Range Extenders- How To Choose The One That Suits You


Anyone who has ever used wi-fi connection for their internet would have come across dropped signals in some corners of their home or workplace. It could be due to the architectural design of the building or other appliances/devices which is causing interference to the wi-fi signals. Wireless boosters or wi-fi range extenders can provide a solution to this problem. click here to know more about this gadget that can be the answer to all your connectivity concerns.

A wi-fi range extender, as its name implies, simply extends the coverage area of your network by boosting the signal strength. With inputs from networkworld.com, we have put together a list of factors that you should consider while opting for a range extender.

But, before we start off, let us make sure that the connectivity issue is not due to a router using obsolete wi-fi standards. Another factor resulting in poor performance of your network could be the router location- the router needs to have a central location to give uniform coverage to all corners- which can be changed. If your wi-fi is still not behaving after factoring in these changes, then it is time for you to shift your focus to a more comprehensive solution.

Let us check some of the key points to be kept in mind while choosing a range extender.

Buy extenders that can work with your router
If your router is using standards that are older than N, then having a range extender with the latest standards will not help as your router will not support it. The speed of the router and the extender device, which is expressed usually in mbps, should also match. Since a wireless extender essentially receives the signal from the router, amplifies it and rebroadcasts the boosted signal, getting weak/low speed signal will not help our case.

Choose between single and dual-band support
All extenders have bandwidth loss which affect its speed. In a single band support, the signals are received and broadcasted by the extender using the same radio through the same channel, resulting in a loss of around 50% of bandwidth. The dual-band extenders get around this issue by using lower channels for receiving the signal and higher channels to rebroadcast. This design coupled with a high gain antenna greatly enhances the speed of the network. But it should be kept in mind that a single-band extender will work out cheaper while providing reasonable extension to your coverage.

Design considerations
The size and space occupied by an extender device is usually a key deciding factor in choosing the right device for you. The designs include desktop like designs, wall-mounted and plug-in models. Plug-in models and wall mounted ones are more convenient to use as they do not require any floor space. But the bulkier desktop model has its own advantage as well. They offer several Ethernet ports that can be used to connect other devices, thus freeing up precious bandwidth.

Ease of setting up, affordability and security standards are the other reasons that make choosing a wireless extender a wise decision.

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