Boost Verizon Cell Reception In Your Home With A 4G LTE Network Extender
Why Use A Network Extender (Microcell)?
If you live in an area with poor cellphone reception, a network extender, also called a femtocell or microcell, can give you 5 bars of 4G service in and around your home.
A network extender uses your home’s high speed internet connection and a mini cell phone tower to provide a strong 4G LTE signal for around 50 feet in all directions.
Purchase & Setup
First, purchase the network extender from Verizon. AT&T has discontinued sales of their 4G Microcell.
Verizon’s 4G LTE Network Extender
(Note: Casatech does not have a relationship with Verizon Wireless or its subsidiaries)
You may be able to get a deal by calling Verizon and complaining about poor service in your home. This may be more trouble than it’s worth, though. In our experience, they will try just about everything before offering the discount.
Setup is simple:
First, contact Verizon to activate the network extender. Verizon fails to mention this, but it’s absolutely required. You will need your MAC address (on the bottom or side of the extender). Failure to activate will cause the setup process to stall, and you may need to factory reset the extender.
Before powering on, connect the network extender to your router using an ethernet cable. Place the extender near a window so the GPS antenna can lock on to multiple satellites.
If you can’t place the extender near a window, use the GPS extension cable to place the removable GPS antenna closer to a window.
To do this, slide the top cover off, pull to unplug the GPS antenna, and connect the labeled ends of the extension cable to the extender and GPS antenna.
Common Issues & Troubleshooting
In our experience, Verizon doesn’t always get the activation process right. You may have to call back to reactivate if you get stuck at step 8a of the setup process (displayed on the network extender screen).
If all goes well, your phone will automatically connect to the network extender when in range, and you’ll see full signal strength and high speeds. You may need to turn off your cellular radio the first time: turn on airplane mode for 10 seconds, then turn it off again. Your device should connect to the extender.
What if you’re still stuck?
Apart from activation, the second most common cause for getting stuck at step 8A is your internet router settings. Some routers block communication between the network extender and Verizon’s servers.
To solve these issues you’ll have to access the Port Forwarding section and IP Whitelisting section in your router’s web GUI. The most common address is 192.168.1.1, but it could be something else. To find it, check the network settings on your computer to find the gateway address.
Assign the network extender a static IP address, then open the following ports for that address.
Whitelist the following IP addresses
Most routers do not require changing port settings or whitelisting IP addresses. You should rule out problems with activation and GPS antenna placement before changing these settings.
Get More Help
If you’re still unable to activate the extender after completing the steps above, or if you had trouble changing the port forwarding settings on your router, you can contact Verizon and escalate to Tier 2 or Tier 3 support.
Casatech is also happy to assist with network extender installation and troubleshooting.
Do you have experience with a Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Network Extender? Let us know how it worked for you in the comments.