Most of us have unfortunately at one time or another experienced poor mobile reception on the iPhone – The weak signal is commonly
due to factors outside of our control such as:
· Distance from the radio mast
· Interference caused by geographical factors such as hills, or living in a basement flat
Living in a rural location miles from anywhere, it’s quite possible you might only receive 2G and no 3G at all, but at least having a strong 2G signal is better than nothing. Here are a few things that you can do to boost your signal.
1. Disable 3G:
It might sound strange, but turning off 3G can actually boost your signal because in the UK at least, there are more and stronger 2G signals available than 3G. This is fine if you just want to make some phone calls and send a few SMS messages, but not really that great if you want to do anything else such as surfing the web or sending an email. One major advantage of disabling 3G also is that your battery should last longer, but of course you won’t be able to enjoy high speed data.
Instructions to turn off 3G on your iPhone:
1. Go to Settings
2. Select General
3. Select Mobile Data
4. Turn off Mobile Data and Enable 3G
Now it’s worth checking your signal – hopefully it’s gained an extra bar or two.
2. Removing the iPhone from the case:
Removing your phone from the case can supposedly increase your signal strength, because most normal cases slightly dampen the signal from your iPhone. Putting your phone on a flat surface without the case will enable it to get the strongest signal possible. However, there are cases available that claim to actually boost your signal, such as those from case maker Pong. We’ve not been able to try these out personally, but reviews on the Internet are quite positive.
Pong cases feature a cool design and claim to increase the signal as well as protecting you from radiation – and they’re quite rugged to boot. Besides such cases that enhance your mobile signal, there are also a few specialist cases available that boost your Wi-Fi signal only. This can be quite handy if you use Wi-Fi a lot but can’t quite lock onto weak signals in your area.
3. Prefer to use a signal booster
One guaranteed way to improve your iPhone’s reception is to use what is known as a signal booster – typically a small device that you use at home to increase your signal strength. They work by boosting the radio waves between your phone and the transmitter, or by acting as a local mobile phone cell (connected to your home network) and are often called a femtocell. These act just like tiny base stations and can really help to improve the cell phone signal reception.
4.Put your iPhone in an empty glass:
We did say this would include some creative ways to boost your signal…apparently sticking your iPhone in an empty glass can vastly increase your signal strength. Having tried this method, I cannot really see a vast improvement but it is worth having a go somewhere you know has a poor reception.
5. Use a signal finding App
There are several apps available on the App Store, which can help you find the strongest mobile, or Wi-Fi signals in your area, based on crowd-sourced data or information provided by the mobile phone companies. While they will not physically improve your reception with the touch of a button, such apps will
help you find the best location in order to get the best chance of a decent signal, without having to randomly walk around town. Additionally, it can be quite convenient knowing where the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot is located when you’re visiting somewhere new and need to get online quickly without racking up large mobile data charges
One such free application is called OpenSignal, which also has a few nifty built-in features such as a speed tester.