Mobile phone signal is getting better all the time and these days most UK residents can generally get a signal where they live, but there are still some who can’t or who don’t get very good signal. It makes sense, signal doesn’t always penetrate buildings as well as it flows outside and if you live somewhere rural you might also be a long way from a mast.
But if you’re on Three there are ways to boost your signal at home and even in some cases when away from home. Here’s how.
If you have signal problems at home then there’s an easy way to boost it. Three has a box called ‘Home Signal’ which you can request, it’s available free of charge to those with bad signal at home or work, however you may have to return it if you cancel your Three contract.
Home Signal is basically a little black box, which you connect both to a power supply and to your router. Once it’s plugged in you’ll have to wait for it to connect, during which time you’ll see a flashing green light. This tends to take around ten minutes and can take up to an hour as it needs to both download the latest software and connect to the Three network.
You’ll know once it’s connected as it will start showing a constant green light. After that it’s ready to use and will boost your Three signal when at home, just as long as your router is on too. There isn’t any extra software or app required on your phone, you simply text and call as usual, but should notice a substantially better signal.
Home Signal will initially only be configured to work with your phone, but if you want other people to be able to benefit too then you can add up to 32 additional numbers to it and up to four people can be making use of it at once, though obviously only people on the Three network can benefit.
How to apply for a Home Signal Box? That's easy simply call 3 customer services on 0800 358 9048
Home Signal is great but it’s not the only way to boost your signal on Three, there’s also Three inTouch.
This is in many ways more flexible and easier to set up and it even works away from home. Simply download the free inTouch app on to your Apple or Android smartphone, accept the terms and conditions, tap activate, select which Wi-Fi network to use it with and once it configures itself you’re good to go.
The app then lets you call and text people from it but it uses a Wi-Fi signal rather than 2G or 3G, so any time you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network you can get good signal, but it still uses your Three number so you don’t need a separate account or password. This also means that calls and texts still come out of your mobile allowance.
The main downside to Three inTouch is that unlike Home Signal, which lets you continue to use your normal dialler and messaging app, you have to use the inTouch app for messaging and if you’re on an iPhone you also have to use it for calls if you want to call over Wi-Fi, though on Android it’s smart enough to automatically use Three inTouch for a call even if you go in from your normal dialler.
But on the plus side because it’s just an app you can use it on any Wi-Fi network that you have access to, so as well as using it to boost your Three signal at home, you can also use it at the office or over a public Wi-Fi network if you’re out and about and find yourself somewhere with no signal.
You may still sometimes have signal problems when travelling between places, but with Wi-Fi hotspots now so common you should be able to get a signal one way or another at home and in almost any building.
There are a few other things to bear in mind when using either of these solutions. Once Home Signal is set up it should work without a hitch, but there’s a chance it will stop working or fail to setup correctly. If this happens there’s a reset button on the box which you can press with something narrow, such as the end of a paperclip. Once it’s reset the light will briefly turn red and then it will attempt setup again.
Be aware also that Home Signal uses your broadband data. On average it uses roughly 500MB per month, depending on your usage, so if you have limited data make sure you have enough.
With Three inTouch it’s worth bearing in mind that although you can use it outside your house you can’t use it outside the UK. Also because it relies on Wi-Fi, calls will cut out if you move out of signal range. If it looks like you’re about to do this you’ll hear a beeping noise on your phone, warning you to move back in range of the Wi-Fi network.
Be aware also that when first configuring Three inTouch it has to use mobile data, so make sure you set it up before heading somewhere with no signal.
With both solutions if there’s a problem with your Wi-Fi network or in the case of Home Signal a problem with your router they obviously may not work properly until those are resolved.
If you don’t want to rely on a Wi-Fi network there are other things you can try. For one thing simply charging your battery can improve your signal, especially if you don’t currently have much battery left.
If there are signal issues where before things were fine it could also be worth using Three’s network status checker to see whether there are any disruptions in your area.
If there aren’t it could be your phone that’s at fault, in which case first make sure your device is running the latest available software. If it is, try turning airplane mode on then off again and if that doesn’t work turn your handset off, wait ten seconds and then switch it on again. They’re simple solutions but they sometimes help.
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