A substantial digital divide persists between rural and urban areas. While 97% of Americans own a mobile phone, cellular coverage throughout the country is uneven. In remote areas and rural communities, poor reception, slow downloading speeds, and missed SMS messages can be common.
The most advanced wireless technologies have yet to reach smaller, less-developed communities. But the needs for connectivity are just as great in your neck of the woods as they are in the big city. We all depend more and more on reliable cellular service for making calls, texting, working and studying remotely, and shopping online. It’s not just a luxury anymore.
One strategy for improving connectivity in non-urban areas — besides climbing up a hill to a ridge — is to use a cell signal booster for your home, cabin, farm, office, or vehicle. A cell phone signal booster can bring your poor-signal dead zone to life. Read on to learn how these solutions work and for our top picks of signal boosters for your cellular needs.
Challenges of Cell Coverage in Rural Areas
Cellular service is usually the only choice for connectivity in extremely rural and remote counties, according to the National Association of Counties (NACo). Carriers don’t find it cost-effective to build new networks in underserved areas.
Major wireless carriers reach more than 97% of the U.S. population in non-rural areas but fall short in rural regions. Data from Statista shows the percentage of rural populations that have access to wireless networks by carrier:
- Verizon: 94.4%
- AT&T: 91.7%
- T-Mobile: 85.1%
- Sprint: 63%
NACo also found that more than three-quarters of counties in the United States experience cellular speeds below the FCC minimum standard for broadband (25 Mbps for downloads). The counties with the slowest average download speeds are the smallest by population:
- Population of 500,000 or more: 24.86 Mbps
- Population between 50,001 – 499,999: 18.28 Mbps
- Population of 50,000 or less: 17.33 Mbps
The FCC is trying to achieve universal broadband and advanced mobile coverage. Until then, people in remote areas can improve their mobile connectivity with a cell signal booster.
Do Cell Signal Boosters Work in Rural Areas?
As long as there’s a cellular signal outside of your residence, vehicle, or office, you can strengthen it with a cell phone signal booster. Your smartphone or tablet might not detect the faintest signals, but weBoost signal boosters have powerful antennas. However, a cell phone booster can’t create a signal if there isn’t an existing one.
Signal boosters draw in weak signals and amplify them up to 32 times, creating robust, reliable coverage for your mobile devices. Here’s how they work:
- An external antenna detects and captures cellular signals from outside your home, vehicle, or building.
- A booster takes the cellular signal that’s been pulled in and amplifies it for indoor or in-vehicle use.
- An internal antenna takes the optimized signal and distributes it to your mobile devices.
weBoost’s line of signal boosters work with any U.S. carrier and are compatible with all cellular phones and mobile devices. Once your signal is amplified, you can enjoy:
- Better 3G, 4G LTE, 5G Nationwide coverage
- Dependable connectivity
- Enhanced mobile hotspots
- Faster data speeds
With better cell phone service in remote areas, you have essential and discretionary services at your fingertips, including emergency response, GPS navigation, online courses, telemedicine, remote health monitoring, banking, shopping, and entertainment.
Are Signal Boosters Legal?
Some countries prohibit signal boosters, but you’re free to use them to maximize carrier coverage in the United States if they’re FCC-approved. FCC certification means the signal booster is compliant with regulations, performs as claimed, and doesn’t interfere with carrier signals.
How Do I Choose a Signal Booster for Rural Areas?
Whether you live in a rural area or are passing through on vacation or for work, a weBoost cell signal booster can give you a more dependable signal so you can make calls, text, and access the internet. Here’s an overview of weBoost cell phone signal boosters for residential and vehicle use to help you select one that’s right for you.
Best Signal Booster for Your Rural Home
Enjoy clearer calls, enhanced hotspot capabilities, and faster data speeds in your rural location. Experience connectivity the way it should be with our selection of powerful residential cell phone boosters. Signal boosters can be installed in various rural living spaces, including houses, cottages, and cabins. The best cell signal booster for your home depends on where you need coverage and the strength of your existing cellular signal.
