Home Remedies for Cell Phone Reception

by Thomas Beckwith

Whether you live in a densely populated city or an empty stretch of wilderness, you may find that your cell phone drops calls from time to time. Poor reception---which can lead to missed interviews, deleted voice mail, lost contacts, and more---occurs as a result of interference with your signal. These do-it-yourself tips will improve your reception when you most need it.

Where to Position Yourself for the Best Possible Reception

Where you stand and how you hold your phone can make a big difference in the quality of your reception. The writers at Wise Geek suggest that you try holding your phone differently---an awkward angle can increase the number of interruptions in a signal. They also suggest staying away from high-voltage devices, such as televisions and microwaves, which provide additional interference. According to Alibaba.com, standing near a window can drastically improve your call quality in an office or apartment building. This is because many buildings are constructed with rebar, a kind of steel support structure that diminishes cell reception. These buildings usually have better reception near doors and windows than they do in basements and near their core. The website, How To Do Things, emphasizes the importance of good weather conditions on the quality of your signal. If you live in an area that is often humid or rainy, your call quality may be significantly worse than it would be in a dry and sunny area. For important calls, wait until the sky clears.

If You Want to Buy Extra Equipment

Several devices currently on the market will give you a better signal for a range of prices. The most expensive is a wireless repeater which, according to How to Do Things, can cost you as much as $750. This device combines an external antenna with an amplifier to give you excellent reception in the building where it's installed. Alternatively, you can buy either an external antenna or an amplifier separately. An antenna costs between $30 and $100 and tethers your phone to a box mounted outside your building. How to Do Things recommends you buy a higher-gain antenna (above three decibels) if you live in a flat area and a lower-gain antenna (below three decibels) if you live in a hilly or wooded area. For a more expensive option, you can buy an amplifier, which costs between $250 and $300 and can improve reception within a radius of 50 miles. Also consider cellular repeaters---these less costly devices create much smaller spaces in which reception is always stable. If none of these options work, consider purchasing a combination wi-fi/cellular phone. The writers at Alibaba.com claim that these phones can check for both wireless and cellular reception, which doubles the chance that you will pick up a decent signal.

About the Author

Thomas Beckwith has worked as a reporter and a music critic. While studying for his degree at Wesleyan University, he served as the executive editor and arts editor for the school newspaper. He enjoys writing about contemporary politics and indie rock.