The iPhone is an incredible device and a joy to use. But not if you have weak signal. Poor cell phone signal at home, in the office, or in your vehicle can make your shiny Apple device quickly go from technological wonder to huge frustration. In this guide, we explain what's causing that poor signal and how a cell phone signal booster can help.
First off, lets discuss what's causing those low bars. There are three main causes:
The distance to the nearest cell phone tower has a big impact on your signal. You must be "within range" of a cell tower for your phone to work. Signal can be reduced by hills, buildings, trees, and even the weather - wind, rain, lightening, and ice can all effect your connection to the tower.
The biggest cause of weak iPhone signal however is often not the tower itself, but the building you are in. The cause of your low bars is far more likely to be due to the construction materials used in your home or office. Cellular signals have a hard time passing through metal and concrete walls. Many homes and offices use wire mesh in their drywall that can block cell signal.
If you can get iPhone signal outside your building, on the roof, or from an upstairs window, but not indoors, then the problem is likely to be building materials interfering with your signal - and a cell phone signal booster (also known as a repeater) could fix the problem.
The same effect can also be seen in a car, truck or RV. The metal frame of the vehicle blocks electromagnetic fields and frequency waves, making it difficult for cell signal to penetrate inside.
The last factor is "inter-cell interference," and while it won't cause you to drop calls, it can dramatically reduce your data speeds. If you're located just between multiple towers, your phone will have a hard time detecting and decoding the signal from the tower it's connected to.
If you have weak or no cell signal indoors, installing an FCC-approved cell signal booster can greatly improve your coverage. Signal boosters are "bi-directional amplifiers" - that means they amplify the signal being sent to and from your nearest cellphone tower.
A signal booster is a hardware device that you can install in your home, office or vehicle. Booster kits typically contain two antennas: one that communicates with the cellphone tower, and another that communicates with your phone. The outside antenna receives an outside signal and transmits it to an amplifier. The amplifier boosts the signal and rebroadcasts it inside via the inside antenna, eliminating dead coverage zones. Booster kits include antennas, amplifier and cables to connect the system.
Yes! Almost all cell phone signal boosters on the market today support 4G LTE frequencies. Our full range of 4G LTE boosters can be found here.
Yes - once you're using a booster kit, your phone will see stronger 2G, 3G and 4G signals, and as a result you should no longer drop calls.
Unfortunately not. iOS apps don't have access to the cellular radio your phone uses to communicate with the tower. There's no way for an app to improve your signal strength.
Finding the right cell phone booster kit isn't hard. But we've made it even easier.
Our Guide to Cell Phone Signal Boosters explains exactly which kit is best for each application and signal condition.
You can also check out our full listings of products for each of these applications: