What is a ‘soft install’ and do I need to do one?

Nicholas Jones | February 26, 2016


A couple of comments on previous blog posts brought me to the topic of this post – the “soft” install.

One of the comments on our recent post Setting Up the eqo Booster asked if Paul, our test subject in the accompanying video, was going to leave the eqo Booster’s cords lying on the floor of his apartment.

Uhh, no.

Another comment on the How Does a Cell Phone Booster Work? post cautioned that signal overload, or a very strong incoming cell signal, can cause problems with cell signal booster installation. That’s a relevant observation.

Both comments are related to the weBoost-recommended practice of performing a soft install of a cell phone booster before doing the hard, or permanent, installation.

A soft install is a test installation of a signal booster done BEFORE the booster is permanently installed. It’s typically done quickly and allows you to experiment to determine your optimal system setup.

weBoost recommends you do a soft install before doing a hard (permanent) install for a several reasons:

1 ) It will allow you to figure out the optimum position and orientation of your tower (outside) and device (inside) antennas.

– You can find the antenna location(s) that provides the best signal and optimal coverage from your carrier.

– You can experiment with various combinations of horizontal and vertical separation between antennas to reduce, if necessary, the Minimum Required Separation Distance.

– You may during the soft install discover you have a “overload’ situation, as that second commenter mentioned. This occurs when signal from a nearby tower (maybe not even your carrier’s tower) is very strong and causes the booster to reduce gain, or level of boost, on one or more frequency bands. If that happens, it’s much easier to troubleshoot the overload before any components have been permanently installed. Attenuators can help control signal strength.

2) You can determine the best way to route the cable inside your home or office.

This one’s for you, first commenter. During the soft install most customers will run the cable though an open  door or window, or perhaps across a floor, so they can connect the components and experiment with their locations. Once they know where they want to place the antenna(s) and the booster unit for optimal coverage, they will have a good idea of how and where they need to run cable. Then they can conceal cables behind furniture, under carpet, etc.

3) Your soft install may determine the system you purchased is less than ideal for your situation.

weBoost offers a 30-day money-back-guarantee on our cell boosters so our customers can try out their setup. A soft installation will simplify the process of determining if the system you purchased will work best for your situation.

There you have it. Doing a soft install is a best practice that allows you to optimize your cell signal booster system and correct any potential problem conditions before any components are bolted down.


Want to learn more? Check out our Consumer Guide to Cell Phone Signal Boosters!

weBoost also makes cell phone boosters for vehicles