In many situations faced regularly by off-road enthusiasts around the world, a cellular phone or smartphone may be your only source of contact to the outside world. Cellular coverage is generally good from coast to coast — but if you’re traveling off the beaten path or visiting a largely uninhabited location, you may not be able to obtain a signal on certain, or any, cellular networks.
Further, in certain types of off-roading, you’re more likely to be faced with a loss of cellular signal. Rock crawling, for instance, often involves travel to remote locations and tackling the sort of rocky, treacherous terrain that seems to do a better job of sucking up cellular signals, rather than allowing them to pass through. Sand dunes can have a similar effect, and especially in a low-lying area where you’re surrounded by signal-blocking landscape on all sides.
In the case of an emergency, malfunction or another setback in an isolated location, your handset is likely your only gateway to the outside world, which makes it important to take steps in ensuring you’ll have a strong and consistent signal at all times.
Below, we’ll look at various cellular signal booster options that are designed to do just that.
Just a note before we proceed: given the numerous factors that affect cellular connectivity, be sure to take owner reviews of any product you’re considering with a grain of salt. A cellular signal booster is not a replacement for proper emergency preparedness and safety. You’ll also want to ensure the signal booster you’re considering is compatible with the cellular network your device is using. Contact your service provider for more details.
Finally, we found a lot of very low-priced cellular signal boosters that typically amount to a peel-and-stick foil sticker you attach to your handset. We doubt the effectiveness of cell phone signal boosters like these, and the owner reviews for the cheapest boosters we could find were disappointing at best, so you won’t find those below.
Table of contents
- 1. Editor’s Pick: WeBoost 4G-OTR Cellular Antenna Truck Edition
- Best for Permanent Mounting: ANNTLENT Cell Phone Signal Booster
- Best for Discreet Installation: SureCall N-Range Vehicle Cell Phone Signal Booster Kit
- WeBoost Drive Sleek Signal Booster
- Proutone Cell Phone Signal Booster
- Cellet New Car Cell Phone Signal Strength Booster
- WeBoost Drive 3G-S Cell Phone Signal Booster
- ANYCALL A Cell Phone Signal Booster Repeater
1. Editor’s Pick: WeBoost 4G-OTR Cellular Antenna Truck Edition
This cellular signal booster makes our Editor’s Pick designation for its affordable pricing, good owner reviews, and an enhanced-ruggedness design that’s ideal for use in trucks, 4x4s, off-roaders, and any other vehicle that’s frequently used in harsh conditions.
The WeBoost 4G-OTR Cellular Antenna Truck Edition is made in the USA and features a 2-year warranty. The small size allows for discreet installation and enhances reception for 3G and 4G signals for both data and voice. Mounting hardware is included and facilitates easy installation of the external antenna to a mirror bracket, roll bar, certain light-bar mounts, and the like. A secondary internal antenna, mounted inside of the vehicle, transmits the amplified cellular signal to your handset.
The WeBoost 4G-OTR Cellular Antenna Truck Edition is well-reviewed as cellular signal boosters go, with about 75 percent of owner reviews indicating 3-star satisfaction or higher. Contact the seller regarding the return policy, in case this product doesn’t improve your ability to connect to a cellular network in your specific situation.
Best for Permanent Mounting: ANNTLENT Cell Phone Signal Booster
If you’re looking to make a solid investment in a cellular signal booster for permanent installation to your truck, 4×4 or camper trailer, the ANNTLENT Cell Phone Signal Booster is worth a look. Designed for permanent installation to the vehicle in question, this product takes our top pick for permanent mounting with its reasonable pricing, ease of installation, and excellent owner reviews.
The ANNTLENT Cell Phone Signal Booster is compatible with 3G and 4G networks and can support multiple users simultaneously. Auto-gain circuitry constantly tweaks gain control to ensure a strong signal and good call quality. Other built-in features like automatic power shutdown and self-oscillation elimination help support ease of use and long-term durability.
There’s a 5-year warranty and 30-day money back guarantee for further confidence. Owner reviews are largely positive in regards to the performance and pricing of this unit, but one owner has reported that the customer support department for the ANNTLENT Cell Phone Signal Booster is difficult to access.
Best for Discreet Installation: SureCall N-Range Vehicle Cell Phone Signal Booster Kit
If you’re after a cell phone signal booster that’s designed for a tidy and discreet install, look no further than the SureCall N-Range Vehicle Cell Phone Signal Booster Kit. Unlike numerous options on our list, this product features a modern-looking, low-profile external antenna that’s small and thin and difficult to spot. This antenna connects to a central module that’s powered by your vehicle’s 12-volt power outlet, and the incoming signal is analyzed, amplified, and transmitted via a secondary antenna to your handset.
The SureCall N-Range Vehicle Cell Phone Signal Booster Kit is backed by solid owner reviews — with most reporting positive if not miraculous results. A hands-free cradle is included to keep your handset easily within reach. This unit requires running some additional wiring, though it can be moved with relative ease between vehicles. Extended Range Technology claims to be the industry’s most powerful means of maximizing cellular reliability, and aims to improve 4G LTE data speeds and connection consistency.
