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Help Me, Tom's Guide: How Do I Get a Better Cellphone Signal?

When your kids head off to college, it's challenging enough to get them to call home regularly. So, if they do phone you, you certainly want those calls coming through loud and clear.

Unfortunately, that's not what's happening for reader Pat, who emailed to share this paternal lament with us:

If that sounds like a lot of effort to go through just to get a better signal, I'd suggest looking to another carrier that provides more-reliable service in your specific area. (And, really, one of the big benefits of having prepaid wireless service is that you can up and leave for another provider practically at will.)

This will require a little legwork on your part. When I moved to my house — you know, the one without any AT&T coverage — I borrowed cellphones tied to different carriers to see which signal worked best where I live. That's likely not an option for everyone, so I'd suggest, Pat, that your son talk to other people in his dorm, particularly those who live on the same floor, to see who provides their cellphone service and whether they're happy with call quality.

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Philip Michaels
Philip Michaels is a senior editor at Tom's Guide. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics and old movies. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.
  • djs27711
    Not only dropped calls
    My question is WHY would anyone pay thousands of $for a smartphone when you can't reach anyone
    I think why so many never upgrade is the nmodems in the phones are TERRIBLE until phone makers put a better modem in thier phones I'll just buy nothing