Rural areas are notorious for their spotty cell coverage, as towers may be few and far between. In today’s society, where our smartphones have become indispensable tools for handling basic tasks and staying in touch with friends and loved ones, finding ways to stay connected is important.

Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can use to boost your cell phone signal when you’re visiting areas where service may be unreliable. The next time you take a trip to the country, try these methods to ensure you stay connected with the folks back home:

  • Signal boosters are devices that can improve coverage in rural areas. For smartphone users who can get a signal only in a few spots in the area they are visiting, this device can help. Signal boosters capture a wireless signal, and then broadcast it over a wider area. For example, if you’re visiting a home in a rural area and can pick up a signal on the front porch but not inside, placing a booster on the porch will likely improve coverage throughout the rest of the home.
  • A personal cell tower will help you obtain a signal. These devices are a little pricey, but will help visitors to rural areas ensure they can get service. Personal towers work by boosting a signal via an Internet connection. The tower will connect directly to a router and work best if placed near a window.
  • Avoiding electronic devices that may interfere with your cell phone signal can also help smartphone users access service in rural areas. Microwaves, baby monitors, and Wi-Fi routers and related devices can generate signals that may interfere with cellular service. If you’re having difficulty getting a signal, moving 10 to 15 feet away from these devices may help.
  • Shopping around for the best local service provider will also help you maintain a good connection in rural areas. Some providers have better coverage than others in certain areas, so if you’re moving to a rural area or plan on an extended visit, it may be worth asking your neighbors which provider they use.
  • Certain areas of buildings may be less conducive to a good signal than others. Basements and stairwells are typically bad for cell signals, while areas near windows or upstairs rooms are better situated for cell service.
  • If you’re visiting a rural area in a foreign country, you’ll need to do more than just find a reliable signal to stay connected with the outside world. Most foreign countries use electrical outlets with different physical configurations and voltage than U.S. outlets, meaning your device cannot charge with its normal charger. To safely charge your smartphone, you’ll need to purchase a step down converter that will convert the 220 volt current commonly used overseas to the 110 volt current used by American electronics.

110220Volts carries voltage converters, voltage transformers, and other electronic devices. For travelers visiting foreign countries, these devices can help ensure they’re able to safely charge their smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices.