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Faster internet is never a bad thing. Increasing your internet speed can become more of a necessity than a luxury though. Chances are, you might be considering a WiFi Booster in search of a better connection.
When our virtual presence is demanded of us almost daily, a reliable and strong internet connection in our homes is more important than ever. However, a single Wi-Fi router can sometimes have difficulty covering your entire home in a strong signal.
It is fairly common for a somewhat larger home to have an inconsistent Wi-Fi signal. The signal in the kitchen might be seamless but can lag two rooms over. Luckily, there are solutions beyond just increasing your bandwidth with your internet service provider.
What Is A Wi-Fi Booster?
A Wi-Fi booster is an accessory used alongside your router to amplify or extend your coverage area. These devices receive the signal from your existing network and then extend that signal to further areas of your home or business. Some boosters may even add new features to your current network.
Are Wi-Fi Boosters and Wi-Fi Extenders the same?
Wi-Fi boosters and Wi-Fi Extenders are essentially the same thing, and the terms are used interchangeably. Different manufacturers will usually brand their devices as one or the other.
You’ll actually notice that for a lot of this article, we use both the these terms. Sometimes they’ll be referred to as WiFi Repeaters by certain brand names.
Do Wi-Fi Boosters Increase Your Internet Speed?
Wi-Fi Boosters and Wi-Fi Extenders will increase your internet speed in many cases. The greater the distance between your Wi-Fi source and wireless device, the slower your device’s connection will tend to be. Extending that signal will give devices further from your router a better connection, and therefore faster internet.
You should take a good look at your particular situation and, through a process of elimination, determine whether a Wi-Fi booster will increase your speed.
How Do I Know If I Need A Wi-Fi Booster?
There are many instances that could benefit from a Wi-Fi Range Extender. You have to take some things into consideration though, because this isn’t necessarily a one size fits all situation.
So how do I know it’s time to get a Wi-Fi booster? Here are the main situations which would justify the purchase:
- Extending your coverage radius. Wi-Fi boosters sit between your router and potential dead zones. They either amplify or redistribute the existing Wi-Fi signals in order to cover those areas.
- Multi-level or sprawling single-level homes will often times need a Wi-Fi booster.
- Certain areas of your home are slow. It may not be that you completely lose connection in part of your house. You may have a spotty connection or a slower connection in those distant areas.
- Get better access outside. Access to your home from the backyard or garage can sometimes be difficult. This access is made easier by a Wi-Fi booster or extender.
The following reasons are sometimes considered, but wouldn’t be the best use case scenarios to justify a Wi-Fi booster. If you’re looking to upgrade your network, you may want to purchase a new Mesh Wifi system.
- Added features and benefits. Some Wi-Fi boosters and extenders feature advanced technology like beamforming, dual-band Wi-Fi, and companion apps. These could possibly help increase the efficiency of your network
- Larger capacity for devices. Wi-Fi boosters can increase your router’s capacity to handle more devices and traffic. The SSID would be separate though so if I didn’t have any dead spots, I would probably not go this direction.
How does a Wi-Fi booster work?
A Wi-Fi booster is placed in a second area of your home where it can receive your existing router’s signal and distribute it to devices within its own radius. Without a booster, the transmission sent by your router may not completely blanket your entire home. With a booster in place, your Wi-Fi signal is essentially extended.
How Far Do Wi-Fi Extenders Reach?
Some Wi-Fi extenders are said to be capable of covering an area of up to 3,000 square feet. It’s important to note though, that the actual effective range can vary based on each use case. Variables can include physical obstructions like walls, the materials they are constructed of, the thickness of any obstructions, and other radio signals around your home interfering with your router.
You’ll also want to also consider the range of your router itself. This could range from 500-1500 square feet.
Access to the internet from a device is based on many factors. These factors are vital to understanding why your internet connection is slow and just how slow it is:
- The actual speed of the Wi-Fi network
- The total number of devices using the network at the same time
- The slice of bandwidth consumed by each of the devices connected to the network
Whether you are trying to boost a frail Wi-Fi connection or are trying to access the dead zones, extenders work like a charm. Placement is key to getting the most of your booster. Ideally, there should be a clear line of sight between the wireless router and the extender. This is the most successful way to boost the reach of your Wi-Fi network.
