What’s the difference between a Wi-Fi booster and extender?

What’s the difference between a Wi-Fi booster and extender?

Wi-Fi boosters and extenders are both devices that can help improve the signal strength and coverage of your wireless network. However, despite their similar functionalities, there are a few key differences between the two. In this article, we will explore these differences as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each device.

Wi-Fi Booster

A Wi-Fi booster, also known as a wireless range extender, is a device that amplifies your existing Wi-Fi signal. It works by receiving the signal from your router and then rebroadcasting it to extend the coverage area. Essentially, it boosts the strength of the signal so that it can reach further distances and penetrate obstacles such as walls and furniture.

Wi-Fi boosters typically come in the form of a small device that you plug into a power outlet. They are relatively easy to set up, requiring minimal configuration. Once installed, they can effectively increase the range of your Wi-Fi network.

One of the main advantages of a Wi-Fi booster is its simplicity. It does not require any additional network cables or complex setup procedures. Additionally, it is compatible with most routers and can be used with any Wi-Fi-enabled device.

However, a Wi-Fi booster has limitations. Since it rebroadcasts the existing signal, it may not provide the same speed and performance as a direct connection to your router. Additionally, the signal may be prone to interference from other electronic devices, leading to potential drops in signal quality.

Wi-Fi Extender

A Wi-Fi extender, also referred to as a wireless repeater, is a device that creates a new network by connecting wirelessly to your existing router. It essentially acts as a bridge between your router and devices, extending the range of your Wi-Fi network.

What’s the difference between a Wi-Fi booster and extender?

Unlike a Wi-Fi booster, a Wi-Fi extender creates a separate network with its own SSID (network name) and password. This means that devices connecting to the extender will not be using the same network as those connecting directly to the router.

Setting up a Wi-Fi extender typically involves a more complex configuration process compared to a booster. You need to find the optimal location for the extender to ensure a strong and stable connection between the extender, router, and devices.

The advantage of a Wi-Fi extender is that it provides a dedicated network, which can help alleviate network congestion and potentially offer better speed and performance compared to a booster. Additionally, it can be useful in scenarios where you want to extend the network coverage to a different part of your home or office.

However, the downside of a Wi-Fi extender is that devices connected to it may experience a slight drop in speed compared to devices connected directly to the router. This is because the extender needs to receive and transmit the signal, adding some latency to the connection.

In summary, both Wi-Fi boosters and extenders serve the purpose of improving Wi-Fi signal strength and coverage. A Wi-Fi booster amplifies your existing signal, while a Wi-Fi extender creates a new network to extend coverage. Boosters are simpler to set up but may experience signal degradation, while extenders offer better speed but may introduce some latency. The choice between the two ultimately depends on your specific needs and requirements.

What’s the difference between a WiFi booster and extender?