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Get a zBoost Soho Max cell-phone signal booster for $199.99

Normally $100 more, this dual-band booster promises much better indoor signal strength for both CDMA and GSM phones.


How's the cellular coverage in your home or office? Depending on your proximity to your carrier's towers and the composition of your walls, it might be sufficient -- or it might drive you to dropped-call madness.

If you fall into the latter category, consider a signal booster. Like this one: for a limited time, and while supplies last, Best Buy has the zBoost Soho Max ZB545M cellular signal booster for $199.99 shipped (plus tax). Regular price: $299.99. Price at Amazon: $285.

This kit consists of an "external" antenna (for your roof or attic), two cables (15- and 35-footers), and an indoor base unit that rebroadcasts the signals captured by the antenna. That base unit promises a range of 3,500 square feet, far better than some of the lower-end models. Also, unlike some boosters, this one is dual-band -- it works with both CDMA and GSM networks, meaning it should help regardless of which Big Four carrier you use.

Emphasis on "should." If you read the user reviews over at Amazon, you'll see that while some users enjoyed significant improvement, others enjoyed almost none. Why the discrepancy? Chalk it up to the mysteries (and inconsistencies) of cellular technology. This is very much a your-mileage-may-vary kind of device.

Fortunately, if it doesn't work out for you, Best Buy will let you return it for a full refund within 15 days. (If possible, return it to a store to avoid shipping charges, which will be on your dime.) That's good, because even at $200, this is pricey solution to the problem.

If you've had any experience with the Soho Max, please share it in the comments. I'm sorely tempted to grab one of these, as Sprint signal strength in my house vacillates between poor and really poor.


Bonus deal: One of my all-time favorite mobile chargers is on sale again. For a limited time, and while supplies last, DailySteals has the MyCharge Summit 3000 mobile charger for $16 shipped. It packs a 3,000mAh battery, recharges by plugging directly into a wall outlet, and offers pop-out connectors for powering Apple 30-pin and Micro-USB devices. (There's also a standard USB port for charging everything else.) I got three of these last time when they were refurbs, and they arrived promptly and in great condition. This time, they're new!

Bonus deal No. 2: If you ever buy anything from iTunes (apps, music, movies, books, and so on) or know someone who does, don't pass this up: while "supplies" last, Groupon has a $15 iTunes gift card for $10. It comes in the form of a code you redeem (i.e. there's no physical card). Alas, the deal is limited to one per customer (rats!), and that includes the gift option: if you buy one for yourself, you can't then buy a second one for someone else.