Give Your Wi-Fi a Boost With a Range Extender

Wi-Fi networks can be set up nearly anywhere, allowing people to connect to the Internet whenever they want. This makes it easier to work, stream videos, and communicate with friends. Nevertheless, signals cannot travel infinite distances, and they can slow down, depending on the architecture of your home or office. A Wi-Fi range extender can help solve this problem.

Is a Range Extender the Same as a Router?

Wireless routers have helped make Wi-Fi technology more accessible, but range extenders are not the same thing.

  • The router takes the signal from your ISP and projects it throughout your home.
  • A Wi-Fi extender doesn't do this. It takes the signal from your router and gives it a boost so that it will last longer.
  • You can get internet with just a router, but you need a router to make an extender work.

Do I Need 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz?

New technologies have made the process for buying wireless routers and extenders a bit more complicated.

  • GHz, which refers to the length of the waves emitted by the device, is called a band. The 2.4 GHz band gives off shorter waves, and 5 GHz devices give off longer ones.
  • The 2.4 GHz band is shared with other wireless devices, such as baby monitors and garage door openers, and this can cause congestion and slower speeds. However, a longer wavelength allows a Wi-Fi signal to travel through walls and other objects.
  • The 5 GHz band is less crowded, and it also allows for faster speeds. However, since it uses shorter waves, its signal has a hard time making it through walls and other thick objects.
  • Make sure the Wi-Fi extender you buy is on the same band as your router; otherwise it won't work. Many routers are dual-band, and you can also find dual band extenders. This could be a good way to make sure everything functions correctly.

Which Type of Wi-Fi Do I Want?

Most of us think Wi-Fi is Wi-Fi, but this is far from true. There are different types, and you need to make sure you get the right one.

  • As the technology gets more advanced, your Wi-Fi signals are getting faster.
  • Nearly all Wi-Fi signals are labelled 802.11, followed by a letter. This letter denotes the version of the signal and also the speed capabilities of the device.
  • Many companies are using 802.11ac, which allows for maximum speeds of 1.3 Gb/s. Other versions are 802.11n (about 450 Mb/s) and 802.11g (about 54 MB/s).
  • Make sure you get an extender compatible with the type of Wi-Fi coming from your ISP to make sure it works.