What should an individual do when their home office is located where there is weak cell reception? Perhaps you live in a place where getting a good signal requires standing on a table with one leg on the sofa and your face pressed against the ceiling. Either scenario makes it challenging to streamline your professional life or the range of people you make contact with on social channels daily, poor cell signals can impact your social life as well.
Of course, you can try switching your carrier network, choosing a company that offers better signal in your proximity for those who have that as anoption. On top of that, your home might be filled with signal-muffing devices and distracting elements, so getting a new network SIM won’t help much unless you change homes.
Other Possible Causes of Poor Signals
- Obstruction: If you live in an apartment, your location within your building can affect cell signal strength. For instance, the presence of a metal panel or roof inside the building can deflect reception from nearby towers and make it unlikely for building residents to receive or make calls.
- Weather: Any cellular gadget’s operation is reliant on existing weather conditions. Lightening, wind, rain, and the likes can adversely affect the functioning of nearby cell towers. Once a person makes a call, it is received by a cell power, which transmits it to the sender through a computer network. The programming inside the computer as well as handset can slow down or halt the transmission.
- Congestion: Towers that serve a high volume of incoming calls can also diminish the quality of signals. Also, such towers can cause a rise in dropped calls and may even show a busy signal for callers. Once a connection is formed with these towers, the transmission should go on without any interrupted. However, if your call moves to a tower that’s overloaded, it can be dropped. Rush driving time is high time for cell tower occupancy. Large events and rallies may also cause a drop in cell reception due to the delay in forming a connection with open line towers.
How to Boost Cell Signals?
Maybe there are multiple obstructions in the building you reside in, or maybe you’re too far from the nearest open line tower, but, either way, before you give up and adopt one of the communication modes from the 90’s (resorting to pen and paper), try one of these tips to improve cell reception.
- Put Device in Field Test Mode
Before anything else, try figuring out just how strong the signal of your handset is. You might think you can check signal strength by looking at the number of bars present on the display of the device, but that’s not practical – those bars could mean different things for different handset brands. For example, a three-bar signal on an Apple handset could turn out to be a one-bar signal on a Huawei phone. No industry standards exist when it comes to what the bars on cellphones actually mean.
Instead, discover the exact signal strength of your cellphone by dialing *3001#12345#. This will put your device is “field test mode”.
The option works on iDevices, but Android users can also do the same experiment by launching Settings, opening About, and then clicking Network. These steps should display signal strength on Android, Windows, and other Android-powered handsets. If you get a -70 dBm or lower signal, you’re in the dead zone. Try moving to an area where it reads -70 dBm or above, mark that area down and use it as the location where you have to go for making important calls.
- See If You Can Move Near a Cell Tower
You might not be near a workable cell tower to good signal. If you’re traveling, the best solution might be just to call again. However, if you’re residing somewhere and aren’t getting a usable signal, getting to higher ground or center of the market might work. However, spotting a cell tower doesn’t guarantee a good signal.
Why, you ask? It is because cell transmitters can be uni-directional in nature. To prevent any issue, walk in a circular motion around a nearby cell tower, and you’ll eventually identify the ideal route of its transmission.
And while you’re at it, use a site like OpenSignal to gather information on nearby cell towers. In scenarios where you have poor cell signals, they might not be available for you – but if you have the opportunity to travel to a nearby remote location, you can use a website like OpenSignal to see what you’ll have to do to get better coverage in advance.
- Invest in a Cell Phone Signal Booster
If you’re getting good reception only in one corner of the house, or by walking five miles away from your home and standing on a bench of a park, then a mobile phone signal booster is one of the best investments you could make. If you find yourself stuck in a dead zone and can’t make daily trips to a high-signal area, these are worth consideration as they can permanently boost outgoing and incoming signals.
Here are some of the best signal boosters available in the market today.
Where to Buy
This is the perfect option for those with an AT&T account. It requires a working Ethernet internet-connect signal to pull in the antenna signal of the cell (as well as some GPS-related data) to boost signals in areas up to 2,500 sq. It supports 4G LTE as well as 3G signals. The design of this device is durable and rugged, so it won’t be sticking out like a sore thumb if you place it on a desk or table.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, then you’d have to go with a slightly less popular brand. That said, this cell signal booster from Phonelex offers a frequently range of 824-840 MHz, as well as 869 to 894 MHz. It is made for Band 5 850MHz 3G, and can work on Cordova, Alltel, Cricket, and AT&T. The drawback is that it won’t be able to offer 4G speeds, but that’s the opportunity cost of owning an affordable signal booster. That said, it features a low noise receiver, and can cover up to 1500-2000 sq.ft in wide open areas, provided there aren’t any obstacles.
For those living in large spaces, this cell phone booster should be the ideal choice. It can boost 3G and 4G LTE signals 32x more for higher audio quality, faster download and upload, as well as fewer dropped calls. It has a staggering range of 7,500 sq.ft and comes with all the components required to initiate a DIY installation. Also, it works with most US carriers including Verizon, T-Mobile, US Cellular, AT&T, and others. The unique aspect of weBoost Connect 4G-X 471104 is that it utilizes smart technology (patented) to detect nearby signal conditions and optimizes the cell signal booster’s performance automatically.
If you’re looking for a reliable cell signal booster for a small studio, there’s no need to invest in a series-bases unit. The weBoost Home 4G 470101 can cover up to 1,200 sq.ft, so it’s ideal for smaller space units. Also, it promises to increase signal strength by 32 times, so you’ll be able to enjoy better talk time and 4G coverage. The better quality means less dropped calls, and the 4G LTE improvement is compatible with Sprint, AT&T, Verizon and other popular carriers. The signal booster supports internet-ready notebooks, smartphones and tablets. You can get started by putting the inside antenna inside a dead zone to optimize coverage.
- Keep the Battery Fully Charged
Your handset needs to perform multiple functions (power the apps running on the device, load memory-related functions, etc.). On top of that, it requires a constant supply of power when you connect it to a cell tower. If it is low on battery, it might not have enough energy to locate a signal, which is why a battery-saving mode is integrated in almost all modern handsets.
That said, it is your responsibility to converse the battery of your device in any manner possible. Fortunately, there are several things you can do for the purpose. For instance, switch off hardware elements like NFC, WiFi and Bluetooth when you’re not using them, lower the display’s brightness, switch off push notifications, close the applications you are not using as well as the ones running in background, and update to the newest firmware.
However, if your handset still lacks power after taking these measures, it’s best to invest in a portable case or charger.
With the availability of highly versatile cell signal boosters along with knowledge of cell tower functioning, you now have much more information on how to boost cell signals. So, take your time, conduct the right research, and start listening to the voices of your loved ones again on a regular basis.