How Does a WiFi Range Extender Work?
If your current WiFi coverage leaves a lot to be desired, you need a good WiFi extender. With a WiFi extender, you can significantly improve your WiFi signal strength in a matter of minutes and extend your WiFi network almost anywhere you want. A WiFi extender doesn’t replace your existing router, it works together with it, making the original signal stronger.
WiFi extenders work like stereo amplifiers used for driving hi-fi systems. They use electric power from a power supply to increase the strength of the original WiFi signal, transmitting the amplified signal in the air. To accomplish this feat of engineering, WiFi range extenders contain two WiFi antennas: one is used for signal capture and the other one for signal transmission.
A WiFi extender is often referred to as “booster”, “repeater”, or “WiFi extender”, but all these names mean the same thing: a device that captures a WiFi signal, amplifies it, and transmits it.
Most wireless range extenders plug into the standard electrical outlet. They can be then set up with the help of the WPS button or a dedicated smartphone app. WPS is a network security standard that allows WiFi-enabled devices to communicate without entering long passphrases.
With modern WiFi extenders, you get to enjoy the same robust encryption protocols as you get with your main WiFi router, so there’s no need to worry about your privacy. However, you should be prepared for some speed loss. Some of the best WiFi extenders on the market can rebroadcast WiFi signal with only a negligible speed loss, but most single-band extenders lose up to 50 percent of the original bandwidth.
To minimize the speed loss, it’s paramount to position the WiFi extender in the optimal spot, preferably with the help of a professional app for wireless site surveys, Wi-Fi analysis, and troubleshooting such as NetSpot.