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Want to increase signal bars, but what do they really mean?

Posted by on Mar 25, 2017

Before trying to increase your signal bars, put your phone into test mode for a more accurate way of reading your cell phone signal.

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Today, we're going to talk to you about the bars on your cell phone. Sure, we would love to have 4-5 bars all the time so we can make and receive calls properly and use the blazing fast 4G LTE mobile Internet. But what do the bars on your smart phone really mean? Honestly, the bars really don't mean much. One phone could show five bars and another phone could show two bars - While both phones are receiving the same signal strength! Therefore, for a more accurate way of reading your signal, we recommend putting your phone into a test mode.

Putting your cell phone into test mode.

If you have an iPhone, go to the dial out interface by tapping the "phone" button. Then dial *3001#12345#* and tap the "call" button. You will see that test mode comes up, and it says, "field test". There're some options below. Don't worry about those. Scroll down your notification bar. In the upper left hand corner of your phone, where your bars used to be, you will see the negative number. That is your signal strength. To make that number permanently show up, hold the power button for roughly five seconds. Then hold the home button for another five seconds. Now, that negative number should always appear in the top left corner of your phone. For any Android phone, go to your "apps". Then go into the "settings". Once in Settings, go to "General". Scroll all the way down until you see, "About Device". Click on About Device, then, "Status". You will find your signal strength reading right.

Why is it a negative number?

In test mode, you will notice there's a negative number. That is your signal strength. Don't worry, it is always going to be a negative number. The closer you get to zero, the better your signal will be. For instance, negative 100 or worse is not a good signal, possibly not even any signal at all. Negative 50 or better would be like you're standing next to a cell tower. That is an excellent signal.

Hopefully, you now know what the bars on your phone really mean. Now you can consider other techniques showing how to increase cell phone signal bars. Remember to try placing your phone flat in front of you and using your speakerphone to see whether wrapping your hand around it is blocking the little signal that it is receiving indoors! Sometimes, that does the trick. Good Luck!

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