WiFi Calling When You Have Poor Cell Service – Guest Post by Jessica Crotty

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CC Vector WiFi Network  – 5 Bars!

Recently we were visiting my Father-in-Law at Quail Lodge Lake Almanor in Canyon Dam, CA. The lodge has decent WiFi through most of the property except where we were staying. Since I work at C. Crane I figured it would be the perfect time to test out our new CC Vector RV System – so I set up our system and went from one bar (in some cases none) to 5. Mission accomplished.

We were fortunate enough to meet our neighbors who were parked staying in their 5th wheel. I checked with them to see how their WiFi was in case they wanted to connect to the hot spot I’d created. Their problem wasn’t WiFi but it was no cell service. So we got to chatting about possible solutions and I remembered that while in China last year I had an issue that I was able to resolve by enabling WiFi on my iPhone SE. I am able to send and receive calls over WiFi when it’s available (like at the lodge). For many travelers this is a great solution, since so many remote places have poor cellular service but do have WiFi. In our case, with Verizon you do have to contact them to enable the setting and there may be a fee so it may not be something you want to have on all the time. I’m sure each carrier varies. To find it on an iPhone SE go to Settings -> Phone-> Calls -> WiFi Calling and enable the WiFi Calling on This Phone.

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FaceBook Messenger App – Make Calls by clicking the phone icon in the app.

The other option I shared, was the Facebook Messenger App. It requires that the other person also have the app, but I’ve used it with my Mother-in-law when she’s traveling internationally. It is much less expensive than adding an international data plan and there is even video calling available if you have a strong enough WiFi signal and it works even without an iPhone.

One of our resident WiFi gurus, Isaiah, also had this story of another solution – A couple years ago I added $10 to my Skype account for calling anywhere in the world and to any phone when I needed it. I’ve made many many calls .. some even to China and New Zealand and some just to family when I couldn’t find my cell phone.. I just used my computer and plug-in gaming headset. My audio was much better than using my phone and the other party could always hear me clearly because of the high quality microphone in my gaming headset. Anyways.. to this day I still have $4 remaining on my Skype account in case I need to make a call.

I hope this helps someone out there with similar issues and if you’re ever near Quail Lodge, tell my Father in Law, John and his partner Debbie that I sent you!

What are your biggest pain points with WiFi or Cell service while traveling and what solutions have you come up with? Tell us in the comments below and be entered to win a CC Vector Home Repeater System. Drawing September 8th. Please only one entry per person.

Special Note: Although we do have the most AMAZING U.S. based tech support (in my humble opinion) and we love to help, we only support our products and are unable to troubleshoot your cell phones.

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Tips for Improving Your WiFi Reception

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Relocate your  wireless router to the middle of your house. This is the most effective way to maximize your home WiFi coverage. If you have DSL or cable internet then it is likely that you have several other cable or telephone jacks in your house. Any one of these jacks can be used to connect your modem/router. It is not necessary to move your computer; just add a WiFi adapter to it for wireless communication.

 

 

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Position the antennas on your router vertically. Although they can be positioned at various angles, your best results for covering larger areas will be vertical positioning. The reason for this is because the signal pattern is not a bubble but is flat like a pancake.  If the antenna is placed at a 45 degree angle then most of the beam pattern will be pointed at the ground and roof.

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Elevate your WiFi router off the floor or a metal surface. For best reception, place the router on a wood table or desk. For even better reception, place two or three of those old encyclopedias under your router. WiFi can usually pass through soft materials like books and wood without too much trouble.

 

WIFI 4Reposition dense obstructions in your home so that your routers WiFi signal path can reach your WiFi device. Some common household obstructions include mirrors, metal filing cabinets, kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, and furniture. Basically anything metal, brick, stucco, porcelain, tile, or hardwood will hinder or stop WiFi. Foil covered insulation will also stop WiFi.

 

 

Move or shield interfering devices that use the same frequency as WiFi. Most people don’t realize that they are experiencing interference on their WiFi network because it is still operational. Interference can reduce the speed or momentarily pause WiFi network communications. Some common causes of interference are microwave ovens, baby monitors, laptop-pic2_001cord less handsets, Bluetooth devices, garage door openers, fluorescent lights, and bad electrical connections.

One possible solution is to change your router channel. It is better to remove the interfering device completely but this is not always a practical solution. In this case try moving the interfering device as far away from your WiFi equipment as possible. You can also try shielding the device using aluminum foil or a metal sheet.

For more information to Improve WiFi or if you have any other questions, please contact us.