The weBoost Home Studio is a residential cell phone signal booster optimized for smaller living spaces. With its sleek, two-component design, the Home Studio is the most compact booster in our residential lineup. It also allows for the simplest DIY installation.
The weBoost Home MultiRoom is our second most powerful residential booster. It boosts cell phone signal in remote homes up to 5,000 square feet. This amplifier targets your home’s weak signal areas and gives you up to 91% more coverage than the Home Room.
The weBoost Home Complete is our best install-it-yourself cell signal booster for homes. This booster kit includes everything you need for installation in your large home. With 72 dB max gain, the weBoost Home Complete provides maximum cellular coverage for your rural home.
The weBoost Installed | Home Complete is our most powerful signal booster for residential use. It reaches cell towers up to 26% farther than the Home MultiRoom reaches. The booster covers up to 7,500 square feet, 46% more space than the MultiRoom. This product comes with free installation by licensed, insured professionals in any U.S. ZIP code.
Best Signal Booster for Driving in Remote Areas
Drive through remote terrain with confidence in your cellular connection. Make clear calls, use navigation apps, and let your passengers stream along the back roads. Cell coverage is unpredictable when you’re driving and depends on cell tower location and terrain such as cliffs, mountains, and trees.
Drive Sleek is the best value for solo drivers in rural areas. It’s designed for passenger cars and SUVs and features a hands-free dash cradle mount and vent clip to hold your phone. The Drive Sleek boosts cell signal for one device. This booster is a cost-effective solution for staying connected on the go.
Drive X is our standard vehicle booster for multiple users. It offers 33% more reach than the Drive Sleek and is ideal for remote areas. The magnetic antenna is easy to install on the outside of your car and the booster can accommodate multiple mobile devices without pairing.
Drive Reach is our strongest in-vehicle cell phone booster. You and all your passengers can enjoy unhindered connectivity as you ride through would-be dead zones. This booster reaches cell towers up to 74% farther than our Drive X solution.
The Drive Reach OTR is our standard, all-weather booster for semis and OTR trucks. Its omnidirectional antenna rises above your roof to reach far-off towers and boost the signal. This amplifier works great with multiple users and devices in rural areas.
Best Signal Booster for Camping in Remote Areas
If you own an RV and spend your free time out on the open road or parked in campsites, then weBoost has a solution for you. Signal boosters also work in recreational vehicles. weBoost’s line of RV cell phone boosters are specially designed for dependable coverage when you’re traveling the nation in your home away from home.
Like the other signal boosters in our Reach product lineup, the Drive Reach RV reaches the farthest cell towers. Ideal for campers, trailers, and RVs, this powerful signal booster can enhance signal for multiple users and devices. You can use the Drive Reach RV while parked at a campsite or while in motion.
Destination RV is ideal for long stays in remote areas. This powerful, stationary booster will boost multiple users and devices — no matter the carrier. Providing max coverage in large RVs during extended travel, Destination RV works to instantly improve talk, text, and streaming in any stationary camper or trailer.
Best Signal Booster for Rural Small Businesses
Rural small businesses play an important part in supporting local economies and communities. With more and more business happening online, rural businesses need a connectivity solution that keeps their employees and customers connected. weBoost for Business provides a range of cell signal boosters for small offices.
Providing up to 8,000 square feet of enhanced coverage, the Office 100 is designed for small businesses. Requiring DIY installation, this commercial-grade signal booster works to boost cell signal nor customers and employees.
Office 200 is a high-performance, commercial-grade amplifier solution. It offers coverage to small- and medium-sized businesses up to 12,000 square feet. Office 200 comes with everything you need to complete do-it-yourself installation in your rural small business.
As our best-in-class cell signal solution for small and medium businesses, the weBoost Installed | Office 200 delivers maximum coverage in buildings up to 15,000 square feet. You can enjoy complete, professional installation of this turnkey solution in your small business.
If you own and operate a fleet of vehicles, then the Drive Reach Fleet is our most powerful in-vehicle solution. Keep your team of drivers and back office connected with a signal booster for vehicle fleet.
Will a Signal Booster Work for a Farm in the Countryside?
