WiFi extenders are extremely useful devices for anyone who needs better internet coverage. They increase your network range, allow you to get more from your wireless setup, and they do so without severely impacting or slowing down your internet speed.
I am a technology lover who has spent many years working with different devices. That experience has given me a deep knowledge of WiFi extenders, as well as the most effective ways to increase both network range and speed.
In this article, I will take a look at the importance of a good WiFi extender, and cover why they’re useful. To do so, the following sections will look at the best places for them, how they impact a personal network and the different ways they affect your devices.
- WiFi extenders can slow down devices, but they do not impact internet speed in one way or another.
- Don’t be afraid to upgrade your router to get a better signal, and always place it in an open area.
- For maximum results, place your extender in a clear area that’s not too far away from your router.
The Pros and Cons of Using a WiFi Extender
There are many reasons to get a WiFi extender, but the devices aren’t completely foolproof. While they have their uses, it’s important to note not everyone will need or want the device. It largely depends on each person’s situation.
The biggest pro of getting an extender is, as the name suggests, to increase your network range. All models give your internet a boost and provide much more coverage around your office or home. They help cut down or eliminate dead spots as well.
On top of that, a single extender is quite simple to get up and running. Many forms of technology can be daunting to use, but that’s not the case here. Almost all extenders are simple to get going, even if you aren’t someone who uses a lot of technology.
The biggest con of using a WiFi extender is that it doesn’t take much to hamper its effectiveness. Unlike other wireless devices, simple obstacles can completely throw them off. That includes everyday items like mirrors, microwaves, and even walls.
As such, their placement within a house is critical. So critical in fact, that putting one in the wrong place can lead to connectivity or general signal issues.
The devices also create a second network. That may not seem like a big deal, but the rebroadcast signal can cut bandwidth in half.
How WiFi Extenders Affect Internet Speed
Though it might be surprising to some, WiFi extenders don’t affect internet speed in one way or another.
A high-end model won’t increase it, while a low-end one won’t slow it down. That’s because the devices don’t care about speed, they only affect range.
However, they do impact bandwidth. While they don’t have any effect on the internet that comes from an ISP, they can slow down devices that specifically use the extender. That’s because they tend to eat up a lot of bandwidth in order to effectively remove any dead spots.
Using two extenders, as a result, can completely destroy a connection. Splitting bandwidth once isn’t a big deal, but doing it twice may lead to larger issues.
They also aren’t great options for users who want to increase their internet speed. Some might see better results when using an extender, but that’s mainly due to better coverage than anything else.
Other Ways to Increase WiFi Speed
An extender increases range, but it doesn’t do much to impact your speed. No matter which model you buy, your core wireless network is going to operate at roughly the same level. Luckily, there are a few ways to amp up your internet on top of using an extender if you so wish.
The first is to move your router to a more effective location. Most people keep theirs in one spot, but wireless networks can be interrupted by many obstacles. Simply putting it in a better location can help improve your internet speed.
You can also get new or better hardware. Technology is always evolving, and falling behind can affect your wireless connection’s productivity. Don’t be afraid to get a new router. In that same vein, it’s important to optimize your WiFi settings as well.
Of course, if none of those work (or aren’t options) you can always simply upgrade to a faster internet as well. That’s more expensive, but can be worth it if you truly need to see better results when going online.
Check out this video for more tips:
Ways to Extend Range Without Losing Speed
A WiFi extender, regardless of model or device, will increase your internet range. It may also cause connected devices to be slower. To get around that, there are some tricks anyone can employ that allow you to use an extender without giving up any speed.
As mentioned, interference is a big problem for WiFi extenders. When placing them, always take the time to make sure they are out of the way of devices that emit radio frequency signals, such as microwaves, or anything physical barriers (walls) that could impact your connection.
Distance is important too. It might seem counterintuitive, but you should never place your extender too far from the router. You want it to be far enough away to increase your range, but not so far that it can’t effectively interact with your network.
WiFi extenders may lead to some slowness for connected devices, but that comes from bandwidth splitting rather than them affecting internet speed. They can affect devices connected to them. Even so, they are also simple to set up and use.
If you’re someone who cares a lot about their wireless network and you don’t want to lose any speed, there’s no reason to worry about adding an extender to your home.
Do you use a WiFi extender? How has it impacted your devices’ performance? Let us know in the comments below!