Though repeaters slightly differ, “WiFi booster” is just a different name for a standard WiFi extender. Both items are the exact same device.
I have spent years improving and boosting my internet in a range of different ways. That has brought me into contact with many WiFi extenders. My knowledge of the devices, alongside my own research, gave me what I needed to cover the following topics.
The sections in this guide explain what WiFi extenders are, the different terminology used for items, as well as the best way to operate them.
- A WiFi extender is a device specifically made to increase a WiFi signal’s range and help eliminate any dead zones you might have in your connection.
- Though the names are different, WiFi boosters and extenders are the exact same devices that both work towards making your internet connection stronger.
- When setting up a WiFi extender, always make sure that it’s in an open place away from clutter, but still close enough to the router that it can receive the signal.
Explaining WiFi Extenders
Technology is a great thing. However, the terminology and various options can be overwhelming. Devices go by a range of different names, and they only get more and more confusing as time goes on. That’s certainly the case of WiFi extenders.
As their name suggests, extenders are devices whose specific purpose is to increase your WiFi connection and extend its range. They boost the signal in a way that allows it to reach places that it normally wouldn’t be able to get to.
The devices are pretty straightforward, but their naming isn’t. WiFi extenders go by several names on the open market, and it can be confusing to keep them straight.
WiFi Extenders vs. Boosters and Repeaters
For the most part, boosters, repeaters, and extenders are the same thing. They are three types of the same device, and they all work towards the same goal. Even so, many sellers differentiate between them.
An extender helps extend any connection as long as it’s in the right position. It makes your router stronger and utilizes a wired setup to ensure a combination of power, performance, reliability, and speed. You plug it into a wall for power and a router via an ethernet cable.
In contrast, a WiFi repeater boosts your internet through an entirely self contained device. It’s effectively two routers in one, which allows it to both pick up and transfer your wireless signal across your network in order to increase WiFi range.
In addition to those two, you may also come across a WiFi booster. That’s another name for a WiFi extender that many stores or companies use. Besides that, the two models are the exact same thing.
Seeing the above similarities, it’s easy to see how people get confused when trying to figure out the best way to improve the WiFi in their home. Still, as long as you know what you want and you trust the store you’re buying from, you won’t have any issues finding the exact model for you.
How to Get the Most From a WiFi Extender
Knowing the different terms for WiFi extenders is one thing, but putting them into practice is something else entirely. Regardless of what brand or model you go with, you want to get the best possible signal.
To do that, always place your extender in an open place that’s far away from any clutter. There are plenty of obstacles, including walls, furniture, and microwaves, that can inhibit its signal and cause it to work at reduced capacity.
Make sure it’s not too far from your router as well. You want to put it somewhere it can interact with the signal, but not somewhere so far away that it won’t be able to pick anything up.
Also note that not everyone needs an extender. If you’re in a smaller space or somewhere that already gets solid WiFi, you likely don’t need to boost your signal. You’ll be able to get by with your existing router/modem setup without any real issues.
Extenders, especially high end models, can be costly. That’s why it’s important to check first. They are predominately for those who have large homes or big properties where a single router won’t do too much. Two-story houses often benefit from a good booster as well.
Related: How Long Do WiFi Extenders Last?
Here, I cover and answer a few of the most common questions customers have about different WiFi extending products.
Does a WiFi Booster Replace Your Router?
No. The devices are specifically designed to work with your existing equipment. You just need to hook it up to the network that is already in place and you shouldn’t have any issues.
How Do I Know If My WiFi Booster Works?
Most extenders are compatible with all at-home routers and modems. You don’t need to worry about finding a specific model. If you do have reservations, you can wirelessly connect your devices to the extender. If they are on the internet, the booster is working.
Do I Need a WiFi Extender?
Whether or not you need an extender completely comes down to your situation. Most small places with strong WiFi won’t need the extra range. However, bigger places or ones with spotty internet could always use a boost.
Modern technology is great, but the terminology can be a bit dense. You might hear the term WiFi booster, and you might also hear the term WiFi extender. Just know they are the same thing, and you won’t have too much trouble when looking for a specific product or device.
Have you ever used a WiFi booster or an extender? If so, why did you need one and what were the results? Let us know in the below comments!