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Weekend of April 17, 2020 – Hour 1

Tech News and Commentary

Dave and the team discuss anonymized coronavirus alerts, and more.

Ken in Smyrna, Tennessee and asked: “I need to find something to boost the cell signal in a rural area where the signal is very spotty. My friend calls me and we have very difficult communication. Receiving is normally good on my end, but transmitting out to my friend is spotty. Is there anything that will boost the signal so we can communicate better. I am blind and I rely on this friend quite a bit.”

Ken, if you don’t have a signal outside there’s not much you can do that will change that.

You can try repeaters, and those may work if they have large and powerful antennas, but typically unless there’s an ok signal somewhere, then there’s nothing to repeat in the first place.

WiFi is a viable solution for calls that happen within your home, most phones and carriers offer WiFi calling these days, so you should be able to just connect your phone to your home network and use it as if it was using a cellular connection.

If you’re on the go, WeBoost makes a repeater for cars but our guess is that doesn’t apply in your case since this is a friend you say you rely on, so it’s likely that he’s helping you with the driving more often than other people.

Something you might look into are devices called femtocells, microcells or metrocells. These devices are their own tiny cell phone tower. The first two are great to use indoors while metrocells are good for outdoor use. Whichever you choose, each needs to be connected to high-speed internet to be able to work well.

Unfortunately these do take up a chunk of bandwidth. They also are generally carrier-specific, so it’d be a lot easier to go through your cell phone carrier to get one of these.

The other option is more old-fashioned: using an external antenna – or a cell phone booster like we mentioned earlier. They do tend to work well – as long as you have a usable signal OUTSIDE your home, to bring INSIDE your home.

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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