What Is a Wireless Range Extender?
A wireless range extender is an electronic device that can extend an existing WiFi network. WiFi range extenders, also called WiFi repeaters and WiFi boosters, come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, but they most typically plug directly into an electrical outlet, which makes their installation extremely simple.
They work similarly to traditional WiFi routers except that they don’t connect to the internet with a wire but with another WiFi antenna. In other words, WiFi extenders have a pair of antennas: one antenna receives your existing WiFi signal and hands it over to the extender for amplification.
The amplified signal is then broadcasted by the other antenna, potentially doubling the size of the covered area of your WiFi network.
Because of how WiFi extenders work, there’s one major downside that you should know about: WiFi range extenders create an additional WiFi network. Let’s say you have a WiFi network called “Home.” A WiFi extender would connect to this network, amplify its signal, and transmit it as, for example, “Home 2.”
Unless your portable electronic devices are able to seamlessly switch between WiFi networks as you go from one room to another, you might experience some connection drops and other issues.
If this is something you’re not willing to live with, you should consider paying premium to create a mesh network, which is a local network topology in which the infrastructure nodes connect directly, dynamically and non-hierarchically to as many other nodes as possible and cooperate with one another to efficiently route data from/to clients.
With a mesh network, you can roam from room to room and one mesh network point to another without having to constantly connect and reconnect to different networks.