WeBoost Drive Sleek Signal Booster
Whether as a gift to give that off-road enthusiast some additional peace of mind, or as some added confidence that can be easily moved between your Jeep, truck, boat, ATV or Kayak, the WeBoost Drive Sleek Signal Booster looks to be a solid buy. Included are a Smartphone cradle that clips to a climate control vent, as well as the signal booster module itself. Using an exterior-mounted antenna, the WeBoost Drive Sleek Signal Booster makes a connection with the nearest cell tower, and amplifies that signal up to 32 times.
The amplified signal is then transmitted to the user’s phone through a second antenna that’s embedded within the cradle. The WeBoost Drive Sleek Signal Booster is compatible with voice and text messages, and can be used on all major North American cellular networks.
Just do your homework, first: owner reviews are mixed, and the externally mounted antenna will need to be moved between vehicles to stay with the user. The device also needs to be powered. A 2-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee add the confidence you may need to try this one out.
Proutone Cell Phone Signal Booster
We like the looks of this cell phone signal booster because of its fantastic owner reviews, reasonable price-point, and the fact that it’s designed specifically for use in a vehicle. With support for numerous cellular networks and the ability to boost both voice and data signals, the Proutone Cell Phone Signal Booster can help make connections in tricky locations, and help ensure you receive that important incoming call, no matter where you are.
Built-in programming for Automatic Gain Control means the Proutone Cell Phone Signal Booster actively adjusts volume settings against the current amplification level of the incoming cellular signal to ensure usable call quality and optimal performance.
Installation is easy—just attach the external antenna, mount the internal antenna and amplifier module, and power the whole setup by plugging into your vehicle’s 12-volt power outlet. Now, the Proutone Cell Phone Signal Booster absorbs and amplifies the ambient cellular signal, and re-transmits it into the vehicle for use by your handset. A 5-year manufacturer warranty is included.
Cellet New Car Cell Phone Signal Strength Booster
The owner reviews are OK at best and we’re not sure of the science behind the Cellet New Car Cell Phone Signal Strength Booster, but given its low asking price and handful of positive owner reviews, we’ve added it to our list.
This non-powered and totally passive antenna installs in seconds—you just fix it to your vehicle’s rear window and fix the inner antenna to the other side, on the inside of the glass. That’s all there is to it. The antenna picks up some of your phone’s signal and ‘retransmits the energy with a bigger antenna’ as stated in the Q&A section.
The Cellet New Car Cell Phone Signal Strength Booster is cheap enough that some buyers may be tempted to give it a shot—and a few of the owner reviews do look a little promising. Still, given the wide number of factors affecting cellular signal coverage, we’re not sure how easy it would be to trace any signal improvement specifically to this device.
In any case, the Cellet New Car Cell Phone Signal Strength Booster means you no harm, and might help you pick up a signal in a low-reception area—so if you’re a skeptic not willing to drop $150 or more on a quality powered cell signal booster, it may be worth a shot.
WeBoost Drive 3G-S Cell Phone Signal Booster
Though the owner reviews are somewhat mixed, this cellular signal booster comes with a strong warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee—making it easy to try out on your next off-road adventure in a low-reception area to determine if it’ll work for you.
A magnetically attached external antenna connects to the included dash-mounted phone cradle, which is powered by a USB adapter plugged into your vehicle’s 12-volt power outlet. Weak cellular signals are amplified and directed to a secondary antenna that’s built into the cradle—which ensures the boosted signal is delivered directly to the proximity of your handheld.
Installation is easy, and the seller claims that the WeBoost Drive 3G-S Cell Phone Signal Booster can boost both 3G and voice signals up to 32 times—which can ensure you’re able to reach help if required and help prevent missed calls.
The owner reviews of the WeBoost Drive 3G-S Cell Phone Signal Booster have some positive results, but other owners report no improvement to their reception. Plan to give this product a try in an area you know to be challenging. If it doesn’t work for you, just return the item.
ANYCALL A Cell Phone Signal Booster Repeater
Reasonable pricing and solid owner reviews make the ANYCALL A Cell Phone Signal Booster Repeater worth a closer look by off-road enthusiasts or any other driver who often travels through areas where cellular network coverage can be patchy. The AnyCall dual-band boosters pump up the voice and data signals of most North American cellular providers. A power-saving mode is engaged automatically when the device is not in use, protecting your vehicle’s battery from unwanted drain.
The ANYCALL A Cell Phone Signal Booster Repeater also features auto gain functionality for more consistent performance in more situations. Just check with your network provider, or the network provider in the area you’ll travel to, to be sure the ANYCALL A Cell Phone Signal Booster Repeater is compatible. A 5-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee come included. Both an internal and external antenna are used to transmit the amplified signal to your handset, and both are powered by the internally mounted module.
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