How to Boost Cell Signal in Your Apartment
Posted on 12/6/2022 by Meredith Pond
No cell phone signal in your apartment? Sluggish data and poor call quality can be a challenge for apartment dwellers. In this article, we’ll discuss how to boost cell signal in your apartment.
We’ve heard the stories of someone finding the perfect flat – great location and affordable rent. Then comes the dealbreaker…they have absolutely no cell service. Nothing. Zero bars.
Then there are those who move in with a friend, relative, or roommate knowing that their cell reception in the apartment sucks. But the living arrangement is so desirable that they’re resigned to dealing with the bad coverage.
Anyone currently living in, or considering moving into, an apartment that’s a dead zone – you don’t have to put up with bad signal. You have options, and you’re about to learn more about them.
Causes of poor cell signal in your apartment
There are two main causes for bad cell coverage; (a) you are too far from the signal source (the nearest cell tower), and/or (b) there is something, or perhaps many things, between you and the tower that are blocking the signal.
Your apartment building may or may not be too far from your carrier’s nearest cell tower for good cell phone reception. But there most certainly are cell signal blockers between you and the cell tower. The most likely culprits are the materials your building is made of – concrete, steel, brick, masonry, drywall, low-emitting coated glass windows – even the electrical wiring in the walls. All of these things and many other materials block cell signals and cause, or at least contribute to, your need to boost cell signal in your apartment.
If there are other multi-story buildings near your apartment, they could be blocking your cell signal too. But don’t panic.
How to boost cell signal in your apartment
1) Signal map your apartment
This a good way to find out if there is one particular spot that provides better reception than anywhere else. To do this all you need is your cell phone, a pen, and paper. To map your signal:
- Put your phone in field test mode so you can view the incoming signal strength in decibels, abbreviated as dBm. The free weBoost app makes using field test mode and finding your signal strength much easier.
- Go into each room of your apartment and jot down the dBm reading on your phone. For larger rooms, you may want to take signal readings in two spots.
- Each time you move across the room or to another room to check the signal, it may take your phone up to one minute to update the dBm reading for the new location. You may be able to force a faster signal update by putting your phone into airplane mode for a few seconds once you move to the new location. Then turn off airplane mode, and the updated dBm reading should display.
Sometimes signal may be better next to a window, but not always. Once you’ve signal mapped your apartment, you will know for certain which locations are best, and which ones need you to boost cell signal.
2) Try WiFi
All newer smartphones allow native WiFi calling and texting. And of course, there are a bunch of messaging apps now that support audio and video calling. So if you have solid WiFi coverage in your apartment, it may help compensate for the cellular network. However, check with your internet provider to make sure you won’t run into extra charges due to bandwidth, and keep in mind that if there’s streaming, calls, gaming, or other data-heavy activities going on at once, your WiFi calling could suffer.
3) Use a femtocell (microcell)
If you can convince your cell carrier that coverage in your apartment is unacceptable, they may provide you with a femtocell, or microcell. These function almost like a tiny cell tower, creating a very localized signal in your apartment. But they also have some distinct disadvantages. For one, they require a broadband internet connection and compete with any other network traffic, including streaming video. So check them out before committing. Plus, they’ll only work for one carrier. So if you and your roommates are on different networks, some of you will be out of luck unless you buy a femtocell for each network.
4) Get a booster to boost cell signal
Apartment cell phone signal boosters work in virtually any situation where you need to boost cell signal, as long as there is some signal to amplify. With simple DIY instructions, install the cell signal booster in your apartment to immediately enjoy boosted cell signal, faster data, and better call quality. weBoost signal boosters work with all carriers and devices, which makes this solution likely to work for most people. Here’s more information on how cell phone signal boosters work.
Here are some boosters below:
- Home Room – Great for One Room
- Home MultiRoom – Great for up to 5,000 sq. ft.
- Home Studio – Great for one room or studio apartment with space-saving design
5) Switching carriers may not boost cell signal
This works for some, but be careful about switching your cell carrier just to boost cell signal in your apartment. The last thing you want to do is to exchange poor reception with one carrier for even worse reception from another. And usually, poor signal is caused by the other factors mentioned earlier, not necessarily your carrier.
If you, using Carrier X, always have poor reception in the apartment, but your roommate, using Carrier Y, always has excellent reception, then a switch to Carrier Y might make sense. Just be sure before you switch that your coverage will be better with the new carrier. Sometimes the cost of switching carriers isn’t worth it.
To boost cell signal in your apartment, your best bet is to invest in a cell signal booster from weBoost. There are no subscriptions to worry about, and you can install it yourself. There are even products that come with drill-free installation. For the best boost in cell signal, shop our residential boosters now.
Where do you need to boost your signal?
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