When you're in the middle of an important phone conversation, the last thing you need is a poor wireless signal or a dropped call. Bad cell phone signals typically crop up in places with spotty wireless coverage, such as rural areas or mountainous terrain, but they're not uncommon in urban areas. If you're plagued by a weak cell phone signal, don't call your service provider to complain just yet. You can get better reception by boosting your cell phone signal or hunting down sources of electronic interference.
If you consistently get a bad cell phone signal in a specific area, a signal booster might give you the reception you need. A booster captures a wireless signal and broadcasts it over a wider area. It's ideal for use in places where you get at least some signal, so it might not benefit you if you're in an area with little or no coverage. Before buying one, determine which type of booster will work with your wireless carrier and network. For example, you'll need a booster that's designed for 4G LTE if you want to amplify a 4G LTE signal.
Omnidirectional antennas receive signals from all directions, so they work with multiple carriers. Yagi-directional antennas focus the signal from one direction, so they work only with a single carrier. Signal boosters are also available for vehicles.
Personal Cell Tower
If you'd rather not mount a signal booster on your roof, a personal cell phone tower is a good alternative. These devices work by boosting a signal via your Internet connection. The personal cell tower connects directly to your router, so you don't need to fuss with bulky equipment to set it up. Place the device near a window for best results. Wireless providers occasionally sell personal cell phone towers at a discount, and some even offer them for free.
Cell phone signals can't usually reach into basements, underground rail systems, tunnels or elevators, so it's normal if you experience dropped calls in these places. If you have a bad connection on the first floor of a building, try moving to a higher floor. If an entire building has a poor wireless signal, take your calls near an open window or go outdoors when weather permits.
Certain materials used in building walls, such as wire mesh, concrete and metal siding, may block wireless signals from reaching your phone. Window tinting and radiant barriers can also obstruct signals.
Some electronic devices may interfere with your phone's wireless signal. These devices include microwaves, cordless phones, baby monitors and Wi-Fi® routers. If your connection drops in a specific part of the building, one of these devices may be at fault. Take calls at least 10 to 15 feet away from a device if you think it's causing a problem.
Weather also has an effect on wireless signals. High humidity, thick clouds, lightning and strong storms often block signals. If you're stuck in a storm and can't make a call, you may need to wait for the bad weather to pass.
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