Field Testing Lab Report
This round will be a more intensive testing that lingers likely into Fall 2019 in more variety of signal areas.
Booster & Antenna Testing
- weBoost Drive Reach - Released on May 21, this is weBoost's new flagship mobile booster claiming the strongest transmit power yet. We'll be testing with their OTR and 4" Mag Mount antennas.
- SolidRF RV Pro - Released on June 20, this is SolidRFs newest mobile booster designed just for RVs, sporting amplifier installation on the roof and support for two interior antennas.
- Cel-Fi Go-M - Released in February 2017, this digital booster has received greatly enhanced firmware. It's back into testing. We'll be testing with their OTR antennas.
- weBoost Drive 4G-X - Our tried and true champion of cellular boosters for years, will be what we compare the new entrants against. We'll be testing with their OTR and 4" Mag Mount antennas.
- Double Stubby - Mock MIMO - We're also continuing to test using 2 weBoost 4" Mini Magnet antennas in a MIMO like configuration.
- Mikrotik mANT LTE MIMO - A top performer in our last round, we'll keep this in testing.
- SureCall Fusion2Go Max - This was a late entry, released in late September 2019. This new booster form factor puts amplification for long-range bands on the roof to minimize signal loss. We accepted an evaluation unit to put into the last testing locations of this round.
The devices & the carriers we are testing them with include:
Not all carriers/devices will be tested at each location - we will select the ones that have the best signal testing conditions at each location.
For guides to boosters & antennas:
Understanding & Optimizing your Cellular Data Performance
Selecting a Cellular Booster
Selecting a Cellular Antenna
Understanding MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) – LTE Speed & Cell Booster Implications
Our Testing Procedures
During our testing, we will attempt to visit a variety of testing locations.
We start by taking 3 baseline readings with each of our cellular devices with no booster or antenna.
Each device is tested independently, with all other nearby devices in airplane mode to prevent any potential interference.
Next, for each device, we test each booster and/or antenna combination. We take readings with the mobile hotspot device directly on the interior antenna for boosters.
Coverage? Map snapshot, showing a high-level view of anticipated service at each location.
- Signal bars
- DL = Download speed.
- UL = Upload speed.
- Ping time.
- Calculated scores (DL/DLbase + UL/ULbase), for use as a quick reference. Any score over a 2.00 shows some improvement over the baseline reading.
For speed and ping readings, we are using the Ookla Speedtest app. When testing mobile hotspots we test on a device while connected via WiFi to the hotspot. We keep the distance between device and mobile hotspot consistent over the same WiFi band to rule out WiFi variables.
All of the individual field testing results and observations shared below are for our members. Not only will the results show the performance of each booster/antenna, but also what to expect in different types of signal situations.
Our goal in our cellular and Wi-Fi gear testing isn’t to attempt to create perfectly “fair” lab conditions, which are impossible in the real world. Instead, we try to strike a balance between real-world scenarios and the need to be able to test multiple setups head-to-head while being able to rapidly switch between them.
By testing in a range of locations and situations patterns tend to emerge - and we always try to sanity-check our conclusions by mixing things up to make sure that the overall results make sense and are representative.
Testing for this round is complete, with head to head testing in 7 locations across the country.
Our testing results are an exclusive member benefit, and are shared below including a grid of collected data and testing summaries. Our reviews are updated for each product based on the summary of our experiences.
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