In today’s times, a WiFi network is an essential part of our existence. But, sometimes, the connection you receive does not provide the coverage that you are looking for. Hence you can install either a WiFi extender or booster and get rid of the issue. The WiFi extender Vs booster situation may create confusion in your mind.
To help you out, we are going to explain each of these items in detail. It also will explain the critical difference between a WiFi extender and a booster.
Difference between WiFi extender and booster
Before differentiating between them, let’s understand what is wifi extender and wifi booster. Later on, we will also clear the doubt surrounding the wifi repeater.
What is a WiFi extender?
The purpose of the WiFi extender is to extend the coverage area of the WiFi network. It operates by receiving your WiFi signal, amplifying the same, and then transmitting the same signal.
With a suitable extender, you can make your signal reach the places where the connectivity is poor. Sometimes you can even double the coverage area of your network just by adding an extender. So much so that the network can even reach obscure places like yards, corners of homes and offices, and multiple floors in the building.
Usually, the extender is placed between your router and the place where the network is not coming. The extender will then receive the signal and just extend its reach. Here we would want to tell you that the extender does not strengthen your signal. If the signal is poor, there is nothing that a WiFi extender can do.
What is a WiFi booster?
Earlier WiFi booster was a term used for all devices that extended the WiFi signal. Nowadays, you can accurately describe it as a WiFi range extender. This device acquires the signal from a wireless router. But then it rebroadcasts it to create another WiFi network.
The wireless booster helps when we have to connect to hosts, and they are pretty far off from each other. It connects both the IEEE 802.11 protocol and the booster, then bridges the gap between them. Apart from that, the WiFi booster also extends the range of your WiFi network.
There can be different types of WiFi boosters:
- Wireless repeaters
- Wireless range extenders
- Wireless network extender
- WiFi Mesh
- MoCA adapters
A WiFi extender, as we can see, is also a type of WiFi booster. On the other hand, Mesh is a home system where you invest in many devices that work in synchronization. A critical difference between a WiFi extender Vs booster is the purpose for which both are used.
Why do we need a WiFi extender or booster?
We will now tell you in what situations you need a Wi-extender or booster for your home/office.
Some parts of the area have a slow network
At times some parts of your home or office receive a slow signal. Whereas in other areas, the signal is pretty strong. This happens because the router transmits signals only to devices that are close to it. This situation can be frustrating if you use the internet extensively.
If you have a small house, then a WiFi extender will prove useful. Also, if there are multiple devices operational, installing the device could boost the strength and speed of the network. Even after installing the extender or booster device you are not getting proper speed or getting messages as wifi connected but no internet then the problem lies somewhere else.
The network does not reach a few areas
It is possible that a few areas just do not get the WiFi signal, or it is too weak. Such areas are called dead zones or dead spots. Mostly these are places where the WiFi is unable to reach. Obstructions like furniture and walls could stop the network transmission.
Moreover, if you are using multiple devices in that room, the network may fail. In such conditions, a WiFi booster could extend the range of your network.
You have a big home or office
Maybe you have a big home or office with multiple rooms. The problem arises when you need the WiFi signal in all of them. When there are numerous rooms, the chances of having dead areas increases.
This is primarily because, with multiple rooms, the number of obstructions is also high. If you have placed the router in the center yet the signal is weak, the booster could help.
You want a faster and reliable internet signal
The whole purpose behind using a WiFi extender or booster is to improve the range of your network. A strong network connection implies a faster internet. With a WiFi extender in place, you can get desirable internet speeds.
One interesting fact here is that you do not need to replace your router in order to get this. Apart from boosting the speed, some of the extenders and boosters also make your internet connectivity reliable. It is this reliability that allows them to tackle multiple devices at one time.
You want the internet signal to reach your backyard
Sometimes we just do not want to feel like working inside the home. A normal WiFi may not reach your backyard or porch. A WiFi booster, in this case, will increase the range of your device. But, here, you will have to see that your booster is placed at a place that is close to the outdoor areas.
Which one to choose? – WiFi extender or booster
When we talk about WiFi extender Vs booster, there is a lot of confusion in our mind. But, essentially, both of them are one and the same thing. Their functionalities are pretty identical. Which one you decide to pick is dependent on the network needs and the setup.
If the WiFi performance is not up to mark, then we suggest you should invest in a WiFi booster. On the other hand, if the network signal does not reach the entire home, a WiFi extender is more suitable. For example, if your home is huge with multiple floors, an extender will help signal reach everywhere. This helps your signal coverage, and you can work anywhere you like.
The difference with WiFi repeaters?
Next, we will talk about another category of boosters, and that is a WiFi repeater, the first generation of WiFi extenders. The difference between a WiFi repeater or a WiFi booster lies in the manner in which both of them work. We have already talked about how an extender or booster works. Let us now talk about the working of a WiFi repeater.
A repeater connects with your router on the same frequency. This means that all your devices will get only half of the bandwidth. The implication is a slower internet which nobody wants. Also, the repeater connects wirelessly; hence the signal weakens due to the presence of walls, furniture, etc.
A WiFi extender or booster, on the other hand, overcomes all these problems. It connects through a wired connection. Hence it provides faster, more robust, and reliable internet connectivity. The connection remains less prone to any kind of disturbances. Meaning that if you want a solid and stable internet connection, you must invest in a WiFi extender.
How you can install a WiFi extender or booster?
The installation of a WiFi extender or booster is not complicated. With a hassle-free installation, you can start using a better network within a matter of minutes. You just have to plug the device into a power outlet that receives a powerful signal from the router.
Now connect the device to the extender through WiFi or your Ethernet. Search for the extender’s network. You will find the name of the extender’s connection in your network settings. If not visible, you will have to search and find the same.
Add your login details and password to the connection. If everything is entered correctly, your connection is secure. You can now use your WiFi from the remote locations of your home as well.
Things to know before your buy a WiFi extender or booster
Obviously, you cannot just rush and buy the first extender that you see. There are a couple of factors that come into play here:
Compatibility: The WiFi booster or extender, whatever you choose must be compatible with your wireless router. If both of them do not match, all your hard work goes to waste. For best results, you can stick to the same vendor.
Status indicator: WiFi extenders are usually provided with LEDs to show their status. In fact, some of them even mention whether you are setting them out of range. This information proves helpful when you decide to pick a place for plugging in the extender.
Type: If you do not have enough space to accommodate the WiFi range extender and booster, then the plug-in version is useful. Otherwise, if you have a desk, you can go for the desktop type.
The technology used: When it comes to a WiFi extender, the manner in which your network signal is tackled means a lot. Also, check if the extender has Ethernet and USB ports. They should have amplifiers and antennae to amplify the signal. There are some other technologies like Beamforming, Crossband technology, and MU-MIMO (Multi-User – Multiple Input Multiple Output) that you will have to deal with.
We have analyzed all factors to help you understand the intricacies of WiFi booster Vs WiFi extender. Both the products are made to achieve the same purpose. The only difference that remains is in their purpose. You can use the booster to get a strong WiFi signal. But if you want your network to reach all kinds of obscure places, you should opt for a WiFi extender.
Also, the place where you keep the extender influences its performance. Decide in advance on the location so that you do not have to change the place frequently. If everything works smoothly, you will never face a weak connection again.