How wi-fi extenders work and what function do they perform? A Wi-Fi extender does exactly what its name tells you. Yes, you understood it right. Extenders are basically used for extending your Wi-Fi signal. Consider that you are working in a big outdoor space, one with multiple floors, thick walls, or other obstructions.
In such a scenario, wi-fi extenders work by spreading out your Wi-Fi signal throughout the complete space. Generally, what these wi-fi extender devices do is they connect wirelessly to the router and then expand the Wi-Fi signal to the areas where the router doesn’t reach. In order to make wi-fi extenders work, you will have to go through various position trials and errors on physical placement before the final settling.
So, before you purchase one wi-fi extender for yourself, do make sure that there is no other solution, like repositioning your router to a more central location, upgrading to a new system, or switching to a mesh network.
Wi-Fi extenders are available in the market in two form factors. One is like small devices that simply plug into the wall outlet. While the other one is larger desktop devices that often consist of ethernet ports. Both these types of extenders greatly help in expanding your router’s coverage area. Once you successfully set up a wi-fi extender, you will have to choose out of two networks (the router’s and the extender’s) on two bands (2.4 GHz and 5GHz) respectively.
For the first time, you will have to manually connect your device to the extender. But once you save it, you get the flexibility to switch between the router and the extender network. The choice of the network depends upon which one is stronger at that particular time. As per the default settings, the network name and password for a Wi-Fi extender depends on the manufacturer itself.
If you own your router, check if it is compatible with any future updates. To ensure that the wi-fi extenders work smoothly, you need to upgrade it at regular intervals. In case you have got a rented one from your ISP, then contact them to see if you avail of a free upgrade. However, certain times, you necessarily require a new router to resolve your wireless woes.
But if your current router is good enough, you will look for an extender with similar specifications. You will never purchase an extender that’s less advanced than your current router. So, buying the one that is more advanced means you’ll be paying for extended functionality you can’t use.
As long as your wi-fi extenders work, you can enjoy the wifi coverage benefits. But what if they stop working? Well, there might be different reasons possible for a weak or non-existent Wi-Fi signal in your space. Not every such scenario requires the application of a Wi-Fi extender. Furthermore, it's always important to consider the alternatives to these extenders.
Always start by upgrading your router. You can compare the specs of your current router with the latest models to check if its outdated or not. Browse the list of the best routers to start. Relocate your router and position it at some central location where you can get the benefit of 360-degree coverage. Optionally, you can contact your ISP if you require a new ethernet port.
Additionally, you may switch to a mesh network that consists of multiple nodes. One node is connected to your modem and the rest daisy chain throughout the rest of the space. The option is highly convenient for an area larger than 1500 square feet with multiple floors.