Spending half a thousand dollars on a phone seems like a great idea when it can contact the world and stream a thousand shows, but when metal buildings block reception, that same phone is suddenly an expensive paperweight with a depleting battery. Reception can be fickle and is especially bad when a building is comprised of mostly metal. That same metal that conducts heat and electricity so well can also bounce or steal that wireless signal needed to launch apps. Some metal, like sheet metal, even deflects the signal entirely. There are solutions, though, and most are inexpensive and easy.

smartphone user

The easiest solution is a simple workaround: move your office. If you get reception in your guest bedroom and not your master suite, move your office into the guest bed. Work at a building and your laptop or phone can’t connect to the company wi-fi? Try adjusting your personal device closer to the window.  This usually alleviates some reception issues and maximizes available area for signals to pass through while minimizing the amount of metal interfering with watching family member’s cat videos.

If that doesn’t work, climb to the top of your house, or take the roof exit to your building if available and place an antenna outside. The best place is as high as possible without interference from walls, rails, and vents. Check local laws and regulations for antennae and broadcasting regulations.

If you can’t move your office or place an antennae outside, take a hint from classic national television and use a “bunny ear” antennae to pick up reception for your phone. The connector cable on the bunny ear antennae can connect to the phone’s radio frequency port. Simply adjust the ears until you get the best reception. Sometimes a little wiggle of the antennae goes a long way, so adjust in small increments.

Finally, if your phone gets reception but your laptop does not, turn your phone into a hotspot. The speed won’t be incredible, but it’s better than not being able to do anything.