How do Wi-Fi extenders work? Do I need one? What’s the difference between Wi-Fi extenders, repeaters and booster? These are the type of questions that I get a lot. It can get very confusing at first, but It’s important to understand all of them so you can make the right purchase for your specific needs.
You see, no matter how incredible Wi-Fi technology is, it has its flaws. Oftentimes, you find yourself wanting for more speed or even range. Third party equipment or accessories are a necessity to maximize your Internet connection. So in the interest of buying the right equipment, let’s dive in and clarify all these questions.
Wi-Fi Extenders vs Wi-Fi Booster
A lot of people are getting confused by this so I will make it very simple and easy to understand. Basically, a Wi-Fi repeater is the same as Wi-Fi extenders. Both devices are used to extend Wi-Fi range by rebroadcasting the current Wi-Fi signal in another location. The main difference is that a repeater requires an Ethernet cable from your computer while the extender works completely wireless.
With technological advancement today, they are pretty much interchangeable as everything is flexible now. Just like any routers, all repeaters/extenders also have speed limitations depending on price. However, whatever you may purchase, both still have the same function and is basically the same thing, to extend Wi-Fi range.
Wi-Fi boosters are totally different. As the name suggests, Wi-Fi boosters are used to boost your Wi-Fi speed. Aside from paying extra on your ISP to boost up your internet connection, there are a few ways you can do to boost your Wi-Fi.
There are applications that are Wi-Fi boosters. It analyzes the internet around you and shows you which channel have lesser traffic. You can also replace existing antennas of your router to boost Wi-Fi speed. Some actually use a satellite dish to boost their internet signal from their ISP.
How Do Wi-Fi Extenders Work?
Now that we’ve cleared up the confusion, let’s get to how do Wi-Fi extenders work. Like any other Internet, it starts with your modem. A modem is a device that communicates with your ISP and provides access to the Internet. Then, your modem is connected to your router who distributes the internet to your devices wirelessly. In these modern times, a modem and a router may be combined inside one device for space saving purposes.
A Wi-Fi extender basically acts as another router. It detects the current Wi-Fi connection and redistributes it to another location. It is important to take note that an extender is limited to the same IP address where your router is connected. So, even though you will see 2 Wi-Fi networks in your house, it represents only one IP address, therefore only one connection.
Now, whatever router you are using, its Wi-Fi range has limitations. Aside from that range limit, every other obstruction along its path decreases that range drastically. For instance, walls, floors, and doors all will decrease the range of your Wi-Fi. This will explain why your Wi-Fi won’t reach the kitchen on the first floor when the router is located at your parents’ bedroom on the 2nd floor.
The main purpose of the extenders is to extend Wi-Fi range. For instance, your router has a range of 3000 square feet, minus all the obstructions in your house, you are left with around 2000 square feet of reach. If you place an extender on the very edge of that 2000 square feet reach, then that extender will give you a new range of Wi-Fi like a router would.
Best Devices To Extend Wi-Fi Range
TP-link RE450 Wi-Fi Extender
If you are a heavy user outside of your router’s range, then look no further. Named “the best Wi-Fi range extender” by the wirecutter and the winner of PCmag Editors’ Choice Award, this is the best “bang for your back” extender you can buy in the market.
It is very easy to install. Just download the app on your phone and follow the instructions. This extender will solve all your dead spot problems instantly. Rated at AC1750, the RE450 will maximize your current Internet connection while it extends your Wi-Fi range. You can purchase the TP-link RE450 Wi-Fi Extender at Amazon.com.
NETGEAR EX7000 Wi-Fi Extender
If you want something faster, stronger and more advanced than the RE450, then the EX7000 is for you. The best feature the EX7000 has is its Mesh Wi-Fi System. It allows you to combine all the Network under one SSID name to avoid confusion and the extra SSID management.
Furthermore, under one SSID, you can move freely around your house without having to disconnect from your router and transfer to your extender. Rated at 1900, you will definitely enjoy seamless Wi-Fi connection throughout your home. The lowest price for the NETGEAR EX7000 Wi-Fi Extender can be found at Amazon.com.
TP-link WA855RE N300 Wi-Fi Extender
If you are someone who is on a budget, or you just need the Wi-Fi to extend to the kitchen so you can play your Spotify, then this will suffice. This is the cheapest Wi-Fi extenders you can find on the market. This is very simple and easy to use, no extra features and hassles, this is for basic users who are looking to cover some dead spots in their homes. You can purchase the TP-link WA855RE N300 Wi-Fi Extender at Amazon.com.
How Do Wi-fi Extenders Work ?
As someone who has been in this very situation, it’s very irritating to find out that you can’t do certain things in some parts of your home. Having something that can extend Wi-Fi range is pretty amazing and can be a life changer.
No matter what you choose, a reliable extender can be a very good purchase especially with homes with more than 1 floor. Equally important, in this article I addressed the very common question, “How Do Wi-Fi Extenders Work ?”
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