There are two types of Wi-Fi boosters. These are Wi-Fi extenders or Wi-Fi repeaters and mesh Wi-Fi routers or mesh Wi-Fi networks. Both offer a solution for extending the range or coverage of a particular Wi-Fi network. However, between the two, extenders or repeaters are the simpler and more affordable option.
Pros of Wi-Fi Extenders: Benefits and Applications
Wi-Fi extenders generally work by receiving and retransmitting the wireless signal from the main Wi-Fi router. A particular extender is placed in an area where the Wi-Fi signal is still strong or in a specific spot between a covered area and an uncovered area.
It then connects to the main router to rebroadcast its signals using its own antennas. This creates a second wireless network. Devices such as laptops and smartphones can now connect to this network created by the extender.
Below are the specific benefits and applications:
• Simplicity: One of the main advantages of Wi-Fi extenders is that they provide a simple solution to improving Wi-Fi signals and Wi-Fi coverage in a particular space. There is no need to purchase a new main router or avail of a new internet plan to address the coverage issues of an existing Wi-Fi network.
• Portable: Most extenders are also compact and portable with dimensions similar to a laptop or smartphone charger. Their size makes them easier to move to different areas of a house or an office where Wi-Fi signals are needed.
• Affordable: These devices are also accessible and affordable. There are different brands to choose from. They are also less expensive than mesh Wi-Fi systems. Most extenders retail for around USD 20.00 while those with longer ranges and better capacities are priced at around USD 100.00.
• Efficient: Wi-Fi extenders or Wi-Fi repeaters also do not cost too much power or electricity. A particular device consumes around 0.006 Kilowatt per hour. This further makes these devices a cost-effective solution.
• Compatible: Another advantage of using extenders is that they work with almost all existing Wi-Fi networks. This allows a user to extend his or her current network without the need for additional equipment. Remember that a particular device is quick to set up. The entire process is as simple as a plug-and-play process.
The advantages of Wi-Fi extenders make them applicable in situations that require a simple solution to improving wireless network coverage. These devices are specifically useful in small homes or small office spaces where wireless signals are obstructed due to the limitations of the main router or because of physical obstructions.
Cons of Wi-Fi Extenders: Limitations and Issues
Remember that there are other solutions to improve Wi-Fi signals and there is another option to boost these signals. Extenders provide a simpler and more affordable solution but they have issues and limitations that make them unideal in certain situations.
Below are the specific limitations and issues:
• Signal Degradation: One of the biggest disadvantages of Wi-Fi extenders is that they are prone to creating signal loss and degradation. This comes from the fact that they are rebroadcasting or repeating signals from the main Wi-Fi router. This can result in slower speeds and less reliable connectivity.
• Maximum Coverage: Most devices can extend a wireless network to around 50 to 75 feet more. This limitation makes them less ideal in large spaces such as expansive houses and large offices or buildings.
• Bandwidth Limitation: A particular extender also has a limited bandwidth or maximum rate of data transfer. This limitation can affect the quality of the wireless connection as it often results in slower download and upload speeds and less reliable connection. These problems arise if multiple devices are connected to the Wi-Fi network.
• Compatible Issues: They are generally compatible with an existing Wi-Fi network. It is still important to consider the different types of Wi-Fi standards and bands. These are the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz, and the 6 GHz bands.
The aforementioned disadvantages of Wi-Fi extenders are negligible in cases that require extending the coverage of a small Wi-Fi network. However, some situations require a better solution. A mesh Wi-Fi network is a better option for large spaces with multiple users and multiple devices connected to a large Wi-Fi network.