Today we are all so attached to our cell phones and the internet. We stay connected to the world through digital data. With the increased access to wireless high speed data, more and more people are able to work remotely.
Most of the United States is covered in cellular towers, and major service providers claim they blanket the map with “the best and fastest network available.”
However, those of us whom have traveled this great country realize that in some of the most desirable locations for RV travel, cellular coverage can be spotty at best.
Cellular service in remote areas can be a challenge to say the least. So what’s a nomad to do? Whether you are working remotely or just trying to prevent major social media withdrawals, there must be a solution…
A cellular booster could be the answer. Our weBoost system has provided us a link to the outside world in some of the most remote places in the country. With our weBoost Connect 65RV we have the ability to reach out and “grab” a distant tower that our cell phone doesn’t even know exists.
Another benefit to our weBoost system is its ability to rebroadcast a signal inside our trailer. Due to the fact we travel in an Airstream trailer made from aluminum, its shell acts as a Faraday Cage preventing most of the available cellular signal getting to our phones. The difference can be huge—from no service to full bars, or being able to complete a phone call, send an email, stream a movie or NOT…
With that said, these boosters are NOT your own magical cellular service provider that will create LTE 4G service out of thin air, but they will increase your ability to increase your signal strength in areas your service would be unusable.
A cellular booster consists of an outside antenna, booster, power supply, inside antenna, and various cables to connect it all together.
First let me say that the weBoost kit is very nicely packaged and logically laid out. Inside a large box containing all the components are smaller boxes. Each of the smaller boxes are numbered, Step 1 with a description, Step 2 with a description, and so on. This organized packaging system made assembly, installation, and set-up a breeze.
The Outside Antenna
The outside antenna collects the signal from the cellular provider’s tower and sends it to the booster. These outside antennas can be Directional, which means it must be pointed at the transmitting tower, or Omni-directional, which means it receives a signal 360 degrees and does not have to be pointed in any certain direction.
With the Directional antenna you get the benefit of a better, more focused signal from a distant tower, because you “aim” the antenna at the tower. However, because the directional antenna must be aimed, it will only work when you’re in a stationary position.
The Omni-directional antenna provides 360-degree coverage, but sacrifices some coverage distant to do so. The benefit of the Omni-directional antenna is it can be used while in motion traveling down the road.
Because we travel with an Airstream travel trailer we chose the weBoost system which comes with a mast and directional antenna.
The booster receives the signal from the outside antenna and amplifies or “boosts” it through a super top secret system that I’m pretty sure was invented at Area 51. The amount of “Gain” or boost the device is able to provide is regulated by the FCC.
With the weBoost connect 65RV system you get up to 65db of gain because it can only used in stationary locations. If your system had an Omni-Directional antenna you would only get up to 50db of gain. This is due to that system’s ability to be used while in motion. weBoost states the Connect 65RV system has the ability to boost a cellular signal up to thirty-two times.
The Inside Antenna
The inside antenna takes the amplified signal from the system’s booster and rebroadcasts it inside the trailer. Again, these antennas can be Directional or Omni-Directional. Our weBoost system came with a Directional antenna which worked well for us because I mounted it in the front of the trailer aiming it toward the rear.
Working with the mounting position and location of the inside antenna to provide the best coverage is important. Reducing the number of obstructions between the antenna and your device is key.
The weBoost system uses RG6 Coax to connect the antennas to the booster. This allowed us to use our Airstream’s existing RG6 coax cable (installed in the wall for satellite TV) to connect the directional antenna to the outside of the trailer, and the booster to the other end inside the front cabinet.
With the easy-to-follow instructions and well-labeled components, this install should be able to be completed by just about anyone with basic DIY skills. The weBoost system is available on Amazon for $649.