I found that the Reach79 increased my download speeds some of the time, especially in weaker locations, by somewhere between a few percentage points and 100 percent or so. Its best result for me — in a whole series of tests, when averaged — was 43 percent. This was achieved in a suburban Starbucks. But most of the time, any improvement was far less dramatic.
And, as noted above, about half the time, the Reach79 didn’t improve average download speeds at all.
As for the field-test number (a negative number where a lower figure is better), the Reach79 did, in a few tests, manage to improve the number by 25 percent to 100 percent. But, in many of my tests, it did nothing at all. And with the case both on and off, this reading tended to fluctuate, sometimes considerably, with slight movements of my hand.
I wasn’t able to test one of the product’s key use cases — fixing dropped or garbled voice calls — because none occurred during my test period.
The company notes that it tested the case with 200 consumers in 37 states, and in a certified test lab. It concedes that results can be quite variable, as mine were. But, it said, in cases where users were getting especially slow speeds, the Reach79 “increased download speeds from an average of 3.8Mbps to an average of 5.8Mbps, a 2Mbps or 52 percent improvement in average download speeds.”
Bottom line: I cannot recommend the Reach79 as a cure-all for reception and speed problems, due to its inconsistent performance. But it’s worth a shot if your voice reception and data speeds are so bad they’re driving you crazy.