In this day of Covid-19 we are seeing more and more people working from home. Working from home, for many of us is not an option but a requirement and with it comes the need for reliable internet and phone service. In rural areas or small towns this is not always the case. For myself, I live in a small town where the mobile internet service is not always strong or consistent. In my role as a physician I need to be talking with patients, usually on my cell phone, while reviewing the patient’s chart information on the computer.
I can not afford to have dropped calls or inconsistent internet service. I also need to be able to handle video conferencing for those times when I have to consult other physicians. I looked around for solutions. Most of the solutions I was offered included changing service providers without any guarantee that it would significantly improve service strength or reliability. This is where weBoost came in, and while it may not be the right choice for everyone, if you rely on mobile data, it is money well spent.
A Decision had to be made.
weBoost offers three levels of home signal boosters: the single room booster, the multi-room booster for up to three rooms, and the large home booster that covers up to 7,500 square feet. For my purposes, I was provided the needed weBoost Home Complete that sounded like it would work well for my current home setup. This model has a larger directional antenna that you mount on a pole or on your roof, and a panel antenna to radiate the signal across two to three rooms indoors. WeBoost does not provide any software or tools to help with this. If you feel that you are not good at DIY or that you are not comfortable at aiming an antenna you may want to see about finding help to install everything. In my case I had someone that was capable of aiming the antenna to get the best signal. Thankfully we got lucky and managed a fantastic signal in the first location we tried.
All of weBoost’s products have a three-part approach. First there is the outdoor antenna, which captures the signal. This must be placed to provide the best possible signal to start. A few feet of elevation or a few degrees of rotation can make a big difference.
The next step is to attach the coax cable. weBoost comes with a 30-foot coax cable. This then connects to a 15-foot indoor cable which hooks up to the booster itself. The actual booster is a small box about the size of a book and should be mounted to a wall or placed in some safe but unobtrusive location.
The last step is to connect the booster to a panel antenna, about the size of a small speaker. This should be mounted to a wall and connected to the booster by way of the included 15-foot cable. From there, everything was installed, and we got to see how it helped.
The results were impressive and immediate. From the point of getting everything plugged in, and pulling out my phone, the signal that once stood at a max of one to two bars on a good day, now offered a full connection anywhere in the house. Even better, the signal translated to a solid and stable connection for both my phone and internet connection that allows for all the work I would have normally struggle with while at this house.
Is it what I expected?
I am pleased to report that weBoost “three large rooms” signal booster delivered as promised. I found that the increased signal had much more of an impact on upload than download speeds. In the work-from-home world, this is actually very necessary. The home I work from is relatively large one on four levels. The signal showed little variance throughout the house, making the work from home experience much more flexible. Cellular signal is generally measured as Received Signal Reference Power (RSRP). The easiest way to express signal strength is with dBm, which stands for decibels relative to a milliwatt. Signal strengths can range from approximately -30 dBm to -110 dBm. The closer that number is to 0, the stronger the cell signal. In general, anything better than -85 dBm is considered a usable signal. The weBoost Home Complete promises up to 65 dBm gain and, although that number was not achieved, it came close. weBoost Home Complete signal booster can seem a bit costly but the real payback comes through ability to work from home effectively.
I no longer have down time or find myself not able to retrieve patient information from our office or hospital server; which was the case before I got weBoost. I am able to work from any area of my home without hanging my phone out the window to try and get a usable signal. The Bottom line is, weBoost Home Complete significantly improved in-home wireless signal, which is what I wanted and needed.
While it is hard to believe a simple box and some cables could change the experience of working from home by giving a usable connection, but the weBoost fulfilled its promise —blanketing my house in signal, where I once struggled to capture enough signal to make a phone call. For people just looking at a better way to browse Twitter, or Facebook, a weBoost booster could be a bit of overkill, but for professionals forced to work from home, it is a great option. The weBoost could mean the difference of getting work done, and struggling to send a single email. If you are currently facing the issue of bad mobile data, weBoost could be the answer you have been looking for.