Do you have issues getting the perfect WiFi signal at every corner of your home? In such cases, a WiFi repeater is perhaps the right option for you. However, if you are someone like us, you might have, as well, heard about WiFi extenders. So, how do WiFi Extenders and WiFi Repeaters differ from one another? Which among them should you go with? Let us have a look at the best WiFi Repeaters and Extenders.
What does a WiFi Extender or a WiFi Repeater do?
WiFi Extenders and Repeaters are the small gadgets that are designed to “extend” or “repeat” the WiFi coverage for a specific location. The basic functionality of the equipment would be to receive the WiFi signal, amplify it and then transmit the improved or boosted signal.
It should now have come to your knowledge of what exactly a WiFi repeater or an extender does. But, have you ever given a thought to one thing – how do WiFi Repeater differ from a WiFi Extender?
What is a WiFi Repeater?
A WiFi repeater is a device that receives your WiFi signal exactly in the same way that a smartphone or laptop receives your WiFi signal. The repeater connects to your router wirelessly. This can perhaps result in interference in many cases.
Signals from a repeater can be affected by cordless phones, remotes, and other radio devices. This can cause the signal to go down or drop abruptly. Yet another difficulty you may come across when using a WiFi Repeater is the placement. You need to place it at a location that it can easily pick up the signal from the router. Things like thick walls, floors, and ceilings can disrupt the quality of the signal.
The WiFi Repeater connects to your router and the device at the same frequency. This would mean you would not be receiving the full signals as intended to be. Since the device is receiving a lesser bandwidth, you may end up getting slower connectivity.
What exactly is a WiFi Extender?
WiFi extenders work a bit differently than a WiFi repeater. It will be connected to your router or any other network connection through wired connectivity. Ideally speaking, most extenders support the connectivity through a coaxial cable. However, using a coaxial cable can have an additional advantage.
Here is a Recommend Wifi Extenders Guide for more details on WiFi extenders.
There are powerline WiFi extenders that can use electrical cables inside a wall for rebroadcasting the wireless signal. One of the excellent options that make the WiFi Extenders power options would be the fact that they are not prone to interference. It will not face any sort of interference from the thick walls and other electronic devices. You can be assured of a dedicated and stronger connection with your network.
WiFi Extenders can be an excellent option for getting the WiFi connectivity to the hard to reach areas. The stronger connectivity will ensure that you can continue getting faster speeds.
How do the two techniques differ?
Well, the purpose of both devices remains the same. They are used for extending the connectivity range or reach of your existing WiFi connection. The only difference between the two is that the WiFi Repeater connects to your WiFi Network and boosts the signal, while the extenders connect directly to your router through wired connectivity.
The bandwidth in the case of a WiFi repeater is reduced by 50 percent. Since the device receives and transmits the WiFi signals on the same frequency, the bandwidth that you receive will be exactly halved. The WiFi extenders, on the other hand, provide you access to an improved, enhanced and stable connection.
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What makes a WiFi Extender a better option is the fact that it does not create a new network. Instead, it replicates the existing network and improves the range offered by your network. Thus, the bandwidth offered by your network remains completely unaffected.
In case you have the WiFi connectivity inside a room that has denser building materials or some other issues like thick walls, the WiFi extenders can be the right option. They just replicate the existing network through the electrical outlets. It can be an excellent option for the dead zones in your home and can offer better performance.
The WiFi repeaters would be a great choice if you are looking for easy mobility. They can be quite simple and easy to move around to whichever location you want to, provided the repeater is placed within the WiFi range of the existing network. But it tends to place a restriction on the bandwidth available from the network. Thicker walls and other similar impediments can cause severe issues with your connectivity.
The WiFi Extenders offers unaffected bandwidth. The connection is not affected by any impediments or issues. It can be an excellent option to reach a difficult to reach area. If you have a dead zone that may not be reachable using a WiFi Repeater, the extender should be an excellent alternative. Of course, you need to go through a few extra electrical connections and wiring if you do not already have. A WiFi Repeater, on the other hand, offers a simple Plug and Play compatibility.
Still confused which one to opt for? The following checklist can be helpful.
Are you affected by the loss of bandwidth of your network? Does the area you want to cover has any interference? If you replay in the negative for both these questions, the WiFi Repeater would be the right choice for you. In case you answer in the affirmative to any of those two questions, you would need to go with the WiFi Extender.
In essence, as you would have already found out, there is a slight difference between the WiFi Extenders and WiFi Repeaters. Both of them offer you a similar end result, but which one would you want to go with will be dependent upon the exact conditions at your location.