You are your cell phone.

Whether it's a Facebook post or tweet, furious session of Candy Crush, fast Yelp review, quick Wikipedia read, time-wasting YouTube video, Amazon shopping, an important business call, an urgent text message, email, etc. Our daily lives ARE our digital lives.

And our digital lives depend on two things: our cell phone (the vehicle) and cell phone signal (the gas).

Because even with the most expensive smartphone, without wifi or cell signals, what you've got is a very expensive calculator that can take photos.

So before you go off blaming your carrier, we're going to look at the best practices to get better cell phone signal.

Step 1: Remove the Clutter

Cell phone signals are simply radio waves (the AM/FM kind). Although they're great at traveling long distances, they can be easily disrupted.

Have you ever noticed how people run outside or towards the window when talking on the phone? That's because they're trying to reduce interference between the cell phone and cell tower.

So easy tips like moving outside, getting near a window (away from thick interior insulation), getting higher up to avoid barriers such as hills, mountains, metal structures, and tall buildings, and reducing clutter such as trimming tall trees and brushes and tidying up your room should help improve reception.

Also know that weather can also affect reception, too! But the rule of thumb is simple: less things between your cell phone and cell tower, the better the signal.

Try moving to different rooms around the house while using your phone. It could make a big difference.

<p>Sprint sent me one (said it was complimentary)...it does nothing...any ideas?</p>
<p>Hi Andrew, definitely look at getting a cell phone signal booster. There are several big brands from weBoost, zBoost, and SureCall. I can vouch for the two units I own.</p>
<p>well what units do you use?</p>
<p>I use weBoost. The one for home <a href="https://www.wilsonamplifiers.com/weboost-connect-4g-cell-phone-signal-booster-kit-470103/" rel="nofollow">Connect 4G</a> and one for car <a href="https://www.wilsonamplifiers.com/weboost-drive-4g-m-cell-phone-signal-booster-kit-470108/" rel="nofollow">Drive 4G</a>. I live in a 2,500 sq ft home, so I got something a little more powerful than what I needed, but I've been getting near full bars. So I basically cut the cord with Uverse a few months ago and haven't look backed. </p><p>Now I just need to find something to replace my HBO fix. </p>
<p>Wow, I never knew clutter IN your house could disrupt the reception. And thanks for sharing on how to access the dB reading on our phone, hopefully that'll help us, at work and home. And a question about holding the phones....what about when you're using the bluetooth? These are great tips though. Thanks for sharing them. :)</p>
<p>Unless the clutter is made up of metal or other very conductive (electrically or magnetically) material, it will have absolutely <strong>no</strong> effect on cell phone reception!</p>
<p>Hi Anna, actually using bluetooth is recommended. The less your phone is surrounded by disruption, the better. Today's smartphone is pretty good with less dropped signal with internal antennas but nothing will beat an external antenna but that signal won't be making a comeback soon.</p>
<p>I really didn't think clutter in your home was a big deal in terms of reception, but it does make a lot of sense. I hate trying to call someone at a place like Universal Studios because it is impossible to get a reception. I'll keep all of these excellent tips in line before I call the company complaining about how bad their reception is next time.</p>
<p>Thanks, Janiera. Yeah, it's small tips like these that can help get better signal. </p>
<p>I actually was recommended a cell phone booster from a friend, saw the prices on them, got a sticker shock, but as with anything else, you have to spend money for good quality. I wasn't going to spend more on a booster than my cell phone, so the SureCall TriFlex was out of the question. I did buy the weBoost, and am very happy with it. It does everything it claims to do. And since I travel a lot, I go to spots that don't always get the greatest reception....this is a MUST have in my baggage when traveling.</p>
<p>Hey Piper, thanks for the comment. Yeah, I definitely went with weBoost/Wilson Electronics. I'm a bit of a penny pitcher, so it's hard for me to spend money for something I already should be getting. But once I was satisfied with the car unit, I went with the home unit and have been a big fan of them. I basically cut the cord (goodbye, Uverse!) and have been enjoying strong 4G LTE at home.</p>
<p>I just switched over to AT&amp;T since my contract ran out....not too happy with the reception I've been receiving. Does anyone know if the cell phone boosters work with AT&amp;T on a farm? I've heard they're good, but I'm wary about the price.</p>
<p>Hey Trey, I was wary of them, too. So I went a car unit (much cheaper) while visiting Grand Canyon and the experience was night and day. One bar of 3G while driving around one of the biggest places in the world is not fun especially when I was lost. With the signal booster, I had full bars and sometimes even 4G which was a godsend.</p>
<p>I also tried out the field test in our house, the highest was -100, the lowest was -75....nothing too crazy. But I didn't know being in a huge crowd will disrupt your reception....guess we'll be leaving our cells in the car next time we go to a concert.</p>
<p>Hi Lucas, it really depends on the venue. For big events, they might wheel out some mobile stations. But I went to a public fireworks display and with thousands of people taking photos and trying to upload photos. It was a nightmare, even when trying to call and find friends.</p>
<p>Great tips. I work as a cell phone tech and these are what I tell our customers to try and do before sending it in for repairs. Will save money and time to try to fix issue yourself first.</p>
<p>Thanks, Brandon! I have a few friends who use T-Mobile and didn't know about Wi-Fi calling, so it lead me down this path of gathering tips.</p>
<p>The field test mode is neat. We have very poor service at our house, -105 dB. One room is a little better at -100 dB. At least I know where to run to when I have an important call! Thanks for the the info</p>
<p>Yikes, you're almost at a dead zone. Glad the info helped.</p>
<p>This is great info! Thanks for sharing! </p>
<p>Thanks! Nothing worst than no signal, so trying to help.</p>

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Bio: Introverted but somehow a chatterbox on the internet. It'll be nice to explain to my kids one day about how a cassette tape worked ... More »
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