Sprint Airave review: Sprint Airave

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good

Average User Rating

1 stars 4 user reviews
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The Good The Sprint Airave is both a device and a service that helps boost your Sprint phone's wireless signal via your home broadband network. It supports up to three active calls, and improves signal strength and call quality considerably. The Airave works with all Sprint phones and comes preactivated.

The Bad The Sprint Airave takes about an hour to properly find a GPS signal and find coverage during setup. There's also a monthly fee.

The Bottom Line The Sprint Airave is an easy way to boost your Sprint cell coverage at home, and possibly replace your landline in the process.

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Since a cell phone is practically useless without good signal strength, a signal booster is sometimes required to boost it. We've seen plenty signal boosters here at CNET, from the Wi-Ex zBoost YX510-PCS-CEL to the ARC Freedom Antenna. However, Sprint has decided to release device to boost the signal of Sprint phones, and it's called the Airave, made by Samsung. This CDMA femtocell uses your existing broadband Internet connection to help with the signal strength, similar to how the T-Mobile HotSpot @Home service works. We found that it worked as promised. The Airave costs $99.99, while the service will cost you an additional $4.99 a month.

Out of the box, the Airave looks like an ordinary wireless router. It measures 6.9 inches long by 5.7 inches wide by 2.1 inches thick and weighs about 14 ounces. On the front are four LED indicators for Power, System, GPS, and WAN status. On the back are an Ethernet jack, a charger jack, the power switch, a GPS socket, and an antenna that can rotate up to 180 degrees for better performance. As for the GPS, the Airave requires a GPS signal to maintain exact network timing updates and it helps provide E911 services with your accurate location. If the built-in GPS is insufficient, Sprint has included an external GPS antenna that attaches to the GPS socket.

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