What Can Make My Cellphone Signal Stronger?
By Chris Joseph
If you're a regular cellphone user, you've probably experienced the frustration of poor or no reception caused by a weak or nonexistent signal. This can happen in a rural area or even in a densely populated urban setting. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways you can boost the signal, which can range from purchasing additional devices to simply changing how you're using the phone.
Major cellphone service providers such as Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint sell small devices called femtocells that connect to your home network's router and act much like in-home cellphone towers. Femtocells provide five-bar coverage in areas up to 2,500 square feet regardless of proximity to the carrier's towers. As a result, they offer strong signals in areas such as basements and when a home is surrounded by steep hills. Other benefits include improved voice clarity, fewer dropped calls and longer cellphone battery life.
Repeaters can improve signals in situations where cellphone tower reception is available but the signal is weak. Repeaters rely on an antenna placed near a window or outdoors to pick up the signal, which is then transmitted to an amplifier through a cable connection. Unlike femtocells, repeaters cannot be programmed for specific devices, so it's possible your neighbors could benefit from your use of them without having to pay for the service. The repeater kits also typically cost more than femtocells.
If you don't want to bear the expense of purchasing femtocells or repeaters, you may be able to improve cellphone reception by using items you might already have in your home or office. According to the WiseBread website, you can construct an effective antenna by soldering together empty coffee cans and attaching them to your phone with wire. Even using a paper clip or a piece of insulated wire can work in some instances.
In some cases, you can strengthen your cellphone signal by making adjustments to your operating methods. If your phone has an adjustable antenna, raising or lowering it can impact the signal strength. If you're in a city and surrounded by tall buildings, moving to an open area such as an intersection may also improve your signal strength. If you're close to other electronic devices, they could interfere with your reception, so you may attain favorable results by moving away from them or turning them off.
Chris Joseph writes for websites and online publications, covering business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing from York College of Pennsylvania.