Buy Guide

Tips and everything you need to know to buy a WiFi repeater in 2020

One of the most recurring problems in Spanish homes is suffering Wi-Fi coverage issues. The operator’s router is not always powerful enough to get the signal it emits to reach all corners of the house. Install a WiFi repeater or WiFi network extender It can be a quick and easy solution to improve the coverage of your home.

The arrival of television packages integrated into the Internet connection rate has not helped either, since one of the main reasons for the lack of coverage is the bad location of the router.

As the router, now more than ever, needs to be close to the TV, its preferred location is in the living room. The problem is that the living room of the house is not always in the center of the distribution, recommended place to install the router and get the maximum coverage for your home Wi-Fi network.

With this Guide and tips to buy a WiFi repeater We help you choose what you need to extend the coverage of your home in the fastest and easiest way, and with all the benefits you need.

Table of Contents:

Differences between PLC and WiFi repeater

One of the main mistakes made when find a wifi extender is to confuse its functions with those of a PLC (Power Line Communications). Although both devices may appear to be the same on the surface, they are completely different.

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A W-Fi repeater or extender connects to the W-Fi signal emitted by your router to amplify it and re-broadcast it with greater power, thus making its signal go further. Therefore, the WiFi extender should be installed in a location where there is still WiFi coverage from your router.

Instead, the PLC systems They modulate the data signal of your router through an adapter and transmit it through the electrical installation of your house. Then, a second adapter connected to any socket in your house, recovers that modulated signal and converts it back into data that it provides to your devices, either through a network cable connection, or by emitting a WiFi signal, becoming an access point. independent.

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Therefore, while in the case of the Wi-Fi extender you need to install the device within the coverage radius of your router’s Wi-Fi signal, in the case of the PLC it is not necessary for the device to be within the range of Wi-Fi signal coverage since it obtains the Internet connection from electrical cables.

Wall or desk?

The W-Fi extenders or amplifiers The most common are those that we find in a “plug-in” format. They are compact size devices that are connected directly to an electrical outlet where they collect energy to amplify the WiFi signal they receive from the router. However, it is not the only type of extender out there.

buy a wifi repeater

The desktop wifi extenders They are similar to a router. They essentially do the same thing: boosting your router’s Wi-Fi signal, but desktop Wi-Fi extenders are often more powerful than compact devices that plug directly into a wall socket, so they can also be used You get a larger coverage area.

Its configuration options are also usually much more complete, allowing greater control over the settings of the new amplified network that is created. In return, the WiFi wall extenders They are easier to install anywhere in the house since they only need a plug to work and they do not take up space on any table.

Xiaomi Mi Router 4A Gigabit Edition

Mi Router 4A Gigabit Edition

This WiFi AC router has four omnidirectional antennas and up to 1 Gbps in LAN mode, as well as the possibility of creating a 2.4 + 5 GHz smart network.

paired antennae

The main mission of WiFi repeaters is to amplify the signal they receive, so the greater the reception and emission power they have, the more effective their work will be. In this task, the antennas are a fundamental piece.

To the buy a wifi repeater, try to have at least two external antennas. These types of antennas are more effective than the internal ones, which tend to be smaller to adapt to the morphology of the device.

buy a wifi repeater

On many occasions, these antennas are foldable, so if they bother you for aesthetic reasons, you can fold them so that they do not protrude from the device.

Dual Band WiFi Repeaters

Until relatively recently, home wireless devices only used the 2.4 GHz data band, which provides a slightly slower connection speed in exchange for greater power and range.

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However, the latest smartphones and laptops also support Wi-Fi connections in the 5 GHz frequency band, which is somewhat less powerful in terms of range, but much faster and more efficient than the 2.4 GHz band. If your router uses both frequency bands, why not also use them in your Wi-Fi repeater?

On the market you will find network extenders compatible with only one frequency band (usually the 2.4 GHz band) that provides compatibility with WiFi n, but you will also find other more complete models that support both frequency bands and provide support for WiFi ac networks, allowing higher connection speeds for your devices.

WiFi network on mobile

Within these dual band wifi extenders You will find two types: those that allow you to receive the WiFi signal only from the 2.4 GHz band in order to emit it in two separate 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, and those that allow you to receive and emit in real dual band. The latter tend to offer faster and more stable connections since they even combine both bands to offer the best possible WiFi connection quality.

One of the best tips for buying a WiFi repeater What we can give you is to buy a model that supports both bands, since this way you make sure you can use it for a longer time since it provides better connection speeds.

What WiFi speed do you need?

In addition to the compatibility with the different frequency bands, when choosing the right W-Fi extender it is important to consider the compatibility with the transmission standard that your router uses so as not to create a funnel in the Wi-Fi connections.

For example, if your router uses the 802.11 ac standard to broadcast at high speed, it is a mistake to choose a WiFi repeater that only supports the 802.11 n standard since that would slow down the connections and would be wasting the potential that your router offers you. Is better buy a repeater with wifi ac It provides faster WiFi speed.

Pay attention to safety

In this Guide to buying a WiFi repeater We also do not want to forget the section related to the security of your home WiFi network.

when the WiFi extender amplifies the WiFi signal of your router, it’s actually re-broadcasting it, so the security encryption that was applied to it before it left the router is now gone. For this reason it is very important that the WiFi repeater has security encryption functions so that this new amplified signal is not vulnerable to attacks or that anyone can connect freely and without permission.

The main encryption protocols for WiFi networks are WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK and WEP, so it is important that your WiFi repeater is compatible with at least one of them to achieve a minimum of security in your transmissions. Our recommendation is to use the WPA2-PSK protocol, which is the most secure of the three.

Better a WiFi extender with LAN port

As we have already seen, the WiFi network amplifiers are used to carry the internet connection of your router to those places in your house where it did not reach before. But while we’re at it, why not take advantage of the device to expand your network connectivity options?

you can choose a WiFi extender with Ethernet ports. Thus, you can take advantage of the fact that the WiFi repeater acts as a connection point to obtain Internet access from devices that do not have WiFi connectivity. No need to install cables throughout your house!

buy a wifi repeater

That way, you can connect a computer, a TV or a console to the WiFi repeater using a network cableand the device will be in charge of transmitting the data via WiFi back to the router.

Our advice for choosing the WiFi extender It is perfect that it has at least one Ethernet port with Fast Ethernet or Gigabit speed to guarantee the best data transmission speed. Following the advice of this Guide to buying a WiFi repeater We have no doubt that you will choose the best WiFi network extender for improve the coverage and speed of your home WiFi network.

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