Try our ten tips to get that cell phone signal you need, to make or receive a call in a jiffy! None of the tips suggest anything that costs money like a cell phone signal booster.
Nowadays, we use our smartphones for a lot more than simply calling someone. We text, send emails, browse the internet, watch live media streams and use numerous apps that need a cell phone signal to work properly. The result of this is that we need good cell phone reception wherever we are, and at any time of the day or night. Whether you are at home or at work, or commuting in between, at school, university or college, out doing shopping or working out at the gym, visiting a restaurant, bar or club, or even simply taking a stroll in the park, we want our cell phones to work and have a strong, uninterrupted signal.
Unfortunately, this is often not the case and the result can be endless frustration and even anger.
Apart from using phones, we also increasingly use the cell network for our other devices such as tablets and even laptops such as ChromeBook or MacBook when we take these with us wherever we go.
What causes bad cell reception?
If you understand why cell phone signal is bad at certain places, it will help you solve the problem more easily. There are 3 main causes for bad or spotty cell phone reception:
- In rural areas, there might not be enough cell towers to cover the area you are in. If this is the case, there is unfortunately not much you can do apart from getting to an area where the cell phone reception is better.
- The quality of cell phone reception depends very strongly on there being nothing between the cell tower and your phone. The more obstacles block the signal, the bigger you problem is likely to be. In an urban area with lots of buildings and other structures, these obstacles will cause the signal to be weak, or in very bad cases, even disappear completely.
- The number of people using the signal from a cell tower at the same time has a big influence on the quality of your signal. A cell tower can typically handle from a few hundred to a few thousand users at the same time. If it suddenly has to cope with tens of thousands of users, it will not be able to cope and the result will be bad or spotty service on your phone. This would typically be the case at big events such as concerts or sporting events.
How to check how good your reception is.
I'm pretty sure we have all been on a phone call where the quality was far less than perfect, and you could hardly hear the other person. One trick we have all used is to walk around while talking, desperately trying to find a spot where we can hear properly and when we find it, freeze into a position like a statue hoping that the signal will stay clear.
Another way often used to find a spot with good reception is to check the signal bars on your phone. When you know of a specific building or place where you always battle with signal, you could walk around and try to find a place where the most signal bars show on your phone, and then always try to use that place when you make a phone call, or use the cell signal in any other way.
While both of the methods described above may have some measure of success, there is a better, easier way that can quickly be used to find the spots with the best cell reception. The signal bars on your phone are at best a very rough indication of signal strength, and each carrier uses a different scale to represent the signal strength. All phones nowadays have a function in the Settings menu that will show the cell phone signal strength in dB. "dB" ia an acronym or short form that stands for "Decibels". It is a unit of measurement for signal strength. Normally, anything between -50 dB and -95 dB is a good working signal. Closer it is to zero, the stronger the signal strength. If your signal strength however falls below - 95 dB, you're likely to get spotty service, or even a complete dead zone.
10 Ways to Improve Cell Phone Reception without Signal Booster:
Tip #1: Don't move around when using the cell network.
When you move around, the phone and network constantly have to adjust to cater for your changing location. This makes it much more difficult to obtain and hold onto strong signals.
Tip #2: Remove the case on your phone.
If you have a case on your phone, removing it might improve the signal. A case could block the cell signal and prevent it from reaching the phone's internal antenna. If you check the dB reading in a specific location and then remove the case, you will be able to see if it improves the reception.
Tip #3: Don’t block the internal antenna with your hand.
Unlike older phones where the antenna was outside the phone and clearly visible, new phones use internal antennas. As it is possible to block the signal depending on how you hold the phone, be aware of your hand's position on the phone while using it. Experimenting with different positions might improve reception.
Tip #4: Get away from obstructions.
As buildings and structures block cell signals, going outside might improve reception. If you are outside, an open area like a park will make it easier for the cell signal to reach you.
Tip #5: Keep your battery charged atleast 25%.
A phone needs enough power in order to utilize the cell signal. If your battery is low, there might simply not be enough power for the phone to acquire and hold the signal.
Tip #6: Change location.
The cell signal will be different in different parts of the same building. Moving to another part of the office or home might give you better reception. Try the reception at different windows, as a window will not block the signal as much as a wall would. An open window would be best if weather permits, because glass can also reduce reception signals - Especially Low Emission (Low-E) windows.
Tip #7: Move to a higher position.
Higher positions, be it within a building, or on a hill outside, will reduce the probability of obstructions blocking the cell signal. Finding the highest point in your immediate surroundings and moving there might improve reception dramatically.
Tip #8: Use WiFi.
All smartphones allow WiFi calling and texting nowadays, and this is supported by all major cell carriers in the U.S. There are many messaging apps available that will allow you to do audio and video calling. If the cell reception at your location is bad, and you have access to strong WiFi coverage, switching to WiFi might solve your problem.
Tip #9: Identify the nearest cell tower.
If you know where the nearest cell tower is, you know where the signal is coming from. This will help you identify which side of the building is nearest to the tower and this is where you’re most likely to get a good signal. If you’re outside, try to move to a position where there are no obstructions between you and the tower.
Tip #10: Try switching between 2G, 3G and 4G.
Different networks will have different signal strengths at a specific location. Experiment by switching between the networks to see which one works best for where you are. How you switch between networks will be different for different carriers and phone models. Go to "Settings", and choose "Networks" in most cases and you will be able to choose 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE.
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