Buy Guide

Guide and tips to buy a WiFi repeater in 2023

Update: In addition to all the excellent information in this article about WiFi repeaters, we have added a part that we found very interesting with the most frequently asked questions regarding this type of device.

There are many reasons why the WiFi signal does not reach all the rooms in your house adequately.

It may be due to a bad location of the router, the low power of its antennas or the construction materials of your house, among many others.

If you have trouble connecting to your router from the most remote rooms, you just have to add the appropriate devices to extend the coverage of your WiFi network to the last corner of your house. We tell you what types of WiFi repeater and which one to buy.

Having a similar shape, there is some confusion about the different technologies and devices used to extend WiFiso we tell you which is the best WiFi repeater for you and which solution is the most suitable for each case.

Everything you need to know before buying a WiFi repeater:

What is a WiFi signal repeater

The simplest and cheapest device for extend the coverage of your WiFi network is the WiFi repeater. As its name suggests, this device is responsible for “collecting” the WiFi coverage of your router, and amplifying it so that it reaches a little further.

One of the peculiarities of repeaters is that each one of them tends to create a new different network, so you will have to change the connection point from your device to use it and the repeater will act as an intermediary between your device and the router.

Types of WiFi repeater and which one to buy in 2019

This is the most basic and least efficient solution of all for extend your home’s WiFi coverage. It is, so to speak, like installing an extension so that your WiFi network reaches a few meters away.

The repeater must be located at an intermediate point between the router and the device you want to connect. However, the repeater of a WiFi network should always be under the coverage area of ​​your router, so it is even possible to have to install several if it is very far away.

For Maximize your home’s WiFi coverageThese devices tend to be at the limit of coverage, a point at which a large part of the power and connection speed has already been lost, so it is rarely possible to take advantage of the connection speed you have contracted.

WiFi repeaters are useful for connecting certain devices by Ethernet cable, such as Smart TVs, computers or decoders that do not have WiFi connectivity and that are close to the router.

In this way, the WiFi repeater is used as a converter from wireless to Ethernet cable, allowing these devices to be connected by cable, but without having to fill your house with network cables.

TP-Link RE550

How is it different from a WiFi extender?

With a concept very similar to that of WiFi repeaters, but with slightly higher performance. the end of wifi network extenders is to offer a vitaminized version of the wireless network.

The main difference between WiFi repeaters and extenders is that the latter power the same WiFi network that they receive, amplifying the sign to take it where the coverage of your router is not capable of reaching.

Types of WiFi repeater and which one to buy in 2019

A characteristic feature of these devices is that they display 2 or more externally visible antennas, which they use to boost your router’s wireless signal. They are often confused with WiFi repeaters. due to their similarity, since, in fact, it is very common for extenders to include repeater functions.

There are portable WiFi extenders, which have the same plug format as the extenders, and desktop extenders that look more like a router.

The main difference is that the extenders can not only receive and transmit a WiFi signal from the router, but you can also connect it via a network cable to your router, to emit the signal of your router with more power.

Types of WiFi repeater and which one to buy in 2019

Since they need to broadcast with more power or in several frequency bands simultaneously, WiFi extenders usually have between two and four external antennas.

Its use is recommended when you do not have a WiFi routeror the one you have is not capable of offering double frequency band for speed up your home Wi-Fi connections to play streaming without lag or watch streaming videos.

In that case, the WiFi extender extends the features of your router, making your signal go further and with the same connection speed as cable.

WiFi Bridges, what are they?

The so-called WiFi Bridge or WiFi bridgeis a more advanced extender system, consisting of two devices in which the first acts as a WiFi transmitter, while the second acts as a receiver.

The sending device connects directly to the router via an Ethernet cable and is responsible for transmitting a powerful encrypted WiFi signal that is only capable of deciphering the remote receiver with which it is synchronized.

For its part, the receiver has several Ethernet connections to which different cable devices can be connected.

This emitting device, in addition, clone the wifi network of the router, and transmits it using both frequency bands to achieve the same WiFi connection speed that you would get by connecting a device to the router while standing next to it. So it would be almost how to clone the router and place it near the furthest rooms.

This type of device is perfect when you need to connect several devices using a network cable or deploy greater WiFi coverage at a higher speed, such as when setting up a room for leisure, or to provide coverage to an area where you are going to connect gaming devices such as PC gaming or consoles and you do not have a good WiFi connection.

Types of WiFi repeater and which one to buy in 2019

Devolo GigaGateTenda Nova WiFi Mesh AC2100 MW12

What is a PLC (Power Line Communications)

The last method to bring the WiFi signal to the last corner of your house are the Power-Line-Communications devices. These devices are often mistaken for WiFi extenders or repeaters because of how they look, but how they work has nothing to do with them.

This system uses the cables of the electrical network to transmit the Internet signal throughout your home, so any socket can become an access point.

For this, a transmitter is used that connects to your router via an Ethernet cable and plugs into a socket. This device is responsible for converting the digital signal of the Internet into electrical impulses that travel through the electrical installation of your home.

In one of the rooms, a second adapter will be connected to a power outlet that is synchronized with the emitter and connects to the devices via a network cable or WiFi connection. In this way, the information that one transmits to the other is decoded to send it to the Internet or to the device respectively.

The main difference between an extender and a PLC It is that the signal is not transmitted via WiFi, but rather through the electrical installation, to then be decoded and, then, yes, it can be transmitted to other devices via WiFi.

devolo Multiroom Wi-Fi kit 550+

In other words, you can take the Internet signal from one end of your house to another, and once there, start transmitting the WiFi signal without the need for intermediate devices that amplify that wireless signal.

This option is perfect for bring Internet to different floors of the same house and improve WiFi as long as the electrical installation is the same throughout. Something that is quite a challenge for repeaters and extenders.

The big advantage is that the system is scalable and you just have to add new adapters to extend the WiFi coverage of your home. It would be necessary to add an adapter per floor to have connectivity throughout the house.

In addition, if the electrical installation is of quality, there will hardly be any loss in the connection speed that you have contracted, so you will be able to navigate at maximum speed from anywhere in your home.

The Most allow you to clone your router’s networkso for all intents and purposes it will be as if there was only one big WiFi network for your whole house.


Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Repeaters

There is a series of questions that are repeated practically whenever someone, who does not have much experience, wants to buy a WiFi repeater.

Let’s see the most common ones in order to clear up your doubts.

Do network extenders make the network slow?

Network extenders can slow down the network when use on the same band that you are using to communicate with the router.

The models of power line extenders they do not have this problem, making it faster than the WiFi signal itself.

Are extended networks secure?

The extender works with the same signal as the router, so its level of security is the same, knowing that it can be put keys in WEP, WPA, WPA2 and other protocols.

If your network is secure, your extender is secure too. Normally, they do not require additional security measures.

What is the best way to avoid lag with an extender?

If we have an extender that loses speed, it is best to use at least two channelsthat is, one to receive and one to retransmit the signal.

The use of a dual band configuration that allows signal input on one channel and output on another, which means there is no loss of speed.

I am sure that with everything you have just read you will be able to understand much better what WiFi repeaters are and everything they encompass and how they can be used for your own home.

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