Tag Archives: signal problems

GoodHousekeeping.com zBoost Mobile1 Sweepstakes

Enter in the Good Housekeeping Magazine ZBoost Cell Phone Signal Booster Giveaway at goodhousekeeping.com/sweeps and you could win a Mobile1 In-Vehicle Cell Phone Signal Booster from Zboost.

If you experience signal problems, slow data or dropped calls while driving, the zBoost Mobile1 cellular signal booster increases in-vehicle signal for cell phones and smartphones and it is easy to use.  For details visit: http://www.ZBoost.com.

Ten (10) Winner(s) will each receive a ZBoost Mobile1 In-Vehicle Cell Phone Signal Booster.

Complete and submit the online entry form at www.goodhousekeeping.com/sweepstakes/30143 for your chance to win.

GH SWEEPS 2014-06-18 at 10.37.36 AM

Also, you can choose to start a free trial subscription to the Good Housekeeping magazine when you enter if you choose to do so.

Contest starts on June 16, 2014.
Contest ends on July 16, 2014.

Draw date will be on July 15, 2014.

Limit one (1) entry per person per day for Sweepstakes. Multiple entries from the same person on any given day will be disqualified. For the name(s) of the Winner(s), send a separate self-addressed, stamped envelope to Good Housekeeping ZBoost Cell Phone Signal Booster June Winners’ List, Hearst Communications, Inc., 300 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019 within two (2) months from the Winner notification date as specified above. Contest is open to residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) who are of the age of majority in the province or territory where they reside. Contest also open to US residents. See website for full Good Housekeeping Magazine ZBoost Cell Phone Signal Booster Giveaway rules & regulations.

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Hospitals Stay Connected with zBoost – Day 8 of the 12 days of zBoost


Hospitals across the country struggle with bad indoor cell service, frustrating doctors, nurses, hospital personnel, patients and visitors. In 2011, zBoost cell phone signal boosters were installed at hospitals in Texas and Ohio.   After years of missed and dropped calls, zBoost was the solution they needed.

If you’re hospital or company is experiencing indoor signal problems zBoost has solutions for areas up to 20,000 sq feet.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is not one of the zBoost hospitals but they do amazing medical research for children.  If you are looking for a last-minute charitable donation, you can’t go wrong with a St. Jude donation.  To make a donation,  click on the link below.




Staying Connected to your College Student – Day 3 of the 12 Days of zBoost


College students across the country are facing reality, after months of procrastination, with finals week just days away.  I have children in two different colleges and staying connected is one of the challenges of parenting from afar.  Fortunately with a zBoost METRO, neither can use bad cell signal as an excuse for not receiving my calls of texts.  Sometimes my messages include the enticement of money to get a return call, but at this time of year my calls have more to do with study hard, finish strong and the unpopular, “What’s your econ grade and what do you need on the final to get an A”.

If you have a student with bad cell service in their apartment or dorm, a zBoost METRO is the solution to dropped and missed calls and slow data.  Plus a zBoost cell phone signal booster extends battery life, a constant challenge for most students with smartphones.

Gift your student with a zBoost METRO and help keep them and their smartphone smart, during their college years.

PC World Shows You How to Work Outdoors

While the Georgia heat has us all indoors, some of you may be looking for ways to take your work outside.

PC World gives you some good tips on making the most of workout outdoors including boosting your signal with zBoost.

How to Work Outdoors

By Christopher NullPCWorld

How to Work OutdoorsLaptops, tablets, and smartphones are supposed to make us mobile: Freed of cumbersome desktop technology, we can work anywhere we want. Why, then, don’t you see legions of people at parks, beaches, or even sidewalk cafes typing away on their laptops? Mainly because they simply can’t see their screens.

It doesn’t have to be this way. A little planning and know-how can get you ahead of the game when it comes to using your gadgetry outside. Whether you’re reading ebooks on your iPhone or sneaking in a few work emails while the kids build a sand castle, here’s how best to set yourself up to work alongside Mother Nature.

Fall Into Shadow

When working outdoors, shade is your friend. In fact, if you haven’t prepared in advance for your outdoor adventure, it’s pretty much all you’ve got. Your only hope to see anything on most LCD screens is to find some shade and dig deep into it.

HoodmanThis portable, folding hood provides instant, deep shade.Anything can be used as shade in a pinch, from the obvious tree, umbrella, or side of a building to less evident objects, like a cast-off pizza box folded into a tent or, in a pinch, your own head. For head-shading, resist the urge to hold your laptop or mobile phone between you and the sun, thinking you’ll block out the light like an eclipse: That simply won’t work. Switch it around and put your head between the sun and the screen, so the shadow of your noggin falls on the display. This won’t provide much shade, but, for limited use and with small screens like your phone, it will work well enough to at least read text.

