Review: Wi-Ex zBoost Cell Phone Signal Extender – Extend Your Cell Coverage

Wi-Ex Logo

How many times do you receive a call in a bad area of your home and end up like the Verizon guy, “Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?” I have to do that all the time in my apartment. There just happens to be a specific area on my couch gets reception but you have to lean towards your left with your Berry on your right ear and your right elbow in the air… Or, you have to go outside and lean over the balcony while praying you don’t sneeze and drop your Berry in the bush below.   :-)

Thank goodness there’s a remedy. It’s Wi-Ex’s zBoost! It’s an antenna that boosts the cell signals from the nearest tower to your home and increasing your signal coverage. I was given the opportunity to try it and I must say that I am very impressed. Normally, I get 1-2 bars (on a good clear day) and after the zBoost Extender was installed, I was getting 4 bars at any given time.

From Wi-Ex:
Stop running to the window or going outside to talk on your cell phone – Many wireless users suffer cell phone signal strength loss when using a cell phone in their home or office.

With a zBoost you can:

  • Decrease dropped or missed calls
  • Save money and drop your landline
  • Receive important calls INSIDE
  • Increase employee productivity – they can stay at their desk instead of running to the window or outside to talk on your cell
  • Improve your battery life of your phone
  • Increase coverage up to 10,000 sq ft with optional antenna
  • zBoost also extends Cell Zones, so you can use your phone or PDA with all the new applications which require a stronger signal – such as:
    Email
    Internet Browsing
    Text Messaging
    Interactive Gaming
    Hi-Speed Data
    Instant Messaging

Installation:

Installation is simple. Just place the antenna near a window (which was done for my review) choosing an area in the direction of a cell tower or on your roof. Run the provided coaxial cable from the antenna and attach it to the signal booster. The booster should be placed in a central location in your home to provide the best coverage possible. Once connected, plug the booster into a wall outlet. All equipment needed (minus the cell tower) is included in the package. Even the screws to mount the antenna to a wall.

base unit_orange_small

The base has 3 different lights. The first is a power indicator, the second shows tower signal and the last light indicates that you are on the phone and getting optimal signal. Once a call is made or received, the last light will illuminate throughout the duration, so you talk without the worry of signal loss and the resulting unknown call drop.

Pros: Increased cell signal throughout my apartment

Easy step-by-step installation

All materials and equipment are provided

Cons: The coaxial cable is very long and in my apartment I had no way to hide it and had to run the cable along the baseboards.

It took me about a total of 5 minutes to install the booster and within a few seconds I was able to see dramatic results. I am now getting a great signal in my apartment without looking like a flamingo or having to wear a foil helmet! Check it out at Wi-Ex.com.

Please note: This is not a Wi-Fi signal booster and cannot be used as such. It is only for extending cell tower signals as Wi-Fi & Cell Signals are different frequencies.

10 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Assuming you can get good signal for its tower interface antenna (and you don’t use Nextel iDEN), these things can kick the butt of any femtocell your carrier wants to sell to you (and offload the backhaul from their network to yours).

    From my BlackBerry Storm…

  2. Very interesting. I live in a rural area and get horrible reception. Will. Than on device?this work with a usb cell internet adapter? Will it work for more

  3. That didn’t work. Anyway,
    Will this work for a mobile usb stick? That’s all I use for internet and it uses cell tower signal. Can you use it for more than one device?

  4. would this work for like a 3g network?

  5. I don’t see why we have to pay to get better signals; isn’t that why we are already paying our carriers to use their cell phones? What a racket.

    • The point of these things Artie is that despite the towers the carriers deploy there are just some situations where it is either economically or environmentally (or other reasons) impractical for them to expand coverage. And some building construction types they just can’t overcome. RF propagation is a tricky business, devices like this have been around for many years (called “in building repeaters”) but were prohibitively expensive for the average home or small business customer. Nobody HAS to buy one, but the benefits can be be outstanding for a fairly small investment. And unlike femtocelss, these things are carrier agnostic so if you’re on Verizon and the wife is on Sprint and the kids are on TMO, everybody (except the poor Nextel iDEN toting service folks that might visit you) benefits!

      From my BlackBerry Tour…

  6. I’ve installed these devices for clients in fringe reception areas and they do work very well. Those with USB adapters, it work for you too. The trick is all in placement. The outside antenna needs to be high as possible and separated vertically by at least 15′ from the inside device and antenna. My last client boosted their speed 4x after I was done.

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