Having trouble with your cell phone reception? It could be that the cell towers near you are being overloaded by data and calls, or it could just be an issue with your carrier’s service. 

Either way, there are some simple ways to test your cell phone signal strength on your phone, no matter what type of cell phone you have or what carrier you use. Take note of these five easy methods to test cell phone signal strength on your phone.

1) Download an app

There are a few different ways that you can test the signal strength on your phone. One way is to download a signal strength testing app. There are many of these apps available for both iPhone and Android devices. 

However, some of them may not be accurate in what they measure so it’s best to find one from a well-known company. The app will work by asking you to go outside and then it will provide readings from bars or from 0-100%. A good rule of thumb is that 3 bars or higher means there’s an excellent chance that the connection will work perfectly in most areas; 2 bars means there’s still an acceptable chance; 1 bar means there’s little chance, and no bars means there’s no connection at all.

For Android users, a popular app that can be used to test your signal strength is called Sensorly. The app works in a similar way to some of the iPhone apps and it is free. It also has an interactive map that shows you how good or bad your area’s cell phone coverage is at any given time. 

The company behind Sensorly says its goal with creating it was to make people better informed about their networks. If you’re looking for information on your own carrier’s coverage and performance, download Sensorly from Google Play.

2) Get access to the information about your cell phone network

If you’re having trouble with your cell phone service, there are a few things you can do to test the signal strength in your area and gain some key information about your network coverage. Here’s how:

First, get your device out and look at it. Do you see a cell phone signal strength indicator? If so, move around and check in different locations to get an idea of how strong your service is in different places. Some phones can show you extra information about your data speeds or network names as well. If you don’t have one of these features on your phone, consider getting an app that can help with testing coverage where you live or work. 

You could also take a peek at coverage maps from websites like OpenSignalMaps or Sensorly (discussed above) to compare against what you’re seeing from your own device’s connectivity tool.

3) Use another cell phone

Do you know you can use another cell phone to test your current handset network coverage? 

If you have a friend or family member with a different carrier, you can ask to borrow their phone for a quick test. Simply make a call and pay attention to how many bars of signal you have. If you have full bars, then your cell phone signal is strong. 

How to increase cell phone signal strength

There are a few simple things you can do to try and increase your cell phone signal strength in case it falls below the satisfactory level. 

  1. First, make sure that your phone is not in Airplane Mode. 
  2. If you’re using an iPhone, try resetting your network settings. Go to Settings -> General -> Reset, and then select Reset Network Settings. 
  3. Another thing you can try is to move to a higher ground. This could mean going up a flight of stairs or even just standing on a chair. 
  4. If you’re still having trouble, consider turning off any power-saving features on your phone. These features can sometimes interfere with your signal strength. Power saving mode will automatically turn off data once it’s been inactive for a certain amount of time. Turning it off might be worth the risk if you need more bars. 
  5. Lastly, you should also try changing the frequency on your phone to one that works better for where you live and work.