1.) Remove Obstructions
One of the most basic remedies is to remove anything that might be blocking the incoming signal. Most cities have several cell towers that serve the major carriers. However, this doesn’t mean that you have a clear line of sight between the nearest tower and your phone. There may be trees and mountains in the way. There are most likely buildings between your home and the tower, constructed of thick or dense materials. Weather and other electronics can also cause interference with your signal.
Your best bet is to reduce clutter in and around your home to avoid adding to what might already be blocking your signal. Avoid piling anything up that might obstruct your windows and be aware that your service might be strongest on the second floor, if your home has one.
2.) Locate the Best Signal
There’s one spot in each home where the signal will always be best. The closer you are to this spot, the more dependable your service will be. Essentially, this is the spot closest to the nearest tower, with the least obstructions. The best way to find out where this might be is to check your phone’s dB (decibel) reading. Unfortunately, the bars on your phone are somewhat unreliable. Cell phones work best in a range between -50dB and -110dB.
On an iPhone, dialing *3001#12345# and pressing “Call” will display the phone’s dB reading in the upper left-hand corner. In an Android, go to Phone Settings, About Phone, Status, then Signal Strength. Walk through your house and look for the area with the signal strength closest to -50dB. That is the best signal location in your house.
3.) Keep Your Battery Charged
Remember that you use your phone for many things throughout the day. It probably functions as your watch, calculator, camera and music player, in addition to being a communication device. Your phone needs enough power not only to run these functions, but also to locate a signal in the first place. When your phone’s battery gets too low, it goes into conservation mode, which cuts back on its performance. Make sure to monitor your battery’s power level throughout the day to avoid having unnecessary issues with your signal.
4.) Hold Your Phone Upright
Once upon a time, cell phones had external antennas that you could actually see. Nowadays, they’re located internally and the position that the phone sits in can have everything to do with how well it receives a signal. If you’re holding the phone sideways, you could actually be blocking the antenna. While smartphone manufacturers have done a lot to reduce this problem, the rubber cases made to surround phones today, combined with the use of both hands at certain times, can still impede your signal. Holding the phone upright can help improve 3g signal.
Femtocells work by converting landline Internet signals to cellular signals. For a femtocell to work, your home first has to have landline based Internet service. All the major cell phone carriers offer them, although they refer to them by different names. The devices themselves cost between $100 – $300 and usually involve a monthly subscription to use. Note that the use of a femtocell to improve your cell service may slow down your home Internet service speeds.
6.) Signal Boosters
Signal boosters offer the best method to improve cell signal in your home. No matter how weak the cell signal is in your home, a signal booster can increase this by 32X. If the best signal in your home is near a window, it can be captured and boosted, providing service throughout the rest of the home. They work with all types of phones and all carrier companies. Unlike femtocells, they involve only a one-time purchase, without any related subscription fees.
7.) Switch Carriers
When all other options are exhausted, you may find that you have no choice but to switch carriers. If you’re nearing the end of a two-year contract, this might be the best time to take advantage of whatever offers are out there. Other companies are often willing to bend over backward to win new customers’ business, offering free or discounted phones and additional services.