weBoost 4G-X OTR
We are all tied to technology in some way or means, for me I work from home most of the year and my company requires me to have a means of communication and data to work on things at any time. While this is normally a non-issue, there are those days where I would like to be on the road or out exploring. On top of my work reasons, I also like to stay in touch with family and friends while I am out and about. This is crucial for me as I often venture out solo. It is for these reasons I felt it was time to try out the weBoost 4G-X OTR.
To be clear, I read and watched many different reviews out there and some of what I will tell you will absolutely echo what the others have said. Where I will differ is by offering insight in how this device applies to off-roading/overlanding/camping where most other reviews you find are RV based or long haul “over the road” truckers.
Wilson Electronics is the creator of weBoost, Wilson has been producing quality products for many years and this product is no different. I didn’t find a single part of the kit to be subpar, everything included was well labeled and properly packaged. Let’s get into the business end of this review.
Installation for me was done while I was out and about in the Lincoln National Forest of New Mexico. I did my own install on a 2017 Toyota 4Runner with nothing more than a few hand tools. While the kit comes with a mount for a tractor trailer exterior mirror, it would also work on a small diameter roof rack rail. Most of you will have to think about the mounting on your own rig dependent on what you have. I opted for an Antenna Mount which attaches to my rear lift gate, thus removing any issues with mounting to my roof rack. This is a mount I have been using for years with my GMRS radio antenna on the opposite side of my lift gate with no issue’s sans a little rust on the bolts.
After test fitting my mount and determining how many extensions I would need on the antenna, I attached the cable side exit fitting(required for spring use) and mounted the spring(tree branches) using a small amount of thread locker(blue loc-tite) included in the kit. I affixed the mount to the lift gate and then loosely mounted the antenna. As I routed the external antenna cable into the interior of the 4Runner I realized the amount of cable included would severely limit my ability to hide the wiring cleanly and/or reach my preferred mounting location(inside the center console). With this issue noticed early, I opted to simply run the cable through the cabin out of the way, but not tucked into the headliner as I had planned. The internal antenna would be much easier.
For the small internal antenna, they provide a small strip of adhesive back Velcro or a more permanent double-sided tape option for mounting. I opted for the double side tape and placed the antenna between my battery gauges on my Ovens Design Ram Mount Dash Kit. This option put me well within the recommended 18-32-inch bubble for optimal signal boost. I quickly removed the dash, tucked the wire and routed it under the cent console and into the rear passenger floor board area where I opted for temporary placement of the weBoost device due to lack of external antenna wire length.
From here it was super simple, screw on both antenna, the device is well labeled so no chance of mixing them up, plug in the provided power supply and route it between the seats to the cigarette lighter in the dash. Now some of you are thinking of a more permanent power supply versus the cigarette lighter plug, I am as well.
The important thing to remember is the weBoost system is not intended to be running all the time. The included power supply has a handy on/off switch on the plug making it quick to turn it off when signal is sufficient. Now you are asking, it’s a booster why do I need to turn it off, why not just boost my four bars of LTE coverage here in town? Unfortunately, when you try to boost a strong signal, the weBoost for reasons unknown to me(I’m lacking the technical knowledge to explain) will actually reduce the signal strength. I believe this is due to competing signals in your device’s internal antenna. This is why if you plan to hard wire it in, you must have an on/off switch. I plan to run mine with my SwitchPro and eliminate the exposed wiring completely.
Recommendations for install:
Figure out your external antenna mounting first.
Be prepared to purchase an RG58 extension, weBoost has them in 10ft lengths or like I did, Amazon had a 6 ft length.(more cable contributes to more signal loss)
BUT DOES IT WORK!!
Yes, it absolutely does increase cell signal when you have little to none. Another MUST know portion. WeBoost cannot create a signal! If you are in an area where there is zero cellular coverage then weBoost will not miraculously give you a signal. This is covered in many other reviews but it has to be stated as some still don’t understand. You can also experience a situation where the weBoost will simply not properly power on if you place the external and internal antenna too close together, the system will recognize this and give you an orange light letting you know something isn't correct.
I am the guy who drops way-points via Gaia GPS while driving down a trail and I get cell signal after having none for hours. I use these way points for my hikes from camp at times. I’ll get camp set up and head off for a mile-long hike to send a text to my family letting them know I am all good. Now I can just turn on the weBoost and often tap into that signal and send the message from camp, leaving the hiking for sightseeing. I have recently tested my weBoost in the Lincoln National Forest near Weed, NM, on the top of the Capitan Mountains, NM and even right here in Bossier City, LA. It works.
HOW MUCH WILL IT BOOST?
I normally get a boost of a few bars on my iPhone X. Let’s say you have 3 bars of 4G, it may push you up to a bar or two LTE. Another thing I want to point out in closing, the weBoost isn’t just to boost cell signal for making phone calls, it also provides a boost for data connectivity. As pictured below, I travel with an iPad for navigation. My iPad is a sixth generation with cellular and Wi-Fi and what I have found is the iPad has a more powerful internal antenna and is able to use the boost from the weBoost even in instances where my phone showed zero signal. Could be worth getting a small tablet versus depending on a cell phone only.
WOULD I RECOMMEND?
Overall, I believe the weBoost is a solid functioning system and when used properly and within its limitations, it will deliver a boost to cellular and data signal. I would absolutely recommend and actually just this morning was talking to a friend about installing one of the weBoost products on his RV. If the install is well thought out this is one of those products that you’ll be glad you have it when you need it.