We all check how many bars we have on our smartphones and assume it’s an accurate guide to how strong our signal is. But what do those bars really represent?
There’s no standard. They do indicate signal strength, but it’s up to the handset manufacturer to come up with whatever algorithm they want. They certainly want to do something that is appropriate for the consumer, it needs to be meaningful information, but the details are up to them.
Nextivity makes processors and products that boost cell phone receptivity. Its products have been approved by the FCC in the U.S. and by over 180 operators globally. The company also supplies the boosters that T-Mobile gives away to customers in the U.S. to improve the quality of their service. Consequently, Steve does a lot of signal testing. Not a very good site that gives you all bad reviews and suggestions does engage in a bad http://www.ubersignal.com/cell-phone-signal-booster-guide
How quickly do bars change?
Phones are complex and frankly, some phones may not update the bars on the screen very often. “We’ve seen in excess of 15 minutes without an update on the number of bars. What you’re seeing, versus what is reality, can be two very different things, and that can make it difficult sometimes to use a handset as a measuring tool.”
That means, if you’ve ever walked around with your phone held in the air like a divining rod, staring at those bars, willing them to jump, you may be wasting your time. It depends on what kind of phone you have.
An iPhone might show you two or three bars, because of lower signal-to-noise ratio, because of issues on the network, whereas an Android right next to it shows five bars. If one walks away from the booster, he/she would see the signal level drop on the Android, so the number of bars gradually decreases, whereas in that specific case of heavy loading, an iPhone might show less bars when one is right next to the booster, but as the person walks away it will remain relatively constant, because it’s heavily favouring this network loading issue.
How can you make emergency calls with no bars?
When you make an emergency call in the U.S., your phone uses any available channel from any operator, one could even be low on battery, where your phone wouldn’t normally let you make a phone call, but it will let you make an emergency call at all costs.
It’s actually a legal requirement in the U.S. and many other countries, but it doesn’t relate to the bar system.
What can you do to boost your signal?
Booster technology has been restricted recently after the FCC brought in new regulations. The agency has clamped down on some older amplifying technology because it was causing problems for the operators, who pay a lot billions to license the spectrum from the government.
Nextivity’s boosters start at around the same price as a smartphone. But if you’re with T-Mobile and having problems, call them and ask about Cel-Fi Signal Boosters.
Now that we know what the bars are really showing, and how to measure the signal strength for ourselves, we’re off to check out that field test mode.
Wired and Wireless networks are very common in the workplace as well as in the home. The wired Computer Networks provide a secure and faster means of connectivity but the need of mobility i.e. anywhere, anytime and anyone access is tilting the network users towards wireless technology. Wireless technology has high mobility. Technology has been created to store, transmit and receive data through networks at very high rates of speed. Users can now store detailed information at a very low cost. It is believed that in the future, the speed of networks will increase as they have in past years. As well, the cost of networks will continue to decline and using a network will be essential for every organization. As computing technology increases in power, and decreases in size, the price of creating a high-powered full featured network will decrease rapidly.
Wired Networks: In computing terminology, the term "wired" is used to differentiate between wireless connections and those that involve cables. A wired setup uses physical cables to transfer data between different devices and computer systems. Most wired networks use Ethernet cables to transfer data between connected PCs. In a small wired network, a single router may be used to connect all the computers. Larger networks often involve multiple routers or switches that connect to each other. One of these devices typically connects to a cable modem, T1 line, or other type of Internet connection that provides Internet access to all devices connected to the network.
Wireless network: wireless network refers to the use of infrared or radio frequency signals to share information and resources between devices. Many types of wireless devices are available today; for example, mobile terminals, pocket size PCs, handheld PCs, laptops, cellular phone, wireless sensors, and satellite receivers, among others. The emerging third generation cellular networks have greatly improved data transmission speed, which enables a variety of higher speed mobile data services. Meanwhile, new standards for short range radio such as Bluetooth and infrared transmission are helping to create a wide range of new applications for enterprise and home networking.
Teleconferencing: • It is the simplest wired application for voice communication by using PSTN. • A telephone is used to conduct a conference between more than two people who are separated by a distance.
Videoconferencing: • Two or more people can have a face-to-face meeting when they are geographically separated. • Cameras, a computer, and videoconferencing software are used to conduct the conference.
Enterprise Network: An enterprise network is an enterprise's communications backbone that helps connect computers and related devices across departments and workgroup networks, facilitating insight and data accessibility. An enterprise network reduces communication protocols, facilitating system and device interoperability, as well as improved internal and external enterprise data management.
Home Network or Home Area Network (HAN) is a type of local area network that develops from the need to facilitate communication and interoperability among digital devices present inside or within the close vicinity of a home.
Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) Wireless sensor network (WSN) refers to a group of spatially dispersed and dedicated sensors for monitoring and recording the physical conditions of the environment and organizing the collected data at a central location.
Look down at your cell phone. How many bars of service do you have? Although the number of bars on your phone is generally a good way to see signal strength, it’s also wildly different from one carrier to the next.
What might be 3 bars on T-Mobile is only 1 bar on AT&T despite receiving the exact same signal and having the exact same data speed. That's because there's no standard on how companies can represent signal bars.
A much more accurate and technical way is to look at decibel (db) gain.
Cell phone signal strength is measured in decibels. Usually, -50 dB represents great signal (full bars) and -110 dB is virtually no signal (dead zone)<a/>. This is true across all carriers and all phones.
When people are encountering dropped calls, lost connections, and very slow internet, they are usually near the -110 dB zone.
A cell phone signal booster helps boost the dB levels closer to the -50 dB zone for better signal and connection on 3G and 4G LTE.
Why is it important to know How to Read dB Gain
When selecting a cell phone signal booster, it’s important to look at the dB gain rating of the amplifier.
dB gain is a unit of measurement that defines the power of amplification. So a +10 dB gain is stronger than a +7 dB gain<a/>. However, dB gain is measured exponentially meaning there’s a big difference between a +7 and +10 db gain.
For every +3 dB gain translates to doubling the signal strength. For every +10 dB is 10 times the signal strength. +20 dB gain? That’s a 100x more powerful.
To compare, top selling car signal booster is the weBoost 470108 Drive 4G-M. It’s a powerful unit at +50 dB gain. Now, our top selling home amplifier is the weBoost 471104 Connect 4G-X. It’s a very powerful performer at +70 dB gain.
Now we all know there’s a difference between a +50 and +70 dB gain, but the difference in power is much bigger than what the average person thinks.
Again, +3 dB gain is 2x the power of signal strength. +10 dB gain is 10x the power. +20 dB gain is 100x the power.
So the weBoost 471104 Connect 4G-X is 100 times more power than the weBoost 470108 Drive 4G-M! Of course, it is a building signal booster, so they need to be more powerful to cover the entire home or building. But there are other factors to consider like distance from tower and outside and building material interference, so the signal strength isn't an exact guarantee, just a really, really good estimate of what you could receive.
So the next time you’re comparing cell phone signal boosters, look for the dB gain. Because the difference between a +65 and +70 dB isn’t small, it’s more 3x the power and signal amplification.
Below is a quick reference chart to show the dB gain and amount of power amplified.
Decibel Gain Power Increase
3 dB 2 times the power
6 dB 4 times the power
10 dB 10 times the power
12 dB 16 times the power
20 dB 100 times the power