kits are available that use a velcro patch antenna that sticks directly onto the back of the phone. Direct connect kits work well in very weak signal situations (1 bar or less).
Wireless kits do not tether to your phone, but instead rebroadcast the signal through an indoor antenna. Wireless kits allow you to use your phone normally, and do not restrict your movement. However, wireless kits are typically more expensive than direct connect kits, and their coverage area can be limited in very weak signal areas.
Our kits list a "maximum coverage area" specification that gives an indication of the maximum coverage area that a particular kit can provide. However, the actual coverage areas you will experience depend on the signal strength in the location where the outdoor antenna is placed, as well as attenuation of signal by walls and other obstructions in the building where the kit is installed.
If you have weak outdoor signal (2 bars or less), you should consider using a higher power amplifier to ensure adequate coverage. When configuring your chosen kit, make sure to use directional yagi antennas, which provide significantly stronger signal and can dramatically increase coverage.
To ensure maximum coverage area for your in-building kit, use our Add-on Internal Antenna Kits to spread coverage to different parts of the building. You should use roughly antenna for every 1000-2000 square feet of coverage. Extra antennas improve coverage in adjacent rooms by reducing physical barriers (walls) between the user's phone and the antenna.
All our kits can be installed relatively easily, and come with appropriate installation manuals to guide you through the process. Ideally, external antennas need to be installed on the roof of your building - if you don't feel comfortable doing this, you can find a local electrician or handy-man to help with this part of the installation.
All our products come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you're unhappy with your kit for any reason, simply contact us to arrange to return the product for a full refund.