The Best Wireless Range Extenders For 2021
A range extender is a solid lower-cost alternative to buying a new router if you’re looking to beef up your Wi-Fi network, with many now supporting advanced features like MU-MIMO and mesh networking.
- Supports Multi-User Multiple Input, Multiple Output streaming
- Easy to install
- Very good throughput and range performance in testing
Why Are Cell Phone Signal Boosters Sold As A Complete Kit
In 2013, the FCC passed new regulation mandating that all cell phone signal boosters be certified with improved designs to avoid interference with carrier networks.
Back in the wild west days of cell phone boosters, some unregulated third-party boosters had caused numerous interference to carrier cell towers which led to overloading the tower, causing network shutdowns and other harmful performance issues.
Because of a few of these bad eggs, the major carriers and reputable signal booster manufacturers requested for tougher regulations & accountability, thus creating a standard for 4G LTE and 3G signal boosters and leading to better performing & carrier-compliant boosters. This has continued with the introduction of 5G.
So beginning in 2013 and moving forward, all cell phone signal boosters have been and must be FCC-certified.
As a result, amplifiers cannot be sold separately. Nor can parts be swapped in & out, mixed & matched since all three specific major components are considered one unit only given consent by the FCC as a whole.
This is why it is impossible for retailers and online sellers to only sell you an amplifier since the FCC considers the complete kit as approved and not individual parts, especially the amplifier.
However, this doesn’t limit customers to purchase additional antennas, splitters, and other parts to tailor their coverage.
Switch To A Different Wifi Channel
Just like lanes on the highway, there are multiple WiFi channels on which a WiFi router can broadcast. Even though most countries have six non-overlapping channels , many users leave their router set on the default channel, which is usually either Channel 1 or Channel 6.
This results in a WiFi traffic jam as too many packets are trying to drive on the same line. The solution is simple: find out which channel is occupied the least and switch to it. This can be done with the help of NetSpot, a professional and easy-to-use WiFi analysis and surveillance tool.
With a new channel selected, you need to tell your WiFi router to use it:
You can now verify that your router is broadcasting on the new channel using a WiFi network analyzer like NetSpot.
Alternative To Mifi Booster: Passive External Antenna To Boost Signal
Attaching a non-powered premium external antenna to the hotspot is an easy way to boost mobile MiFi signals in your vicinity. Unlike AC or DC powered signal boosters, connecting one of our vehicle exterior antennas to your mobile hotspot does not require registration with your cellular service provider.
Most mobile routers, hotspots, or MiFi units come standard with an external antenna port. Simply connect an external antenna cable originating from that exterior antenna to the antenna port on your hotspot/ mifi device. Depending on the connector of your hotspot antenna port, you may be able to connect the antenna directly to your hotspot device. This will be possible if the antenna has the same connector crimped into its cable as what the port on your hotspot allows. If you choose an external antenna with a cable that does not have a connector that is compatible to your hotspot antenna port, you can purchase a screw-on adapter to make it compatible.
If an external antenna does not boost the MiFi signal strength enough, a DC or AC hotspot booster is the way to go. These are much more powerful than a non-powered external antenna solution.
Tall Antennas Work Better Than Shorter Ones
Obstructions can interfere with your cell signal. RV cell phone boosters include extension poles for the external antenna in order to get above air conditioners and vents on the RV roof.
In general, the higher up you can get your external antenna the better. Thats why the fixed location RV booster kits like the Destination RV include a 25 foot external antenna pole.
Read Also: How To Change My Optimum Wifi Password
How Much Can I Expect To Pay For A Wifi Extender
Wifi extenders are competitively priced within your local computer stores e.g. Harvey Norman, Officeworks, and even Kogan has their own brand Wi-Fi extender. Perfect for average Mums and Dads working in a home office environment or perhaps for that gamer chick wanting to pump a higher strength Wi-Fi signal into her bedroom and when lag and respawning really matters.
