How Does A WIFI Extender Work?

wifi range extenders for your home

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How Does a WiFi Extender Work?

Wireless Networks use radio waves for communicating with WiFi-enabled devices, hence providing us with the portable access to not only other portable or fixed devices like a printer but also to the Internet. There are a lot of factors that can not only affect the strength of these radio waves but also create complete dead spots in our home or office, where the signals simply won’t reach. So how does a wifi extender work to bridge this gap?

WiFi extenders come to the rescue by allowing you to bridge the low or no wifi spots in your home or office, and provide a decent signal coverage throughout the building and extending the overall coverage of your wireless network.

These days, Wi-Fi is beyond just a method to connect with the web – it’s a basic tool that you can use to stay updated and connected with the world. It’s a much cheaper alternative to what data companies charge. With the rise in the standards of technology, smartphones, electrical appliances, and other Wi-Fi-enabled gadgets have turned into a staple. Therefore, a considerable lot of us have been drawn to the latest networking equipment (for example, Wi-Fi extenders, Wi-Fi boosters, and powerline adapters) to ensure we stay connected at all times.

Organizations have also been reaping the benefits of Wi-Fi for quite a long time, from huge corporate workplaces to little bistros. Wi-Fi has enabled businesses to save money on communication costs and use unique and trendsetting innovation and hardware. It has been an amazingly important resource for attracting clients. When Wi-Fi works efficiently, everyone loves it!

As helpful as Wi-Fi is, it does not come without its faults. Some issues that you might experience while using Wi-Fi are failed connections, low signals, lagging websites and difficulty with logins. It’s normal to see someone desperately changing locations and waving their phones in the air to successfully catch a signal. These problems are a result of basic hardware neglect.

Often, people don’t pay attention to keeping routers, cables, and dongles up to date and are not aware of the simple ways to optimize the existing signals. These days, sticking to a simple ISP router is not enough. You should consider getting a Wi-Fi extender since it is a risk-free device that can improve your Wi-Fi connection. But how does a Wi-Fi extender actually work?

What exactly is a WIFI Range Extender?
WiFi Extender, GALAWAY Upgraded AC1200 Dual Band WiFi Range Extender Wireless Repeater Internet Signal Booster with 4 High Power External Antennas 2 Ethernet Ports for Whole Home WiFi Coverage

A range extender is a gadget that repeats an existing Wi-Fi signal from the router to extend the area that the Wi-Fi signals cover. It works as an extension, catching the Wi-Fi from your router and rebroadcasting it to zones where Wi-Fi is nonexistent or weak.

So How does a WIFI extender work then?

Wi-Fi extenders can generally be plugged into power outlets and utilize two antennas to catch, repeat and extend the Wi-Fi connection signals. They can be very helpful in connectivity-dead zones, often caused because of corners, stairs, and devices that can interfere with the proper working of Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi extenders can also be used at workplaces, cafes, restaurants, and firms that operate over a large area. As these extenders extend and boost the signal, you won’t need to place a separate Wi-Fi router in every other room.

Other than improving the signals in your office and home, Wi-Fi extenders can also extend signals to places you don’t expect them to reach such as your basement or backyard.

When utilizing a Wi-Fi extender, you need to focus on your gadget settings. Your device will only stay connected to the router. You will have to switch over to the Wi-Fi extender manually in order to get it working, even if your range extender is closer to your device than the router.

WIFI extender articture chart and diagram

 

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Setting Up a Wi-Fi Extender

A Wi-Fi extender is very easy to set up and can be installed in just a few minutes. You simply need to plug it in and press the WPS button on your extender and router. That is all you will need to do to connect the router to the extender.

It is recommended that you place the Wi-Fi extender at a place where the Wi-Fi signals are strong. Doing so will ensure the device gets adequate signals to extend further. However, do not place the extender near the router itself because it will only extend the signals till where the router could’ve managed to in the first place.

Usually, the most logical option when placing an extender somewhere between the device you will be using it on and the router. You may need to experiment with different locations to find which spot works the best for you.

Like simple routers, the operation of Wi-Fi extenders can be affected due to obstacles such as metal objects, concrete walls, and microwaves. Hence, you will need to be mindful of such obstacles while placing the extender to maximize its use.

Wi-Fi extenders can be plugged into wall outlets and mounted on walls or placed on flat surfaces. When mounted on walls, they can effortlessly mix in with the surroundings in your office or home. Cables are not required, and their small size enables them to be placed anywhere near an outlet including corridors and kitchen.

One thing to keep in mind while placing a Wi-Fi extender is that it might extend the signals beyond the perimeter of your building. Hence, the signals could reach people yards away. This is why it is important to make sure you have a strong password that others won’t be able to crack.

home network wifi extender steup

Choosing the Right Range Extender

 

wifi range extenders for your home

Range extenders can help solve insufficient Wi-Fi coverage problems as long as they are compatible with the system requirements and capabilities of your router. Even if Wi-Fi extenders work well with routers with different requirements, it is not wise to purchase fancy extenders that won’t work well with your old router system because such extenders will not boost the capabilities of your existing router. Similarly, if your current router is capable enough to work with higher frequencies, don’t hold back with an extender with restricted Wi-Fi standards.

How to Automatically Connect the Extender via WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup)

  1. Connect the Wi-Fi extender to the electric socket you’ve picked and turn on the power. The green light indicates that the Wi-Fi extender is working.
  2. Press the WPS button on your extender and the WPS button on your modem with an interval of 2-3 minutes. Your extender will automatically connect to the router, and a secure connection will be set up.
  3. You can now connect the device you are using to the Wi-Fi extender. The extender’s Wi-Fi connection will have a different name but will require the same password you use for your existing device.
  4. Once set up, your extender can be moved to different places if you need the connection somewhere else. As long as it is in the range of your router, it will continue functioning.

