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How Do Wi-Fi Extenders Work? (And Should You Buy One?)

Ever wanted to get more range out of your Wi-Fi? A Wi-Fi extender is every internet user's dream come true.

What is a Wi-Fi Extender?

A Wi-Fi extender is a tool that helps transmit a Wi-Fi signal from your wireless router to those hard-to-reach places and increases the range you can use Wi-Fi in your home or office. A Wi-Fi extender uses your already existing Wi-Fi and helps spread the signal to cover any dead zones.

Typically people use Wi-Fi extenders to broaden their internet access to areas that are further away from the original router where they have struggled to stay connected to the Wi-Fi, or where the Wi-Fi signal is significantly weaker.

When Would You Use a Wi-Fi Extender?

Whether you are someone who works from home or simply someone who needs more internet access throughout their home for whatever the reason may be, a Wi-Fi extender is beneficial for many reasons. One of the main reasons you use a Wi-Fi extender is to provide internet coverage to areas in your home or office you spend a lot of time in.

Many homeowners find it frustrating to not be able to take their laptops outside and work on the back porch on a nice day. Investing in a Wi-Fi extender will allow you to work outside or wherever you wish to extend your internet signal.

do WiFi extenders work

Large families also find that having a Wi-Fi extender in their home is useful to allow older kids access to the family Wi-Fi without having to all be stationed in one location of the home to use the internet. With how often kids are using computers for schoolwork, this is extremely helpful for both the kids and the parents.

If you are a business owner and need Wi-Fi for your employees or customers, a Wi-Fi extender is an excellent option to provide internet to more areas of your office space or business. This allows customers and colleagues to have internet access at any point, instead of needing to be huddled together in one section of the area fighting for the Wi-Fi signal. off and restart them to get them to work.

If you are a business owner and need Wi-Fi for your employees or customers, a Wi-Fi extender is an excellent option to provide internet to more areas of your office space or business. This allows customers and colleagues to have internet access at any point, instead of needing to be huddled together in one section of the area fighting for the Wi-Fi signal.

How Does a Wi-Fi Extender Work?

A Wi-Fi extender takes the internet signal that transmits from your primary Wi-Fi router and rebroadcasts it beyond the original range of the router. Imagine your friend is down the hall and trying to tell you something. Since they’re far away, you might not be able to hear them very clearly. Now imagine there was someone in between you and your friend who could listen and repeat what was being said. The person in the middle represents the Wi-Fi extender; they are simply listening and repeating what’s being said so that it can go a longer distance.

Extenders are typically pretty small and don’t take up much space like a traditional router. Oftentimes they are designed to plug straight into an outlet, which makes them convenient and can be placed out of the way.

Is Using a Wi-Fi Extender the Same as a Repeater?

With internet technology constantly improving, you may think that a Wi-Fi repeater is a new and improved Wi-Fi extender or even that they work the same. However, these two technology tools actually have different purposes. Luckily their names help explain what they do.

A Wi-Fi extender extends your signal using a wired connection. You can think of it like the classic metal tin cans telephone made with string connecting the cans. A Wi-Fi extender plugs into your existing network and then creates a new Wi-Fi access point wherever you put the extender.

A Wi-Fi repeater uses a different approach to help your Wi-Fi connection reach further. The repeater connects wirelessly to your existing router and then rebroadcasts and amplifies the signal. Imagine you are standing down the hall from a friend and you can’t really hear what they’re saying. If you had two friends at the other end of the hall both saying the same thing, you could probably hear them better. This is how a repeater works to “repeat” the signal to help it reach farther. However, doing this will reduce your bandwidth because of the extra traffic it creates on the Wi-Fi network.

If you are unsure of the strength of your signal, there are a variety of ways to check the Wi-Fi signal strength from basic checks to in-depth and detailed checks of the signal strength.

Where Should You Buy a Wi-Fi Extender?

When you are ready to invest in a Wi-Fi extender, you want to make sure you find not only a good deal, but also a quality extender that is effective and long-lasting. Many major retailers such as Target, Office Depot, and Best Buy sell extenders. Remember though that the larger retailers may have limited options as they only have certain companies they work with.

However, to be able to have a variety of options while also seeing accurate and honest reviews from real people, Amazon is the ideal option to purchase your new extender. By purchasing a Wi-Fi extender on Amazon you will know that you can find the version of an extender that meets your specific Wi-Fi needs. EPB Tech ProsSM are always available to answer questions and provide advice.


How to Setup a Wi-Fi Extender?

After you purchase your Wi-Fi extender, one of the most important steps in setting it up is deciding its location. You want to find the right spot between being able to connect to your current router, and also close enough to the location you want it to transmit the Wi-Fi. If your router is in its original location, there may be a more ideal location which will impact where you put your extender, too. Some tech experts suggest actually measuring from the original router to the location you are trying to reach and then finding the exact middle to place the extender.

Once you have found the perfect spot, break out the manual and read all the instructions thoroughly. You will need access to the internet in order to set up the new extender. Typically there will be software to install, and you will need to know basic information about your current routers such as the username and password as well as possibly needing to know the frequency it broadcasts in order to pair the new extender.

After you follow the instructions and finish the initial setup, you will want to test the signal strength of the new Wi-Fi extender. Once you have done a strength check, it’s time to connect your wireless devices to it! You may need to manually add the extended network. EPB Tech Pros suggest giving it a name similar to your current Wi-Fi name and simply adding the word extender or an abbreviation for it.

Is Using a Wi-Fi Extender Secure?

As you add more tech and devices to your network, it is understandable that you may be slightly concerned about the security of your data and internet. The good news is that adding a Wi-Fi extender doesn’t necessarily increase the risk of being compromised any more than your regular router does, as long as you make sure to put the correct security in place to protect both the routers. Protecting your routers with firmware among other things will ensure the security of your personal network.

There are a variety of tools you can put in place if you haven’t done so already to help with maximum security for your Wi-Fi. Making sure you have a strong password is one the simplest things you can do for security. Also ensuring that the software for your router is up to date can help keep you safe. Other things you can do to help are to make sure your router’s encryption is turned on and the remote management is turned off.

Do Wi-Fi Extenders Slow Down Your Connection?

Another common concern when adding a Wi-Fi extender to your existing router is that it will slow the internet down due to adding an extra device. There is good news with this as that is typically not the case. The only circumstances where this may occur is when a large distance is trying to be covered between the extender and where you are hoping to use the Wi-Fi.

As long as the distance is within a reasonable range, your internet speed rebroadcasting from the Wi-Fi extender should be the same as it is from the original router. If you are still having trouble, experts sometimes suggest getting a double band extender instead of a single band as the connection is more stable.

Wi-Fi extenders are beneficial in both personal and professional settings as they allow more people and spaces accessible to the internet while using the Wi-Fi you already have in place. Remember that you are already using the Wi-Fi from the original router, so as long as the Wi-Fi you currently have has a strong connection, you will simply be stretching that connection throughout the space. Wi-Fi extenders are an extremely beneficial technological tool to enhance your internet access.

One of the best ways to ensure the best wireless coverage throughout your home is to use a managed Wi-Fi solution, like EPB Smart Net Plus. EPB Tech Pros will install a router powerful enough to handle multi-gig speeds, connect all your devices to stable, fast coverage and be available 24/7/365 for ongoing support. Accessing Wi-Fi without spotty coverage, poor performance, and other issues is easy when you add EPB Smart Net Plus to your EPB Fi-Speed internet package.

Contact us today to find out how EPB Smart Net Plus can change your internet experience for the better!

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