What is a WiFi Extender and How Does It Work?

What is a WiFi Extender and How Does It Work?
Technology Wifi

A system that repeats the signal emitted by your router is a WiFi range extender. Think of it as a little booster for the signal from your router, carrying out the WiFi connection to a wider area. A reasonably inexpensive way to spread your wireless signal across your home is provided by WiFi range extenders.

For a good model, you can expect to pay anywhere from 75 to 150 dollars. Usually, they plug directly into a wall socket, so you can position the device closer to where you do your internet activities that are most bandwidth-intensive. So what does a router do differently from a WiFi extender? Not much of the same signal is extended further down.

Many models support dual-band routers, so if your extender requires it you will be able to expand the signal from both networks at home; many individuals have both a 2.4G and a 5G network. If WPS (WiFi Safe Setup) technology is enabled by both your router and the range extender, a quick button push on both devices transfers the network password information to the extender. That makes it quick and easy for anyone to use the extender to try to get into your network given they know the password.

Look on your streaming device for your network name, normally attached with an "EXT," log on with your password, and start watching. In addition, make sure to conduct a fast speed test to verify that the internet speed is good enough for high-quality video through the extender. The enhanced wireless signal quality makes a significant difference in internet efficiency in most instances.


Do WiFi extenders really work?


They're certainly built to pick up the signal your WiFi router transmits, then improve it so that it can be picked up in a wider area. Remember that your internet connection is not speeded up by WiFi extenders, or add Mbps to your internet speed. Your router and your internet service contract decide those aspects of your internet access. Note: Also a WiFi range extender is not the source of your WiFi signal and can not be used without a router and internet service provider to connect to the internet. Only the router signal is extended by WiFi extenders; they do not produce their own Internet-connected signal.


How do WiFi range extenders work?


WiFi is a kind of radio signal, and it can be replicated by the correct kind of system following the correct protocol, like any radio signal. The signals from WiFi routers can be replicated by using a WiFi range extender, which simply receives the WiFi signal, then transfers it to a broader region based on the position of the WiFi range extender using its own broadcasting capabilities. The same way routers do, essentially, but without being the origin of the WiFi signal.


The advantages of WiFi extenders


You're probably wondering if you need one, now that you're familiar with WiFi, WiFi extenders, and how both function. There's no easy answer since it depends heavily on your personal situation, your home's size, and where you believe you need WiFi. However, there is a range of advantages to equipping your home with a WiFi extender.

Check out these benefits to help you determine if your situation makes sense for a WiFi extender:


  • Switching from room to room knowing you're not going to lose the signal. Having a larger signal reduces the likelihood that you will find dead zones.

  • WiFi extenders enhance your network, producing a wider signal coverage area.

  • There could be fewer connection problems for larger homes with more rooms and floors.

  • The range of their WiFi to accommodate the space can be expanded for those with backrooms, separate guest suites, or granny flats.

  • Access to Backyard WiFi is quicker, improving outdoor work from home sessions and surfing for leisure.


Another advantage provided by WiFi extenders is that they allow multiple devices to be linked in your home. If you completely accept the Internet of Things at your residence and have trouble monitoring the devices that are the farthest from your router, it is important to consider buying a range extender or two. They will certainly help to maximize the efficiency of your smart digital home.

Range extenders are also produced by most of the major companies making routers, such as Linksys and Netgear. To decide which model provides the best value for the price, study the different models online or at a brick and mortar store. A range-extender could be your best choice for improving your home network efficiency if you live in a large house.


Configuring your WiFi Extender


The configuration for your particular WiFi extender model will depend on the specific device's brand and model. In most WiFi range extenders, however, there are some general parallels you might expect to see. To help your extender function as well as possible, follow these general setup guidelines.

  • The first step you'll have to take after you buy the unit is to unbox it and plug it in. At this point, you should see indicator lights turning on, signaling that the WiFi extender is working.

  • A default signal is typically produced by the extender; it is usually just the name of the brand, plus EXT or some other abbreviation indicating that the signal comes from the extender.

  • You should be able to locate the website by following the directions on the box or inside the setup manual.

  •  Most models allow you to link your extender to the main source of your WiFi via the administrator end of the setup site once all that is set up.

  •  A new network based on your original WiFi network should be built.


Also read: The Future of Wi-Fi: Everything You Need To Know About the Wi-Fi 6



How to place a WiFi Extender 


Once you have agreed to buy and are ready to set up a WiFi range extender, it is wise to follow a few tips and tricks that will allow you to fully enjoy the advantages of your extended WiFi. It can take a bit of effort to find just the right spot for your router and extenders, but it's worth it in the long run. Check out these ideas when you're getting ready to set up:

  •  In or near the rooms in the home where the internet is most commonly used, put your router. For example, your home office could be the perfect location to set up your router if you do a lot of work from home. If you have a nice home theater system where 4K HD movies are streamed, that's probably the space to put the router in.

  • It's time to think about where you'll put your extender once your router is set up. The trick is to find the sweet spot: near enough to the router that a strong signal is collected, but not so close that there is hardly any need to have it in the first place.


Depending on the walls of your home and a few other variables, most routers can reach between 150 and 200 feet, and there might even be a time of day when the internet is fastest. For best performance, ensure that your extender is within that range.


  •  WiFi range Extenders are costly devices, so it is best not to position them in rooms where they may easily be destroyed. If you have an extender in the kitchen, plug it in enough room away from the sink and often-used counters that it won't spill. Keep it away from tool benches and power tools if it's in a workshop.

  • Make sure your router and WiFi extender is secured by a password. With the extended range, with far more devices than before, the network would become detectable. For a WiFi password that can not easily be cracked, selecting a safe password that includes a combination of capital and lower-case letters, numbers, and unique characters is ideal.


You can use a WiFi speed test to ensure that the signal transmitted from the repeater is just as strong as the one broadcast from your router once your WiFi extender is set up. Small speed variations are expected and are also caused by other factors. But if you find that the speed on your extended WiFi is much slower than the speed on the network of your router, during setup, something might have gone wrong. Most likely, the extender was just too far from the router.

With a smooth, responsive internet, your quality of life can be improved massively, making work more efficient and entertainment more enjoyable.


Related Articles: 

Everything You Need to Know About Wi-Fi Calling!

How to Set Up and Optimize WiFi Network for Small Business

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