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How to Improve Cell Signal at Home

Nicholas Jones | September 18, 2019

In the connected world we live in, we expect to be able to use our cell phone wherever we go – home, school, in the car, shopping, the gym, or restaurants.

You name it. Wherever we go, we expect our phones to work.

Bad cell signal at home isn’t limited to rural locations but can also affect people living in urban areas. This is all thanks to obstacles that block cell signal from reaching our phones.

When you’re at home you expect to have strong cell signal so you can easily stream movies, browse the internet and call/text friends. So how can you boost your cell phone signal at home? Read on for our 10 best tips to improve your cell signal.

What Causes Bad Cell Phone Reception?

To increase cell signal at home, you first need to understand what things can cause poor cell reception. If your home has energy efficient windows, a metal roof or siding, or is made from concrete or brick these materials can all block signal.

If your home is in a rural area, you are likely very far from the nearest cell tower, which can lead to poor signal. Other factors that contribute to poor signal are lots of network traffic, a strain on bandwidth or even weather.

How to Boost Your Cell Signal at Home for Free

  • Go outside

Building materials like brick, siding, stucco and even coated ‘energy-efficient’ glass block cell signals. So, to get better signal, just step outside of your home. By reducing the obstructions between your phone and the cell tower, your reception will usually improve.

  •  Check Your Phone Case

If you have a case on your phone, try taking it off to see if the cell signal improves. Also, pay attention to how you hold your phone when you make a call. Be sure you’re not inadvertently blocking your device’s internal antenna.

  • Check Your Phone’s Battery

Make sure to keep your phone battery charged up. A low battery can negatively affect your phone’s ability to receive and hold onto cell signal.

  • Find the Nearest Cell Tower

There are many apps and websites you can use to easily find the nearest cell tower. When you know where the cell tower is located, you know which direction your signal is coming from. Now you can experiment to locate better cell signal inside your home. For example, move to the side of your home nearest the cell tower to see if that will improve your cell service at home.

  • Change Location to See if Reception is Better

Cell signal strength is not uniform throughout buildings, including your home. So even if you don’t know where the nearest cell tower is, you can move to another room of the house to see if the signal is better there. Or try your call next to a window, where signal may (but not always!) better penetrate the exterior walls of your home.

  • Increase Your Elevation

As previously discussed, many things between you and the cell tower can block your cell signal. So, try moving to the top floor of your home. A higher location reduces the chance of obstructions blocking the cell signal. If you live in an apartment building, you can even go up to the roof to try your call.

  • Use a Hotspot

Most phones allow you to create a hotspot that is essentially a Wi-Fi signal that cellular-enabled devices can connect to. When you’re at home you can try connecting to the hotspot instead of the cellular network and see if that improves your connection.

  •  Try Wi-Fi Calling

Admittedly this doesn’t do anything to increase your cell signal, but it may improve your calling capability. Most smartphones allow native Wifi calling and texting, which is supported by all major U.S. cell carriers. There also are a bunch of messaging apps now for audio and video calling. So, if you have solid Wi-Fi coverage in your home, the Wi-Fi network can be a good substitute for the spotty cellular network.

  •  Switch to 3G

Turn off your LTE service to see if you can get a better connection and improved coverage by using the 3G network. Sometimes the network you are on can become too congested and slow so changing the network to a less crowded one can help strengthen your signal.

  • Try a Microcell or Femtocell

This option isn’t free but can help with your specific carrier’s cell signal strength in your home. Microcells actually create a localized cell signal in your home and require a broadband Internet connection. Voice and data traffic are moved over the Internet to the microcell, which transfers the traffic to the cell signal it generates so your phone can pick it up. These are typically sold by your phone carrier and will work only with that carrier’s network.

Bonus Tip: Cell Phone Signal Boosters For Homes

One of the most reliable ways to increase mobile network signal in your home is to get a cell phone signal booster. A home cell phone signal booster amplifies outside signal into your home, so you start getting faster data, better voice quality and strong signal.

A cell signal booster doesn’t create a cell signal. Rather, they collect and amplify existing cell signal, then redistribute the amplified signal inside your home so your cell phone picks it up. So, to use a signal booster you must have an available cell signal outside your home. To learn more about how boosters work, check out this cell phone booster guide here.

weBoost cell phone antenna boosters for homes boost all carriers, are FCC and carrier pre-approved and they don’t require an Internet connection. These boosters come with everything you need for a DIY installation.

Learn how to boost cell signal in a basement in this article.

Check out our best home cell phone boosters to start boosting cell signal in your home:

  • Home Room – For One Room – Up to 1,500 sq. ft.