How Do WiFi Extenders Work- A Full Beginner Guide

WiFi extenders work to collect the available WiFi signals from a wireless router or a wireless access point and push them further to create a second network.

WiFi is an abbreviation of Wireless Fidelity. It is a wireless technology that you can use to connect smartphones, computers, tablets, and other devices to the internet. The network signals are radio waves in nature, and there must be a router that broadcasts signals to the surrounding areas. The router receives network signals from a service provider via a modem inserted into the router. In places where a single router is not enough, you have to use a WiFi extender. But how do WiFi extenders work?

I will show you how it works later in this article. The device is applicable in places that require long-range distribution of WiFi signals to distances that a single router can’t reach. WiFi routers have different signal ranges and you can have a WiFi device that distributes signals to a distance of 230 ft while others can distribute signals to a distance of 2300 ft. You can see the one with a small range will require a WiFi extender to send signals further.

The power of a WiFi extender is undebatable because the device can push your router’s signals to a range of up to 2500ft. You can see how long the signals can travel. Large institutions with spread-out facilities use WiFi extenders to ensure that every point receives signals. Some companies call WiFi extenders WiFi repeaters. Therefore, when shopping online and come across that name, then you will not get confused.

How do WiFi extenders work?

If you are beginning to use a WiFi repeater/extender, you have come to the right place to learn how the device works. The operation of a WiFi repeater almost resembles the one for cell phone signal boosters for rural areas.

A WiFi extender picks the available WiFi signals from a wireless router or even a wireless access point and rebroadcasts them to create a second network. The extender sits between your WiFi router and the place where you want to receive better WiFi coverage. Places that do not receive WiFi signals are called dead zones.

WiFi repeaters are inexpensive to buy as well as to set up. Most importantly, you will need to connect your extender to your router. You should push the WPS button to connect to the available WiFi router.

Various factors affect the performance of WiFi extenders. They include the speed of the WiFi internet connection, the distance from your router to your extender, the areas in your home that need WiFi coverage, and the WiFi demands for your family. That means you might not receive maximum benefit from the device. However, there is still a noticeable impact on the device.

How to set up a WiFi extender

how do WiFi extenders work

You can easily set up a WiFi extender/booster without complicated tools. But how does an internet booster work? That is the first query most people ask when they hear about a WiFi extender. You shall know about that later on. You can easily set up a WiFi extender to begin enjoying your internet connection. The following is the procedure to set up your extender.

  • Choose the best location with no obstructions.
  • Connect the WiFi extender to the wall socket and power it on.
  • Connect the WiFi extender to your computer using any of the suggested methods from your manufacturer. You can connect using an ethernet cable or wirelessly.
  • On your computer, select Start > Control Panel > View Network Status and Tasks > Manage Network Connection, and then right-click the Local Area Network and choose Properties. Next, choose Internet Protocol Version 4 and Properties again.
  • Check your manufacturer guide to enter the IP address, username, password, and address.
  • Choose Wireless Repeater Mode and click on the Repeater – OneKey Setting. When it pops up, select the Wireless Network Selection button and click Refresh List.
  • After that, choose the primary router’s wireless network to link the repeater to the router.
  • Click Next.
  • Enter your WiFi network’s secret password in the Pre-Shared Key field if required in case the network is secured.
  • Finish by clicking Apply and Reboot.
  • Your Repeater is now ready to serve you.

How does a WiFi router work?

It is also essential to understand how a WiFi router works. We have wireless and wired routers. The following explains better how the device works.

i) Wireless routers

 A wireless router directly connects to a modem using a cable. Once it receives information from a modem, it transmits it to the internet. The router then creates your home WiFi network using its antennas. That way, you can wirelessly connect all your devices to your home network.

ii) Wired routers

A wired router is different from the wireless type in that it connects directly to computers through cables. The routers usually have a port where you insert a modem to communicate with the internet. Another port connects to devices via a cable.

Is a WiFi router similar to a cellular signal booster?

A WiFi router is different from a cellular signal booster. The device distributes WiFi signals to the available devices while the cellular signal booster collects weak signals from the nearest cellular tower. Furthermore, the setup process is different between the two. You have to mount an external antenna, the booster itself, and the internal antenna for the cellular signal booster.

The internal antenna for the cellular signal booster then broadcasts signals to the available devices. Even the router itself can use the boosted cellular signals in case it uses a modem. Using a cellular signal booster is one of the best ways to boost cell signals at home for free.

Are WiFI extenders secure?

WiFi extenders employ the technology of traditional WiFi routers using WEP, WPA, WPA2. It also includes other standard security protocols, and when using one, you can be sure that your connections are secure. You will therefore not require additional security measures.

What are the benefits of a WiFi extender?

There are various benefits of using a WiFi extender to boost your signals in the best way possible. They include the following.

1) Eliminate dead spots

 The main aim of using the WiFi extender is to eliminate dead spots. These are areas with no traces of WiFi signals.

2) Improve Network Speed

When you extend WiFi speeds, areas on the edge of the WiFi router’s capability can get high speeds. Usually, these areas experience slow network connections due to being far from the router. The far you go, the weaker the network.

3) Cost-Efficient

That is really true. Instead of buying many routers and placing them in all corners of your homestead, you can just buy a single WiFi extender and cover a large area.

4) Enjoy WiFi outdoors and indoors

 If you own a WiFi router in your house, it may be challenging to utilize it outside. However, installing a WiFi extender allows you to receive signals both inside and outside the house.

What are the various types of WiFi extenders?

There are various kinds of WiFi extenders. They include the following.

1. External Antennas

 The devices have external antennas that allow them to receive and extend signals to various locations.

2. Powerline Adapters

The extender allows an electrical circuit in your home or office to transmit electrical signals. It has two plugs, one which you connect to a power source and the other which you connect to the device that requires internet.

The extender is suitable when you want to connect to devices such as game consoles and smart televisions. Again, the extender does not have network lag issues as you can sometimes experience with the others.

3. Weather-Proof Extenders

The devices are suitable to install anywhere without the worry of rain or sun damage. They help you to connect to the network during different types of weather conditions.

4. Router/Extender Combos

The extender combines the router and an extender in one device. It relies on a satellite that receives signals and boosts them for the nearby devices.

What are the factors to consider when buying a WiFi router?

There are various things to scrutinize when getting a WiFi extender. Have a look.

i. Compatibility

It is advisable to get a WiFi extender that works with all devices. Any device you choose should be IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, or IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compliant. You can choose any universal extender which works with any 802.11 a/b/n/ac routers.

ii. Profile

Profile refers to the outlook of the device you want to use. You can choose from the desktop, Plug based, no external antenna, dual antenna, and so on.

iii. Number of ports

Various WiFi extenders come with a different number of ports. If you get the one with many ports, then the better to serve many devices.

iv. Security

You need to get a WiFi extender that has adequate security to avoid any unauthorized data access. WiFi extenders that support WPA2-PSK security protocol are among the best extenders to use.

v. Manufacturer

It is advisable to get a WiFi extender from the same manufacturer as the WiFi router. That way, you will be able to get the correct device to work with your router perfectly.

vi. Cost

If you can get the best at a realistic cost, the better. Some brands may charge higher due to their well-known name, yet they work the same as the cheaper ones.

Bottom line

A WiFi extender is an electronic device that allows you to push WiFi router signals further. That way, one can cover a large area by just using a single router. A WiFi router is a device that distributes WiFi signals to available devices. When choosing a WiFi extender, check various things such as the cost, manufacturer, number of ports, security, and profile.

Paula Beaton

Paula Beaton