UPDATED: If your phone can make calls over wi-fi, do you still need a cell booster?

Pretty much every mid-to-high end cell phone now has a great feature: they’ll make calls over your Wi-Fi network, avoiding cell minute charges and dead spots. This may make you wonder if the purchase of a cell booster is still important. It’s a fair question, especially if you have good wi-fi coverage throughout the house. We think it’s still important to have a cell booster in your home, and we’re prepared to tell you why.

Not every phone uses voice over Wi-Fi by default

Your new phone may do it, but what about the people who come to visit? Today, it’s pretty rude not to offer cell service to your guests, and it will be years before the majority of cell phones offer voice over Wi-Fi.

With voice over Wi-Fi, you have to give out your password.

Unless you’re prepared to build a second wireless network for guests that’s completely open — and we don’t recommend this — anyone who uses voice over wi-fi will need your wireless password. Are you, big burly man that you are, prepared to tell everyone that your wi-fi password is ilovelittlekittens? What if your password is a long string of numbers and letters? It’s not just the embarrassment of course, there’s the matter of security. If you tell someone your password you have no control over who they tell it to.

This technology is still evolving.

Wi-Fi calling started with Skype and Google Voice. Today it’s used for the current crop of apps like WhatsApp and FaceTime. It’s also built into most phones by default. If you’re using an iPhone or modern Android your phone app can use Wi-Fi to make calls. It’s still not perfect though. If you’re in an area with spotty Wi-Fi AND spotty cell service the apps will bounce from one to the other and it will affect call quality.

Yeah, it’s true, we all rely less on voice calls than we used to, but it’s still an important way of communicating and maybe it’s not quite time to abandon all the old technology. After all, your employer has an “in case of emergency” phone number, not an e-mail or text number. Phones are still good for emergencies.

Because, really, it doesn’t cost that much…

Cell boosters are affordable and easy to install. Some models don’t require any wiring or outside antennas at all, so why not? When it comes right down to it, the answer that we’re trying to give you is yes… you still need a cell booster. Ask us again in ten years and we may have a different answer, but as for today…

Personally I would still put in a cell booster even if you have good Wi-Fi throughout the home. It’s a bulletproof solution that is going to work in a lot more situations. It won’t be subject to you losing internet service or congestion due to too much streaming in the other room.

When you’re ready to get the cellular signal booster of your dreams, look not further than SolidSignal.com. Check out the great selection, but don’t just “add to cart” — call the techs in our 100% US-based call center at 888-233-7563. They’ll be able to quote you prices that are too low to quote on the internet. You’ll be glad you took the time.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.