Q:

What are some ways to improve cellphone reception?

A:

Quick Answer

Using a signal booster, making minor modifications to a phone using household items or using specialized applications can boost cell phone reception. As of 2014, some phones still have jacks for external antennas where a small scrap of wire or a paperclip can be inserted to improve reception.

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Full Answer

Signal boosters, sometimes called repeaters, can also improve indoor signal strength by picking up a strong wireless signal using an outdoor antenna, then relaying that signal to a set of indoor antennas in the areas where reception is poor. Signal boosters work on specific frequencies, so only install a booster that supports the carrier's frequency. As of 2014, most mainstream repeaters support 2G and 3G networks. Some higher-end repeaters also support 4G signals but only for specific networks.

Boost signal strength and quality by clearing obstructions that are blocking or interfering with reception. Metal meshes, such as screen doors and windows, absorb electromagnetic radiation, decreasing indoor signal quality. These metal meshes can be replaced with plastic counterparts to improve reception.

Phone applications like Fresh Network and Open Signal claim to boost signal strength by disconnecting the phone from the network and then reconnecting it to the strongest signal tower. Some applications can also recalibrate the phone's radio for maximum efficiency. Although they aren't inherently capable of boosting the signal strength or quality, some apps can still enhance performance in poor signal quality conditions.

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