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How to Improve a Poor Cell Signal

Posted on 2/10/2021 by Nicholas Jones

Although cellular networks are increasing coverage across the nation, many of us continue to deal with spotty signals or dead zones. Calls drop in certain areas of our homes. We miss texts sent while we’re traveling along certain routes. Our internet lags so we can’t stream the movies and shows we’re excited to watch.

Getting and maintaining a solid connection is increasingly imperative for our daily lives. Thankfully, disruptions in connectivity don’t have to plague you any longer. To improve the strength of your cellular signal, it’s important to understand how cell signals work, what causes poor reception, and what you can do about it.

older man sitting on couch talking on cell phone

How Do Cellular Signals Work?

Cellular networks use cell towers to broadcast radio frequency signals, which your cell phone or mobile device picks up with an antenna. The signal strength is typically stronger the closer you are to a cell tower. However, obstructions such as buildings, terrain, or weather conditions can scatter, absorb, or block the signals — weakening them even in urban areas.

Rural and remote locations have fewer cell towers, so people in these places depend on signals from far away. Unfortunately, signals weaken as they travel. The combination of distance and other obstructions often creates a seemingly insurmountable barrier to consistent cellular coverage.

Easy Ways to Improve Cell Phone Signal Strength

You can boost your cell phone signal almost immediately in several ways:

1. Conserve Your Battery

Your phone’s battery consumes power as it tries to connect to the closest cell tower. When the battery is low, the phone goes into a power-conserving mode which reduces the energy available to find a signal. As a result, it’s difficult to get and keep good reception when your phone is drained. Keep a portable battery charger handy for extra juice in a pinch.

Leaving apps on in the background can suck the life out of your phone and limit your cell reception. Turn off the Near-Field Communication (NFC), navigation, and Bluetooth until you need them. Keep push notifications off, except for urgent apps. This minor inconvenience leaves more energy for your battery to maintain your cellular connection.

2. Start Over

Your phone may pick up cell signals better once it has a chance to reboot. This can let your phone receive the latest software updates. It can also fix glitches in software that occur when antenna signals hop from one tower to a closer one.

3. Fix “Voice & Data”

Some areas have a stronger 3G network signal while other places have a stronger 4G or LTE signal, depending on the closest cell towers. Try changing the “Voice & Data” option on your phone to see what works best where you are.

4. Clean the SIM card

Dust and dirt buildup within your phone could be responsible for a poor connection. If possible, remove your SIM card and wipe it gently with a dry cloth. Reinsert, avoiding exposure to moisture.

5. Switch Up Your Surroundings

Metal appliances and solid furniture in your space may block cell signal. Overgrown trees and bushes may also affect your reception. Consider rearranging or trimming down these items so that they don’t obstruct the path of the outside signal.

6. Open Your Windows

Low-emissivity glass and other LEED-certified materials act as barriers to UV rays and heat transfer, but they also keep cell signals from entering buildings. Insulation and certain paints can also hinder reception. If you can open a window, then you may be able to obtain access to a stronger signal.

7. Catch It Outside

Replacing building materials that block cellular reception is probably not a feasible option or likely worth the trouble. Simply stepping outside your home can resolve your poor reception temporarily. As with the above option, this is only feasible if weather and time permits.

A Cell Phone Booster Can Fix Poor Signal

If all the free fixes fail to improve your cellular reception, it’s possible that the cell signal in your area is just too weak to serve your mobile devices. A cell phone signal booster is what you need to raise the bar on your reception. You’ll no longer have to go upstairs, near the window, or outside because you’ll have a stronger signal all around. If you’re traveling, a vehicle cell booster can eliminate dead zones on the road, too.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approves signal boosters as cost-effective enhancements to wireless service. Most wireless carriers permit consumers to operate FCC-approved boosters as well. weBoost amplifiers meet FCC standards and work with all carriers and mobile devices.

How Cell Phone Signal Boosters Work

A cell phone signal booster uses antennas and an amplifier to capture cell signal outside a building or vehicle. The system strengthens the signal and then redistributes it inside your home or vehicle. This gives consistent coverage for everyone and their devices within the space.

How a Cell Signal Booster Works in Homes

cell phone signal booster for home diagram

How a Cell Signal Booster Works in Vehicles

how cell phone signal boosters work in vehicles diagram

Booster users experience significant improvements in voice quality, data speeds, and overall connectivity.

A signal booster offers these benefits as well:

  • Fewer missed texts and dropped calls
  • Reduced “dead zones”
  • Better streaming
  • Extended battery life on mobile devices
  • Optimized use of unlimited data plans

Cell Phone Signal Boosters vs. Femtocells

Femtocells, also called microcells or network extenders, convert an internet connection into cellular signals. They can be costly and incur a monthly fee. They only work for the carrier that provides it, and you’ll need an internet connection for it as well. On the other hand, cell phone signal boosters are economical, one-time purchases that act as network extenders. These work with all phone models and carriers. Boosters do not require an internet connection, only an existing cell signal.

The Best Cell Phone Signal Boosters

These cell signal amplifiers are industry-leading devices that ensure a robust, reliable connection. Our boosters strengthen 3G and 4G LTE signal, and they are 5G-ready. We offer an extensive line of products for homes and vehicles in many types to fit your cellular connectivity needs.

Home Cell Signal Boosters

weBoost cell signal amplifiers are built to strengthen indoor signals within areas ranging from 1,500 square feet to 7,500 square feet. They support multiple devices and users simultaneously across multiple carrier networks. Here’s our current lineup of cell phone signal boosters for home:

Home Studio

  • Most compact home booster
  • For up to one large room or studio
  • Simplest DIY installation

Home Room

  • For up to one room, small home, or apartment
  • Easily mountable outside antenna
  • Tool-free installation option

Home MultiRoom

  • 2nd most powerful home signal booster
  • For up to three rooms
  • Tool-free installation option

Home Complete

Vehicle Cell Signal Boosters

weBoost boosters are specially designed to provide affordable, consistent coverage for your car, SUV, RV, or truck. Single and multiple users can enjoy reliable cell reception wherever the road leads.

For Cars/SUVs:

For RVs:

For Trucks: 

Get the Best Booster With weBoost

weBoost produces first-in-class cell signal boosters for residential and vehicle use. Our boosters feature Automatic Gain Control that continuously optimizes signal strength. We back each booster kit with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a two-year warranty.

weBoost cell signal boosters:

  • Are fully FCC-compliant cellular extenders
  • Work with all major U.S. and Canadian networks
  • Boost signals within the 700-2100 MHz bands
  • Are designed, built, and tested in the United States

When you purchase a weBoost cell signal booster, you also get a dedicated customer support team that is just a click, call, or email away. Let us help you fix your bad cellular signal — contact us today.

how to improve a poor cell signal

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