How to get better cell reception in rural areas?


Diamond Member
Nov 8, 2010
This is mostly just an issue for me at my parent's cottage in Canada. My plan includes data and voice roaming in Canada, from looking at my phone while roaming it uses both Bell and Rogers towers. No issues getting service in the thousand Islands area, a couple lost connections between there and the cottage an hour north. In town, I can get decent service. However, about 10 minutes before I get to the cottage, I lose signal and it never comes back.

Oddly enough, there is a small spot at the neighbors cottage (~1000ft away from my cottage) where I can get signal. It's basically a 20sq ft area by the lake where I can get a signal, outside of that it goes back to no service. I also get a signal in my truck, but don't have wifi service so that doesn't help much. It does lead me to believe there is a signal around, it's just very weak.

Is there anything on my phone (Galaxy S7) I can try to catch a signal? Do newer phones have better reception, or are they all about the same? Will 5G have greater range, and should I wait for that to roll out?

I see signal boosters like weboost, but not sure I want to spend that much to get service I would only really use sparingly. It's nice to get away from everything when I go up there, but I'd still like the ability to look up how to fix something or get weather updates.


Dec 7, 2004
You could set up a hot spot in the small area you get service and just run your phone off wifi. You'd need an extra line for the hot spot, so not sure if the cost of that is worth it to you.
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