A WiFi extender, also known as an access point or repeater, boosts the range of your wireless router. Using one with your router can effectively double or even triple your home’s WiFi coverage, giving you a fast and dependable connection no matter where you are in your home.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular WiFi extenders out there and how they work.
What is a WiFi extender?
In order to understand how a WiFi extender works, it’s important to understand what WiFi is. WiFi is one of the most popular methods of connecting devices to the internet. It operates on radio waves in the unlicensed spectrum at 2.4GHz (gigahertz).
This means that many WiFi signals can be on at once without interfering with each other. This frequency makes them easy to block or disrupt which is why you need a wifi extender in your home or office. A wifi extender takes a signal from your router, amplifies it, then sends it out over a wider area so that more devices can use it.
WiFi Extenders vs. Mesh Network Systems
A WiFi extender is a device that connects to your existing router or modem via Ethernet cable, then broadcasts the signal throughout your house. WiFi extenders will not create a new network. This means you won’t be able to manage it separately from your existing router or modem. It’s best to choose an extender with the same brand name as your existing one if possible.
Mesh networking systems, on the other hand, are standalone networks that can be managed independently of any other system in your home and can connect with each other wirelessly. These systems often provide stronger signals than WiFi extenders and come in kits, meaning you only need one to cover every corner of your home – no matter how large it is!
Choosing the Right Wifi Extender
Before we dive into the types of WiFi extenders available, it’s important to know what to look for in a WiFi extender. Like any other electronic device, there are certain specifications you should be aware of when shopping. Here are three things you should consider before making a purchase:
- What is the distance from your router to where you want to place the extender? It’s important that the range on your WiFi extender is greater than or equal to your desired distance from the router. This will ensure that there is adequate coverage for all desired locations within range.
- What kind of WiFi extender are you looking for? Wired or wireless? Many WiFi extenders will give you a choice between wired or wireless. Wireless models can be easier to install, as they connect directly to your router with an ethernet cable. Wired extenders, on the other hand, will mean a little more work during setup, but if your router is located in a hard-to-reach spot or doesn’t have nearby ethernet ports, it may be your only option. While wired models don’t require batteries and generally perform better than their wireless counterparts, you’ll need to make sure that there are electrical outlets within range where you want to place them.
- What’s your budget? The cost of a WiFi extender varies from device to device, but it’s generally worth spending a little more for higher quality. While there are some cheaper options on Amazon that claim to boost your Wi-Fi signal, you’ll want to make sure that any WiFi extender you purchase comes with positive reviews and high ratings. Once you’ve taken all of these things into consideration, it’s time to start shopping around! There are plenty of devices available online—just be sure to read each product description thoroughly before making a final selection.
Where to Place Your WiFi Extender
Place your WiFi extender in a central location. If it’s not possible to place the WiFi extender in a central location, then try to place it as close to where the signal is weakest. This will reduce the distance between your router and your devices.
Also, be mindful of where you have other wireless devices in use at home or work. If there are too many devices using the same channel, or if these wireless devices are too close together, then this can weaken the signal for all of them.
So make sure you’re only using one WiFi device per channel when possible and that you’re keeping these devices away from each other.