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Can You Use Multiple Wi-Fi Extenders?

Today, Wi-Fi coverage at home is essential. From remote work to school assignments, Zoom calls to streaming apps, there’s no room for Wi-Fi dead zones. If your home or office Wi-Fi network is letting you down, you may be considering Wi-Fi extenders to improve coverage. So, is it a smart move to use multiple Wi-Fi extenders?

The short answer is it depends. Most routers provide service 1,500 to 3,000 square feet, but their reach could be impeded by walls, furniture, other electronics or even plumbing. The size and layout of your space, the speed of your service and your router and the setup of your network all factor into whether Wi-Fi extenders (i.e. boosters or extenders) or another solution will work better for your needs.

Although extenders can help improve your Wi-Fi signal, this older type of technology is slowly being replaced by modern mesh networks as the go-to solution for weak Wi-Fi coverage.

Keep reading to find out when it’s necessary to have multiple Wi-Fi extenders, the best practices for setup and alternatives that might be a better fit. Most households will benefit most from a modern mesh network.

Can I Use Multiple Wi-Fi Extenders?

Yes, you can have multiple Wi-Fi extenders. For large homes or multi-floor offices, Wi-Fi extenders are essential tools to extend your router’s service. Check to make sure your router has the ability to be set up in “bridge” or “AP mode” — some routers aren’t compatible and cannot be used as wireless extenders.

Before purchasing Wi-Fi extenders, make sure your router is located in the best spot so you can maximize service. It’s ideal to place routers in a central location away from obstructions such as thick walls, furniture and large electronics. Once you move your router, you’ll often find that the location was the problem all along and extenders aren’t needed.

Also keep in mind the capacity and age of your router. If you’re paying for a Gig of service but your router can only handle 500 Mbps, try upgrading your router first.

multiple wifi extenders

Is It Bad To Have Multiple Wi-Fi Extenders?

It isn’t bad to have multiple Wi-Fi extenders — when you follow best practices and manufacturer recommendations. The trick is to identify how many you need and where to place them so you get better service.

Wi-Fi extenders, as you can tell by the name, expand the reach of your router’s Wi-Fi signal. They can only extend the speed that reaches them, so be sure to place them close enough to your router that they pick up at least a moderately strong signal. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in a situation with slow or spotty coverage.

Pro Tip: The best way to avoid interference between Wi-Fi extenders is to ensure they have different Service Set Identifiers (SSIDs or Wi-Fi network names) from your router. Sharing the same SSID and password between routers and extenders may cause your network to try to connect to internet via the wrong device and leave you without service.

Can You “Daisy Chain” Wi-Fi Extenders?

Daisy chain and piggyback aren’t just names for wholesome childhood activities. They’re also slang for connecting Wi-Fi extenders to each other instead of connecting each to the main router. And you really shouldn’t do it.

Daisy chaining extenders normally does not result in good coverage because doing so will only perpetuate continuously degraded signals. To get the biggest bang from extenders, each needs to be connected to the main router and have its own SSID.

If you are having trouble reaching areas of your home or office without daisy chaining Wi-Fi extenders, you may want to look into a mesh network, below.

How Many Wi-Fi Extenders Should I Have?

Try surveying your home for dead zones with a Wi-Fi analyzer app that scans and analyzes networks to measure signal strength. Figuring out where and how many dead zones there are will help tally the number of and areas where Wi-Fi extenders are needed.

Avoid obstructions like walls and large pieces of furniture as much as you can. A good rule when placing multiple extenders is to keep them within direct line of sight of the router to preserve speed.

How Far Apart Should Wi-Fi Extenders Be?

When figuring out how far apart to space Wi-Fi extenders, there are a couple points to keep in mind. It’s a bit of a balancing act to make sure extenders are close enough to your router to transmit a meaningfully strong signal but far enough apart from each other that they don’t interfere and slow down your connection.

Crowding Wi-Fi extenders too close together can cause their networks to interfere with each other and compromise your internet service performance — in other words, make your internet seem slower. Be sure to locate extenders on opposite sides of your home or office with the router in between them.

While Wi-Fi extenders don’t need to be the same brand as your router, it may be worth exploring if the router manufacturer recommends companion extenders.

guide to multiple wifi extenders

Is There a Limit To The Maximum Number of Extenders I Can Use?

There typically isn’t an upper limit to the number of Wi-Fi extenders you can use, as long as they connect directly to the router and don’t interfere with the network of other extenders, which becomes more complicated with more extenders. Check the manufacturer’s specifications to be sure, since some models may have limits.

However, if you will require multiple extenders (after making sure your router is in a good location and can process the speed of your internet service, of course), it may be time for another solution.

Mesh Systems Are Replacing Wi-Fi Extenders

Mesh routers are quickly becoming the standard when it comes to networking equipment — even for households that don’t need extenders or multiple access points. If you’ve tried every suggestion above or live in a home with multiple floors or that’s larger than 3,000 square feet, a mesh system may be your best Wi-Fi solution.

Instead of using extenders, mesh Wi-Fi networks use access points (also called nodes) under one SSID to create a seamless network. All access points are on a single network, so you don’t have to navigate different networks or passwords like extenders.

Technically speaking, mesh routers use band steering and AP steering under one SSID. Band steering is between the 2.4 and 5Ghz network on the router, or 6Ghz if Wi-Fi 6e. This allows devices to automatically transition between those two bands based on signal strength and quality. AP steering allows devices to move between the different access points that are set up on the network. While most people look for mesh networks for AP steering, band steering has perks as well.

Mesh systems deliver more reliable results to get the most coverage and speed you’re paying for internet service. While mesh systems are more expensive than traditional router and extender systems, they can be more economical in the long run by avoiding multiple equipment purchases to get the same results faster.

Get Professional Help To Extend Your Wi-Fi Coverage

If your expertise lies somewhere other than Wi-Fi networks, it may be a good idea to consult a professional to make sure you’re investing in the right technology and getting the most speed from your internet service.

EPB Smart Net Plus is a whole-home Wi-Fi network that is set up and supported by trained EPB Tech ProsSM. A local pro will visit your home to install the latest equipment and ensure you get Wi-Fi in every corner you need. They’ll also connect all devices, including computers, smart TVs and more, and show you how to use the companion app.

Smart Net Plus protects network privacy and keeps data secure with built-in detection against malware, bots, phishing, spam and other online threats, which you can monitor on the app. The app also lets you see and manage all devices and set parental controls.

If things aren’t working as expected or you want to add new devices to the network, help is just a call away. Smart Net Plus offers 24/7 support and no-charge return visits to help you get the maximum speed from your internet service.

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