Finding or sustaining strong cell phone signals in rural areas can be difficult. Those who choose to live life off the beaten path understand all too well the symptoms of weak cellular connectivity–dropped calls, slow data speeds, and/or less than 2 bars of signal strength. Much of this has to do with the cellular carriers who tend to only saturate heavily populated areas with cell towers, leaving rural areas stranded high and dry.
While it doesn’t look like carriers will be persuaded to extend their cellular 2G, 3G, 4G, and 4G LTE infrastructure anytime soon, there are convenient, fully functional solutions that can compensate for the lack of cellular infrastructure for those living in remote areas. Chief among these are cell phone signal boosters.
Choose the Best Cell Phone Signal Booster for Home
Choose the Best Cell Phone Signal Booster for Vehicle
What are Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Remote Areas?
Signal boosters are passive systems that require only a source of power to continuously amplify incoming cell signals for users inside a home, office, or vehicle. These boosters are able to overcome obstacles such as vast distances to the nearest cell tower as well as the walls of your building, which are both very effective at impeding incoming cell signals. Furthermore, rural residents will be glad to hear that the performance improvement a signal booster offers is much greater in weak cell signal zones.
A cellphone signal booster for rural areas typically has three parts: an outside antenna that communicates with the cell tower, an indoor amplifier that boosts the signal, and an indoor antenna that communicates with your device(s). This works the same way for return signals traveling from your cell phone back to the cell tower.
What this means for you is that as long as the signal strength on your phone is 1-bar or higher just outside of your building/vehicle, a signal booster is the best solution for you to permanently improve your signal with a one-time installation and no on-going subscription fees.
How to Choose the Best Cell Phone Signal Booster for Rural Areas
The single biggest mistake people make when choosing a cell phone signal booster for rural areas is to choose the least expensive option. The problem with cheap signal boosters is that they are designed for less remote locations which demand lower performance from a signal booster. In rural areas, signals are often weaker due to the distance between cell towers as well as geological obstructions such as hills, trees, buildings, or weather. This means rural signal booster shoppers will want to take the time to estimate the severity of their cell signal situation before even considering the price tags.
To help you avoid committing the same errors and becoming disillusioned with signal boosters in general, we’ve compiled a short list of pointers that will help you find satisfaction on your first purchase, no matter where you end up buying your booster unit from.
- Estimate the Square Footage of the Indoor Area You Hope to Cover. This simple step can have a big impact on the success of your signal booster deployment. Many people find that they don’t need to cover every single room in their home or building, which can rack up quite a price tag.
Making concessions here by focusing on the highest traffic areas in your home is the single best way to save money without losing perspective on the performance demands of your home’s location.
The indoor Whip antenna is suitable for smaller areas or single rooms while those of you looking to cover multiple rooms/larger areas will want to look for the Panel indoor antenna kitting option or consider a larger signal booster/amplifier. For the largest deployments, or those that cover multiple floors, find a SureCall certified installer or contact us for an expert custom design plan.
- Measure the Cell Signal Strength Just Outside your Home/Building. This is the most important step in finding the right booster for your rural location. Rural locations tend to have more sporadic cell tower networks, resulting in weaker cell signals and higher performance demands from a signal booster solution.
A simple way to do this without getting technical is to take out your phone just outside of your home and grab your 1-5 signal strength bar reading. You can also visit this guide to learn how to get more accurate signal strength readings from your device.
Chances are, your remote location will only offer you a cellular signal strength of 2 bars or less, with an even lower reading once you step inside your home/building. If this is the case, you will want to remember to select the Yagi outdoor antenna kitting option and point that Yagi antenna towards your carrier’s nearest cell tower during installation.
Those of you who are lucky enough to live in areas that already receive more than 2 bars of outside signal strength can get away with the cheaper Omni outdoors antenna option.
- Identify Desired Booster Features. Although signal boosters have been around for a few decades, there is still a large selection of unlicensed second rate boosters floating around on Amazon that you’ll want to make sure you avoid. These unregulated boosters are not only of lower quality, they often lack basic features such as bi-directional amplification or omni-carrier compatibility and can even earn you a cease and desist visit from your carrier due to their tendency to crash the entire cell tower network.
A good signal booster will be compliant under FCC regulations while also sporting features like Automatic Gain Control, compatibility with all NA carriers, high-quality materials, signal amplification to and from the cell tower, internal shielding, and much more. Do you like to have friends and family over? You’ll want to make sure your booster is compatible with multiple carriers.
Top brands such as SureCall have even exclusively patented cutting edge signal booster technology such as Extended Range Technology™ (ERT) which offers better Internet speed improvements over non-ERT boosters.
Make the Best Signal Booster Choice for Rural Homes
Now that we’ve done our homework figuring out the required level of performance for a signal booster in our home/location, here is a quick and easy guide to help you select the right booster that will give you results.
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Top 7 Cell Phone Signal Booster Choices for Homes in Rural Areas
- EZ 4G: Featuring Plug-and-Play set-up as well as non-invasive installation which avoids drilling cabling holes through your walls, the EZ 4G is the perfect entry-level signal booster for locations which don’t demand extraordinary performance. While other more advanced boosters require routing a cable through your wall to the outside antenna for that extra bit of performance, the EZ 4G antenna dish wants the be conveniently placed just inside the window which offers the strongest incoming cell signal.
