You probably know the best place in your home to make a call on your smartphone. It’s usually going by a window or stepping outside, away from any interferences. I own a modern house built primarily with steel, and it’s like living in a Faraday cage.
Speaking of your home, want to be shocked? Your iPhone has a hidden map that tracks everywhere you have been. Tap or click here to learn how to find it in your phone’s settings.
There has been a steady stream of new iPhones. If you’re wondering which one is best for you, check my handy iPhone buying guide on my site.
No matter which iPhone you use, you’ll invariably deal with a bad or no signal at some point. Here are some quick fixes:
1. Use Airplane Mode
I’m sure you know the easiest way to fix any tech – reboot it. Turning on and off a phone takes time. Fortunately, you can achieve the same connection results by toggling Airplane Mode on and off.
Turning Airplane Mode on and off forces your phone to reestablish its connection to the network. Navigate to the Control Center by swiping up or down on your phone’s screen, depending on which iPhone you have, and tap the Airplane Mode button.
Wait at least 5 seconds and tap the Airplane Mode button a second time to turn off the feature.
2. Try Wi-Fi calling
Do you often experience signal issues in your home or workspace but have a dependable Wi-Fi connection? You may want to substitute your cellular network for the Wi-Fi calling option on your iPhone.
To do this, open Settings > scroll down and tap Phone > Wi-Fi Calling. Then, toggle the button next to Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone to the right to turn it on. That’s it, Wi-Fi Calling is now enabled.
Making calls via your Wi-Fi connection may provide you with clearer reception than your cellular network does. However, you may still experience poor signal when browsing the internet or using an app.
MORE TIPS YOU NEED FOR YOUR PHONE:
3. Know the secret Field Test trick
Let’s start at the beginning. Your cellphone signal strength is measured in decibels (dBm). Remember, your phone’s signal strength ranges depending on several factors, from any interferences to how far you are located from a cellphone tower.
If the dBm approaches -120, you are located in what we fondly refer to as a “dead zone.” Anything better than -100 is considered a usable signal. A strong signal is -40 or better. So, the closer that number is to zero, the better the phone’s signal.
You can check your iPhone signal strength by using its secret Field Test mode. Open the Phone app and dial *3001#12345#*on the keypad. In a few seconds, you’ll see a mishmash of numbers.
On the top right side, there is a menu. Go through each list until you see an entry that contains rsrp. That is your phone’s signal strength. If this number at home or your office is low, it’s time for Step 4.
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4. Try a cell signal booster
If you have a consistently poor signal at home or the office, invest in an iPhone cell signal booster.
A booster works in any location with an existing cell signal that needs amplifying. They are also relatively easy to use and install, but they can be a little pricey, given that cell signal boosters contain cellular radios in them. This technology is why boosters consistently work for most iPhone users.
One popular option from Amazon is the weBoost Home Boost signal kit. It works with all U.S. carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Straight Talk, and U.S. Cellular. You simply connect the booster to an outdoor antenna. No tools or drilling required.
At 60 dB max gain, the booster won’t interrupt carriers’ signals to and from the cell tower. With 20 dBm in uplink-output power and 12 dBm in downlink-output power, the booster easily reaches cellphone towers.
Alternatively, you can purchase a femtocell from your carrier. It uses your internet connection to establish a better cellular connection. Make sure you have a strong internet line before getting one.
5. Update the iOS
Keeping your operating system up to date is always a good idea. Not only do updates come with security patches for known flaws, but many times they also include tools that help your device run more smoothly. If you’re running an old version of iOS, it could be causing connection issues.
To update your iOS, open Settings > tap General > select Software Update. If an update is available, select Download and Install. It might take a few minutes, but once the update is installed you should have a better connection.
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Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 5 quick ways to boost your iPhone's signal strength from Kim Komando.