Three Things to Consider Before Buying a WiFi Extender

How to improve your internet signal throughout your home.

laptop and iphone
A powerful booster can often provide internet signal in places where you never received it before.Tim Bennett

A good WiFi extender, or booster, receives an internet signal from a router, enhances it, and then rebroadcasts a stronger signal to reach places that aren’t receiving a strong enough signal from the router alone. Some are even strong enough to provide internet signal where you’ve never received it before, like on a patio far away from your router.

A WiFi booster receives an existing WiFi signal, amplifies it, and retransmits it a greater distance than a router can achieve alone. The result is improved internet signal throughout a house where before it was too weak or unreliable. When choosing a WiFi booster, consider your internet speed, whether you need a dual-band or single-band unit, and the range you need to cover with the extender.

WiFi Range Extender
This unit supports WPA and WPA2 security protocols.NETGEAR

Before you pick a WiFi extender, it’s important to know the WiFi speed of your existing router. That way you can buy a booster that is as fast or faster. The standard WiFi speed is AC802.11ac, so even if your current WiFi router doesn’t broadcast that fast, it’s not a bad idea to purchase an extender that does in case you upgrade your router later.

N300 WiFi Extender
This device has two antennas for expanded coverage.TP-Link

WiFi extenders come in single-, double-, or triple-band frequencies. A single-band router operates on a 2.4 GHz band. A dual-band WiFi extender runs on either a 2.4 GHz band or a 5 GHz band. The speed of your signal is affected by how many devices are drawing from it—smartphones, security systems, computers, e-tablets, etc. If you’re receiving a slow signal, selecting a higher frequency on a device will improve your internet speed. A triple-band router has the option of providing an even faster speed at 5.7 GHz.

WiFi Extender Signal Booster
This product has five different settings to select from.DrillTop

Depending on the model, a WiFi booster can extend the range of your internet signal anywhere between another 800 to over 2,000 square feet. Consider what locations in your house receive the weakest signal, or anywhere you need to improve the signal, then decide where between there and your router to install an extender. You want to place it close enough to your router that it receives a strong enough signal to boost, but not too far from where you need to receive stronger internet.

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