it’s 2017 and the majority of the world owns and uses a mobile phone. However, not all of those users have reliable reception (Sorry Sprint users). There are going to be times when you absolutely need to get a signal. Here are a few tips for when every bar counts and you need to improve mobile phone reception.
1. Get higher.
Some cell phones don’t perform well at low elevations. Increasing your elevation can improve mobile phone reception because you may be closer to a signal. Plus, the higher you are, the fewer obstructions there are to get between your phone and the signal. You can start by holding your phone above your head to try to pick up a signal or, better yet, move to a higher location, like a rooftop or the top of a hill.
2. Move closer to your provider’s signal.
By knowing where your cell phone provider has their towers setup, you can move closer to the signal and increase your reception. The fewer obstacles there are between your phone and the signal from your provider, the better. By downloading a signal map to your phone, you can easily find the closest cell phone towers.
3. Go outside, or close to it.
You’ve probably noticed that reception gets worse when you’re in the center of a building or underground. Big structures can seriously limit cell phone reception. Even being close to a big building, like in a city, can block the signal. Head towards a window, go outside or move to an emptier location, like an intersection that’s far from buildings.
4. Move away from other gadgets.
Electronic devices have a habit of interfering with cell phone reception. If you’re near a microwave, computer or other device, try moving away from it to improve mobile phone reception. If you can’t move away from the gadgets, try turning them off or unplugging them.
5. Charge your battery.
Your phone uses more energy when it’s placing a call than when it’s not being used or when you’re just browsing online. You need your battery in order to find a signal, so it’s a good idea to keep your phone well-charged at all times.
6. Adjust your settings.
When you have WiFi and Bluetooth turned on, your phone has to spend time searching for WiFi connections or Bluetooth-enabled devices to connect to. Turning off both WiFi and Bluetooth forces your phone to use its resources to look solely for a provider’s signal.
7. Use WiFi for your signal.
Some cell phones support UMA, which means you can use WiFi to get a signal if you’re not able to connect to your regular provider. Certain apps will also let you use WiFi for calling.
8. Use a 2G network.
Most phones will automatically connect to a 3G or 4G network, which provides mobile phones with high bandwidth. The farther you are from the tower, though, the harder it will be to get a signal. Try connecting to a 2G network, which has lower bandwidth but may give you better coverage. You’ll mainly see a difference when it comes to slower Internet speed, but you’re not likely to notice anything in terms of texting or calling. Plus, a 2G network won’t drain your battery as quickly as a faster network will.
Nothing working? Try restarting your phone. A host of cell phone problems can be solved by simply rebooting. If you don’t normally have a reception problem but can’t seem to find a signal at the moment, try turning off your phone and turning it back on after 10 seconds.