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WiFi Booster 101: What It is and Why you Need it?

wifi booster

Having a great Internet service at home is surely a blessing. But not everyone is lucky in terms of enjoying high-speed and uninterrupted connection at home. You may have subscribed to an amazing Internet package but might not be getting the advertised speeds everywhere inside your house. A WiFi booster can solve all your connectivity and range issues easily.

What Is a WiFi Booster?

This device can increase signal coverage inside your house or office to a great extent. Wherever there is a poor signal issue, you can install this device and increase the signal strength.

It works by receiving the weak signals and then increasing them in strength. It then transmits these amplified signals to the poorly covered areas. In this way, you can enjoy blazing-fast speeds and better connections everywhere inside a building.

How to Determine If You Need It or Not?

You might have a high-speed Internet service like Spectrum home WiFi at your house or office. Providers like Charter indeed have a strong reputation for delivering super-fast and reliable Internet speeds. But a single modem or router can’t cover all parts of a big building.

Some parts of the house may be having trouble with WiFi calling, browsing, or online streaming. Therefore, if you live in a big house or have a huge office, then you’ll surely need this device.

In this way, you won’t need other pricey items like cables, switches, or gears extra. With this device, you can enjoy non-stop streaming and game sessions everywhere inside a building. But it is also important to consider that other things might impact the signal strength. Some of them include walls, telephone and microwave extra. So, do check the signal obstruction because of these objects before considering buying this device.

Importance of Having WiFi at Home

If you want to have this device at your home, you need to make sure that you have a home WiFi service. This is because this device only works for a pre-existing home WiFi setup.

How Does It Function?

This device works by forming a firm connection between the router and your multiple devices. It works in the following ways:

  • The router sends out the Internet signals
  • The signals can’t reach your device
  • They get received by the WiFi booster
  • This device amplifies the signals
  • It then sends these signals to your devices
  • Your web search reaches the router through the booster
  • The router then passes the information to the servers

How swiftly this process happens depends upon the kind of router and device that you buy. A good device can provide as high as 400 Mbps of bandwidth. This bandwidth is more than enough even for a big household.

Differences in Speed and Frequency Bands

One of the most basic differences between WiFi booster types is frequency bands. Dual-Band vs Tri-Band boosters can support different frequency bands according to the router. Dual-band routers can support 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. However, tri-band routers have an additional and specialized 5 GHz band.

The 5 GHz band can have a faster speed but usually have a shorter range. Here is a comparison of speeds for both frequencies in different types of routers:

Router Type Speed in 2.4 GHz (Mbps) Speed in 5 GHz (Mbps)
AC 1900 600 1300
AC 1750 450 1300
AC 1600 300 1300
AC 1450 450 975
AC 1300 450 867
AC 1200 300 867
AC 1000 300 650
AC 750 300 450
AC 600 150 433

Key Differences Between WiFi Extenders and Repeaters

You might have heard that repeaters and extenders are the same kinds of devices. This is true to some extent. Both of them essentially perform the same function, however, they are different in some respects. An extender functions by receiving the information from your wireless router. It then transfers it to your mobile/laptop by changing the network name. So if you are using an extender, you’ll have to use another name to connect to your network.

A repeater essentially works by using the same network name throughout the process. So, things are much clearer and easier with a WiFi repeater than a WiFi extender. So, you can use any kind of booster depending on your needs.

Factors WiFi Extender WiFi Repeater
Purpose Boosts WiFi coverage range Boosts WiFi signal strength
Bandwidth Stays the same Reduces by half
Interference Effect No Yes
Signal Amplification No Yes
Pricing More Expensive Less Expensive
Working in Dead Zone Possible and effective Not possible
Connection Wired Wireless

What Kind of Features Does It Offer?

One of the most common features of this device is its ease of managing a wireless protected setup. You can find a WPS key either on the front or rear side of this device. So, you can easily enable or disable this setup and make managing technology easier for yourself. But you’ll have to keep the device and the router close to each other for this feature to work.

There are many types of devices available in the market. If you are a subscriber of services like Spectrum mobile plans, you can even find boosters that can boost your mobile WiFi signals. These also have other exciting features like reset keys and ports to connect multiple devices simultaneously.

What Sort of Things Do You Need to Set It Up?

Devices that can be plugged/hung on a wall are generally better in performance. This is because the signals transmitted by them don’t interfere with surfaces and objects. Even if you buy a flat surface device, make sure to place it on a table so that the signals don’t interfere with other surfaces. You’ll also need these to set up this device:

Range Increment

You’ll have to determine the range requirement before buying this device. If you buy a device with less range, then the signals won’t reach the areas where they are needed. So, estimate the distance in advance before heading to the market.

Antennas

These play an important role in receiving and transmitting the signals. These can also help to boost Internet speed and diminish the interference from other objects. So, make sure that your device has two antennas before setting it up.

Ethernet Ports

You should also take into account the number of Ethernet ports a device has. You can connect your devices directly to this booster and enjoy ultra-fast speeds on them.

Is It Safe?

This device is quite secure. If you use a very weak network password, only then can the risk of cyber-attacks increase. A repeater is very different from a WiFi pineapple and doesn’t risk your data of theft or eavesdropping. Normally, hackers can’t steal your private information because it is secured through end-to-end encryption. You are still connecting to the same secure WiFi network without any security or configuration changes.

How to Set It Up?

Finally, you can install this device in the following steps:

  • Hang it near the router
  • Connect it to the power supply
  • Enter the login details on your device

Your Internet booster is ready to use.

FAQs 

Does a WiFi booster actually work?

WiFi boosters can be very effective to expand the range of your network depending upon WiFi speed, distance from the router, and other factors.

Should You Buy a WiFi Range Extender?

You should consider whether an extender makes sense according to your needs and then make an informed decision.

WiFi booster vs WiFi extender: Any differences between them?

Refer to the table in the text for key differences between boosters and extenders.

WiFi booster getting hot: Is it a problem?

It is normal for WiFi boosters to be warm to the touch but if it gets worse, it could point to a hardware or software issue.

Does 5Ghz Wi-Fi go through walls?

5 GHz frequency bands don’t penetrate walls as well as 2.4 GHz WiFi bands.

How much does a Wi-Fi signal booster cost?

The price can differ greatly between entry-level, portable, and heavy-duty WiFi signal boosters.

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