What does a Wireless Repeater Do?
A Wi-Fi signal repeater acts as a relay system for your network. It takes your original wireless signal and amplifies it. It then retransmits the signal throughout your home or office. These devices can even relay each other’s signal giving you a quick and easy option to expand your network as you see fit. On top of that, they do not need a direct connection to your router to work, making them highly placement flexible. You can place them anywhere you need them, provided you have an available electrical outlet.
The best WiFi Repeater is the only one that works best for your needs and budget. However, you need to know what is out there before you can buy one. The key is reading the fine details.
Wireless Network Repeater, Booster, or Extender?
Wireless repeaters are not your only option though. You have a wide range of Wi-Fi boosters, extenders, and repeaters at your disposal. These devices are mostly the same thing. They improve your Wi-Fi coverage. Their differences are in how they go about doing that, even though there is not a clearly defined difference between what manufacturers called repeaters and what they call extenders.
Wireless boosters or amplifiers do just that. They amplify your signal. Generally, these devices go near your modem or router itself or are attached directly to it like a better antenna. A good booster can increase your signal strength up to 600%.
An extender is a standalone device that amplifies and retransmits your signal. They work like a network repeater except they create their own wireless network to do so. In other words, if your modem has the network name “MyNetwork-1”, an extender will rebrand itself as “MyNetwork-2”, and your wireless devices would have to switch networks when moving between them.
A Wi-Fi Signal Repeater Uses Your Original Network
A repeater retransmits your signal without changing the network. In other words, they act as remote booster antennas for your modem. At least, that is what they are supposed to do. In practice, most non-commercial units are just extenders in disguise. The real repeaters are the expensive, top-of-the-line units you only see in specialty industrial electronics shops. If you can live with two or more network names, these cheap “repeaters” will do the trick. However, they are not the best option. That would be getting a true repeater.
Choose the Best WiFi Repeater for Your Needs by doing a Network Survey
Most wireless network repeater packages will give you two routers. One serves as your main router for the main signal. The other amplifies and retransmits it. You can also buy single-router repeater setups that will let you use your current equipment as is. Either way, you want the repeater package that offers the power to reach the range and coverage you need.