How do wifi extenders work?
WiFi provides a seamless connection for network devices in the local area networks of our homes or businesses without using cables. However, the WiFi range is limited by physical barriers and the distance between two network devices. For this reason, WiFi signal do not always reach their targeted network devices. Hence, there is a need to extend the range of WiFi signal transmission with WiFi Extenders.
A WiFi extender (also known as WiFi Booster or WiFi Repeater) fulfills this need. It is a network device that allows WiFi signal in dead spots to reach their targeted network devices.
This article will explain everything about WiFi Boosters, how they work, their benefits, and state some of the best WiFi extenders. It also includes the various forms and differences of WiFi extenders and boosters.
What Are WiFi Extenders?
WiFi extenders are WiFi devices that extend the range of WiFi signal that are already in their black spot.
A black spot is a spot beyond which the WiFi signal coming from the wireless router connected to your broadband cannot reach or fails to propagate effectively. Large distances and barriers such as walls, metals, bricks, and many other obstructions deter WiFi propagation.
When a WiFi transmission is impeded by obstructions or distances, WiFi extenders increase the range of these WiFi signal. When thinking about obstructions it is easy to think about walls only but reality is bit more difficult.
What can obstruct WiFi signal?
There are many reasons why your network may be inefficient. The list below is not comprehensive and not all listed there reasons for interruptions will have the same weight, but they all can contribute to signal loss and lower range of your standard WiFi Router.
- Concrete and Masonry Walls
- Thick Timber Walls
- TV (don’t place your router behind the TV!)
- Neighbour’s network
- Baby monitors
- Microwave oven
- Metal and floor heating
WiFi Boosters can help the WiFi signal transmit beyond dead spots and reach all areas of your home.
It is important to understand that from the perspective of extending your WiFi signal it doesn’t matter what type of broadband connection you have. Meaning irrespectively if it’s Fibre broadband or Satellite Internet, WiFi network can be extended and replicate (boost) the signal to cover bigger area.
How Do WiFi Extenders Work?
WiFi extenders are capable of scanning and duplicating the faintest of WiFi signal from a router. Hence, they work by picking up signal in dead spots, and duplicating such signals so that they can extend far beyond their normal range.
Some WiFi extenders can duplicate signal up to 10 times their original coverage. A wireless device such as your phone or laptop picks up these duplicated signals and uses them for its internet access.
Similarly, when wireless devices communicate with very distant WiFi routers via WiFi, they send their signals to the wireless extenders. The wireless extenders pick up the signals and replicate them, ensuring that they reach the distant WiFi router. When the signals reach the WiFi router, it sends the signals to the target servers.
Types of WiFi Extenders
WiFi extenders vary according to their sizes, number and type of antennas, and the size of their port. The best WiFi routers have a high signal extension range, are inexpensive, and most importantly, offer security to signals. Some examples of the best WiFi extenders are:
We can also recommend a less expensive but still very good option of TP-Link AC750 Universal Dual Band Extender that won’t break your budget and give a decent results.
Benefits of WiFi Extenders
WiFi extenders allow access to WiFi signals not normally possible at certain distances. It provides many network and cost benefits.
Here are some of the benefits of WiFi extenders:
- WiFi extenders provide sufficient coverage to enable you to use WiFi connections in remote places or outside of your home. For instance, you can use it outdoors such as in the backyard or garage
- They are small and portable
- They enable coverage in a seamless fashion, you don’t have to log into a new network when your device moves
- Some WiFi Extenders utilise your electricity circuit to extend the network so even if your wall structure prevents signal from travelling far you still have options!
- Some WiFi Extenders create mesh with additional benefits such as parental control
- You don’t have to run cable inside of your home
When Should You Use a WiFi Extender?
You should use a WiFi range extender when your wireless device can’t access the WiFi signal, and therefore broadband connection, sent by your router. For instance, when your WiFi router is situated at a very far distance from your network devices. And secondly, when there are barriers that shield the WiFi signal from reaching your WiFi devices.
Other situations that may require you to extend the network:
- When there are areas in your building with slow WiFi connection
- When you use internet connections outdoors for example, in your backyard
- When your home is large or typically covering over 10,000 square feet.
- When you want to enjoy fast WiFi connection wherever you are in your home
What Is the Difference Between a WiFi Router and a WiFi Booster?
In plain terms WiFi Router is a device propagating WiFi signal delivered via cable connection to your home. WiFi Range Extender allows you to extend the range of WiFi coverage provided by WiFi Router.
What Is the Difference Between a WiFi Extender and a WiFi Booster?
A WiFi extender is a network device that amplifies the waves of WiFi signals in a local area network. WiFi Booster is a broad name encompassing different types of range extending devices. You can usually find them under the Wireless Repeaters, WiFi Range Extenders, Mesh WiFi, Powerline Adapters, WiFi Repeaters. They all serve the same function, to extend the wireless network, but not in the same way. While some utilise electricity circuits others connect wirelessly. Mesh systems are usually more complex and can create their own network with additional controls like parental control. An example of Mesh System are Tenda Nova MW3 Whole Home Mesh WiFi System (lower price range) and BT Whole Home Wi-Fi (bit more expensive but well recommended).