You’ve moved into your brand new apartment only to discover the worst: Bad cell reception! Fear not, it’s not the end of (connecting with) the world… there is one simple solution to getting better cell phone reception in your apartment.
Regardless of why the cell phone reception in your apartment is bad, the easiest fix is hooking yourself up with a personal home WiFi network.
Home WiFi is personal wireless network that uses a radio signal to connect your devices to the Internet instead of a wire. An internet connection comes into your building through a hard line which is then connected to a WiFi router in your apartment, which converts that internet connection into a two-way radio signal. Connect your phone to that signal and, boom, you have your own personal and private wireless local area network (LAN).
Using WiFi with your phone will allow you to browse the internet and use most of your apps without needing better cell reception because WiFi does not require a cellular signal. Additionally, if your phone service charges for using above a certain amount of data per month, using WiFi does not count towards your data plan.
You may still have difficulty sending text messages and making phone calls if you have bad cell reception in your apartment, because SMS and voice’s mobile network signal is different from your data signal. This can be solved by using WiFi calling, a service through your phone provider, which allows texts and phone calls to be sent and received over WiFi.
Alternately, you can use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) apps like Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber, and iMessage for text and voice.
Most people purchase an internet service subscription from their local cable company, which will also rent you a wireless router to turn their internet signal into your Wi-Fi signal. If you’re cord-cutting, most cable companies also offer an internet-only package.
Unfortunately if you choose not to go through a cable or satellite operator, there are few WiFi options. If you’re lucky enough to live where Google Fiber is offered (currently in about 20 cities), that may be your best alternative. Additionally, some cities offer Google Fiber Webpass, a similar service for apartments only.
Alternately, public WiFi is available in many cities that may reach into your home. Just scan for these networks on your phone and connect. Much like the free WiFi you find at your local coffee shop, the service is free but most likely comes with a slower signal and a variety of security risks. Be sure to research that service’s security and protect your connection before you log on.
Hooking yourself up with WiFi is just one of many solutions to getting better cell reception in your apartment, but it’s the best place to start.