If you’re having issues with your Wi-Fi and you’ve tried all the basic troubleshooting you can try, one solution both tech support and regular folk recommend is to buy and set up a Wi-Fi extender.
Is it worth it? What exactly does it do? How can this gadget solve your wi-fi issues?
How Does a Wi-Fi Extender Work?
A wi-fi extender solves dead zones in various areas in your house. For this device to work, you’ll have to plug the device about midway between your router and any dead zone areas. As you can imagine, once the extender is situated properly, it could then push more WiFi signals into those targeted areas that originally had no Wifi.
You do have to get your expectations a little low since the speed of your extended network won’t be the same as the speed you get directly from the router. This is because the wi-fi extender just uses the same frequency bands as the router, but passes through an intermediate step (which reduces the Wifi signal speeds) before it reaches you.
The signals you’ll receive from the wi-fi extender may be slower, but it is still better than nothing.
Wi-fi extenders may also be called Wi-fi boosters or Wi-fi repeaters, which all work similarly. Mesh Wi-Fi network, meanwhile, is different and offers a better option since it uses two different frequency bands and comes in packs of 3 devices, allowing you to expand your connection to a wider range.
Uses of a Wi-Fi Extender
Here are the common reasons why you would need a Wi-Fi extender:
1) Your connection is slow.
If there are too many users eating up the internet resources, you’ll feel your connection getting slower by the minute. A Wi-fi extender can help provide stable internet to more people who log onto your network.
By adding a wi-fi extender to your existing network, you can take advantage of the latest WiFi technology without the trouble of replacing your WiFi router. It’s a cheaper solution, as long as you ensure that you’re actually buying a Wi-Fi extender with the most current Wi-Fi range extender technology.
The wi-fi extender or booster should also use a dual-band Wi-Fi extender (the single-band wi-fi extenders are counterproductive since they are known to slow down internet speeds).
2) Your home is too big.
- The second or third floor of your home does not have internet. This is one of the most common problems of residential internet since installation usually involves setting up the router in a “common” room like your living room. While this is still a good decision, some people forget to try out the speeds people from upstairs bedrooms are receiving during installation. If they suddenly find out that their second- or third-floor bedroom is a dead zone, they have no choice but to go closer to the router whenever they need to go online.
- No internet outside. Maybe you expanded your home to have a standalone work office during the pandemic. Maybe you’re only using your deck or back porch now. Whatever your reasons for only discovering that you actually have no internet outside your house, you can still solve this no-internet issue and enjoy the views of your outdoor space. To solve this, you need to add Wi-Fi extenders in a spot with little to no physical impediments, such as walls, furniture, or big appliances that could be considered as “barricades” or a challenge the internet signals need to cross.
3) You need the fastest possible internet.
Who doesn’t want the fastest internet right? If your household suddenly has many users that work or do home school, the load might be affecting your internet plan. If this is the case, a Wi-Fi extender could help improve internet speeds. You just have to follow these guidelines:
- Place the Wi-Fi extender in a location with an outdoor access point
- Ensure that the spot where your router or Wi-fi extenders are placed has little to no obstruction.
- Double Check the location of your devices. If you’re trying to extend the connection upstairs or downstairs, think vertically. Meaning, place the Wi-fi extender directly above or below where the router is located.
Whether you’re playing games or working, Wi-Fi extenders are a must for strong connection anywhere at home. While the efficiency of a Wi-Fi extender does depend on your internet’s reliability and your placement of the device, it is still a simpler solution to dead zones and can be expanded in the future if you wish to.
When buying wi-fi extenders, go with branded models such as D-link, Netgear, Linksys, and TP-link. Many of the modern wi-fi extenders can now be connected to an app, which lets you manage your connections much better and troubleshoot them whenever you experience lagging or no internet.