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WeBoost Eqo review: This cellular signal booster couldn't improve our in-home coverage

Florence Ion | July 7, 2016
Unless you have strong reception to begin with, the weBoost Eqo can't do much for your smartphone experience at home.

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Place the Eqo by the window nearest to your cell tower—and make sure it’s pointing toward the interior of your house.

For best results, you’ll want to place the Eqo booster unit in the window that faces the neighborhood cell tower with the best signal (it will typically be the tower closest to your house). If this all sounds a bit daunting, that’s because it is. Luckily, a few apps can help determine where to position the booster unit. On Android, I used OpenSignal to help locate my nearest cell tower, and SignalCheck Lite to measure cellular signals in decibels inside my home. Yes, there’s a signal indicator available in the Android Settings panel, but I found the apps to be more accurate.

When it comes to cellular signal strength, lower numbers are better, so you’ll want to place the unit wherever you get the smallest decibel-milliwatt (dBm) reading. Once you’ve figured this out, connect the booster to the antenna, and then place the antenna at least six feet away, and facing the area of the house that needs the most boost.

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If the green light is on, you’re good to go.

After that’s all laid out, plug in the booster—hopefully the best position is near a wall outlet!—and wait for the light to come on. If it’s green, you’re good to go. If it’s red, that means your two units are in a feedback loop, so locate the antenna further away from the booster, and make sure it’s facing in the same direction as the booster.

Does the Eqo even work?

Wilson, which manufactures the weBoost line, claims that the Eqo can boost your existing cellular signal up to 32 times the amount you’d regularly have available. I had a positive experience when I initially tested the Eqo at CES (an environment completely controlled by Wilson), and then again when I plugged in at the TWiT Brickhouse in Petaluma, California. But, unfortunately, that didn’t translate to my experience at home.

The Eqo is not a box of magic. It won’t create more cellular signal if you’re in a dead zone. In fact, a rep from Wilson customer service told us the product really isn’t effective unless you already have a signal of -90 dBm or stronger on the edges of your house. This extremely important bit of information appears nowhere on the product packaging, or even in the more detailed description on the Wilson website.

In fact, the following statement—buried in the Wilson website—is the only caution we found: “The existing outside signal strength that you receive has a large impact on the amount of coverage area you get from a signal booster. It is important to remember that there are many factors that go into determining the coverage area, so actual results may vary from these estimates.”

 

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