One of the main benefits of living in the country is the opportunity get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and step away from the "always connected" mentality that accompanies it. Many people appreciate and look forward to not having cell phone reception where they live, so they're forced to unplug on a regular basis. Unfortunately, as the recent events of Hurricane Sandy and the accompanied flooding has taught us, not having cell phone reception in case of emergency can also be a dangerous thing. If you're interested in improving the cell phone reception in your home, here are some ways to do it.
First and foremost, it's important to determine whether you have any reception at all. If your home is in a dead zone, where there's no reception, then your options are limited to switching to a different cellular provider which may have service or getting a landline. You can use a service like Dead Cell Zones to see what cellular towers are in your area, and thus figure out what service you could switch to.
If you do have a bit of service, such as one or two bars on your phone, even if it's only in one place, then you have the opportunity to install a cell phone repeater to amplify the cell phone signal and broadcast it to the area which does not have good service, such as inside your house.
A cell phone repeater system (also known as a cell phone signal booster) consists of an outdoor antenna, a signal amplifier, an inside antenna, and cable to connect all of the components together. The outdoor antenna is mounted in a location to receive the weak signal (such as on the roof), and the inside antenna is mounted in such a way as to broadcast the amplified signal to the inside of the house.
The type of cell phone repeater depends on which cellular provider you use, which ones you want to support (if you routinely have guests or have devices from different carriers in the house), and how large of an area you want to cover with the amplified signal. Here's a good breakdown of cell phone signal boosters by coverage area, where you can simply find the area that you want to cover and choose one of the systems that support the right cellular carriers.
Once you receive your system, simply find the area that has the best signal, which again is probably on your roof, and mount the antenna in that location. Then run the included cabling into your house, connect the amplifier, and mount the internal antenna in such a way as to broadcast the amplified signal to the area in need of better reception. If you have a panel antenna, then mount it at the end of a room or the house, and if it's an omni antenna, then your best bet is to place it in the middle of the area which needs better signal. After the system is in place, simply plug in the amplifier and you should immediately have improved cell phone signal.
While it's nice to get away from everything and be unplugged, it's becoming more and more common to rely on your cell phone in case of emergency or when people need to get in touch with you. Having good reception at your home is important in case the need arises where you need to make or receive a call. With a cell phone signal booster system in place, you can have good cell phone reception and peace of mind in case you do need to use your cell phone.