Get Shade Anywhere

If working outside is going to be a regular thing for you, you might consider investing in a portable shade device that you can take with you as part of your travel kit. A company calledHoodman offers two clever covers that hook over your laptop’s screen, shading it on all sides from sunlight while still giving you access to the keyboard. It looks a little strange–but no stranger than you will look working on your computer on the beach–and it works quite well. Best of all, the soft-sided shade collapses flat and stores easily in the included carrying case. Versions for Macs or PCs are available, both $40.

Outdoor Out the Gate

Fujitsu Stylistic Q550The field of outdoor-ready laptops is small, but it includes this Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 tablet.If you’re a true outdoorsman, you may want to consider one of the small number of laptops that are available with so-called “indoor/outdoor” displays, designed for visibility inside or outside. When shopping, look for “I/O,” “Outdoor View,” or “Enhanced Outdoor” as part of the screen specs, or just ask–sometimes this key feature can be omitted completely from a list of a computer’s specs.

This technology has been especially popular with older-style tablet PCs as well as a few newer slate tablets. Some current devices that include the technology are the Fujitsu Stylistic Q550, the HP EliteBook 2760p, and most of the Panasonic Toughbookline.

Compare and Contrast

Using a high-contrast color scheme will improve your outdoor viewing experience, no matter how much shade you have, by turning your working experience into a black-and-white one that scrubs out many of the shades of gray (and splashes of color) to which office users are accustomed. The result is a stripped-down computing experience, but one that will make outdoor viewing considerably easier.

Set contrast options in Windows 7.Windows’ high contrast themes aren’t the prettiest on the block, but they make outdoor operating easier.In Windows 7, open the Personalization Control Panel and scroll down a bit below the Aero Themes. You’ll see the Basic and High Contrast Themes listed here. Experiment with the four high-contrast options to find the one that works the best for you–though adjusting to a white-on-black color scheme can be jarring and will take some acclimation time.

Your LCD brightness should generally be set to the maximum available (though this will put more strain on your battery), and you might also consider increasing the text size by using the “Larger – 150%” setting on the home screen of the Display Control panel, to make things even easier to read.

Get E-Inked

Got a lot of reading to do but don’t want to put it on paper? Electronic ink devices like Amazon’s Kindle are perfect for this kind of work, since the reflective screen is designed to work without backlighting. The result: Text on a Kindle looks even better under bright light than in the dark.

The newest Kindle can accept a wide variety of file formats, including Word, PDF, RTF, HTML, plain text, and various image formats for display on the device. Simply email the documents as attachments to the address noted on your Kindle’s Settings page under “Device Email.” Amazon offers copious additional details on the ins and outs of sending personal documents to your Kindle at this link. But remember that older Kindle models have different supported formats.

Surf’s Up, Sand’s Out

If your outdoor working adventure is taking you somewhere more exotic than the backyard, be sure to prepare for those twin menaces of all electronic devices, water and sand. Water is well understood as an electronic hazard, but sand can quickly brick anything with moving parts: A single grain of the stuff can kill your digital camera’s zoom mechanism or prevent the shutter from opening and closing, not to mention scratching the screen of your tablet or laptop.

Waterproof iPad case from TrendyDigitalBag your laptop, tablet, or cell phone with an instant waterproofing system like this one from Trendy Digital.Protection from the elements can be as simple as keeping your gadgets in a sealed Ziploc bag when they aren’t in use, or as complicated as investing in a custom, ruggedized, waterproof case. A wide variety of cases for all manner of devices are available. You can check out brands like OtterBoxXGear, andTrendyDigital to get started.

Now About That Web Connection…

Seeing your screen is one thing. Getting online is another. In parks, on beaches, and even in backyards, getting a Wi-Fi or cellular signal can be a challenge. Short of petitioning your carrier to erect a cell phone tower closer to the waterfront, these tricks can increase your chances of getting a wireless signal from a remote location.

Wi-Fi: If you’re simply working in the backyard and are trying to access the Wi-Fi signal inside your house, you can accomplish this in a few ways. You can extend the signal outdoors by relocating your router near that side of the house or add a repeater to extend the signal outdoors. Aftermarket antennas can also be used with some routers to increase their signal strength, hopefully letting you reach your hammock in the gazebo with a Wi-Fi signal. If changing your router setup doesn’t work, you can invest in a new Wi-Fi card for your laptop with an external, high-gain antenna, increasing your available range.

WWAN: Again, if you’re near home and outdoor cellular signal strength (either for voice or data usage) is no good, you can use a femtocell to boost the signal. Verizon’s Wireless Network Extender and AT&T’s MicroCell attach to your home broadband connection and act as a sort of mini tower. Femtocell range is typically under 150 feet, so locate the unit near the backyard.

zBoostzBoost signal-boosting device.

