WiFi extender is an affordable solution to extend your WiFi coverage without breaking the bank. You will be eliminate WiFi dead zones with minimal cost, but however it does come with some draw backs such as lesser performance.
What is WiFi extender?
WiFi extender, also known as WiFi repeater or WiFi booster helps to extend the WiFi coverage of your network. This is an affordable solution for users that want to cover up WiFi dead zones.
It works by receiving WiFi signals from your router then broadcast it to bigger areas.
As a general guide, we advise customers to place their WiFi extenders at spots that have at least 3 bars of WiFi signal for an optimal experience.
How To Pick WiFi Extender?
You want to be picking the matching WiFi booster based on your wifi router. For example, if you are using an AC1200 router, then you want to find a matching AC1200 WiFi extender for maximum bandwidth.
Pros & Cons of WiFi Extender
Pros #1 – Affordable WiFi Expansion
Compared to powerline, access points or even mesh WiFi that costs hundreds, you can get a decent WiFi extender for 2.4Ghz at less than RM50.
There are also dual-band WiFi extenders that extends both 2.4Ghz and 5.0Ghz frequencies – which are also generally cheaper than other solutions.
If you are on a tight budget and looking to extend your WiFi coverage, then WiFi extender can help to double your WiFi coverage and making sure your whole home is fully covered at a minimal budget.
Pros #2 – Simple Setup – Plug & Play
Setting up WiFi repeater is super easy, all you need to do is to find a spot with 2-3 bars of WiFi signals and plug in your WiFi extender.
Once you plugged in your WiFi extender, you are required to proceed with some simple configuration such as setting up SSID and entering your PPPoE password.
Most of the configurations are now done within the App provided by brand owners, so all you need to do is to follow the in-app instructions.
In summary, here are the steps to setup your WiFi extender:
- Walk around your house with your phone.
- Observe the spots with at least 3 bars of WiFi signal
- Plug in your WiFi extender
- Follow the in-app instructions for configuration.
- Alternatively, you can search for WiFi Signal App to find the best spot
Pros #3 – Extra Features like AC Passthrough & Gigabit Ports
Some WiFi extender comes with additional features such as:
Mesh Enabled Extenders
The good part about this is that you can build and customize your mesh network as you see fit which may cost less compared to off-the-shelf mesh solutions.
WiFi extender with AC Passthrough comes with an additional power point that you can use without worrying especially if you are lacking in power points.
Certain WiFi extender comes with Gigabit Ports to provide wired backhaul.
This feature is useful for houses that are fully equipped with ethernet cable, or PCs that are stationed in a static location that wants to have a better connection.
Connecting to this Gigabit Port will provide a much faster and stable speed, while enjoying a bigger WiFi coverage.
Cons #1 – Halved Performance
While this is an affordable solution, it comes at a cost of lesser performance.
The easiest way to understand this is WiFi extenders acts as a messenger between your router and devices. Every time you browse a video (or any online interaction), your WiFi extender will need to be running between you and router, one at a time.
This is why WiFi booster will half WiFi throughput.
Cons #2 – Limited by Power Point Location
This is highly situational but we had customers reporting that they couldn’t find the best spot for their extenders.
Do note that for WiFi extenders to work, you will need to place it on a spot ideally with 3 bars of the wireless signal.
Due to the house structure, thick walls, and interference, sometimes users are unable to find the perfect spot to extend the WiFi and ended up with less-than-expected performance.
Cons #3 – Different SSIDs
WiFi extender extends WiFi coverage by creating another network separately, if you are on a live Whatsapp call, your line may drop when you are moving between rooms as you need to manually connect to the other network.
While this isn’t something big comparing to the price you pay, but most of our customers enjoy the convenience that mesh WiFi brought to them – a mesh network that you can seamlessly walk around without worrying line drops.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where to place the WiFi extender?
WiFi extender needs to be placed between your WiFi router and WiFi dead zone. The spot should have at least 2-3 bars of wireless signal.
What is WiFi dead zone?
WiFi dead zone is the areas or rooms without WiFi coverage.
Do you need WPS to setup?
WPS is one of the way to setup. Alternatively you can follow the manual guide attached in the box (which is either setup using web browser or app).
Is it necessary to connect via LAN cable?
Not necessary. Ethernet port is an additional feature for wired backhaul. You can setup your WiFi extender wirelessly.
Can WiFi extender extend the range by 1KM?
No. WiFi extender is good for household (within the house) perimeter coverage. You need to look at Access Point if you want to extend coverage by 1KM.