By Nash Riggins
Every year, mobile connectivity is becoming more and more crucial. Roughly half of U.S. adults (PDF) don’t even own a landline anymore. They rely exclusively on their smartphones in order to stay connected and get work done.
There’s just one problem: reliability.
Even the most dynamic mobile phone can be rendered completely and utterly useless by a weak signal. It doesn’t take a lot to decimate a signal, either. You can buy a mobile phone signal booster, of course, provided you know how to choose a mobile phone signal booster for you particular situation. But here a quick list of some other tips in order to help you boost your mobile phone signal and restore your sanity.
How to Boost Your Cell Phone Signal
There’s nothing more irritating than losing signal in a hotel room, office space or even the comfort of your own home. It doesn’t seem like there’s any method to the madness. But the truth is, if your signal goes, it’s usually for a reason.What to Do When You’re Inside
Here are a few basic hacks that should boost your signal:
1. Open a Window
It might sound silly, but sometimes the easiest way to restore your signal is to simply crack open a window. Tick walls and insulation are notorious for blocking signals from adjacent mobile towers — and so allowing radio waves a pathway to penetrate those walls should give you a stronger signal. Even standing next to a window should help a little.
2. Turn Off Other Devices
Cinder block walls aren’t the only reason your cell phone is struggling to get reception. WiFi-connected devices like tablets and laptops can sometimes interfere with your mobile signal, too. So do microwaves and other basic appliances. If you can, keep your phone away from these devices, or turn them off whenever possible.
3. Hold Your Phone the Right Way
Believe it or not, the way you hold your mobile phone can drastically impact on reception. Although they’re no longer visible, mobile phones still do have antennas — and they’re designed to project an outward signal that’s perpendicular to the long axis of your antenna. In short, that means holding your phone upright will ensure that you are maximizing your phone’s ability to connect with nearby towers.
4. Use WiFi
One of the best ways to improve your mobile signal is to bypass old-fashioned cell towers entirely. Most iPhones and new Android phones will allow you to make calls and send text messages by tapping into an existing WiFi network. So long as you’re got a relatively consistent WiFi service at home or in the office, you should be able to use it to drastically improve your mobile signal indoors.
5. Use a Booster
If WiFi calling isn’t an option, you can always try using a signal booster. These devices latch onto existing signals and rapidly repeat them in order to improve your mobile reception. Essentially, they add a bar or two onto the signal you’ve already got. Some mobile providers will offer you a free booster in exchange for a small deposit. That being said, there are a wide range of affordable devices that are compatible with most carriers.
On the Go
If you’re constantly in the car, turning off your microwave or opening a window might not play a huge role in boosting your mobile signal. But there are still plenty of quick hacks that should help you to improve your reception while on the go.
1. Keep Your Phone on Charge
Mobile phones actually need to use quite a bit of battery life in order to track down a tower signal and connect with it in order to place a call. That means if your battery is running low, your phone might be able to attempt to make a call — but won’t have enough energy to connect. An easy way to avoid that risk is to have a reliable car charger and keep your phone plugged in when you’re on the go.
2. Head for High Ground
Because mobile towers rely on line-of-sight in order to connect with phones, you can generally expect to lose signal in valleys or prolonged dips in the road. If you’ve lost reception, try heading uphill. That should decrease the level of obstruction and help to substantially boost your signal.
3. Find Your Nearest Tower
If reaching higher ground doesn’t help you to connect with a tower, it probably means you’re simply too far away from your nearest tower to begin with. Websites like Cell Reception and Open Signal provide interactive coverage maps that can tell you the location of towers and where they give off the best signals based upon your mobile provider. There are also plenty of apps available on iOS and Android that perform these services.
4. Get a Car Booster
If you’re still struggling to find bars, you might want to consider investing in a signal booster for your car. These work exactly the same as ordinary boosters, although they tend to be more compact and a little bit more expensive. That being said, they are generally effective and can be a lifesaver if you’re working on the go or suffer a breakdown.
This list of tips is by no means exhaustive. There are loads of variables to consider when trying to improve your mobile signal, and some may be unique to your location. It’s usually a matter of trial and error, and could take a bit of time in order to crack.
Cell Signal Photo via Shutterstock
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