How to Tell if a WiFi Extender is Working

A quick internet connection check, either through LED lights, an external app/website, or physically moving, is the best way to see if your extender is operating at full capacity.

I’m a technology user who’s spent a lot of my life working on or tinkering with different internet-related devices. Those years of experience have enabled me to properly understand if a WiFi extender is on, as well as how to get the best possible signal from it.

This article takes a deep dive into the devices by looking at the way they work, how to tell if they’re doing their job, as well as the ways to increase or maximize their signal.

Key Takeaways

  • Making sure your extender is on, showing the right lights, and delivering strong internet to your devices is the best way to ensure it’s working.
  • Walking through your house and seeing if your signal holds up in all areas is a great way to test the signal strength.
  • Household items like walls and furniture, incorrect settings, and improper placement are all obstacles that can weaken or prevent an extender from working.

How to Check an Extender’s Status

WiFi extenders are relatively simple devices that almost anyone can set up and use. Even so, they aren’t a piece of technology that everyone is familiar with. That means while they are intuitive in many ways, knowing if they’re working properly is not always easy.

There are a few key methods you can employ to ensure your extender is up and running. The first is to simply study the lights. If they’re all off, so is your extender. 

All range extenders have specific LED signal lights that show a successful connection to your router. No matter what color your specific model uses, or how many signal bars there are, you want the lights on the symbols to be solid (not flashing).

Beyond that, check to see if the device’s status is normal. While every version is a bit different, the method is largely the same. Go to the website or app and then look under settings to see the status. If it is, your router is up and running.

The final, and perhaps most obvious, way to check is by seeing if and how your devices can access the internet. You can also look at the download speed across all your devices. If they’ve improved since installing the extender, it’s doing its job.

How to Test WiFi Extender Strength

Testing your extender’s signal strength is one of the best ways to make sure, not just that it’s working, but that it’s working well. Remember, even if everything is set up correctly and the right lights are on, there’s no guarantee you’re getting the best possible service.

There are a few ways to test your extender’s strength. First, take your devices (phone, tablet, laptop) to the area the extender is supposed to improve and check their connectivity. The more bars that are filled in, the better it’s doing.

You can also simply walk through your house, going to dead zones along the way, and see if you lose any WiFi. If that’s not enough, or if you want something a bit more precise, you have the option to use an online WiFi analyzer tool or a reader mobile app too.

Just be sure to always check your internet across multiple devices. You may have a better signal on your phone, but that may not hold up for your computer. Testing everything will give you the full picture.

Why is My WiFi Extender Not Getting Internet?

WiFi extenders are extremely useful devices that tend to give great results. Even so, they don’t always work as intended. There are many aspects that can harm or impede the signal.

Other electronic devices, including stereos, cordless phones, and microwaves, all put out waves that interfere with your extender. Walls and clutter, especially large furniture, can also create certain problems that weaken how well an extender works.

There’s also a chance that the extender is too far away from the modem. You ideally want to place it halfway between your internet source and where you normally use your devices. If it’s too far from either one, it may not create the signal you desire.

On top of that, the settings could also be off. Always take the time to match up your extender’s settings to your WiFi router configuration. That will make sure both are working in sync and won’t create any lasting issues.

If you still can’t get your extender to work, it could also be a simple compatibility issue. Always check your extender and modem to see if they work together. If they do, reset the router by hitting the button on the back of the device and see if that helps.

How to Connect an Extender to the Router

As mentioned, a big draw of extenders is that they’re quick and easy to set up. You can’t have yours up and running without connecting it first. There are two ways to link up an extender to the modem, and the one you pick largely depends on your preferences or situation.

If you have the ability and want the fastest possible connection, a wired ethernet cable is extremely useful. All you need to do is run a long cable from the extender directly to the router. That link is easy to do and only takes a few seconds.

If you want to cut down on electronic clutter, you also have the option to connect the devices wirelessly. This will differ from model to model, but you generally just need to follow instructions. Set your extender up and then go online or use its app to finish linking everything together. 

Final Words

WiFi extenders are relatively simple devices that are easy to check up on. You can look at the lights on the machine, physically walk around your house, or go online to see if they’re going strong. Whatever method you choose, looking at your signal is a quick and easy process.

What type of WiFi extender do you use? How reliable is it, and how do you tell if it’s working? Let us know below!

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