What Is A WiFi Extender And How Does It Work

When you are stuck in the middle of a no-WiFi zone, you may feel like you need a WiFi extender which is the best way to expand your network coverage. Let's find out what a WiFi extender is and how a WiFi extender works.

What is a WiFi Extender

WiFi Extenders are sometimes called “repeaters” or “boosters,” but the end goal is usually the same. The WiFi extender sits between your router and your computer and passes messages between them.

Of course, how the WiFi extender works depends on the model. They generally work by first pairing the extender with your router, so the extender knows where to connect. Then, you plug the extender into the free power socket between your router and PC.

Now that the extender is set up, it creates its own WiFi network for others to connect to. When you connect a device to it, all your traffic goes to the extender. When it receives this information, the extender forwards the data to the originally paired router.

Wifi Extender Function

Many of us have turned to the latest network hardware such as WiFi extenders, repeaters, and boosters in an effort to not only improve the quality and security of our internet connection but to ensure that we can stay connected at all times. The wifi extender itself has the function of extending the range and avoiding obstacles.

Using WiFi Extender To Expand Range

At the most basic level, repeaters act as intermediaries for your computer. For example, if your PC is too far from your router, it will receive a bad signal, say, one line on the WiFi indicator. However, the midpoint of the house receives an average signal of about two or three lines.

By placing the WiFi extender in this middle position, your router and PC can connect to it with average signal strength. The extender can then transmit data packets between your router and PC with a better quality signal. This, in turn, improves overall performance and reduces the number of internet drop-outs.

Using WiFi Extender To Avoid Barriers

However, WiFi extenders can do more than just mileage. For example, did you know that some building materials, furniture, and devices can create a so-called WiFi dead zone? If something is blocking your signal, trying to “force” your way by sticking the extender in the middle may not work.

However, you can place extenders in strategic places avoiding obstacles altogether. If the extender is in a position where it can “see” your router and PC without having to cross any obstructions, you can clear up the signal between you and the router.

Difference between WiFi Extender, Repeater, and Booster

WiFi extender, repeater, and booster are the same thing. This is a device to increase WiFi coverage. The almost non-existent distinction between WiFi boosters, repeaters, and extenders does cause confusion. Even large stores use them interchangeably.

However, not all WiFi extensions work in the exact same way. The best that you can do when shopping for a new device to increase WiFi coverage is to not judge the name but read the specifications of the device and decide if it is right for you.

How WiFi Extender Works

Actually, the way a WiFi extender works is not exactly the same as a WiFi booster, which connects to the router directly and boosts the signal from the access point, the Wifi extender rebroadcasts the existing WiFi signal. A WiFi Extender usually plugs into an electrical outlet and uses two antennas to receive, replicate, and extend a designated connection.

Do WiFi extenders work? This is especially useful if there are connectivity dead zones or problem areas, often caused by stairs, corners, electrical appliances, and various building materials resisting WiFi.

The WiFi extender is ideal for places that have multiple seating areas/floors and kitchen appliances that turn off WiFi such as microwaves. Because they effectively 'boost' the signal, WiFI extenders are also commonly referred to as boosters.

Do I Need a WiFi Extender?

WiFi Extender is the best way to break WiFi dead zone. Thus, you only really need it if your WiFi connection is not regular. If you already have a decent connection, using an extender to add a few more bars may not really be necessary.

However, before you buy an extender, there are a few things you can try. Suboptimal WiFi performance may be caused by poor router positioning. Having said that, make sure to move your router around a bit to see if that fixes the problem.

You can also modify the router itself to see if that solves your problem. One free method is to choose the best channel for your router to see if it makes for a better signal. You can also replace the router's antenna with a stronger one if you can

If nothing seems to solve the problem, an extender can do the trick. However, before you buy it. In fact some routers can be turned into extenders, which is a great way to recycle old hardware instead of buying new devices. And there are lots of useful ways to reuse an old router, so it's a good idea to keep an outdated router.

If all of the above fails, then buying a new WiFi extender is worth a try. However, it should be noted that the extender is not a magic device for your network problems. Some extenders and mounts will work fine, but they can make things worse.

Therefore, it is best to only purchase a quality WiFi extender to ensure that, should a problem arise, it is more of an infrastructure issue than a product. From a business owner's perspective, high-end hardware from a trusted manufacturer like Cisco is recommended, as they provide extra security and are ideal.

What Do The Numbers In The Name Of The WiFi Extender Mean?

Sometimes you will find the extender or router has a number in its name. For example, you have a Netgear N300 vs N600; what do these numbers mean?

The short answer is that this number represents the total combined bandwidth that the extender or router can handle. For example, the Netgear N300 has a bandwidth of 300Mbps, and the N600 has 600Mbps. Thus, the higher the number, the more traffic the extender can handle.

The long answer involves further analyzing what “total combined bandwidth” means. Each network band has its own bandwidth, so the number is the result you get when you add up the bandwidth of each band the extender supports.

When you look at the Netgear N300 extender, it only supports the 2.4Ghz band. That means you will get 300Mbps bandwidth when you use it.

However, if the extender supports two bands, you can usually calculate the bandwidth of each band by dividing the number by two. However, sometimes the 5Ghz band has slightly more bandwidth than the 2.4Ghz band.

If we look at the Netgear article on this topic, dual-band devices usually share the bandwidth equally. The exception is the N750, which has 300Mbps on the 2.4Ghz band, and 400Mbps on the 5Ghz band.

Therefore, if you are confused by the numbers on your router, try to find official documentation on what they mean.


So what is a WiFi extender? A device is used to expand the coverage area of ​​a WiFi network. How does Wifi Extender work? By receiving an existing WiFi signal, amplifying it, and then transmitting an enhanced signal. Keep in mind that WiFi extenders are only one of many ways to improve network quality.

Hopefully, this article about What Is A WiFi Extender And How Does It Work, gives you a little insight. Also, read an article about What is an API in Programming? that you may need to know. Thank you.

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