WIFI Extender and How to Set it Up?
There are several reasons why your WiFi signal might not be working properly, as with most tech problems. Your ISP could be the culprit, to begin with. This could mean that your external internet connection does not meet advertised speeds, that your form of technology does not achieve the speeds you want, or that your plan is not fast enough for your needs at home.
It’s also likely that you just have a schedule that’s too slow for you. It might be worth taking a look at a more reasonable strategy before you go racing off to buy some new technology.
In addition, it could be the wireless router that was bundled with your internet plans by your ISP. WiFi routers supported by older or generic ISPs are okay to get you online, but sometimes they are not ideal for managing homes with (many) multiple devices or for future-proofing. That’s also assuming that you’re operating with a modem and a wireless router: modem/router systems cut the clutter down, but the single device’s dual networking functions mean that it’s more challenging to keep you online. In our guide here, you can learn more about whether you need a new modem or router.
With obsolete wireless routers, the same is true. Older firmware of the WiFi router could easily equate to slower speeds. Similarly, overall network speeds will influence the type of devices that connect to your router. The more devices that attach to your wireless router, the greater the market, in simple terms. Too many related devices can be equal to sucker velocities.
This can result in slower speeds on a per-device basis (older ones) or for some or even all connected devices if your WiFi router does not manage shifting between older and newer wireless standards (802.11) especially well, if those wireless devices are old or a combination of old and new.
Central and elevated in the home is the very best place to put a wireless router. However, this is not always realistic, which might explain why faraway devices do not get the WiFi speeds that you would expect. There’s then to consider in-home interference.
A major cause of this is microwaves between WiFi routers and devices, but so is everything that uses wireless technology, particularly those that default to the extremely popular wireless frequency of 2.4 GHz. Cordless phones, smart home gizmos and Bluetooth devices compose this list of interfering gadgets. Thick walls can also generate possible signal interference between the wireless device and the WiFi router, particularly those made of harder materials, and even mirrors (which appear to have quite a bit of metal in the frames).
There’s a good chance that if you’re in a smaller home or apartment, you’re also battling interference from the WiFi connections of your neighbors, particularly those that may be transmitting on the same channel.
Clear ways of solving each of these issues exist. You might have tried repairing your sluggish WiFi. You could have tried to improve the internet speed. It didn’t help to switch the wireless router. Channels switching or firmware upgrading has done little. Whatever you tried, it didn’t work.
Wifi Extender and its uses
One of those software things that goes by several names is WiFi Extenders. Extender for WiFi. Booster’s WiFi. Extender for Range. You are dealing with a peripheral networking system that is intended to operate with an existing WiFi router, regardless of which one you meet.
Repeating and expanding the WiFi signal from your wireless router is the task of the WiFi Extender. Ultimately, the WiFi Extender serves as a networking bridge, catching your wireless router’s WiFi signal, and rebroadcasting it to ideally expand the WiFi coverage area and, ultimately, in-home speeds.
However, there’s a catch. Depending on the strength of the initial WiFi network at the point at which they are mounted, WiFi Extenders can boost the WiFi signal. This means that the WiFi Extender, which is situated at the very edge of the WiFi network, can only increase the signal strength available. If it is, say, one bar of WiFi coverage, at those one-bar speeds, that is just expanding the wireless network.
This is potentially misleading because the signal intensity would definitely have complete bars if you were to connect to the WiFi Extender from close by, but this would not be representative of the repeated one-bar speeds from your wireless router. It is worth noting that WiFi routers provide a 360-degree coverage area, but for comparable distances across the wireless router, the limiting factors in the previous section could affect the signal power.
How to Configure a WiFi Extender
Generally speaking, for WiFi Extenders, there are a few different setup methods. On your wireless router and on the WiFi Extender, you can press the WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) button, and they automatically connect to each other.
This simplified configuration depends on getting a wireless router and WiFi Extender compatible with WPS, which might not be the case if you have an older or lower-end router (or WiFi Extender, for that matter). There is a whole Linksys Extender Setup process in case of configuring a Linksys Extender.
The more complex solution includes connecting to the WiFi Extender and connecting it manually to your home network, just the same as you would like to get online with a new wireless router. A duplicate WiFi access point may be generated by certain models (particularly older devices), meaning you need to connect relevant wireless devices to that network in order to benefit from the increased coverage.
Better WiFi Extenders keep the WiFi access point uniform in the home, ensuring that when you begin heading out of its optimum range, wireless devices configured to connect to your wireless router.
If you’re using a laptop or powerline WiFi Extender, prime placement during setup is crucial. As mentioned earlier, putting a WiFi Extender at the extreme one-bar range of your current wireless network will only enhance the signal at that power. You don’t want to put it in the same breath, so similar to the wireless router that you may not have bought it either.
For the best performance, you’re better off putting the WiFi Extender at a point where it gets the full signal (or as many bars as possible). The basic rule is to position the WiFi Extender between your WiFi router roughly halfway and the various devices that do not receive the signal or speeds you would expect.
Via signal strength indicators or companion apps that connect to your home network and suggest the best location spots as you walk around with your mobile, some model WiFi Extenders make this simpler. It is recommended that you purchase two WiFi extenders to optimize coverage and position them approximately equidistant from your wireless router.
When a WiFi router already has a central position in a larger home that is struggling on the outskirts for wireless speeds, this scenario makes the most sense. That said, it’s worth making an investment in a Mesh Network system if you’re looking down the road of purchasing several WiFi Extenders.