Do I Need A Wifi Booster Or Extender

A Confusing Mix Of Terminology

NETGEAR WiFi Extender Setup: How To

In the big, wide world of networking, theres a lot of confusing terminology thanks to how closely related some of the terms are, or just due to general marketing misuse. Mesh networks, wired and wireless backhaul, routers and switches, amplifiers, extenders, repeaters, boosters the list goes on. Even bridge is a product name and a networking term. Theres a lot to learn, and theres a good reason why so many people just go to a retailer they trust and buy whats recommended for their home.

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Our Top Wifi Extender Recommendations

  • Take Upto 40 devices at a time.
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A Wifi Booster/Wifi Extender extends the wireless network signal to the dead zones in the house or office. This makes your connections faster and more reliable.

A Wifi Booster is particularly ideal for small to medium houses or offices. However, if you want to connect a bigger house or office with multiple rooms, then you might want to get yourself a Mesh Wifi System.

A Mesh Wifi System is a powerful system that includes a main router that connects directly to a modem and a series of satellite modules or nodes, allowing for a wide, full WiFi network coverage.

That said, this article defines what a Wifi Booster or Wifi Extender really is, how it works, and whether you should consider installing one.

Checking Your Wifi Router Before Setting Up A Wifi Extender

Theres no point in wasting your time installing a wifi extender if your router is in poor working condition. A good wifi router will operate nicely for a few years, but if you have had the same router for four or five years, its probably time to get a new one. Even if it seems to be working well, a new router will give off a better signal.

If your router is new and still has a poor signal, make sure you have it setup in a central location. If youre still getting poor coverage or not the range you would like, a wifi extender is the next best step.

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Is A Range Extender Good For Wi

Most range extenders will put out their own separate network — usually the name of your original network with “_EXT” added to the end, or something like that. Having a separate network like that under the same roof as your main network could potentially cause a small amount of interference, but I haven’t seen any noticeable slowdowns on my main network during any of these tests.

That said, keep an eye out for client devices that automatically connect to whichever network offers the best signal at the time. If you’ve used a device like that on both your main network and the extender’s network, then it’s possible that your device will jump from one to the other without you realizing it. For instance, if your laptop is on your main network and you move a bit closer to the extender than the router, then your laptop might lose its connection and jump over to the range extender’s network for the stronger signal strength, even though the speeds on that extender network might be slower.

How To Use A Wi

300Mbps WiFi Blast Wireless Repeater Wi

Do you have a spot in your home such as a bedroom or out on the deck where its just harder to get a reliable Wi-Fi signal? Youre not alone. Luckily, through better Wi-Fi router placement or tech such as a Wi-Fi extender or Wi-Fi booster, you can easily enhance your internet strength. Heres what you need to know.

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Get The Devolo Magic 1 For Just 100 At Amazon

In the roundup below, we name the Devolo Magic 1 as the best value powerline extender kit, and right now it’s even more a bargain, thanks to a discount at Amazon. Previously averaging around £117 in price, you can now pick up the Magic 1 for just £100.AmazonWas £117 Now £100Buy Now

Connecting Devices In Dead Spots

If your wifi extender is setup properly and has a good connection with your wifi router, you shouldnt have any issues connecting to your devices that are in dead spots . If your extender cant connect the device, try to move the device closer to the extender until you see a green or amber light up on the client device.

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How To Choose The Best Wi

Is a Wi-Fi extender definitely the answer?

Before you buy an extender, check that it really is the performance of your wireless network thats slowing you down and not just a slow internet connection. You can use a broadband speed checker to measure download speeds at different distances from your router, and see how the speed drops off as you move around your home.

Its also worth trying out a few different wireless settings, such as switching radio bands, before you splash out on a new bit of kit. You might find that this gets you a better signal from your existing equipment and that theres no need to buy an extender at all.

What speeds can I expect?

Some extenders promise data rates as high as 1,733Mbits/sec, which is equivalent to around 216MB/sec and far faster than most broadband connections. In reality, for all sorts of technical and practical reasons, the speeds you see in your own home will be far, far lower.

As a rule, were happy with anything over 120Mbits/sec . To put that into context, Netflix recommends a connection speed of at least 5Mbits/sec for HD streaming and 25Mbits/sec for 4K video. So a good, solid Wi-Fi network should easily be fast enough to cope with multiple simultaneous high-resolution video streams.

Whats the difference between a repeater and a powerline extender?

Might I be better off with a mesh Wi-Fi system?

Does my extender need Ethernet sockets?

How I Tested Them

Tech Tips Remote: How to set up a Wi-Fi extender.

We’re still working from home here in 2021, so for my second round of at-home range extender tests, I followed the same playbook as I did in 2020. In short, I ran lots and lots and lots of speed tests.

I started out by measuring the average internet speeds in five different parts of my home, a 1,300 square-foot shotgun-style house with an incoming AT& T fiber internet connection of 300Mbps. I started towards the front of the house in the living room, where the router sits, then worked my way back to my home’s back bathroom — a common dead zone whenever I’m running speed tests here. Even with an AX1500 Wi-Fi 6 router running my Wi-Fi network traffic, speeds in that back bathroom dropped to averages of 15Mpbs for a Wi-Fi 5 client device and 50Mbps for a Wi-Fi 6 device . Upload speeds are typically in the single digits and sometimes the connection drops you outright.

Those baseline speeds are represented by the gray columns in the test results below. See how they drop off in that back bathroom?

