A Network Extender Or A Cell Phone Booster? Which Will Suit You Best

A woman who needs a cell booster to fix her poor signal.

The day can turn from bad to worse when your cell reception leaves you hanging dry. The only thing worse than a bad cell reception is none at all! You must have scoured through forums and videos instructing you on the solution to this problem. But there’s a fair chance that in a good percentage of them, the terms cell phone extender/cell signal booster and network extender have been used interchangeably. 

Is there a difference? What is the right one for your problem? 

We will help you answer those questions and more. Read on…

Cellular Signal Booster

The terms cell signal booster and cell phone extender mean the same device- a system that takes a weak signal from the outside amplifies it and then broadcasts the boosted signal making it available to multiple devices. You can use it within your home, office, or even a vehicle. 

The key point to take note of is the need for a signal. The strength of the signal is secondary, but the external antenna of the signal booster must be able to capture the weak signal. The exercise is fruitless if there is no signal to boost. 

Network Extenders 

These have other names as well, such as femtocells and microcells. This is a device that can be purchased from the mobile service provider. It works slightly different from a cell signal booster with the difference being that it doesn’t boost any incoming signal. Instead, the device creates its own cell signal indoors and re-route all of your calls over high-speed internet and not the cell network.

This is a device that is carrier specific- it will only work for the carrier from which it is bought. The plus of having a network extender is that even if there is no signal, there isn’t an issue as the device doesn’t require an incoming signal- The perfect option if you are on the outskirts or away from a quality signal. 

One issue with the network extender is the handoff problem- this means that if you are moving about the house, then there are chances that your calls could drop!

Who Is It For?

If your phone is unable to get a decent signal and the signal strength available is pathetically low, then the option to have a network extender would be wise. If however, you have a weak signal and would want to boost it, then going for a cell phone signal booster would do well.