You Can Boost Your Cell Phone's Weak Signal For Better Reception And More Reliable Calling

Your cellular signal is sensitive to the environment, but there are ways to improve reception

You Can Boost Your Cell Phone's Weak Signal For Better Reception And More Reliable Calling
Image: Pixabay
July 19, 2018

There are many reasons signal strength on your cell phone is poor. It could be a problem with your carrier, the materials in the walls of your home that block the signal, or something as simple as a bad battery. Regardless of the cause, there are ways to boost your cell phone's signal to get more reliable connections.

Check your cell phone's battery

It may sound silly, but your cell phone's battery can have an impact of the reception quality. Cell phones can increase power to the signal receiver when the signal is really low. It helps to amplify the weak signal so you can get and stay connected. But if your phone's battery is critically low or if your battery is old and weak, you may not be getting the power you need to maintain reliable signal.

there's probably not much to do for signal interference from your environment

Everything interferes with wireless signals, but some things cause more problems than others. Glass, wood and drywall will allow signal to pass through a little easier than than metal, concrete and stone. If you are in the middle of the woods, all the leaves will have an insulating effect on your reception, preventing the signal from flowing freely. If you are in the middle of a valley or on top of a mountain, you're already not doing too well. If you can step outside your home and get much better cell phone reception, you can safely narrow the problem down to building materials. So unless you want to leave the windows open all day, you might need a cell phone signal booster, femtocell or Wi-Fi calling. But to avoid interference, stay away from other electronics, larger metal objects, anything magnetic, or tall structures. The higher you are in a building, the better your signal is expected to be.

signal boosters

Various types of cell phone signal boosters are available, and the price varies greatly. But the quality of the signal you'll get depends upon the signal outside. Cell phone signal boosters are capable of boosting 3G & 4G LTE signal by as much as 30 times or more and work by amplifying the existing signal into a stronger signal. Think of it like turning up the volume on the TV.

Femtocells

Femtocells give users who have weak signal outside their homes the option of getting their cell phone signal through the Internet. Nearly every major cell carrier offers these devices, which can either be free, free with a refundable deposit, or available for purchase. If you have been a customer for a long time with frequent reception problems, you may be able to get the device free or with a heavy discount. You need a broadband Internet connection with a decent speed (varies by carrier) to get good results. Unfortunately, if your Internet is down, so is your cell signal.

Wi-Fi Calling

Wi-Fi calling is relatively new compared to other technologies, but it allows you to make calls and send text messages using a Wi-Fi connection. If your phone has a Wi-Fi Calling feature and you enable it, your phone will attempt to use the Wi-Fi network when your cell signal is low. The transition is virtually seamless and automatic, so you won't need to do anything after enabling the feature. But not all phones have the feature and the process to enable it varies by manufacturer, so you may have to do some research on how to set it up. The carriers in the U.S. that support the feature include AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, MetroPCS, and Vodafone.

don't block the internal antenna

In the old days, cell phone antennas were on the outside of the phone. If you wanted better reception, you could replace it with a bigger one. That all changed with the first iPhone. Since then, antennas have been integrated inside the phones or in the cases. Depending upon how you hold these phones, your hand can block the signal. Most newer smartphones have the antennas designed in such a way to make blocking the signal difficult, but thick phone cases can still cause problems. It's best to hold the phone in an upright position, not horizontally, with a solid case, yet one that is not too thick. Don't grasp the phone too hard or press it too close to your hand or face. You could also go hands-free, which will prevent your body from blocking the signal.

don't expect good signal in crowded areas

When you have a few hundred or few thousand people in a small area, expect that you won't have any service. You've probably noticed bad service at concerts, festivals and sporting events. Just like having a few hundred people sharing your Internet connection, a few hundred people sharing the signal will mean it will slow to a crawl. There's really not much you can do here.

update your software and firmware

Software and firmware on your phone can affect reception and coverage, so make sure both are updated in order to get the best tuning of your device.

newer phones

If you phone is ancient, it might be time for a newer phone. Newer phones can tap into more and faster spectrums. Some of the newest spectrums can operate up to four times better inside buildings as opposed to older spectrums. But if you have an older phone that can't access these spectrums, you might want to test a new model.

sticker shams

If improving cell phone reception was as easy as installing a sticker under your phone's battery, they'd be available at every cell phone carrier's store and you might even get a few of them with your new phone. You really do get what you pay for. Installing a 'signal boosting' sticker won't harm your phone's performance, but it won't help it either.