Whether you’ve noticed or not, when your call quality drops, you instinctively move around. This is because during the time of the Nokia 5110, that’s what we would do. And now in the age of the smartphone, when it comes to finding strong signals for our calls, the old way is still best. Here are a few additional methods you can try to boost the quality of your phone’s signal when you’re at home (or even when you’re out and about):
- Move to a window
Cellphone signals and their signal towers communicate better when there’s minimal obstruction. This is why we lose signal when we enter elevators or underground parking lots. There’s so much concrete, metal, and a lot of other materials blocking your phone from sending a signal to its tower that there will be times when you bottom out. At home, you can move to a window or an open door before you make or accept a call.
- Reset your phone
Sometimes, you pass by a dead spot of your provider’s signal on your way home and your phone can have a difficult time re-orienting itself to finding a signal tower close by. When this happens, just restart your phone. This will speed up the resetting process of your device and will often result in great signal strength.
- Keep your battery topped off
The continued search for signal done by your phone draws power, especially if you’re using apps that need some sort of GPS (like Snapchat or Pokémon GO). Keep power levels at max to make sure your phone doesn’t lose its ability to keep its link to a signal tower.
- Check where you have the strongest signal at home
Cellular signal strength is measured in decibels, and is presented by the little bars we’ve all known to check whenever our call quality drops. However, there’s no universally-accepted standard decibel level for each bar, so a phone may display two bars while another brand of phone will display four, but both are operating at the same strength and quality. The best way to know where your provider’s signal is strongest in your home is to check it yourself.
For iOS users, dial and call *3001#12345#*. This will put you in Field Test mode (and won’t actually deduct from your free minutes, don’t worry). Drag your Notifications Bar down and you’ll see the decibel reading on the left-hand corner.
For Android users, go to Settings > About Phone > tap Network or Status. You’ll see your decibel strength under Signal Strength.
Keep in mind of the number you see on your phone. The range is usually -50 to -150 decibels with -50 is full strength, while -150 is a dead zone. Note down the decibel readings in the different areas in your home. The closer you are to -50, the better your call quality will be.
- Change network providers
Perhaps the best way to increase your cellphone signal is the acceptance that your provider doesn’t have a lot of coverage in your area. Yes, we’ve all heard horror stories about switching providers, but a quick trip to the providers’ stores and asking about their coverage in your area can give you information before making the best possible choice on whether to switch or not.
- Use your Wi-Fi instead
If you’re really in a pinch, signal-wise, and need to make that call, go connect to your home’s Wi-Fi and use Facebook Messenger or Viber, or the multitude of other messaging apps out there to do it. Just be sure to be near your router or signal booster to get maximum call clarity and/or video quality. The best part of it is that it doesn’t consume load and you get to video chat with the person you’re contacting.