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WiFi range extenders, boosters and repeaters
Unless you live or work in a single room, or your walls are paper-thin, you’ve probably tried them all. WiFi range extenders, wireless signal boosters or WiFi repeaters. However they are marketed they are all very similar. Devices that promise much in terms of improving wireless internet coverage, but often fail to deliver in real-world business or home settings.
Feel like you’ve already spent too much time, money and effort on wireless signal boosting devices that just aren’t working? Contact us for WiFi advice and support for businesses and homes in the Bristol, Bath, Trowbridge and Chippenham area.
Read on for more information about WiFi range extenders.
What are WiFi range extenders?
Whether marketed as wireless extenders, repeaters or signal boosters, they are all devices that claim to increase wireless signal range. Most people buy them as a cheap and easy way to boost the signal from their router. They work fine in some environments, but are certainly not a guaranteed fix for all.
There are some inherent problems that make them a poor solution for many of today’s common WiFi problems.
Why don’t extenders or boosters work for me?
There are many reasons, but the primary one is likely to be signal interference. This could be a result of the construction of your building, for example if it has thick walls or metal strengthening. Interference can also be caused by other radio signals nearby, such as competing WiFi networks.
The devices themselves can also be a problem. Many of the cheaper models of booster only include one radio to both receive and transmit information. If you’ve ever used a walkie talkie you’ll probably remember having to take it in turns to listen and speak. WiFi range extenders suffer a similar frustration. Data can only flow in or out via a single path. This effectively cuts your bandwidth in half.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, as you connect more and more devices to the WiFi, the problem gets worse. Increasing the load on that single radio just serves to further degrade the wireless performance.
And that’s not all…
Another disadvantage is that you can only use a single WiFi range extender in any given direction. It’s not possible to create a ‘chain’ of wireless extenders from your router. This means that if your wireless router is located in a distant corner of your office or home, full WiFi coverage becomes impossible.
A persistent niggle is that most wireless range extenders use a separate network from your router. The problem with this is that you then have two or more different WiFi networks. One of which often ends in an annoying “_EXT”. Your WiFi devices are then forced to switch between these different networks as you move around your office or home. As a result, some tasks become particularly frustrating. Printing to a printer connected to another network for example. Or the signal dropping between networks whilst making a VoIP call.
Finally, be aware that by throwing lots of boosting devices into the mix, you could actually be making things worse. They will all be generating competing signals, taking up valuable bandwidth and interfering with each other. Think crowded pub at closing time. Being heard can be impossible.
What’s the best way to boost wireless signal?
WiFi is fast becoming an essential utility for our connected lives, at work and home. In spite of this, so many of us are still not getting the internet connection speeds via WiFi that we pay our ISP for.
WiFi dead zones, weak signal areas and frustrating buffering when trying to connect. They are all plaguing businesses and homes alike.
One of the best ways to extend your WiFi signal and get wireless coverage where you need it is to bin the boosters and use wireless access points instead. These devices work together in one single network, no matter how many are connected. They can be positioned exactly where you most need a strong, reliable WiFi signal.
Find out more about wireless access points and how they could transform WiFi in your business or home.
Time for a different WiFi solution?
Fed up with wasting time and money on WiFi range extenders, boosters and repeaters that just don’t work?
Contact us today if you’re in the Bristol, Bath, Trowbridge or Chippenham area. We offer a free WiFi survey and no obligation quote for your ideal WiFi solution.