Why Does My Neighbor Have Better Reception Than Me? (8 Honest Answers About Signal Boosters In The Home)

Spread the love

Quick Summary of Boost Cell Signal At Home (8 Residential Booster Questions Answered):

  1. Why Do I Have Difficulty Making Calls Inside My Home?
  2. Why Does My Neighbor Next Door Have Better Reception Than Me?
  3. Will My Carrier Fix The Cell Signal Problem In My Home?
  4. What Technologies Can Improve Cell Reception In My Home?
  5. What Size Cell Booster Should I Buy For My Home?
  6. How Well Do Cell Signal Boosters Work In Multi-Floor Homes?
  7. Are There Fees And Licenses Associated With Putting A Cell Signal Booster In My Home?
  8. Can I Save Money By Buying A Refurbished Cell Phone Signal Booster?

1. Why Do I Have Difficulty Making Calls Inside My Home?

boost cell signal at home 03

A handful of different things could be the culprit here. But it’s probably one of four issues:

Building Materials

Because cellular frequencies operate on the radio spectrum, certain building materials and landscapes cause problems. Similar to how radio clarity can change from one location to another. Stucco, stone walls, low-e glass and concrete tend to cause the most problems for cell signal where building materials are concerned.


Basements are notorious for giving cell signal fits. As you might expect, partial, walk-out basements aren’t as troublesome as full, underground basements. But most basements are surrounded by concrete walls which are not friendly to cell signal. The more walls a signal has to pass through, the worse the reception will be.

Shadowed Areas

Cell towers operate through line-of-sight. This means that the clearer the path a signal must travel from the tower to your phone, the better your reception will be. But if a dense forest, large building, or hills are blocking that path, your reception takes a hit. Sometimes these shadowed areas, as they’re called, are so burdensome that a cell signal can’t reach your home at all, eliminating reception completely.

If you live in an area like this, what little reception you are getting (if any) is probably being reflected off a nearby structure or landscape.

Weak Outside Signal Strength

Some people say that cell signal is so weak inside their house that they can’t make a call or send a text, but they can when they step outside. This likely means that the cell signal outside is so weak that it can’t get through the walls.

The best way to boost cell signal at home and solve all of these problems is with a booster kit from SureCall.

2. Why Does My Neighbor Next Door Have Better Reception Than Me?

boost cell signal at home 02

If this is your experience, it’s likely you’re falling victim to one of two issues. Location or building materials.

Disclaimer: if the neighbor you’re referring to isn’t actually next door to you, the explanations here probably don’t apply. We’re talking about homes literally next door to each other (or directly across the street) with significant signal variance.

In most cases, good vs. poor cell signal is determined by location. It can mean a difference of 10 feet or less. Your house may have poor line of sight to the cell tower whereas your neighbor has great line of sight. Even when you live right next to each other. This can happen if your neighbor’s house is at a higher elevation than yours. Or if there happens to be many thick trees between the homes.

And remember that building materials have a hand in signal quality, even between neighbors. In suburban neighborhoods, it’s often the roof that plays the biggest role. Let’s say the roof of your neighbor’s home is laid with concrete shingles or wood. But your roof is metal. Where signal is concerned, you are at a disadvantage. And if your neighbor’s walls are mostly drywall and yours are plaster with wire mesh, again you are at a disadvantage. You’ll want to boost cell signal at home with a SureCall device.

Windows even have an effect. If your windows are tinted and your neighbor’s aren’t, cell signals will have a harder time penetrating yours. Window tint is usually made of low-e glass with metal in it which blocks infrared, UV, and radio waves. Cell signals are radio waves.

3. Will My Carrier Fix The Cell Signal Problem In My Home?

Probably not. They aren’t in the business of addressing every customer’s home signal. Every carrier has a coverage map that shows where they do and don’t have service. Other than that, boosting your available signal is up to you.

There are some networks in the U.S. that offer signal-boosting accessories called femtocells, or even offer third party solutions like SureCall. You have to plug them directly into your internet router in order for them to work and they have significant limitations compared to actual cell phone signal boosters when they’re offered. A SureCall booster does everything a femtocell can do and more, with way more efficiency. WAY more.

Truthfully, with booster technology being where it is, there really isn’t any reason at all to get a femtocell when you can get a real cell phone signal booster. For example, signal boosters won’t drop the call when leaving the home, and will even boost all carriers and not just one at a time. If you want more information on femtocells, click here.

4. What Technologies Boost Cell Signal At Home?

Flare for Better Cell Recepetion

Signal boosting technology has come a very long way, making cell phone signal boosters the best option for achieving better signal strength. Signal boosters have three main components that work together to enhance your reception.

  • An outside antenna
  • A signal amplifier
  • An inside antenna

The outside antenna locates the signal outside your home, sends it to the amplifier to be boosted, and then the inside antenna broadcasts it inside your home. Coaxial cables connect all three of these components together, allowing them to communicate with each other. There are many different cell signal boosters on the market with varying prices. The price of a booster is mostly based on how many square feet it’s designed to cover. The more the space, the more the price (usually).

