The difference between WiFi extender (Wireless booster) and WiFi repeater
WiFi repeaters, boosters and extenders are pretty much the same thing — devices to improve WiFi coverage. Even though you won't find a clear difference between “repeaters” and “extenders” not all of them will work the exact same way. We'll do our best to look into and explain those differences for different types of available devices. Follow along and choose the best WiFi extender for your needs!
Wi-Fi Extender (AP mode)
An extender intercepts the signal of your WiFi router/switch, magnifies and retransmits it. You can extend a wire from the main router to a spot you want a network signal at and plug in your WiFi extender. This way main router is sending network signal via the wire to the extender. The latter will have a new WiFi name.
This plug-and-go solution is easy and fast to set up providing the fast connection you wanted. An extender using WiFi instead of a wire may experience some loss of speed. If such extender talks to your devices on the same band it’s using to talk to the router there will be a speed drop obviously.
In case of powerline Ethernet adapters the distance between power outlets as well as the type of wiring you are using can impact the overall performance. A WiFi repeater is an alternative to a powerline Ethernet adapter.
WiFi repeaters are the devices that receive wireless signal and rebroadcast it. If your WiFi signal can't reach some spots of your house or office, try a wireless repeater to boost the signal from the main router. A WiFi Repeater contains two wireless routers, similar to a wireless router you may already have at home or office. One of them takes up the WiFi connection that you already have and sends the signal to another wireless router. The latter produces the amplified signal.
Repeaters are aimed to let you keep the original network name. These devices are easy to set up with no wires stretched around. Sometimes repeaters may face the interference that may result in an unstable connection.
Did you know there are weatherproof WiFi repeaters? They are very helpful if you are trying to extend the signal outside, e.g. to the pool house on your property.
No WiFi repeaters are ideal. They do have some speed loss issues, some more others less.
Repeaters can be single band and dual band. The devices of first type receive, then retransmit each packet of data through the same WiFi channel, which may easily lose up to 50% of the bandwidth. Dual band repeaters get around this by having the router on one band and sending a WiFi signal on the other.
Hopefully the comparison above helped you make a choice and you are improving your network right now. Don't forget to use NetSpot again to test the signal strength and see how your connection speed improved.
Download Netspot for free and get the most of your WiFi network!