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5 Myths about Cell Phone Signal Boosters

Nicholas Jones | November 4, 2016

As more and more people find that their lives and work have become bound to their phones, weak or spotty cell signal has consistently become less and less acceptable at home, in the workplace and even on the go.

That’s a big reason why many people have increasingly taken an interest in cell phone signal boosters.

And like other newer, continuously developing technologies that began their lives unregulated but later were placed under government regulation, there have been over the years a number of rumors and half-truths about signal boosters.

This post addresses some of the more prominent cell booster myths with straight explanations of what boosters actually do.

Myth #1: Cell phone boosters are a scam. They don’t work.

This dates from about 20 years ago when there were actual scams that claimed to enhance cell phone reception but didn’t really do anything except take people’s money.

Nowadays boosters certainly do work to enhance your cell signal because they’re independently tested and certified by the government. In the U.S. the Federal Communication Commission is the certifying body. In Canada it’s Industry Canada.

So just make sure any signal booster you buy is FCC or IC certified. That’s your proof the booster works as claimed.

Myth #2: Cell signal boosters are illegal.

Actually, this is no myth. Boosters are in fact illegal in some countries. In the UK and Australia, for example, the public is not allowed to own or use cell boosters.

But in the U.S. and Canada, among other countries, they’re perfectly legal as long as they are FCC or IC certified as noted above.

Myth #3: Boosters can interfere with the cell network.

At one time this was a legitimate claim, but not anymore. Before 2013, when the U.S. began regulating cell boosters, some poorly designed boosters DID cause interference on cell networks.

However, responsible booster manufacturers have always taken great care to safeguard the cell networks from interference. And now the testing and government certification process we mentioned above makes certain that all boosters on the market never interfere with carrier networks.

Myth #4: Cell boosters interfere with your Wifi network.

Not sure where this originated, but it’s not at all true. The mobile networks and Wifi use completely different radio frequencies, and do not interfere with each other.

Let me ask this question: Does your cell phone interfere with your home or workplace Wifi network? Of course not! Because cell boosters use precisely the same radio frequency bands as your phone does, they can’t interfere with your Wifi either.

Myth #5: Cell boosters use your Wifi bandwidth in competition with other wireless devices.

Those who make this claim are probably confusing cell boosters with similar devices like microcells or femtocells. Microcells and femtos do in fact move communications from the cell network to the Wifi network, and from Wifi to the cell network.

But cell phone signal boosters work in an entirely different way. Boosters work only with existing cell signals. The booster collects weak cell signal, amplifies it and distributes the amplified signal indoors or inside a vehicle so cell devices can connect. Cell boosters never interact with a Wifi network.

Want to learn more about cell signal boosters? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Cell Phone Signal Boosters!