Most common brands of extenders currently in the market 2016-2017 are your ranges from TP-link, D-link and Netgear and average device cost will be anywhere between $30-$300 inc GST. We’ve listed a quick screenshot from our search online.
How To Run Cable Through Your Rv Roof
This might be the biggest challenge for you especially if youre not comfortable creating and sealing access holes in your roof.
Run cable through an existing roof vent or antenna hole
Refrigerator and plumbing vents are good places to run cables from the roof into your RV. You may also be able to reuse an existing TV or satellite antenna cable hole.
Going through the refrigerator vent will put you somewhere near the bottom of the refrigerator compartment. From there you can run the cable along a wall or even through the floor and back up into the RV.
Plumbing vents are a little bit trickier. Youll have to remove the cap from the plumbing vent and run the cable next to the vent pipe. This may require you to drill a small hole in the plastic and seal it up when done.
There may be enough room next to an existing TV or satellite antenna cable to run another cable. To do this, youll have to first remove any sealant around the hole and reseal it up when done.
Best way to drill hole through your RV roof
Drilling a new hole in your roof for cables is usually the last resort, but it has its advantages. First of all you can choose a spot that puts the cable in the most optimal location for wiring inside your RV. You can then reuse that entry point for future equipment like solar panels or other antennas.
Heres a how-to video and article I wrote demonstrating a technique I use to create a reusable roof entry point for wiring. . It has worked very well for me and many others.
Read Also: Disney Plus Watch Offline
Do Wifi Boosters Increase Internet Speed
The internet speed you receive from your internet service provider is the bottleneck, a WiFi booster will not increase your internet speed.
However, WiFi boosters use powerful amplifiers and antennas to boost and broadcast the signal in a very efficient manner. As a result, it appears as if they improve your internet speed.
For example, let say you purchased a WiFi booster on Amazon that supports up to 750 Mbps, but your internet plan only provides you with a max of 300 Mbps under perfect conditions. The WiFi booster will not magically increase the internet speed from 300 Mbps to 750 Mbps, it only works with what’s available. The booster will take the existing signal and facilitate a stronger signal, which will allow the connected devices to experience faster WiFi speeds.
Who Can Help Setup My Wi
We can! Should you require any assistance or have questions regarding your recently purchased wifi extender or powerline adaptor you are more than welcome to contact one of our staff members at Mr Telco for expert advice on 1300 788 987 or use our contact us form and we’ll endeavour to get back to you shortly. Otherwise CLICK HERE to book a wifi access point site survey at your home for $33 only.
Also Check: Connecting Roku Stick To Wifi Without Remote
Some Parts Of Your Home Suffer From Slow Wifi
It can be tricky to deal with the dead zones. If your router is placed in the bedroom and you have to work in the home office downstairs, you will surely experience with slow signal and this can turn out to be rather frustrating while working. With the help of the Wi-Fi booster, you will be able to boost your internet speed.
How We Tested Wi
Instead of just testing for the maximum throughput from a single laptop, we used six laptops, spaced around our New York test facility, to simulate the real-world activity of a busy home network. The cellar of our office building has the luxury of space, as well as a mix of Wi-Fi challenges: masonry walls and drywall construction, open spaces, glass windows, and metal-framed doors. We used a TP-Link Archer A7 as the baseline for our tests its an excellent router in a small space such as a townhome or apartment, but its signals are stretched a little thin in our test space.
Because these tests simulated real-world traffic, they did a better job of modeling everyday performance compared with a tool like iPerf, an artificial testing tool that moves data from one machine to another as fast as possible. We did similar testing for the latest version of our guide to Wi-Fi mesh networks.
Recommended Reading: 2 Wifi Routers In One House
Measure Wired Internet Performance
If youve tried the 10 above-described tips for improving wireless internet performance without any success, then its time to shift your focus from your WiFi and measure wired internet performance. To do that, you need an Ethernet cable and a laptop or desktop computer with an Ethernet port.
