How do I improve my cell signal in the Hamptons?

You are in the Hamptons and so is everybody else. You may have noticed that in in the dead of winter the cell signal is poor to non-existent. That's part of the charm - an enforced disconnect, almost like you've stepped back in time. 

If that's not part of your Hamptons dream, then we have some observations and suggestions to share with you about what works.

One of the nice features of newer cell phones is the ability to use the wifi network to make a call. For example, AT&T calls their service Wifi calling, if you enable it your phone's settings, it can make the decision to transition the call to your wifi instead of relying on the cell signal. This is a great feature and where there is almost no signal can mean the difference between being able to make a call and not. However the calling is not always stable, so for important business calls (or any other important call ) we recommend staying away from this. That being said, there are some advanced settings we can work with on the router that often can make Wifi calling work better for you, so let us know if you are relying on this service. 

Calls that are strictly based on an internet service are much more reliable. Using a service like Vonage, Ring Central, Zoom (among others) for making phone calls will be much more reliable. The reason for that reliability is that they are not always working in the background to see if the phone should switch back to a cell carrier signal. They are engineered to work exclusively from your internet connection. These services all have apps that can be loaded right on your phone or tablet, these apps allow you to use their services just like the phone. These services also give you the option using a hardwired device so that you have the most reliable stable calling possible. Get ready to break out your good old fashioned (or possibly ...still really new but plugged into the wall ) hard wired phone. Optimum also offers a phone service which is essentially running over the internet connection and you can plug  standard wired or wireless phone(s) into that connection too. 

What about a regular analog phone? Yes those old fashioned phone lines still exist. For years now Verizon has been doing it's very best to provide the absolute worst service possible for these lines. So if you love static when its sunny out and even more of it when it rains, then this is the service for you. In all seriousness, these lines are being phased out, so don't waste your time on this technology. If you happen to still have a Verizon phone line, repairs are few and far between.

What other kinds of calling can you do?

More of us have become comfortable with FaceTime audio - you may have noticed that the clarity of sound on this type of call is way better than a regular cell call. FaceTime audio is a reliable type of wifi calling, but the person you are calling has to be on and iPhone or Apple device.

WhatsApp is a messaging platform but also has good audio and video calling. It is platform agnostic but the person you are calling has to have the WhatsApp app loaded on their phone.

What if you actually want to improve your cell service and make it usable inside your home? There are systems that we have successfully installed, in many locations, where an antenna is mounted outside your home to communicate with a local cell tower. A line is run inside to an amplifier and antennas are mounted inside the house to boost the signal where you might not have had one before. If you can find a location outside your house where you can consistently make a good call and you are getting a few bars of service then this technology should work for you. If the signal outside is marginal at best, then even if we set up the repeater system the signal in your house will still be marginal.

It's important to note that cell systems, as well as most other systems like the internet, are designed to provide service for average use. This means that when everyone is out for the summer the capacity of the cell phone network goes way down. Data speed and even the ability to make a call will be difficult. There are no devices that can be added to resolve that issue, that is on the network provider's side.

Having various systems, apps, and technology is usually the best way to make sure you can stay connected when you need to.

We are here to help you with the best solution for your needs.