People often ask us about cell phone signal booster cases for cell phones. Do these cases really work to boost cell signal?
To find out the answer once and for all, we did some testing with a signal amplifying phone case. The test results are covered in the video below, but we found they generally do not live up to their claims.
Types of Phone Cases that Boost Signal
There are two types of cell phone booster cases – passive boost and an active boost. We’ll talk about the passive type first.
Passive booster cases offer no signal amplification. What they do is extend antennas from the case, usually one antenna for 3G signal and another for 4G signal.
The idea behind these passive signal booster cases is that a larger antenna on the case should be able to pull in a better signal than your phone’s internal antenna, and therefore provide a reception boost. However, their ability to provide that expected reception boost is limited because the antennas that extend from the case are not connected to your phone’s internal antenna.
For the extendable antennas on the case to work effectively and boost reception, they would need to be directly connected to your phone’s internal antenna. Because the case’s extended antennas have no direct connection to the phone’s antenna, the user will see little to no signal improvement.
So, we did a speed test that measured download and upload speeds with the case and without the cell phone booster case on.
Not using the passive boosting case the phone gets 1.5 megabits per second downlink and 1.38 Mbps uplink. Using the cell phone signal booster case with the phone gets 0.83 Mbps downlink and 0.5 Mbps uplink.
The significant data slow down with the case on is likely due to the case partially blocking signals from reaching the phone’s internal antenna.
Next, we’ll discuss the active booster cases that include signal amplification. These cases amplify the signal coming to the phone. When you put one of these cases on your phone, you may actually see an increase in signal bars. It seems like the case is boosting your signal.
But there’s a catch. The case is only amplifying the signal coming from the cell tower to your phone, the downlink signal. That’s why you may see the increase in bars.
But your phone, in addition to receiving a signal from the tower, also transmits the signal back to the tower to complete the communication loop. A cell phone booster case does not boost this uplink signal going from your phone to the tower.
As a result, the incoming signal is stronger because of the case but the outgoing signal is not.
If any phone can’t transmit signals reliably back to the cell tower, the communication loop is broken. This could cause your cell connection to drop or to fade in and out intermittently. Remember those old “Can you hear me now?” commercials on TV? That’s the kind of poor reception we’re talking about.
We also did a data signal test on an active cell booster case.
The phone with the amplifier case turned off, gets a data reception of 2.5 Mbps uplink and almost 4 Mbps downlink.
With the amplifier case turned on, the phone gets 2.47 Mbps downlink but gets only 1 Mbps uplink reception speed. This is in line with our explanation above. The case may improve the downlink signal but will not improve the uplink signal.
A device that effectively makes cell phone signal stronger on your phone is called a cell phone signal booster. A cell phone signal booster is a reliable way to amplify both downlink and uplink signals, without having to put a case on your phone.
Whether you have an iPhone or Android, the booster will boost all signals and increase data speeds. It also will amplify the signal from any cell carrier.
To learn more or see our weBoost line of cell phone signal boosters for home, RV, car or truck, click below.