Marshall Stevenson
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Why Your House Is a 3G and Wi-Fi Dead Zone

Here are a few reasons why that might be, along with some suggestions for making things right.

Few things are as frustrating as finding that you can’t connect to the internet in your home. A speedy internet connection is all but essential for even the simplest of tasks today. From taking classes, and applying to jobs, to connecting with friends, and getting a date on a Saturday night, you can’t do much (or, at least, do it easily), without an internet connection. No wonder, then, that 88 percent of Americans say that the internet plays an important role in their daily routines.

Unfortunately, you’ll have times when the internet connection in your home–be it Wi-Fi or cellular–just isn’t enough.

Why Your 3G Reception Is So Bad at Home

A lot of factors go into the quality of your smartphone’s network reception, but a couple of things loom largest of all. Those factors are the distance between your home and the nearest cell tower, and whether or not there are major obstructions between your home and that tower.

The further away you are from the nearest cell tower, of course, the weaker you can expect your signal strength to be. Things like mountains and tall buildings, standing in the way of the signal, can also really disrupt your service.

So what can you do if you are getting poor 3G service in your house or apartment? Do you just have to move if you want better reception? Fortunately, no. You can do a few things to troubleshoot your smartphone, plus one big thing that you can do to actively improve the reception in your space:

First, try turning your phone off and on, and toggling the 3G and cellular service on and off. Sometimes, a fresh shot at locating the nearest cell signal is all that your phone really needs.

Failing that, try a wireless signal booster–an AT&T signal booster, Verizon signal booster, or other related device. These little electronic devices can really go a long way toward helping your home stay connected.

Why isn't your Wi-Fi strong enough?

It’s one thing when your 3G signal doesn’t reach your house strongly enough. But your Wi-Fi is generated by the router inside of your home, so there’s no good reason that you should be dealing with lousy Wi-Fi connectivity. Yet that’s the reality for so many of us! What’s going on?

A few things could be at play here. The biggest factor is almost certainly your Wi-Fi router itself. Not all Wi-Fi routers are the same, and the one that your internet service provider gives you is probably not the one that you want to rely on. Instead, invest in a decent router that will give you a powerful and steady Wi-Fi connection.

Think about placement, too. If your Wi-Fi router is far from the devices that you’re trying to connect to the internet with. For instance, if your Wi-Fi router is in your basement, and you’re trying to use an iPad on the second floor, then you’re likely to have a hard time getting the strong signal that you want. Move your Wi-Fi router to a central location that is convenient to your most-used devices. You may also want to consider bypassing your Wi-Fi entirely for some devices. With the right router placement, you could connect things like smart TVs and personal computers to the internet using an Ethernet cable (and wired connections are virtually always faster than even the strongest Wi-Fi).

If all else fails, consider a Wi-Fi signal booster or a mesh router system. These two options work similarly: they use boosting devices to amplify the Wi-Fi signal from various points in your home, giving you better overall coverage and better connectivity.

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