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Wi-Fi Boosters, Extenders and Repeaters

Jun 10, 2016

If you’re experiencing difficulty in getting a solid, reliable Wi-Fi signal in certain areas of your home, then a Wi-Fi repeater could be the perfect solution for you. This means that you need a Wi-Fi extender or repeater if you’re trying to widen the coverage of your Wi-Fi network. How does it work? It works by receiving, then amplifying, your existing Wi-Fi signal, then transmitting the boosted signal. Using a Wi-Fi repeater means you can effectively double the coverage area of your Wi-Fi network, thus reaching different floors, all areas of your office or home, and even extend coverage to your yard. We have 2 extremely powerful Wi Fi boosters and extenders: Fusion 7 WiFi extender and booster (Consumer Grade) for up to 20,000 sq. ft. coverage, and Force 7 Wi-Fi booster and extender (Commercial Grade) for up to 80,000 sq. ft. reception improvement. These two signal amplifiers also boost all USA & Canadian mobile service provider signals indoors over such large spaces. If you're looking for wifi-only signal boosters, checkout our WiFi signal booster category.

Can You Explain the Difference between a Wi-Fi Booster, Extender, or Repeater?

They’re all basically the same thing – they’re devices which improve Wi-Fi coverage. There is no specific difference between devices described by manufacturers as ‘repeaters’, and those described as ‘extenders’; however, it’s important to note that not all Wi-Fi extenders work in the same way. There are several different types of devices available and, to help you choose the best Wi-Fi repeater for your own circumstances, we’ll now explain what those differences are and how they work.

I’m Unable to Receive Wi-Fi Signal in Some Parts of My House – What Should I Do?

Before you decide on a Wi-Fi extender, there are a couple of things you might like to try. To start with, try moving the location of your Wi-Fi router – place it in the most central location possible. If it’s not practical to change the location, or moving it doesn’t help, check to see if your router needs to be upgraded. Perhaps it’s time to upgrade to a more powerful model, particularly if you’ve had an older model for many years. stocks two Wi-Fi routers from TP-Link, offering the next generation of Wi-Fi – 802.11ac. These are dual band routers with four gigabit Ethernet ports (for use with game consoles or Smart TVs) and ultra-fast dual core processors. Both the Archer C8 and C9 come with unique Beamforming technology, which allow the routers to direct the Wi-Fi signal towards your Wi-Fi devices. The performance and speed of your network is greatly increased when you target the Wi-Fi signal to where it’s being used.

My Wi-Fi Is in the Perfect Location, the Router Is Up-To-Date, but I Still Have Unreliable Coverage!

In this instance a Wi-Fi extender might be the ideal solution for you; and you have a couple of options here. Possibly the most straightforward option is a Powerline Ethernet Kit, which means you’ll be able to send your Internet signal over the electrical circuit in your office or home. The kit comes with two adapters – the first one plugs into a power socket near your current router, with the other one in the location where you need signal. Use the Ethernet cable to connect the first one to your router, then connect the second one to an Ethernet device such as a games console or Smart TV. You could also use the second adapter to connect to a Wi-Fi router for a second Wi-Fi network.

Probably the greatest advantage of this solution is that it’s fast. It’s fast to set up – simply plug and go. Of course you could try to recreate the kit with lengths of Ethernet cables, but that would involve drilling holes in the walls to run cabling throughout the house; meaning that you wouldn’t be able to unplug and easily move your setup around.

It’s also fast in terms of bandwidth. Any extender that uses Wi-Fi will result in some speed loss. Due to the fact that they’re communicating with the router over Wi-Fi, if your extender talks to your devices on the same band it’s using to talk to the router there will be a big speed drop. There certainly are ways to get around this, but the whole problem is bypassed with the Powerline Ethernet Kit. Simply by using the existing electrical circuit in your house you can create a link from your Wi-Fi router to your device that can be set up in just a few minutes and is faster than Wi-Fi. Let’s say you had a games console in the basement that wasn’t getting a reliable or sufficiently fast signal, then this would be the perfect solution. You can plug the kit into the console’s Ethernet connection then connect it in another part of the house to the router.

Of course Powerline Ethernet adapters are not suitable for everyone: the kind of wiring you have in your house and the distance between power outlets can both have an impact on performance. If a Powerline Ethernet adapter does not work for your situation, we recommend you consider a Wi-Fi repeater.

What Is a Wi-Fi Repeater and How Does It Work?

