Easy Way Boost GPS Signal

Sometimes people ask, what is the easy way boost GPS signal? Let’s take a look at why such a question is asked at all.

I think the causes of such a desire are different, but the key is because the GPS device does not show your location and also the speed or the information on the display is not stable.

I am not the high-grade specialist in GPS technologies, but the mainly everyday experienced user on the roads, off-roads, city jungles and on the water as well. I know the basics of Global Positioning System and other satellite navigation systems, how it works and why does not work as we would like it.

To be clear nobody except U.S. Government and U.S.  Air Forces, in particular, can manage this signal. It develops, maintains, and operates the space and control segments of the GPS system.

So the strength of the received signal is user-dependent.

The main reasons that can affect the quality of GPS satellites signal:

GPS hardware technical capabilities.

User minimum received power and users linear antenna gain. In other words, how good is your GPS? E.g., FURUNO is one of the leading in GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) /GPS Chips, and GNSS/GPS Modules support Positioning and Timing solutions enabled to receive signals of almost all GNSS Systems available. Actually, this chip is the brain of the sat-nav device. The better is the chip, the better is the quality of the signal (your geolocation) and shorter is the time for a GPS receiver to find its starting location.

Environmental location.

Free-space propagation loss. High buildings, trees, mountains and sometimes even wipers running back and forth across your windshield is intermittently blocking reception and making it difficult for your GPS to get a complete navigation data string.

Location where your GPS is fixed.

It mainly concerns GPS receiver antenna how open or not it is to the sky. Latest GPS receiver antennas for public use is integrated into the device, so it is important to choose the most open to sky position. For cars, as a rule, it is the windshield. For boats better use separate antenna although this is quite dependent on the boat roof or deck material.


Cloudy, rain, snow, fog, in general, do not weaken GPS signals enough to affect accuracy. Total atmospheric loss (from all causes, including rain, clouds, snow, fog, etc.) is but 2db. Comparing to free-space propagation loss is more than 180 dB.

it is a “window” in the weather as far as signal propagation is concerned.

On the other hand, a thick coating of water can lead to bad signal reception or lost it at all, but raindrops cannot cause it. The GPS signal frequency of about 1575mhz was chosen expressly because it is a “window” in the weather as far as signal propagation is concerned.

Taking into the account, all above said the phrase or question about „easy way boost GPS signal“ is not correct. It is not possible to amplify the signal itself, but it is possible to improve the GNSS reception signal quality.

What we can do to get the best available geographical position from sat-nav systems.

Let’s see the real situation on today the last quarter of the year 2017.

Internet search results on the subject mostly show how to improve the Android smartphone’s GPS reception signal. I am not a savvy Andriod smartphone user, but I know that most of the latest phones supporting GLONASS navigation.  Not only this Russian system but some of them Chinese BeiDou and even new European Galileo satellite navigation system as well.

So times, when you had a bad signal reception, and it could have been improved with the help of additional wires or other DIY methods, has passed.

How to avoid the bad reception. Try to keep clear of high buildings, mountains, trees and so on. Ridiculous, isn’t it? Not everything is as bad as it sounds. Most of us using our smartphones for navigation purposes and here A-GPS stands for Assisted GPS, comes to help. Cell tower data to enhance quality and precision when in poor satellite signal conditions.

Good for smartphones but what about dedicated GPS devices which still are widely used in our vehicles?

Receiver chips predominantly are stronger as a unit has additional free space to install a more powerful one. But what’s most appealing is that the latest GPS units are connected to the Internet through the GSM network, which makes it possible to apply the benefits of A-GPS and other online advantages.

In conclusion, I would like to say that easy way boost GPS signal is buying latest smartphone or standalone GPS and even when you lost satellite reception somewhere in a long tunnel, do not worry it takes just seconds to be on the right track again.

Take care and drive safe.

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  1. JohnB

    I have no experience with GPS but I clearly see that the methods to improve GPS Signal are about the same as a simple Wi-fi signal. That is the problem with a wireless signal. It can get lost and sometimes you can not find the reason for it.

    What I understand from your post is that you get what you are paying for. A better GPS is going to give out a better signal.

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi, John and thanks for stopping by. You are right that the better GPS receiver chip the better is a signal. For everyday use latest smartphones like iPhone or cutting edge Android phones reception is good enough for street navigation. As I noticed in my post even when GPS is lost in the long tunnel, then satellites are found almost instantly when leaving it. I even do not speak about latest factory-installed navigation systems or standalone Garmin, TomTom or Magellan navigators; they are just perfect regarding accuracy.

  2. Thomas

    Hi Andrejs!
    Reading your post enlighted me about many things regarding GPS devices.
    I am not an expert at all, and do not really use this type of technology that often.
    This said, it really opened my view regarding what goes on behind this useful technology.
    Nice to know what affects it and what could make it work better!
    Overall a greatly built post!
    Thank for my reading

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Thanks Thomass for commenting my post. You are right that for most people not necessary to know the details about GPS other satnav systems. For people, it’s self-explanatory that the phone shows where you’re and when you driving the car no longer need to pull off and search your destination on paper maps. On the other hand, some is searching for better GPS devices and related things and wanted to know a bit more about it. I just try to collect my knowledge and constantly learning and get satisfaction if I can help a little.

  3. Gavin Sheppard

    Hi Andrejs,

    When using a GPS device in a car remember that the signal will have problems with metal or some types of tinting on the windows. You will see Uber drivers attach their smartphone to a dashboard holder and that allows the GPS signal via the windshield.


    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      Hi Govan and thanks for stopping by. If honestly, I’ve never encountered such a problem, but theoretically some types of tinning windows could have a little impact on the strength of the GPS signal. It could be if the tinting performed DIY not factory made windows. If the navigation device is a device with double receivers GPS and GLONASS, the reception signal is strong enough and persistent even by putting, say, the iPhone X in the trunk of the car.

  4. Robert Smith

    Hi, I found this page as I’m having difficulty with acquiring satellites and when found keeping them. This issue happens in the mornings. This morning it took 2 hours for the satellites to acquire. Is there a paricular issue with this happening? Once the satellites have been locked in, all is well for the rest of the day!

    1. Andrejs (Post author)

      HELLO. In such a situation, it is most likely to be a problem for the device in question. Sometimes (very rarely) there may be a kind of anomaly of signal transmission, but then it is usually communicated to users. I recommend that you try another GPS device (not one that also has a GLONASS receiver like an iPhone X etc). If both devices do not capture the satellite signal, you can try to contact USCG Navigation Center https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?Do=GPSReportStatus

  5. stargps

    I stumbled across post.
    I found it very useful for us and to give advice to our customers au Maroc


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