However, if you’re in a public place and need a better signal, a few hacks can boost the number of bars you get on certain phones by one or two, although few of the hacks are very pretty. The website Wisebread experimented with an admittedly ugly wire-and-cans trick and claimed a three-bar improvement in a cellular signal. Rick Broida has some additional tips on the subject, including a discussion of zBoost, which is a more appropriate range-boosting solution for newer phones, MiFi units, and mobile hotspots–all of which increasingly lack the external antenna connector required for tricks like the cantenna described above.

Don’t Forget the Juice

As a final consideration, remember that working outdoors usually means being disconnected from the grid, and since upping the contrast and other tweaks can drain your battery faster, you may find your laptop fading before your sunscreen does.

The solution is simple, if on the expensive side: Upgrade to an extended-cell battery, using a “battery slice,” which is a flat battery that locks onto the bottom of a laptop–or simply carry spare batteries with you to get considerably more running time when you’re working remotely. For smaller devices such as cameras or dedicated voice recorders, rechargeable batteries generally provide more bang for the buck.

More esoteric power solutions–like solar recharging systems–won’t offer much help. Most of them just don’t have the power required to provide much of a boost to anything beyond a cell phone or camera–and even then, their internal batteries will need to be charged before you head out.

However, before draining your gadgets out in the wild, you can follow some proven tips to helpboost the battery life of your laptop and smartphone.

Related Articles

What gear and tricks do you use to work outside of the office? Please share your tips in the comments below. For more advice, see the following articles.

CNN: “New ‘iPhone 4S’ might come to Sprint, T-Mobile”

(CNN) — Maybe the hotly anticipated iPhone 5 won’t be an iPhone 5 at all.

But it might be available on more carriers.

The emerging theory, based on reports from industry analysts, is that the next model of Apple’s smartphone will be called the iPhone 4S and be an update of the current model, not a radical advance.

Multiple sites this weekend were citing a report by Peter Misek, an analyst with Jefferies & Co.

“According to our industry checks, the device should be called iPhone 4S and include minor cosmetic changes, better cameras, A5 dual-core processor, and HSPA+ support,” Misek wrote in a report Friday.

Other analysts have offered similar predictions.

But Misek also wrote that Sprint, T-Mobile and China Mobile will be added as iPhone carriers, citing more “industry checks.”

The A5 dual-core processor is the same one that’s in the iPad 2. A dual-core processor is considered faster at running two programs at once than the single-core A4 processor in the iPhone 4.

The term “HSPA+ is a reference to high-speed processing. The phone reportedly will not utilize long-term evolution (LTE) technology, which is frequently marketed as 4G coverage.

The reports, and speculation, come as Apple’s traditional iPhone freshen-up approaches.

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference begins June 6. That’s been used as Apple’s launching pad for the latest iPhone the past few years, but Apple has suggested the event will focus almost exclusively on software this year.

The tech-community’s hunch is that a new iPhone will be unveiled in the fall and rolled out in time for the holidays.

We asked our fellow Wi-Ex’ers: “What’s Your Favorite App?”

Since the Wi-Ex zBoost is a Gadget-for-your-Gadget, we’re pretty into our smartphones over here at Wi-Ex. Here are some of our favorite Apps for our smartphones!

 Frankie, Sales.  iPhone — Couch to 10K

 Bethany, Marketing. iPhone — Words with Friends

Kate, Marketing.  Blackberry Tour — Pandora

Julie, Marketing.  Blackberry Curve — Scoutmob

Lloyd, CEO. iPhone — New Pro-Thomson Reuters and Red Laser

Desiree, Sales. Droid Global -– Daily Bible and Bubble Buster

John, Operations.  iPhone — Shazam

Robert, Engineering.  iPhone — Siri

Roman, Customer Support. Droid Incredible — Shazam

Carol, IT.  iPhone — Business Card Reader

Catherine, Customer Support.  iPhone — Words with Friends

Cellphone Only Homes Becoming the Norm

As smartphones get smarter and cellphone plans get cheaper while expanding benefits, landlines are becoming more obsolete. While cell phones were once thought as a convenient way to contact people out of the home, they have now become a necessary lifeline, whether for business or personal use, that keep people connected their entire day.

A recent J.D. Power and Associates Report[1] shows that 56% of wireless phone calls are made indoors, which is an increase of 16% since 2003.

Following the trend of increased indoor wireless calls, one in four American homes (26.6%) are cellphone only, according to National Center for Health Statistics[2].  As the trend of cellphone only homes shows no signs of slowing down or being reversed, Stephen Blumberg at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics says, “The phrase ‘home telephone number’ is going the way of rotary dial phones and party lines.”

The only problem with cellphone only homes, the J.D. Power and Associates Report points out is, the quality of cellphone reception is getting worse. Cellphone signal weakens as is has to pass through obstacles such as walls, windows and roofs.

With the loss of landlines and the weakening of cell reception, cell phone signal boosters, such as Wi-Ex’s zBoost line, are also becoming a necessary accessory to keep people connected.