Run Around Tech Reviews the weBoost eqo Cell Phone Signal Booster
April 11, 2016 — by EMILY FISHER
Your cell phone is only as good as the reception it gets. If you have no bars, you can’t make calls, receive texts or surf the web, making your phone nothing more than a very expensive paperweight. With more and more individuals ditching their wired home phone service and going all cellular this has never been more true. If you struggle with obtaining good cell phone reception in your home weBoost is here to help. Say hello to the eqo. The eqo is a brand new product that works to boost the reception your cell phone gets inside your home.
Our homes sometimes can act as barriers to cell phone reception, blocking good signal from making its way inside. The eqo solves that problem by drawing your cell phone carrier’s signal inside and amplifying it around your house. The eqo claims to boost cell phone reception by up to 32x, it works with all the major carriers, and it offers an easy, under 60 second setup.
Check out my full review of the weBoost eqo below. Then head to this page on the company’s web site to learn more about it.
In the Box
Inside the box you’ll find everything you need to get the eqo setup in under a minute. This includes the larger window unit otherwise known as the “booster”, the smaller antenna, a coax cable, a power supply, there’s a quick start guide and a set of more detailed instructions.
It used to be cell phone boosters required a complicated setup. Some even required you venture out on to your home’s roof, some require a connection to your router, others are big and bulky. In the past you might have actually had to pay someone to come install one for you. The eqo is the first cell phone booster that’s so easy to setup, pretty much anyone, of any age can handle it.
For the best experience weBoost recommends placing the booster (which is the larger of the two components) in the room of your home which gets the best cellular reception. You’ll want the LED on the booster to face into the room and the unit should be placed in or near a window with direct line of sight to the outside.
Next you connect both the coax and power cables to the back of the booster.
Then you place the antenna in an area of your home which is need of a cell phone signal boost. This should be at least 6 feet away from the booster and the antenna should face in the same direction as the booster does. The antenna has a kickstand, making it easy to place onto any flat surface. You can also choose to wall mount it if that works better.
Finally, plug in the power cable to an outlet. weBoost recommends using a surge protector with at least a 1000 joule rating.
True to it’s claim, I had the eqo setup and working in a few minutes. Honestly, the process could not be any easier and I’m confident even those with little or no technical ability could get it setup and working without a hitch.
Does it Work?
So how does the eqo work? The process is really quite simple. The eqo’s window unit reaches outside of your home and grabs the “good” signal being broadcasted by your cell phone company’s tower. It then sends that good signal to the unit’s indoor antenna, boosting it up to 32x. That antenna then throws the boosted signal all around your home, covering an area up to 1500 square feet. This works for all the major cell phone carriers and does so for 3G, 4G, and LTE. That means no matter what device you own, and no matter what carrier you use, the eqo works with them. It’s truly universal.
There are some LEDs on the front of the eqo which alert you to how it’s working. Greens means the unit is operating seamlessly. Red means the booster is too close to the antenna and you should move them further apart and orange means the booster is too close to an external signal and it needs to be moved to a different location.
I kept my testing of the eqo pretty simple. Once I had the eqo setup I took my iPhone 6s Plus into the room of my home which gets the weakest signal. I first recorded the signal strength with the eqo turned off. Then I turned the eqo on and did the same. I think the results pretty much speak for themselves.
Reception without the eqo. Note: only 2 bars of service. I also put my phone into field test mode, which is the proper way to measure a phone’s actual reception. Without the eqo turned on you can see the reading above, which measured in at -82.
Please notice that signal strength, measured in decibels (dB), is expressed as a negative number and can range from about -30 to -110. On certain phones, the number may show as positive in test mode. In such cases, convert it to negative. For example, 60 dB is actually -60 dB. The closer the number is to zero, the better signal your phone is receiving. Thus, a reading of -60 dB is a stronger signal than -75 dB.
Data speeds over LTE without the eqo. I should point out the fact that I live in a fairly rural area (think farms) and LTE speeds have never been great for me around my neighborhood.
Reception with the eqo on. Note: 4 bars of service. Again, I enabled field test mode, which this time measured at -73. Also an improvement. I tried setting up the eqo in a few different rooms in my home, even in the basement, where my signal is the worst. My house gets pretty decent signal without any sort of help so the differences were minor, but they were positive nonetheless and I imagine if I did have poor service inside I would have seen even more eye-opening changes.
Data speeds with the eqo on. Here I saw a slight decrease in download speed but an increase in upload.
I also did some tests with data using my phone’s 4G connection and couldn’t really capture much of an improvement in speeds. One thing I did learn from the eqo while testing it is that I get much better reception from my carrier, AT&T, over the 4G connection than I do over LTE. With LTE enabled I consistently saw fewer bars and a lousier field test rating than when I had LTE switched off, and used straight 4G. I do live in a pretty rural area so I guess that shouldn’t be too surprising.
Check out my video review of the weBoost eqo below.
If you get good cell phone reception outside your home but lose it the moment you walk inside you’re probably frustrated by missed calls, drop calls, slow internet, and more. The weBoost eqo is here to help. While the unit can’t actually create good signal if you don’t have any to begin with it can bring the good signal already around your home inside and stretch it all around. The unit is simple to setup, requires no maintenance and works with all the cell phone carriers and any piece of hardware. In my case I saw an immediate boost in signal strength in my home. I’m lucky in that my home gets pretty good reception so I’m probably not the ideal end user for the eqo, but I certainly saw the fact that it works.
You can learn more about the weBoost eqo by visiting this page on the company’s web site.
PROS: Very easy to setup. Zero maintenance.
CONS: Still requires a hard wired connection which can lead to unsightly wires.
For buildings greater than 7500 sq ft, we recommend our WilsonPro brand of products.