How to Extend Cell Phone Rangeby Contributor
The non-stop advance of cell phone technology never seems to provide a cure for signal dead zones and bad reception. But there are many solutions for extending the range of your cell phone in your home and elsewhere. These solutions include using Wi-Fi spots, purchasing a third-party signal booster device and using a makeshift antenna for your phone.
Use the best carrier network for your area. Fixing the lack of a good signal on your phone might just be a matter of changing networks. Although every carrier claims that they have the best signal coverage in the country, each carrier has their cell phone towers spread out in different areas. To find out how your carrier compares to others in your area, go to CellReception.com and enter your zip code. The site shows ratings and feedback for every zip code in the country as well as the location of a carrier's cell phone towers.
Use Wi-Fi service. If your cell phone has Wi-Fi capabilities, you can get a strong signal by using the wireless network in your home or wherever you are. To do so, you generally need to subscribe to a data plan from your cell phone carrier. T-Mobile also offers a HotSpot @Home service that allows you to use your wireless Internet router to make calls without using up the regular minutes on your voice plan. To connect to a Wi-Fi network, you usually need to tweak the settings to set your phone to locate and pick up Wi-Fi signals. While every phone is different, typically this involves setting your cell phone browser to automatically search for a Wi-Fi signal. Check with your service provider or do a search online for your specific model of phone. You can also use a VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) application such as Skype, Nimbuzz and Fring. These applications work with many phones to access Wi-Fi signals nearby and allow you to make free calls.
Buy a cell phone signal booster. A variety of companies sell wireless signal extenders that actually improve your cell phone's reception by significant levels. In order for the devices to work well, you need to install them in a place where you can get a strong signal. For instance, if you get four bars on your phone in the front room of your house but lose reception in other rooms, you can place the device in that strong spot and it will extend the signal to the rest of your house. Devices manufacturers include Wireless Extenders, Wilson Electronics and Wi-Ex. Make sure the extender works with your model of cell phone and signal frequency before buying a specific model.
Construct a makeshift booster. Solutions abound online for constructing a stronger antenna for your phone. Wisebread.com lists various methods along with how-to videos. Their solutions include using a copper wire, a paper clip or an old radio antenna.