I tested the weBoost Drive 4G-X vehicle booster along a stretch of Highway 80 that winds through the Sierras, a route along which I’ve been dropping phone calls and losing streaming music for years. The booster is advertised as making weak signals up to 32 times stronger and enhancing 4G LTE and 3G signals. Here’s how it fared in the test.
Price and Where to Buy: The weBoost Drive 4G-X is available from $480 on Amazon.
How the weBoost Drive 4G-X Vehicle Booster Rates:
- Usefulness: 8/10. Watching the signals of two phones (an iPhone 6 and a Nexus 5X LG) as we drove through areas of weak service and no service, and by turning the WeBoost on and off to see the difference, it became clear that the tool does what it advertises—to boost signal up to 32 times. I was able to stream music almost the entire way through the 40-mile stretch of the weak-signal zone by using the weBoost Drive 4G-X. The only time I lost streaming—and all bars—was when we drove through a zone with zero cell service, because the booster can’t create a signal where there is none. So while it didn’t solve the connectivity issue entirely, it improved it. The set-up is straightforward, and includes a magnetic antenna for the roof and a booster that plugs into the car’s power supply. Note, though, if you’re using it in a rental car or another vehicle in which you don’t want to install it permanently, you’ll need to deal with a wire running down the middle interior of the car.
- Value: 6/10. This is an expensive tool, and fills a niche that likely matters a lot to people who have a predictable regular driving route through weak-signal territory. However, for road trippers and travelers who don’t necessarily know if they’ll be navigating through no-signal country or low-signal country, the $480 price tag is likely too high for the gamble.
- Cool Factor: 8/10. As more of us become accustomed to reliable phone and data service, it can feel unnerving to find yourself without connectivity, especially while driving through unknown territory. The solve here kept the music going for nearly the whole car trip, so clearly: cool.
Final Verdict: The weBoost Drive 4G-X booster is an expensive but effective solution to the problem of weak signal while driving, and is likely to have a niche but appreciative audience.
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(Photos: Amazon and weBoost)
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