Here’s How To Get The Best Cellphone Signal Inside Your Home
It’s not just fancy new high-rises that can have spotty cellphone service. Dropped calls and slow data can be caused by everything from the construction materials used in a building to topographical obstructions like hills or mountains. Here are some ways to improve cellphone reception, whether you live in the basement of a brownstone, in a penthouse of a prewar apartment building or in a house deep in the country.
Get a Personal Cell Site
If your cellphone doesn’t work inside your home or even when you step outside the building to make a call, you might consider a femtocell. Often described as a mini base station, this small wireless device connects to your carrier’s network via your home’s broadband connection, enabling you to make calls and send data, usually between 3,000 and 5,000 square feet from where it is placed. Devices like AT&T’s MicroCell and Verizon’s Network Extender cost between $150 and $250.
If you have access to Wi-Fi, you can make calls and send text over the Internet using apps like Viber and Skype at no charge, so long as the person you are calling or messaging also has downloaded the service. T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint also support Wi-Fi calling.
Buy a Booster
If you can make calls in one room of your home but not others, a signal booster, also known as a repeater, may help. When put in a spot with a strong signal, such as in front of a window, this small antenna-equipped device captures and amplifies that signal. Most signal boosters come with an antenna that can be mounted outside to help pump up a weak signal inside.
The boosters are sold by various retailers with prices ranging from about $250, for models meant for one or two rooms, to about $400 for entire homes. Some carriers also provide them at no charge through customer service.