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WiFi Booster vs Repeater

Introduction

The term “WiFi booster” is often used to refer to both WiFi repeaters and WiFi extenders. However, it would be more accurate to apply it to a WiFi extender because an extender boosts your current WiFi signal. So, WiFi booster vs repeater, what’s the difference?

The main difference is that a WiFi repeater has both an input and output signal. It takes your existing WiFi and repeats the signal. The end result is that  you get very good coverage, but your bandwidth will be halved. Additionally, a repeater creates a second network, which may be a problem if you have a device that sits between the repeater and the router.

To learn more about WiFi booster vs repeater and which one you should get, keep on reading.

WiFi Booster vs WiFi Repeater

As hinted above, a WiFi booster is just a generic term that usually means WiFi extender. It boosts your current WiFi signal by picking it up wirelessly and then amplifying it or by connecting your router and booster/extender using an ethernet cable.

On the other hand, a WiFi repeater uses your current WiFi signal and creates a completely new network. It essentially halves the bandwidth, so the signal won’t be as strong or as fast. Nonetheless, if you already have a good router, a good WiFi repeater like RangeXTD is a very smart option because you will get excellent coverage with it and it’s very easy to set up.

When it comes to WiFi booster vs repeater, getting the correct device may be tricky. You can check the explanation below to find out which device is more suitable for you and your house. In short, repeaters are better in wider areas and extenders/boosters are better when you have a remote area that you want to cover.

WiFi Signal Booster Vs Extender Vs Repeater – Which One Should You Get?


So, WiFi booster vs repeater vs extender, what’s the best one for your usage scenario? As a rule of thumb, get a WiFi repeater if you want to expand your network range across a few different rooms. Get a WiFi booster/extender if a part of your house or apartment does not get any signal and it’s far away from your router.

You may want to use an extender or booster for your garden because the range is going to be very solid. In general, even cheap WiFi extenders have a much better range than ISP-provided routers. You can place the router somewhere inside your house and then connect the extender with a wire or place it somewhere in your house where the WiFi signal is decent to extend overall coverage.

If you still don’t know which one you should get, some devices act as both WiFi extenders and repeaters at the same time. They both boost your signal and repeat it, so you get the best of both worlds. Moreover, these combination devices don’t cost more than what you would already pay for a repeater or extender.

WiFi Repeater vs Extender vs Booster – What’s the Best?


If you don’t know which device to get, you are not alone. You know by now that a WiFi booster is just a term used by some manufacturers for both extenders and repeaters. Moreover, manufacturers sometimes mix up repeaters and extenders, which makes buying the correct device even harder.

You can always get a device that is marketed as a repeater, extender, and booster all at the same time. That way, you will get a device that can probably both create a new network and repeat the signal and extend your current signal as well. Because repeaters capture your current WiFi signal and then rebroadcast it, the bandwidth you get is about 50% weaker.

This inherently makes WiFi range extenders a better choice, especially if you connect your extender/booster to your router with a cable. You will get a faster and more stable wireless connection than what you would get with a WiFi repeater.

The main advantage that WiFi repeaters have is that they are usually very easy to relocate. Incidentally, where you place your WiFi repeater has a huge impact on its performance and WiFi strength. Make sure that you put it in an area where the device can get a decent signal from your main router.

Your phone should automatically switch between the network created by the repeater and the one from the router as you move around the house. You won’t have to switch manually. Nonetheless, this is not a problem in the first place with WiFi extenders that only extend your current signal.

So, WiFi booster vs repeater, which one is better in the end? In most situations, a WiFi booster will be a better choice. Remember that the most important factor when it comes to extending your WiFi signal is that you connect the new extender/booster using an ethernet cable. You will get better bandwidth, internet speed, and latency that way.

WiFi repeaters have the advantage of being very convenient and easy to install and relocate. If you don’t care about reducing your bandwidth and if there is no signal interference in the place where you want to plug the repeater in, then you can get the repeater.

Conclusion


The terms used by manufacturers are often misleading and confusing. So, WiFi booster vs repeater, what’s sets them apart? The name “WiFi booster” is often applied to both extenders and repeaters, but it’s usually the former. Nonetheless, repeaters and boosters/extenders have the same goal in common. The main difference is that a booster/extender takes your existing wireless signal and amplifies it.

The end result is a stronger signal with better range, especially if you connect the extender to your router using an ethernet cable. On the other hand, WiFi repeaters are convenient and easy to install, but they often significantly reduce the original bandwidth. If you already have a lot of bandwidth, then perhaps you won’t care too much about it. If you want to get the best of both worlds, you can always get a device that promises to both boost your current signal as well as repeat it.

March 1, 2021

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