The set-up procedure for the Vodafone Sure Signal is very straightforward. The device plugs in via a cable to a spare Ethernet port on a fixed broadband router, and is powered via a mains plug.
A fixed broadband connection with a minimum speed of 1Mbps is required - if you're unsure, your connection can be tested on Vodafone's Sure Signal website.
A series of four indicator lights on the curved white casing show when the power is on or off, whether there is an internet connection, if a phone call is being made or if a data session is active, and when the Sure Signal is ready for use.
Before enjoying full in-home cellular coverage, though, you do have to register the device online. It's no great task – just the list of phone numbers you want to use with the device and other regular details, and the serial number of the Sure Signal.
Once registered, you're promised an email confirmation of registration within 24 hours to confirm you're up and running – though our confirmation took little over an hour to arrive
Plug in the device for the first time, and the initialisation process takes up to an hour to complete. Vodafone recommends the Sure Signal be left on for up to 6 hours to optimise itself on the first connection.
Following Vodafone's connection procedures was a breeze. It was ready to operate within a couple of hours from first getting it out of the box and registering online. And with no extra configuration necessary for the handsets connecting to the device, it required no effort for setting up or using for us or registered users.
Immediately we found our signal strength, which hovered around the 2-3 bar mark for local cellular connection, boosted to a full 5 bars with HSDPA indicated. It does what it says on the tin, with no fuss or hassle.
The cost of calls and data are treated the same as if you were using the regular mobile network, and will be covered in your normal inclusive airtime and data deals – there's no special deal for using your own broadband connection to route calls!
Out of range of the Sure Signal, your phone will use the regular Vodafone cellular network, and as you may be using one of these in a low signal area users could find calls being dropped as they leave Sure Signal coverage or switch between base station and femtocell coverage. We, however, didn't experience any issues with it.