Do you sometimes have problems with your wifi connection? Then you definitely need a wifi extender. How does wifi extender work? You wonder, well if you would want to know, then you should read through this guide keenly as we would talk about wifi extenders.
What is a WIFI Extender?
WiFi extenders are usually referred to as wireless range extenders and WiFi range extenders.
Many people also call extenders WiFi repeaters, WiFi boosters, or WiFi signal boosters; they rebroadcast the signal to improve your WiFi connection, so they are similar to extenders but work differently.
A WiFi extender is a wired or wireless device that extends the range of the signal your WiFi router transmits. Essentially, a WiFi extender is a bridge between the WiFi router and the wireless devices that are out of the WiFi router’s range.
How Wi-Fi extenders work
In principle, a Wi-Fi extender (also sometimes called a Wi-Fi repeater) is a simple device. It connects to your existing Wi-Fi network and then duplicates and rebroadcasts it. By doing this, it extends the signal’s range to cover more ground.
You’ll set up the extender using either your phone or computer, going through an app or website to connect the router to your Wi-Fi network.
Typically, you’ll need to set up the extender midway between the Wi-Fi router and your dead zone — you need to be close enough to the router so it can connect to your network, but also near enough to areas that don’t have Wi-Fi that the new signal will be effective.
What is a WiFi Repeater?
A WiFi repeater is a type of network booster that expands the range of your WiFi signal. It has antennas that receive a WiFi signal from your router, just like your smartphone or laptop. Then it rebroadcasts that signal over a wider area.
While a WiFi repeater will expand the range of your WiFi signal, it will also make your WiFi signal weaker. Since a WiFi repeater creates a new network that you have to connect to, it will reduce your network’s bandwidth by 50%. That means your devices might be slower, especially if you are streaming or transferring large files over your network.
Since it uses a wired connection, a WiFi extender is a good option for “dead zones” or areas in your home that receive zero internet signal. However, WiFi extenders are usually more expensive and complicated to set up than WiFi repeaters.
A WiFi repeater might not give you good connectivity in a basement game room because of the thick floor. But with a wired WiFi extender, you will be able to go online in the basement without any issues because interference will not be a problem.
What is a WiFi Booster?
A WiFi booster is a general term for both WiFi repeaters and WiFi extenders. Since both devices boost your network’s signal, you will see WiFi repeaters and WiFi extenders called WiFi boosters.
Where should I put a wifi extender?
Just like how router placement is key for maximum signal strength, you need to make sure your extender is in the best possible place to actually do its job. This is fairly easy to figure out.
Put simply, you need to identify where your WiFi dead zone is and place the extender at a halfway point between the router and the dead zone. The extender needs to be close enough to the router to extend its signal and close enough to the dead zone to make a difference.
Benefits Of A Wi-Fi Extender
Wi-Fi Extenders Improve Wi-Fi Signal Range
Wi-Fi extenders increase the signal range of your WiFi network. They extend the signal from your router to a distance, so you don’t have to worry about a dead spot. You can also improve the speed of your network. The speed of the signal may be slower in areas that are at the outer limits of the signal’s range. Wi-Fi extenders are also cost-effective.
WiFi extenders can be either single-band or dual-band devices. Choose a dual-band device that will cover a larger area. Look for one that supports the latest WiFi standards, such as beamforming and MU-MIMO (multiple-user multiple input, multiple outputs).
A range extender can boost the signal range in neighboring rooms as well as the opposite side of your home. The best ones will provide a mesh network, which means you’ll have wider coverage. You can choose one from a variety of brands and models.
They Are Low-Cost
When you install a WiFi extender, you can create an additional network and connect your devices to it. It uses the same security as traditional WiFi and is compatible with WPA and WPA2 protocols. These devices also allow you to change the encryption to increase security.
Wireless extenders are a great way to increase the range of your network. They can be very useful in rooms where you have poor network reception. Some of these devices even come with LEDs that let you know if they are blocking the signal and can be positioned closer to the router. They are relatively inexpensive and are a great investment if you’re looking to expand your network at an affordable price.
A range extender is a great way to increase the range of your network. It is designed to extend your signal throughout your home. They are specifically designed to improve dead spots in one or two rooms. Wireless range extenders also work great for boosting your WiFi signal to multiple floors, which is an especially useful feature if your router is in a different room.
