on May 19, 2016 James N
So, we've already covered finding your nearest cell phone tower. But the question is this: Are there any magical smartphone apps that can instantly give full bars, great signal, and faster internet?
And can this app also summon unicorns to our doorsteps, magically turn all things into fluffy marshmallows, and finally deliver the inner peace we've been looking for?
For non-sarcastic people, that means no.
But, but, but, what about this you say:
Ah, yes. So you spend hundreds on a smartphone or cellphone, get stuck with a 2-year contract with high monthly fees, and a sticker--
Yes. A STICKER will surprisingly boost your bars & party like it's 1999.
Sadly, the answer is still no.
However, there are legitimate smartphone apps that can tell you exactly just how poor your signal is and even the nearest cell tower locations.
But first a little lesson.
They're subjective across all carriers.
What's 1 bar on T-Mobile might be 3 bars on Verizon might be 2 bars on Sprint might be full bars on AT&T despite having the EXACT same signal and performing at the EXACT same speeds.
There's no standard. Each carrier can determine what's 1,2,3, full bars on their own service. So who's telling the truth? Or here's a better question for you, do you trust them?
Luckily, there's a better way to measure your cell phone signal and that's by looking at decibel gain.
Cell phone signals are measured in dB (decibels). They're essentially radio waves, the AM/FM kind that are great at traveling long distances but easily get interrupted and lead to spotty service. That's when a cell phone signal booster comes in handy.
Anyway, all cellular devices operate within this standard:-50 dB to -120 dB frequency.
-50 dB is considered full strength (full bars). -120 dB is considered a dead zone (no service).
dB readings are not subjective, all cell phone signal in US & Canada need to operate within this range to work. The closer you
Probably the most complete of the all the apps. Tests wi-fi & cellular signal speeds. Best thing is the network rank which shows the best carriers that serve your area with a robust coverage map. And the speed test shows download & upload speeds and ranks them whether you have enough for decent web browsing, video, and VoIP calls. Highly recommended.
Another good one to download. Good coverage map (probably Google Maps) with comparisons to other carriers and their respective upload and download speeds.
Like the others, a very good app that shows network speeds with a detailed coverage map.
It's only available for iOS & iPhone, and it's $2.99. However, unlike the others, it's usable offline, meaning you don't have to be connected to the web for it to find cell towers, because they're already stored (& updated!) in the app.
Download: For iPhone
So where the heck are your closest cell towers? This app uses Google Maps and shows actual and possible cell towers near your area. Hasn't been updated in awhile and recent reviews aren't so good, so your mileage may vary with this one.
Besides using apps, you can also your smartphones to access your dB reading. Remember, anything towards -50 dB is great signal and anything towards -120 dB is a dead zone.
Once you have a dB reading, then you know just how accurately good, average, or bad your signal strength is. -50 dB to - 79 dB is very good signal. -80 dB to - 99 dB is an average signal. -100 dB to -120 dB is below average or poor signal.
And if you walk around the perimeter of your house, you can generally tell the location of your cell tower because your dB reading will dip towards -50 dB. How's that for two birds and one stone?
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