A couple of questions regarding the Network extender.
I understand you can have three simultaneous users. It's not clear to me exactly what that means.
My family has 5 cell phone users. Do the first three users home in the evening get the sole benefit of the extender? Even if they are not activity in a call am I relegated to using the closest cell tower? Or does three simultaneous users mean active phone conversations. If 2 users are talking any one of the 3 remaining users could receive a call and benefit from the extender.
From my reading if you have a strong signal prior to getting the network extender you may have issues. Interference from a strong tower seems to be a problem.
What is a good rule of thumb regarding signal strength? What would signal strength would be a good candidate?
In our house we get one bar at best. A 75% of the house is no bars. With a phone in "Call Status Mode" the best reception we get is about 97db. The rest of the house is a 100db or worse. On a good day we might see 95 or 94db.
Will the fact that we get one bar give us problems? Will we begin to toggle between the tower and the extender?
I have had my network extender for about three weeks now. The network extender operates on four channels. One channel is specifically devoted for 911 calls. The other three channels are dedicated to any Verizon wireless cell phones. That means that the extender can only handle three active cell phone calls at one time. Any additional calls will be handed off to the nearest cell phone tower if available. You can specify with cell phones have priority on your extenders three channel by logging on to the verizonwireless website and going to the my services tab and then click on my network extender tab and select managed access. Any verizonwireless cell phone that gets close enough to your network extender and links to it can use one of the three available channels. If you have your phone numbers programmed into the network extender for priority access then anyone who is not on that list will be handed off to the nearest cell phone tower when three phones that are on your list are in active use on your network extender. If you have five phone numbers in your house hold and they are selected for priority access, then only three of your phones can be in actual calls on your network extender at one time.
Hope this helps.
Others here have done a good job answering the "3 users maximum" question.
It's good that you have *some* coverage without the Network Extender. That way, when you are on a call at home, then walk away from your house, your phone will continue the call by migrating to the signal from the nearest cell tower as you get out of range of the Network Extender. It does not work the same the other way around. If you're on a call, then come home, it won't connect to your home network extender unless you hang up and re-dial the call.
I can get 4 bars of normal 1x service from a cell tower that I can literally see from my back deck, but it oscillates from 4 bars to zero (and thus constantly drops calls). Being up on a hill above the tower has put me on the edge of the "cone of coverage".
The network extender provides solid service within the house. The strong (tho consistently intermittent) signal from the nearest cell tower does not interfere.
Only issue is that you have to make sure other computers on your home network aren't sucking all your bandwidth for big file downloads etc. If you don't have enough clear bandwidth for the Network Extender, your calls will breakup as you talk/listen to the other party. If your router supports different priorities for different input ports, you should configure the port connected to the Network Extender for higher priority than others.