While the EZ 4G is designed for the work-from-home professional who wants to be able to make and take reliable calls from the home office without having to re-wire the building, users in rural areas who often experience less than 2 cell bars outside their building or who want to cover more than 2,000 sq ft will want to consider higher-performance options.
- Flare: The Flare is SureCall’s next step up in performance and pairs an Omni outdoor antenna with the stylish Flare amplifier tower. Assuming that your desired sq footage and outside signal strength is compatible with the Flare’s performance range, users will find the Flare’s small form-factor to be convenient while offering better performance than the EZ 4G.
- Flare 3.0: The Flare 3.0 combines the same indoor Flare amplifier with an upgraded Yagi outdoor antenna and is designed for locations that are more remote from cell tower networks. Users looking to cover up to 2,500 sq ft who receive less than or equal to 2 bars of signal strength on their phones just outside of the home will appreciate the Flare 3.0’s performance and convenience.
- Fusion4Home: The Fusion4Home is SureCall’s most popular home signal booster model because it offers the best combination of economical pricing and performance packaged in a reliable form factor which sources the highest-quality materials for longevity. Designed for flexibility, the Fusion4Home’s feature-driven performance is more than suitable for the vast majority of locations while the base amplifier can be paired with a powerful variety of indoor and outdoor antenna kitting options for consistent performance across most floor plans.
- Fusion5s: The Fusion5s signal booster provides a serious signal strength boost in an area up to 6,000 sq feet under ideal conditions. Just like the rest of SureCall’s booster line-up, the Fusion5s is fully compatible with all NA carriers and is built from high-quality heat resistant materials, offering users solid performance and peace of mind at a reasonable price point.
Users in the most remote areas who experience the weakest of cell signals will want to compensate by considering this model for its powerful performance.
- 6-10k sq ft or Across Multiple Floors: Users looking to cover larger areas of their home or even multiple floors in the same building will want to find one of SureCall’s certified installers in their area to ensure a smooth signal booster deployment. Larger areas and/or complex floor plans typically require the services of one of SureCall’s trained & certified technicians who can maintain signal coverage throughout the difficult obstacles that are your home’s walls and floors.
- Over 10k sq ft or Across Multiple Floors: If you’re looking to cover areas over 10,000 square feet or and/or complex floor plans spanning multiple floors, you’ll want to request a customized design plan from one of our experts, as this requires deep technical experience that is above even many of our certified installers.
Make the Best Signal Booster Choice for Vehicles in Rural Areas
Boosting your cell phone signal in the vehicle throughout remote areas can be just as intimidating as improving your signal in the home/building. However, the theory remains the same–You will want to err on the side of performance when choosing a vehicle signal booster for non-metro areas.
For your everyday commuter who often receives a weaker incoming cell phone signal outside the vehicle, or even adventurers who like to work/play off the beaten path, this means choosing the Fusion2Go 3.0 or the award-winning high-performance Fusion2Go Max over the entry-level N-Range 2.0.
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Top 5 Cell Phone Signal Boosters for Vehicles in Rural Areas
- N-Range 2.0: The N-Range 2.0 cellular signal booster for vehicles is an entry-level option that offers strong ERT-enabled performance for the solo adventurer in a compact package, all at an affordable price-point. While this model is great for the casual commuter, users who expect to drive through remote areas will want to consider our more powerful boosters below.
- Fusion2Go 3.0: The Fusion2Go 3.0 is our most popular option for vehicles and has established itself as a competitive choice for both casual commuters as well as users with more serious endeavors such as campers, outdoorsmen, and even storm chasers. Blending reliably solid performance that handles multiple simultaneous users with an attractive price tag, the Fusion2Go 3.0 has the flexibility to be the a good “safe” choice for folks who want to be ready for anything on the road.
- Fusion2Go 3.0 Fleet: The Fusion2Go 3.0 Fleet pairs the Fusion2Go 3.0 base booster with a permanent Non-Magnetic Option (NMO) antenna kit designed for fleets of commercial vehicles. This custom NMO outside antenna features a permanent screw-mount for maximum long-term convenience and keeps fleet drivers connected throughout more areas of the road.
- Fusion2Go 3.0 RV: The Fusion2Go 3.0 RV combines the Fusion2Go 3.0 base booster with an RV antenna kit and convenient power supply options, giving RVers a worthy solution designed for their needs that covers even the largest of vehicles. RVers who like to camp out in remote areas and need trustworthy call/text/internet capabilities 24/7 will especially enjoy the Fusion2Go 3.0 RV’s reliability and performance.
- Fusion2Go Max: Folks who commute, live, or travel in the most remote areas will find incredible value in the Fusion2Go Max‘s high-end performance, which keeps them connected throughout more areas than any other vehicle signal booster in the market. Driven by SureCall’s exclusive ERT patented technology, this 2020 CES Innovation Awards winner offers maximum performance and peace of mind for road warriors who often find themselves in the middle of nowhere.