Our Recommended Wi-Fi Boosters:
|Top||WiFi Extender, 1200Mbps WiFi Extender Repeater, Covers Up to 2500 sq. ft 5G/2.4G Dual Band Wireless Signal Booster||Prime||View On Amazon|
|TP-Link N300 WiFi Extender(TL-WA855RE)-WiFi Range Extender, up to 300Mbps speed, Wireless Signal Booster and Access Point, Single Band 2.4Ghz Only||Prime||View On Amazon|
|TP-Link AC750 WiFi Extender (RE220), Covers Up to 1200 Sq.ft and 20 Devices, Up to 750Mbps Dual Band WiFi Range Extender, WiFi Booster to Extend Range of WiFi Internet Connection||Prime||View On Amazon|
Can A Better Router Increase My Internet Speed?
A new router can sometimes increase your internet speed. This is especially true if there is a bottleneck at your existing router. In other words, if your current router isn’t capable of executing at speeds available from your service provider, then you’ll need an upgrade for your WiFi to function at its full potential.
In a second scenario, if the device you are using is outside the effective range of your current router, then an upgraded router with a better effective range may speed up devices that would have been previously outside of that radius.
It’s important to note that you’ll never get a faster connection than what your ISP caps your uplink to, though.
Routers play a big role in determining your internet speed. Depending on their capacity and the number of devices you have, you can experience faster or slower speeds. While a solid router makes the most of your internet, a slow router can bog it down no matter the speed of the router.
If you’re working on a router that isn’t capable of handling your internet speed, it’s time to upgrade your router. If you don’t, you end up paying for more internet bandwidth that your router can’t successfully utilize.
Old and New Network Equipment
Older routers and network equipment are designed with lower speed limitations than more recent models. Depending on how fast your internet plan is, old equipment can limit your internet speed.
With technology constantly evolving, it’s more important to stay up to date than ever. For example, maximum Wi-Fi speeds have increased tremendously over just a few years. This is one of the main reasons why outdated equipment might not perform as well.
A new router can accommodate faster internet speeds. Keep in mind, your maximum internet speed is what you get from your broadband service provider. No matter how fancy or efficient your new router is, you’ll be able to use as much as your internet capacity permits.
Updating Your Router Regularly
One thing you should check before upgrading your router is updating your router. Updates can be an important part of its upkeep. Most manufacturers would have published at least one firmware update during its working lifetime (usually more).
Updating your router’s firmware keeps it as secure as possible and up-to-date with the latest fixes for known problems. Newer routers have automatic updates, but if yours doesn’t, then may want to check periodically.
The position of your router can have a significant impact on your router’s range and signal strength. A few tips to get the best possible network coverage from your router are:
- Try to avoid placing your router toward an outside wall. This wastes a lot of the router’s capacity as signals are radiated into the concrete with nowhere else to go.
- Avoid placing the router close to the ceiling of the top floor. You may place it on a higher floor but not at a great height.
- The router is best placed in a central location to where you use the internet most often. This means the signal is more likely to reach the areas you need.
Are There Any Other Devices To Increase Internet Speed?
If your router is in a perfect central location, but you’re still having speed or connectivity issues in certain areas of your home, adding a device is a good way to stretch your network’s range. Until now, we’ve seen how boosters and extenders achieve this. Other than these options there are other devices that can increase the reach of your network.
- Wired Access Points: Unlike wireless Wi-Fi boosters, these connect to your router through an Ethernet cable. They distribute Wi-Fi and LAN signals as an extension of your network. These work well for older routers too.
- Powerline Extenders: These come in kits with 2 devices. One is connected to your router via the ethernet and plugged into an outlet, while the other is plugged in a target spot where you want your Wi-Fi signal to be better. The signal passes through the wired connection and increases the range.
- Mesh Wi-Fi Systems: Instead of using a single router, using one or more devices that work together to form a Wi-Fi network is a prudent idea. This network covers your entire home from multiple access points, increasing coverage.
Choosing the right device to extend your Wi-Fi range will depend upon your network and the space you are using it in. If you are dealing with dead zones, then a booster is the right choice. If you are looking at increasing connectivity through a very large space, then mesh systems are probably a better choice. Wired access points are appropriate when using older network equipment or if your network has a high device usage.
Wi-Fi boosters are a poignant solution for home and office use. These devices can increase speed and reliability without expensive router or ISP upgrades.
Installing a Wi-Fi booster takes just a few minutes. All it needs is an already existing Wi-Fi network and a power supply. By linking the Wi-Fi booster to your network, you get them to work in tandem to increase the connection to a larger area. Choosing the right Wi-Fi booster with more ethernet ports, antennas for better reception, and a solid booster range is an answer to your spotty internet troubles.
With Wi-Fi boosters and extenders in place, you can enjoy uninterrupted streaming, gaming, and other online activity from any place part of your home.