Cell phones are everywhere we look. So deeply intertwined they are with our present-day modern society that it comes as no surprise as to why we see one in almost everyone’s hand. Smart phones have come a long way from being a portable calculator that could make calls and play music. Nowadays phones offer a range of functionalities that dwarf the previous generation cell phones. You needn’t wait around for a free cab; instead, you can simply whip out your phone and book one. No need to ask directions or carry around a folded map or a compass in your travel pack; a smartphone doubles as a map as well as a compass.
The 5.5” screen can help you stream the latest music and watch the newest shows on demand with a tap, lying on your couch. No more long queues at the local theatre; you can book your seats and just walk in, or if you are lazy you can cuddle up on the couch and watch it on the multiple streaming applications available. No more waiting and no more wiling.
Of all the things that smartphones nowadays can do, it may come across as odd, how a drop in the reception can make most of this vanish into thin air. No more ordering of food, booking cabs or checking the latest news. The minute your phone struggles to catch a signal, it marks the beginning of a dreary and frustrating day. Your phone calls constantly drop and you are left with nothing but a distant mumble of what was supposed to be your friend having a deep conversation with you.
Thankfully, there are ways around this. You can buy a cell phone repeater or a network extender. These sturdy and fool-proof devices will make sure that most of your connectivity woes are a thing of the distant past. But what people aren’t aware of is that they are fundamentally different. So what differentiates the two? Let us have a look.
Cell Phone Repeater
These are more commonly called as cell phone signal booster, and is a system that takes a weak existing cell signal from outside, boosts the signal by means of amplifying it, and then broadcasts the boosted signal for your phone and multiple other cellular devices to use. It may boost the signal within your home, office or even your car.
The point to note in a cell phone repeater is the need for at least a weak existing signal. If there is no usable signal outside the location where you mount the external antenna, then there is nothing for the booster to boost, and the entire exercise is fruitless. Cell phone repeaters are not sold by network carriers and you will need to buy them separately.
These are also known as femtocells or microcells and are different from cell signal boosters in the fact that they create their own cell signals within your office or home, and then re-route all of the cellular calls and data over the high speed internet, but not the cell network.
The question of your cell network coming into play after re-routing is non-existent. This means that even if you have zero signal outside and an empty signal bar on your phone, your phone will still be able to have good quality phone calls and high speed internet connection. Note that you cannot use a network extender with satellite internet for the fact that the delay in the connection is far too much.
The only requirement is for you to set the network extender at a spot, say near a window because there is a GPS device that needs to communicate with your carrier to know where the extender is placed.
There is a major shortcoming to network extenders, which is that it only works with one carrier at a time. This is because there is a problem with frequency handoff between the extender and the local cell tower that is broadcasting, which means that if you step outside the house, your call may drop.
Network extenders need to be bought from the network carrier provide like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile etc.
Take note of whether you have a weak signal at play. If there is one, then it would be wise to go for a cell phone signal booster. This will give you more mobility and you will have fewer troubles with handoff problems.
If your location has no proper cell reception, but you have a solid high speed broadband internet connection, then a network extender would make greater sense. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to walk all over the house and you may want to get used to sitting at a spot and making calls instead.
Make your choice wisely, they will do you wonders!