How to boost your cellphone Internet speeds

Some people notice beautiful trees and want to camp near them. Jim and I notice cell towers and want to camp near them! As we travel, we are sometimes in range of strong Internet signal from a cell tower, and sometimes not. When you are in low signal areas, is there a way to boost that signal? Yes.

It’s called a cellular booster. You may have heard of the company called Wilson Electronics – they’ve re-branded now and sell products with the WeBoost name. We just bought a WeBoost 4GX RV and put it through its paces. 

Whatever cellular devices you have – phones, hot spots, tablets, etc., and whatever cellular providers they connect to – this will improve the signal they are getting. If you’re getting a really good signal without the booster, there is no reason to use it. It could actually degrade a good signal. At our current campsite, Verizon is very good, so the booster didn’t make much difference. But Jim’s Google Phone, using T-Mobile, went from barely moving the speed test needle without the booster, to 5Mbps down and 1.5 up. That is good enough to make calls, get emails, browse the Web, and even watch some streaming video.  

A better antenna will get you a better connection. It’s just radio: 2-way radio.

You do need to experiment with using the antenna. Depending on your cellular provider and the strength of the signal at your current location, you may experience different levels of improvement with the antenna. YMMV (Your mileage may vary)! For a listing of more cell boosters with complete reviews, see the Cell Boosters gear page on RVMobileInternet.com.

In Episode 154 of our YouTube show, What Does This Button Do?,  we focused on our newly purchased cellular booster. We also discuss a Google Photos tip, and our latest purchase of an Unlimited AT&T hot spot.

Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She and her husband, Jim, produce a free weekly online show called What Does This Button Do?  They have been Fulltime RVers, popular seminar presenters at RV Rallies, and regular contributors to RVTravel.com, for many years. Chris is also the author of Mrs. Geek’s Guide to Google Photos, 2nd edition just released, available on Amazon.com.

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2 Thoughts to “How to boost your cellphone Internet speeds”

  1. Wolfe

    Quite often, the elevation is more important than the amplification. Two more methods to increase cellphone/data access:

    The “low” form: some people put their hotspot in a plastic bag and stick it to the top of their flagpole. The more agressive version of this I saw was a fellow that put the hotspot, connected to a 20AH battery pack, on the end of a 20-30′ lineman’s pole that he posted like a flagpole for the week.

    The extreme version: Another fellow stuck his hotspot to his drone, which would hover at the 400′ FAA flight ceiling over his RV. Only worked for the 15min flight battery life, but supposedly pulled in good data speeds and rained down WiFi… Could be useful for ‘gulping’ bursts of data that can be viewed offline.

    I’ve also read about this drone method as an emergency beacon — “send” a text message from your phone even if it can’t see a signal, and then fly it up to altitude for a couple minutes for the phone to send when it DOES see a signal.

    1. Chris Guld

      Wow – that is a creative use for drones! Someday, our cellular signals will come from the sky rather than towers and coverage will be more complete. Check out Project Loon by Google: https://www.google.com/intl/es419/loon/

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