How to Manually Connect the Extender via a Web Browser

  1. Connect the Wi-Fi extender to the electric socket you’ve picked and turn on the power. The green light indicates that the Wi-Fi extender is working.
  2. Turn on the Wi-Fi on your mobile, laptop or any other device you are using. Select the extender company’s wireless network from the list of networks available. A green Device light on your extender indicates a successful connection.
  3. Your device will automatically open the Wi-Fi Network Extender Setup page when you open a web browser such as Firefox or Google Chrome. If it does not, look up the specific URL for the company you are using and directly enter it in the browser.
  4. Click on the Wi-Fi Range Extender (Wireless) Option and press ‘Proceed.’
  5. A list of available Wi-Fi networks will be displayed. You can select the one you wish to extend, and press continue.
  6. Enter your existing Wi-Fi password and click continue.
  7. You will need to enter a new Wi-Fi name for the extended connection. Enter the same Wi-Fi name as your already existing Wi-Fi system and just add ‘_EXT’ at the end.
  8. Press continue, and your device will now be connected to the Wi-Fi extender.

Even though Wi-Fi extenders can be extremely helpful, they come with some cons as well. Below mentioned are a few of the advantages and disadvantages of Wi-Fi extenders.

 

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Pros of Wi-Fi Extenders

 

NETGEAR WiFi Range Extender AC750 Dual Band |WiFi coverage up to 750 Mbps (EX3700)

1. Extended Wireless Range and Coverage

One of the advantages of Wi-Fi extenders is that it will increase the range of Wi-Fi signals through your office or home. Hence, weak Wi-Fi signals won’t be a problem for you. Wi-Fi extenders basically act as repeaters and boosters for your Wi-Fi signals.

2. Convenience

Another great thing about extenders is that they are simple to handle and easy to set up. They also do not require any extra wires or cables. All you have to do to get your Wi-Fi extender working is to plug it into a socket. You are not required to plug it into the router or your electronic device, so you won’t have to go through any hassle to make it work.

3. Your Old Router Can Be Used as a Wi-Fi Extender

Old routers can also be used as Wi-Fi extending devices. If you do not want to spend extra money to buy a new Wi-Fi extender, you can use an old router that is not in use. This will enable you to repeat signals to areas in your office or homes where Wi-Fi signals are limited. You will be able to utilize a router that was out of use, which will help you save money since you won’t have to purchase any new equipment.

4. Cheaper Alternative to Buying a Whole New Setup

Another great thing about Wi-Fi extenders is that it is a much easier and cheaper solution for your Wi-Fi problems than buying an entirely new setup. You can easily find affordable Wi-Fi extenders in the market that won’t cost you too much. Hence, rather than spending hundreds of dollars on fixing and reconfiguring your setup entirely, you will only have to spend a couple of bucks on a Wi-Fi extender. You will only be required to connect your existing router to one new device. The method of installing and setting up a Wi-Fi extender is also hassle-free.

Some Cons of Wi-Fi Extenders

1. Double NAT

Double NAT can be one of the main problems you might face while using two different routers. This can cause complications in your network such as disrupting functions of different devices in your home or having problems connecting with servers.

2. Weaker Signal

Extenders can be used to extend Wi-Fi signals, but they do not fix the issue of weak signals. Since the extender will repeat the signal that is already weak, it will degrade the quality even more. This will make your network even worse. This is why the placement of an extender needs to be well-thought-out.

3. Can Decrease Speed

As mentioned above, you will wind up minimizing speed that you can get from your Wi-Fi as the signal might be debased as it goes through your repeater. It basically slices the speed down the middle.

There is a lot of things to consider when tackling the issue of poor Wi-Fi in your home with an extender. A repeater or extender might not be the best option in many cases and should only be considered if everything else fails to work. There are a lot of different approaches to enhance the quality of network in your building such as access points, mesh networks, and powerline adapters.

Depending on what you require from your setup, you can use different ways to fulfill your requirements from the network. For example, Wi-Fi repeaters are a good option if you want to fix one or two dead spots in your house or office. However, if you are facing problems other than this, you might need to invest in an entirely different solution like mesh wireless systems that can provide signals throughout the house. Hence, a Wi-Fi extender might not be the solution to all your Wi-Fi problems as its job is restricted.

Are Wi-Fi Extenders Compatible with Any Wireless Network?

Since the use of wireless networks is so widespread and compatible with various new technologies and gadgets, it is easy to get confused about the standards you require for your wireless system. To make things short, you don’t need to consider this a problem or worry about it. Even the newest Wi-Fi extenders are usually compatible and work well with older networks from 802.11 b/g/n to 802.11ac.

So then what are some of the best WIFI extenders in the market today?

If you are looking to buy a WIFI range extender, then we suggest you should look into the extenders discussed below. These WIFI signal boosters have been selected after extensive research and after going through several buyer reviews.

NETGEAR WiFi AC750 – Best Cheap WIFI Range Extender

 

NETGEAR WiFi Range Extender AC750 Dual Band |WiFi coverage up to 750 Mbps (EX3700)

 

 

TP-Link AC1750 | PCMag Editor’s Choice –  The best WIFI range extender

 

TP-Link | PCMag Editor's Choice - AC1750 Wifi Extender | Up to 1750Mbps | Dual Band Range Extender, Repeater, Internet Booster, Access Point | Extend Wifi Signal to Smart Home & Alexa Devices (RE450)

 

 

GALAWAY 1200Mbps – The  best reviewed WIFI range extenderGALAWAY 1200Mbps WiFi Range Extender 2.4GHz and 5GHz Signal Extenders Internet Booster 360 Degree Wifi Booster Signal Amplifier with 4 Antennas