Cell phone reception can be boosted on your farm, depending on how close the nearest cell tower is and where you need coverage. Buildings on farmland are often spread out, so you may need a combination of residential and in-vehicle boosters based on how your operations work and where you need a signal.
- You can install weBoost residential signal boosters inside houses, barns, and sheds, depending on the material used to build them. If the outside signal is very weak, or your barn is made of metal, you may need a more powerful booster to give you the best coverage.
- You can use an in-vehicle booster to get better phone reception inside a tractor cab, truck, or vehicle. This lets the operator use a mobile phone or tablet as needed.
Can You Use Signal Boosters When Camping?
Trips into the wilderness often mean spotty cellular coverage. weBoost signal boosters work when camping if there’s:
- A power source
- An enclosed area like a cabin or vehicle
- An existing cellular signal
No matter where you choose to set up camp, a cell signal booster is likely to be an ideal solution to your connectivity issues.
Cell Phone Signal Booster FAQs
How can you boost cell phone reception in remote areas?
If you want to boost your cell reception in a remote area, the best solution is a cell phone booster.
A cell phone booster takes any amount of signal from a cell tower, no matter how weak, and boosts it. This helps you get better data and call connections in remote areas as long as there is any tower signal at all.
What causes bad cell phone reception?
A number of things can cause bad cell phone reception. A common issue is the distance from the nearest tower. Like any other type of frequency wave, cell waves degrade over distance. The further from the tower, the weaker they are.
Other issues with cell reception can include interference with the signal. That can be caused by certain types of building structures, such as external concrete or steel walls. Other frequencies in the air, such as cell, radio and television signals, could also interfere with a signal.
Finally, if a location has a lot of people using the same cell service at the same time, signals can be weak for each person because the bandwidth is split up to cover so many users.
How can you get cell service anywhere?
You actually can’t get cell service anywhere. If there’s no tower signal at all near a location, you would not be able to get cell service or use a booster to amplify the signal. That’s because the signal doesn’t exist. However, many locations that seem to not have cell service are actually reached by a weak tower signal that doesn’t do much on its own. In those locations, you can get cell service with the help of a cell signal booster.
What affects cell phone reception?
Cell phone reception can be impacted by a variety of factors, including:
- The distance you are from the nearest tower.
- Interfering signals, such as other frequencies being used in the area.
- The age and state of your mobile device — older or damaged devices may not work as well to capture and use signals or may not work with current signals.
- The status of your device updates — if you’re not keeping up with your mobile device updates, the technology may not be appropriately tweaked for current signals.
- Structures that can interfere with the delivery of signal, including landscapes such as hills and mountains or manmade structures such as buildings.
Why do rural areas have bad cell reception?
Not all rural areas have bad cell reception. Those that do tend to be far away from the nearest towers. In some cases, rural environments are more likely to have contributing landscape factors, such as mountains, that can impede signal.
Why is improving cell signal important?
Improving your cell signal is important for many reasons, including, but not limited to:
- Enhanced communication. It’s less frustrating to keep up with your friends and family when you can talk to them on a clear, uninterrupted line.
- Better access to data. If you use your cell phone to play games, send messages, access the internet, or download programs or documents, a better signal speeds up all of those processes.
- Access to emergency services. If you have poor cell signal, you can’t rely on your cell phone to be the way you access emergency services should the need arise.
- Better phone battery life. If your phone is constantly searching for a signal or struggling to use the one that’s available, the battery gets used up a lot faster. That can lead to inconveniences or the need to hand out around a wall outlet more than you would like. Better cell signal can help improve mobile device battery life.
Reach for weBoost in Rural Areas
Say goodbye to dropped calls, poor call quality, and lagging internet service and experience the peace of mind you deserve with safe, reliable wireless connectivity. A boosted signal is just what you need to maintain smooth connections throughout your home, farm, vehicle, or workplace. weBoost is the industry leader in cell phone signal boosters, bringing you the most innovative, robust products for clear cellular reception in areas with far away cell towers.
All weBoost cell signal boosters work on all U.S. carrier networks and are compatible with all phones and mobile devices. They are also 5G compatible to serve you through the next decade and beyond.
Choose weBoost for the strongest coverage available in rural spaces.