The top chart shows you the average speeds in each room when I ran my speed tests on a six-year-old laptop with an aging Wi-Fi 5 radio. For the bottom chart, I ran my speed tests on an iPhone 12 Pro with full support for Wi-Fi 6. All of the extenders boosted the back bathroom speeds for both of them, but some did a better job than others.

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Are Wifi Boosters Good For Gaming

Boosters amplify your existing signal produced by your router. This gives you access to faster and more reliable speeds. Since online video games require decent upload and download speeds, amplifying the signal can significantly reduce a player’s ping. Ping is important in some real time, multiplayer games as it is the time it takes data to be sent out and return a response. The lower the ping time , the better the gaming experience. Things to look for in a WiFi booster designed for gaming are the speed of the fast ethernet ports, the wireless speeds, the antenna design and the ability to handle more than one device. Depending on your gaming needs, a WiFi booster can make a big difference.

Which One Should I Get

Assuming you’ve done your due diligence and decided you do, in fact, need a WiFi extender, there are way too many options to keep track of. They come in a variety of styles and prices, so searching can be a bit intimidating.

A ton of WiFi extenders tend to plug directly into wall outlets, which is probably going to be the most convenient option for most people. There are also extenders that lay flat on desktops, and while those come with their own benefits, flat surface space is at a premium in many apartments.

Last year, we ranked the Amped Wireless TITAN-EX AC1900 as the best overall extender you can buy. It’s a desktop WiFi repeater with multiple ethernet ports if you care about wired connections, but it also costs more than $100. The TP-Link extender is a little more manageable at just over $60 right now and it plugs into a wall socket, for added convenience.

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Other Things To Consider

Aside from my speed tests, I made sure to stream video in my bedroom on each extender’s network and I made several video calls on each network, too. I also spent time playing with each extender’s settings. You shouldn’t expect much, but most will at least make it easy to change the extension network’s name or password. Some include app controls with extra features, too.

My top pick, the TP-Link RE505X, makes it easy to tweak settings via TP-Link’s Tether app on an Android or iOS device. Again, the features make for slim pickings, but you can check signal strength or turn on High-Speed Mode, which dedicates the 2.4GHz band for traffic from the router to the range extender, leaving the 5GHz free for your normal Wi-Fi network traffic. That mode actually wasn’t as fast as sharing the 5GHz band like normal when I tested it out, because those incoming 2.4GHz speeds are limited, but it still might be a useful option in some situations.

Setting a range extender up is about as painless as it gets. Most, including all ten that I’ve tested here at home, support Wi-Fi Protected Setup, or WPS, which is a universal protocol that wireless networking devices can use to connect with each other. Just plug the range extender in and wait a minute for it to boot up, press the WPS button and then press the WPS button on your router within two minutes.

How You Can Install A Wifi Extender Or Booster

300Mbps WiFi Range Extender 300M Long Range WiFi Repeater ...

The installation of a WiFi extender or booster is not complicated. With a hassle-free installation, you can start using a better network within a matter of minutes. You just have to plug the device into a power outlet that receives a powerful signal from the router.

Now connect the device to the extender through WiFi or your Ethernet. Search for the extenders network. You will find the name of the extenders connection in your network settings. If not visible, you will have to search and find the same.

Add your login details and password to the connection. If everything is entered correctly, your connection is secure. You can now use your WiFi from the remote locations of your home as well.

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Do Wifi Extenders Reduce Speed

A WiFi extender does not reduce the speeds provided by your internet service provider . However, the devices connected to the extender might experience slower speeds than when connected to the router.

When transferring data through the extender, the information has to make a wireless hop from the extender to the router, and back. That one hop degrades the speed a little bit because wireless links cant send and receive data at the same time.

Furthermore, some extenders are more susceptible to speed loss than others. Single-band extenders use the 2.4GHz band to transmit data. Unfortunately, since they use the same frequency band to send and receive information, they can reduce your internet bandwidth and speed by more than 50%.

To overcome speed loss issues, dual-band extenders use both frequencies to communicate with the connected devices one band solely communicates with the wireless router, and the other one talks to the WiFi devices.

What Is The Difference Between A Wifi Extender And A Wifi Repeater

If youre having trouble getting a strong WiFi signal in parts of your home, one of the best things you can do is to install a WiFi extender or a WiFi repeater. Both of these devices are designed to boost your WiFi signal. However, they each do this in completely different ways. Heres everything you need to know about the difference between a WiFi extender Vs a WiFi repeater, and which one you should choose.

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How To Complete A Wi

A Wi-Fi booster is not hard to install. Find a location that receives the Wi-Fi network already present and connect the power supply. Through your laptop, log into the Wi-Fi booster and add the login details, including the password of your present Wi-Fi network. This will allow the Wi-Fi booster to extend after connecting.

In a nutshell, the Wi-Fi booster solution is great for:

  • For connecting to on-shore internet connection wirelessly for better wireless internet on a yacht or boat.
  • Home use:Extending Wi-Fi inside a living space or backyard.
  • Office:Connecting internet connection and network in different rooms or spaces in a place of work.
  • Outdoor application:Perfect for extending the wireless internet in such places as a camp ground.

Note that Wi-Fi booster installation takes just a few minutes. It gives your home or office perfect Wi-Fi coverage. Remember that the best way of placing the WiFi extender is halfway between that area where the Wi-Fi puzzlingly disappears, known as the dead zone, and the router. As such, your bandwidth and signal strength boosting will be immediate and will be pointed to the spot that is not getting reliable Wi-Fi. In the process, the Wi-Fi repeater or booster will expand the network coverage allowing your computers, Tablets and Smartphones to remain connected with decreased interference.

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