5. What Size Cell Booster Should I Buy For My Home?

boost cell signal at home 05

That depends on how much space you’re wanting to cover. Do you want boosted signal in only one room or throughout your whole house? If you want it throughout the whole house, how many square feet are we talking? These are the questions you have to answer before searching for the right booster.

Companies that manufacturer boosters – including SureCall – meticulously calculate the very best coverage each of their devices can give. But it’s important to remember that these calculations are based on having a decent signal outside to begin with. The weaker the outside signal and the more walls you’re trying to pass through indoors can reduce the actual coverage area, or require additional inside antennas.

For example, let’s say you see a cell phone signal booster that’s designed to cover up to 5,000 square feet. In reality, it will probably cover less than that given that it’s unlikely your outside signal is better than -80 dB (meaning, full bars outside, but the materials on your home make it hard to get the signal inside). Shelves full of metal cans in your pantry will won’t be friendly to boosted cell signal. Neither will things like solid wood or aluminum doors.

We’re only telling you this so you have an accurate expectation of what your booster system will do for you. No matter what, before buying a booster, please call us. We have a very experienced and trained support team who will help you choose the right signal booster. Especially if you suspect your home is unique in ways that might hinder a boosted signal. Definitely reach out to us first.

6. How Well Do Cell Signal Boosters Work In Multi-Floor Homes?

boost cell signal at home 06

Depending on conditions, they can work great. Let’s say your home has two stories – main level and basement – and there’s 1 foot between them. The main level ceiling is 10 feet, the downstairs ceiling is 9 feet. That’s a total of 20 feet. The booster kit you buy says that it broadcasts the signal 50 feet. You mount the inside antenna on the ceiling on the main level.

Is it going to cover both floors? If your floors are carpeted and the joists in the home are made of wood, then yes, it should.

But if your house was constructed with concrete between the floors, it probably won’t. This will likely require two inside antennas; one on the main level and one in the basement. Cell signals do not travel well through concrete. Tile or stone floor coverings are not quite the hindrance that concrete is, but they still usually present a big enough problem that two inside antennas are in order.

7. Are There Fees And Licenses Associated With Putting A Cell Signal Booster In My Home?

No, there aren’t. All SureCall devices are approved by the FCC and do not require fees or licenses of any kind. No registration is required, either. It has a one time fee for the cost of the product.

8. Can I Save Money By Buying A Refurbished Cell Phone Signal Booster?

boost cell signal at home 07

Refurbished booster kits are cheaper than brand new, unopened ones. And we do sell a limited amount of them at SureCall. But it’s best to know a few things first.

What Is A Refurbished Booster?

A refurbished booster is one that was originally purchased brand new, returned to us, and then made available for resale after we’ve made sure that it’s in like-new condition.

Why Would Somebody Return Their Booster?

If someone sends their signal booster back to us, 99% of the time it’s due to 1 of 3 reasons.

Reason 1: Customer Didn’t Know There Was An Installation Process

There are some people who purchase boosters that think all they need to do is open up the package and plug in a device. Though the installation process is simple, it does require drilling small holes, feeding coax cable, and choosing the best spots for the antennas and amplifier. Sometimes people open the box, realize they have to do some work to set it up, change their mind, and send it back. But because the box has been opened, we have to label it as a refurbished device.

Reason 2: Customer Bought The Wrong Type Of Booster

The signal booster you buy needs to correspond with the amount of square footage you’re hoping to cover. Sometimes people forget this and they purchase a booster that’s not equipped to cover enough space. They go through the entire installation process only to learn that the booster they bought isn’t designed to cover that many square feet. The customer then uninstalls everything, boxes it back up, and returns it to us.

Reason 3: Customer Has Unusable Cell Signal

Remember that cell phone signal boosters boost the available signal that exists outside your home. If there’s no signal in the first place, a booster won’t do anything for you. This sometimes gets overlooked by customers who mistakenly think that a booster creates its own signal. In these cases, the customer sends back their equipment.

In short, when you buy a refurbished signal booster from SureCall, it’s almost never a product that was malfunctioning and then repaired. The product was working as it should, but the customer forgot to do the proper research before purchasing.

Does SureCall Resell Devices That Have Been Repaired?

No, we don’t. Our products have a near-100% success rate. A defective device is an extreme rarity. Because of this, we don’t repair and resell. Such a device would be discarded. This means that our refurbished boosters available for purchase were never defective. The boxes were simply opened for one of the 3 reasons above.

Does SureCall Test Refurbished Boosters?

Most definitely. Any product packaging that’s been opened is tested and examined before resale.

Can Refurbished Signal Boosters Be Returned?

Yes, they can. At SureCall, we have a return window of 30 days and a manufacturer’s warranty of 3 years for refurbished devices.

Boost Cell Signal At Home (8 Residential Booster Questions Answered) – Conclusion

Visit our Resources page for more answers to your questions about signal boosters. To take a look at all home-based cell signal boosters from SureCall, go here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.