They Are Easy To Set Up
A WiFi extender is a device that helps extend your network. These devices log into your network via your router and broadcast the same SSID throughout your house. They usually come with settings for 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks. You should make sure that the SSID matches the network name and password on your router.
A WiFi extender can be placed anywhere in your home to ensure coverage. The extender should have green indicator lights for power and wireless connection so that your Wi-Fi devices will automatically connect. If you find that the connection light is orange or red, move the device closer to your router. You can also configure the WiFi extender to use a different SSID and password. However, this is only useful if you have a specific device that needs to connect to the network.
Once you have installed the WiFi extender in one location, plug it into an outlet on the upper level of your home. This will allow it to have a reliable line-of-sight connection to your router and broadcast the wireless signal to users on the upper floors.
How should I set it up?
Setup is different from device to device, so carefully consult the instruction manual for whichever extender you end up buying. In general, the biggest step will be simultaneously pressing the WPS buttons on both the extender and the router to establish a connection between the two.
If your extender has an ethernet port on it, you should see if you can connect it to your router that way. Wired is always faster and more secure than wireless, after all.
The last thing to keep in mind is that the network strength coming out of the extender is probably not going to match the signal coming out of the router. It’s an unfortunate side effect of the extension process, but it’s better than not having WiFi in your living room at all.
How Many WiFi Extenders Can You Have in Your House?
To have the best wireless coverage area, you can use multiple WiFi range extenders.
However, keep the following in mind:
- Every WiFi extender will need to be connected and in the range of a WiFi router to access the internet.
- Do not connect one WiFi extender to another, as it will cause one of the extenders to stop working.
- Each extender needs to have a different WiFi network name from the other to prevent them from connecting to one another.
Are WiFi Extenders Secure?
Yes, they use the same security as traditional WiFi: WEP, WPA, and WPA2.
WPA and WPA2 are better to use than WEP. If you want a more secure extender, make sure the extender you get supports WPA or WPA2.
It’s possible to change your encryptions from WEP to WPA or WPA2; it just depends on the type of extender you have.
Buyer’s Guide For Wi-Fi extender
- How much should a Wi-Fi extender cost? The cheapest Wi-Fi extenders will often sell for less than $50 but our current budget pick sells for half that. Newer signal-boosting devices have support for all of the latest wireless standards and offer technologies like beam-forming and Mu-MIMO for enhanced performance. While they cost more as a result, even the best Wi-Fi extenders can be had for less than $200. Also, it’s worth watching out for cheap discount range extenders, like the one in our Super Boost Wireless-N Wi-Fi Repeater review. The attractively low price also brings extremely poor performance.
- Plug-in or desktop? Although most signal boosters use small, plug-in designs that connect directly to a wall outlet, they aren’t the only option available. Some of the best Wi-Fi extenders have larger designs that sit on a desk or shelf, more like a traditional router. These larger devices don’t have the same size and weight limitations as plug-in units which allow for better antenna placement and improved internal hardware. On the other hand, plug-in models are often less expensive and easier to install.
- Match Wi-Fi standards: While you may not pay much attention to which wireless standard your router uses, it will certainly have an impact on how helpful your extender is. If your wireless router uses the current 802.11ac standard, you’ll want to make sure your extender does too. The older 802.11n standard is slower and is often limited to one band, which will create a bottleneck in your Wi-Fi coverage, slowing down your browsing and streaming. However, this is only a problem if your router offers better speeds. If you have an older wireless-N router, then a matching extender will do the job just fine.
- Placement is everything: Both wireless routers and Wi-Fi extenders use radio waves to share data back and forth with your internet connection. You need to find a place that’s close enough to the router to get a strong signal to rebroadcast but still far enough away to extend the network’s range to where it’s needed. Check out our guide to Wi-Fi extender placement.
- Consider an upgrade: If your wireless router isn’t providing the speeds or coverage you want, it may be best to skip getting a Wi-Fi extender entirely and just get a new router. Newer models offer better performance while mesh routers allow you to expand your wireless coverage across even the largest homes.
To conclude, there’s a lot to consider when purchasing a Wi-Fi booster. But, if you consider all the points mentioned in this article, it should help you make a great decision.