Return to articles

WiFi Repeater or WiFi Extender: Which is Right for You

Both WiFi repeater and WiFi extenders are used to boost the wireless Internet signal in your house.

Do you have trouble choosing between a WiFi repeater vs a WiFi extender vs a WiFi booster? You’re not alone. Millions of Internet users struggle to get a strong Internet signal in certain areas of their homes.

Wifi repeaters, extenders, and boosters generally do the same thing — they help to enhance the WiFi signal in your home. However, WiFi repeaters and extenders work differently. Understanding the differences between the two can save you a lot of time, money, and stress.

Whether you've moved to a new larger home or need a better signal where you're at, continue reading to learn the differences between a WiFi repeater, a WiFi extender, and a WiFi booster.

WiFi Repeater Vs Extender — What’s The Difference?

A WiFi repeater extends existing WiFi signals to reach “dead zones” within your home. They improve the range of your home WiFi network by connecting to your router wirelessly to repeat (or rebroadcast) your Internet signal.

WiFi repeaters can be good for extending your WiFi signal, but don’t expect lightning-fast Internet speeds when using one. That’s because they just repeat the WiFi signal at the same strength as your router and Internet connection produce.

Will a WiFi Repeater Make My Internet Faster?

A WiFi repeater won’t make your Internet faster. On the contrary, overall network latency and response time are increased when you access the Internet with a WiFi repeater.

That means that it may be challenging to play online games or stream videos simultaneously on multiple devices while using a WiFi repeater.

WiFi repeaters can be plugged into a wall in a dead zone area of your home. It’s important to note that if you place a WiFi repeater in an area with an already weak WiFi connection, it will only rebroadcast that same weak signal (with less bandwidth) — not enhance it.

Who Should Get a WiFi Repeater?

WiFi repeaters are best for areas in your home that are already close to a strong wireless Internet signal, but happen to be just out of reach. For example, a person who wants to install an Internet-enabled garage door opener may benefit from using a repeater.

However, it’s not recommended to use a repeater for devices or activities that require fast Internet and a lot of bandwidth.

WiFi Repeater Setup

WiFi repeater setup isn’t as simple as just plugging the repeater into a wall. It requires a certain level of tech-savvy or a bit of learning to do properly. Generally, WiFi repeater setup includes the following steps:

  1. Plug your WiFi repeater into the wall
  2. Change your network IP address
  3. Sign in to your WiFi Repeater (be sure to change the username and password)
  4. Connect to the SSID of your WiFi repeater

What is a WiFi Extender?

A WiFi extender is similar to a WiFi repeater. However, they work very differently, and WiFi extenders typically offer faster speeds than a repeater.

While repeaters simply rebroadcast your wireless Internet, a WiFi extender uses a wired connection with your router to create an entirely new network.

Since WiFi extenders communicate with your router via cable instead of wirelessly, you don’t have to worry about Internet signal deterioration or slower Internet speeds.

Will a WiFi Extender Make My Internet Faster?

For the most part, yes. A WiFi extender is an excellent solution to internet dead zones in your house or on your property.

You should be aware that WiFi extender setup is more challenging than WiFi repeater setup. In most cases, it’s best to reach out to your ISP for technical support when setting up a WiFi extender. Further, WiFi extenders are usually much more expensive than repeaters.

WiFi Booster Vs Extender — What’s The Difference?

A WiFi Booster is essentially another name for both WiFi repeaters and WiFi extenders. Since both a repeater and extender help “boost” your WiFi signal in one way or another, they are both referred to as WiFi Boosters.

How Can I Make My Internet Faster Without Using a WiFi Booster?

If you have slow Internet speeds in certain areas of your home, a WiFi booster may be the solution for you. However, before you purchase a WiFi booster device, you should try the following methods to increase the Internet speed on your property.

  1. Move your WiFi router to a more central location
  2. Purchase a new WiFi router or contact your Internet service provider for a new device
  3. Upgrade the software in your WiFi router
  4. Scan your computer for malware
  5. Upgrade or optimize your Internet browser

If none of the solutions above work, you may want to consider a new Internet service provider or a new Internet package. If you’re not sure if there are better Internet service providers in your area, we can help.

Click here to get instantly connected with the best Internet provider in your area, or give us a call at 1-877-298-8998.

Get Connected

Enter the address where you'd like your Internet service.

Find My Provider
Or give us a call:  1.877.298.8998

Ready To Get Connected

Enter your address to get started