We recommend you repeat the wired internet performance test several times, preferably at different times of the day. Once youre certain that your internet service provider is to blame, send them the results of your tests and ask them to fix the problem. If they fail to do so, then its probably time to switch to a different internet service provider because even the best tips on how to increase WiFi signal wont help you.
Do You Need A Desktop Or Plug
There are two types of range extenders desktop and plug-in. Most desktop extenders look just like a typical wireless router and are typically equipped with external adjustable antennas, multiple LAN ports for connecting to devices like TVs and gaming consoles, and USB ports for attaching to peripherals such as storage drives and .
Plug-in extenders are much smaller than their desktop counterparts and are inserted right into a wall outlet. Some models have external antennas, while others use internal antennas to present an unobtrusive profile. Due to their size, plug-in extenders usually only have a single LAN port and lack USB connectivity, making them less versatile but more affordable than desktop extenders. If you can’t afford to sacrifice a wall outlet, look for a plug-in model that offers a pass-through outlet.
It’s also worth noting that, if you’re having the rather specific issue of connecting a computer to Wi-Fi in a particular part of your home, you might be better served by a USB Wi-Fi adapter. For as little as $15, these adapters are essentially antennas that plug directly into your computer to help it pull in a better Wi-Fi signal.
Recommended Reading: Can You Have Two Wifi Networks In One House
What’s All This Mesh Wi
If you know there will be problems with Wi-Fi in your homeperhaps it’s particularly large or was built on top of a crashed UFOthen it’s worth looking at a mesh system before you buy a router and a load of extenders. Mesh systems place small stations all over your house to really saturate it with signal and aren’t as expensive as you might think.
Cell Phone Boosters Work Best In Fringe Coverage Areas
Remote camping is where a cell phone booster will benefit you the most. Cell phone coverage in these areas can often be poor. If youre lucky, theres a cell tower within range.
Fringe coverage areas are where youll have one bar or less of signal strength. Your phone may even start switching from 4G LTE to 3G. This is where a cell phone booster can really help.
After turning on the booster, its not uncommon to see a jump from 1 to 5 bars, or from a 3G signal up to a 4G signal with a few bars. Of course, results will vary by location and other factors previously mentioned.
Some locations may still be outside of your providers coverage area or what we call dead zones blocked by hills, mountains or forests. Dont be discouraged if your booster cant give you a great signal there.
Don’t Miss: How To Change My Optimum Wifi Password
Add Signal Strength With A Wi
A Wi-Fi repeater is a second type of Wi-Fi booster. This piece of hardware actually has 2 wireless routers one to grab your existing network and a second which takes that signal to create an enhanced network with a bigger coverage area. To work well, the Wi-Fi repeater should be placed in a spot that already receives a strong signal say, in the mudroom where it picks up the network from a router in the kitchen. The repeater can then increase the network strength to a deck so that you can work at home if the weather is nice. One tradeoff: the signal is generally strong with a Wi-Fi repeater but the bandwidth may decrease, so response time may lag a bit.
Pros & Cons: What Are The Benefits Of A Signal Booster
For a more in-depth description, check out our full article on the benefits of a signal booster, but in a nutshell:
- With “enough” poor 3G & 4G signal, cell phone boosters can absolutely rock. Read some independent reviews about our service & products.
- Eliminate dropped calls, poor call quality, slow text messages, sluggish internet connections, and poor reception.
- One-time purchase, no monthly fees.
- Standard two-to-three-year warranty on most signal boosters from reputable manufacturers.
- Lifetime tech support.
- Work with all cellular devices
- Work with all major carriers in the US and Canada .
- 30-day better signal or money-back guarantee, and lifetime technical support.
- Installation takes a certain level of handiness. Not much, but some.
- If you live in a near dead-zone, you might have to compensate for it with a more powerful & expensive model.
- If you already have landline WiFi internet, you can either use WiFi calling or have your carrier send you a femtocell for free. This basically converts WiFi signal to cellular signal.
Also Check: Xfinity Wifi Qr Code