It’s the same as the wireless router already in your office or home, but a Wi-Fi repeater consists of two wireless routers. One of these wireless routers picks up the existing Wi-Fi network then transfers the signal to the other wireless router; the boosted signal is then transmitted.

How Is a Wi-Fi Repeater Installed?

They’re actually very easy to install. You simply place the repeater in a location where it will receive your existing Wi-Fi network, then attach the power supply. Next, using your computer log into the Wi-Fi repeater and enter the login details of your existing Wi-Fi network, thus allowing the Wi-Fi repeater to connect and extend.

If you’ve got an unusual situation like a pool house in your garden, that’s no problem either! Weather-proof Wi-Fi repeaters (such as the Hawking Outdoor Smart Wi-Fi Repeater) can be placed outside to boost signal throughout your property. This is a very flexible kit and it can be easily moved. If, for example, you’re travelling in your RV and the campsite has a weak Wi-Fi signal, you can use this repeater by affixing it to the roof of your RV, thus boosting the signal inside.

Will My Mobile Device or Laptop Automatically Switch between Networks?

The answer to this question is – only if you move right out of range of the first network. A Wi-Fi repeater creates a second network so, if the first network is not available, your device will automatically connect to the second. However, your device will be able to detect both networks at the same time in some parts of your home; which means that if you wish to change from the original network to the boosted network you’ll have to disconnect, then reconnect.

How Secure Will the Repeated Network Be?

Very secure! Wi-Fi repeaters provide the same high levels of security as traditional Wi-Fi routers (WPA, WEP, WPA2 and so on).

And What about Speed Loss?

It’s true that all Wi-Fi repeaters have some speed loss, but some are worse than others. A Wi-Fi repeater works by receiving a wireless signal and rebroadcasting it, however single band repeaters must receive then re-transmit each packet of data utilising the same radio on the same channel. The cost of this can be up to 50% of a single band repeater’s bandwidth. A dual band repeater skirts around this by connecting to the router on one band, then outputting the Wi-Fi signal on the other. A Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band Wi-Fi extender utilizes FastLane technology in order to increase performance by utilizing both Wi-Fi bands. Of course it’s also more effective if you have a fast processor to enable maximum Wi-Fi throughout: The Nighthawk has a dual core 1 GHz processor.

And finally, a feature that helps to reduce speed loss is dual radios. If your device has dual radios then it can speak to the main router on lower channels, and re-broadcast on higher channels. The Hawking Smart Wi-Fi-33 Repeater Pro uses two Wi-Fi radios: the first Wi-Fi radio receives the signal, with the second one radio broadcasting the boosted signal. This is a pretty clever design, because it allows the boosted signal to use a different Wi-Fi channel, thus greatly increasing the performance – when compared to a single radio repeater. The Smart Repeater Pro has a powerful high-gain antenna that’s capable of picking up very weak Wi-Fi signals then rebroadcasting those signals on two powerful 3dBi Omni-directional antennas.

Why not go to and check out our full range of Wi-Fi repeaters and boosters; and if you have any questions at all about what the right solution for you might be, simply send us an email or give us a call. We’re here to ensure that you get the right equipment for your specific circumstances.

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  • Wi-fi boosters sound better for me than a cell phone booster since I use Wi-fi more in my home than I use my cell phone. I switch my phone to my wireless network and use Wi-fi for watching movies and gaming too.

    Hal Colvin on
  • I like that I can come here for wifi extender reviews and get much more—how to use wifi extenders, an explanation of how wifi extenders work, and whether or not I even need a wifi booster. I can’t think of many places that sell things where they tell you to check to see if you need it. Whether it’s a search for the best wifi extender for gaming or the scoop on outdoor wifi range extenders, this is the place to go.

    Tony Malachi on
  • Thanks for explaining the so-called difference between boosters, repeaters, and extenders. I wish the market would settle on one term. I think cell phone signal booster lets you know it will strengthen your cell phone’s signal strength. Repeaters and extenders are a bit more muddled.

    Steve Sanford on
  • Excellent article. This really drove home what a wi-fi repeater does and when you should get one. I like how the article tells you when you might need one, but doesn’t say everyone needs one. This is a helpful article because the writer isn’t trying to get everyone to buy a repeater, but to tell them when it might be a good investment. In my case, I think I’ll be getting one. My wi-fi coverage is erratic at best and it would be nice to use wi-fi without slow connection speeds.

    Morgan Matthews on

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