Advantages of WiFi Extender | Disadvantages of WiFi Range Extender

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of WiFi range extender. It mentions benefits or advantages of WiFi Extender and drawbacks or disadvantages of WiFi Extender.

Introduction: WiFi is used everywhere in homes and offices to provide internet connectivity to mobile wireless devices using wifi compliant routers or access points (APs). WiFi signal strength varies based on frequency and distance it travels from router to the end devices. If the end devices are very far from the router and are situated in non line of sight range of the router, the wifi signal strength will be very poor. These regions of the home/office are known as wifi dead zones. This results into intermittant internet connection which often leads to loss of internet in end devices. To overcome this problem, wifi repeaters or boosters or range extenders are installed at appropriate locations of the home/office.

What is WiFi Extender ?

WiFi extender is the device which receives the wifi signal from the router and broadcasts it to the dead zones after desired amplification and band conversion (if required). Hence end devices in these zones will receive wifi signal with better strength and will have higher performance while accessing internet.

WiFi Extender installation

Figure-1 depicts dead zones in a home where we require to have stronger WiFi signal strength. In order to achieve this goal, wifi extender ("E") is placed in these locations in LOS (Line of Sight) vicinity of the wifi router("R"). Typical specifications of wifi extender are as follows. One has to check all these features before making purchase decision.
• Wireless standards (802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax)
• Frequency bands (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, 6 GHz (in WiFi-6E standard) )
• Data transfer rate (in Mbps)
• Ethernet port for wired connection
• WPS (WiFi Protected Setup) - Allows to set up wifi extender without entering network name and password for wifi connection.
• AC powered or USB powered etc.
• Weight, mechanical dimensions and cost

It is very easy to install wifi extender. Following are the three ways one can do it.
• Using mobile application with respect to purchased wifi extender. For example "Tether App" is used for Tp-Link based wifi extenders. Password for router and extender should be same.
• Using web browser and completing instructions as directed on appropriate wifi extender's weblink as given in datasheet or quick installation guide.
• Using WPS button (if available) on both the router and extender. First WPS button on router is required to be switched ON and later WPS button on the extender to be turned ON.

WiFi Extender

The figure-2 depicts wifi extender increasing the signal strength of the wifi signal. As shown in the wifi signal meter application running in the mobile phone, the strength of signal was -79 dBm before the installation of wifi extender. After the installation the signal strength has increased to -60 dBm. WiFi extender enhances range of the wifi signal and provides continuous internet connection in the wifi dead zone areas.

Benefits or advantages of WiFi Extender

Following are the benefits or advantages of WiFi Extender:
➨It increases performance of internet connection in large residential area by delivering reliable and strong wifi signal.
➨It is very easy to setup and manage. WPS feature allow users to setup wifi extender by click of a button.
➨It increases range of wifi signal emitted by wifi router.
➨WiFi extender is compliant to almost all the wifi routers such as Tp-link, Netgear, Linksys, D-Link etc. Make sure to check it before purchase.
➨It can be interfaced with existing wifi router with wired ethernet cable or wireless signal (2.4 GHz/5 GHz).
➨It offers uninterrupted streaming in wifi dead zones.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of WiFi Extender

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of WiFi Extender:
➨Certain wifi extenders are expensive. Hence check the requirements and purchase appropriate low cost wifi extender.
➨Setup the wifi extender halfway between wifi router and wifi dead zone otherwise it gives interference to other working wifi devices such as laptops, tablets, mobile phones etc.

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