6 ways to improve the network signal on your phone

The signal bar on your phone doesn’t reflect the true amount of signal your phone can connect to. That’s why sometime you could have a full bar and still be unable to make phone calls.

Cell phone signal differences

No matter how advanced technology gets, there will always be frustrations, even with the best equipment.

Bad reception especially when you need to make a call during an emergency can be one of the most frustrating things a person can ever experience. But it’s not your phone’s fault. You don’t need to climb the roof of your house or hold your hand out of the window of your mother’s room to get some reception.

Here 6 hacks you can use to improve your phone’s reception:

1. Find out how much signal you're actually getting: The signal bar on your phone doesn’t reflect the true amount of signal your phone can connect to. That’s why sometime you could have a full bar and still be unable to make phone calls.

So how do you check how much service you’re actually getting? For iPhones, dial *3001#12345#* then press call. It will enter a secret field testing mode that shows the real strength of your signal in the upper left corner of the screen.

If you’re an Android user, Go to Menu-Settings-About Phone-Status, then look for the signal strength indicator. You’ll see that signal strength is measured in dBm (decibel milliwatts).

2. Signal Mapping: -70 dBm is a really good signal while anything above -100 dBm is basically a dead zone. How is this information of use to you? Try walking around your house and stopping in each room for a couple minutes, to make a map of which areas have the strongest signal and which areas have the weakest.

That’s way you’ll know all the ideal calling locations in your house where the signals are strongest. You can also do this at your office of regular hangout spot.

3. Open Signal: You can also check the cell tower (mast) you’re connected to at a particular moment. If you have an Android, go to the Play Store and download a free app called Open Signal. Open the app and click the tower icon on the left-hand side, and it’ll bring you to a map view of your area. Give it a sec and you should see a red line that pops up between your phone and the tower it is connected to, which in most cases isn’t the nearest one.

If you click on the tower icon, you will get GPS directions to the tower in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen so you could take a walk and make a real life ‘connection’ with that cell tower.

4. Reboot signal: Your phone will usually stay connected to a particular tower even if one with a stronger signal is nearby and this may be affecting your call your signal quality.

Try rebooting the signal. You can do this by putting your phone in airplane mode for about 3-secs, restarting your phone, turning it off and turn it on, or using Open Signal.

5. Charge Battery: When your phone is low on battery, your phone has much less power to utilize to ping towers around and get you a stronger connection. So if you’re getting poor signals, the solution could be as simple as charging your battery.

6. Roll down the windows: Buildings are very good at keeping out the elements but that could be bad for cell phone reception. Same way, your car is a big metallic box with windows covered in metallic tint. As such, if you notice you are struggling to get a signal in your car, all you may need to do is just roll down your windows.


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