Our daily lives are very dependent on the internet and smart devices, therefore, getting reliable and fast Wi-Fi around the entire house is extremely important at the same time it can also be a challenge. You might be facing a dead zone in a bedroom upstairs or in your basement where your kids want to stream a movie, or maybe the signal drops in the backyard. This can be due to insufficient W-Fi signal! Considering all the devices, appliances, and architectural features that may cause interference in your house, sometimes even the most powerful Wi-Fi router can miss some spots, leaving them with low signal.
In such cases, Wi-Fi boosters can be really useful and helpful, as they are designed to improve your Wi-Fi signal coverage. When your Wi-Fi signal is strong, covering your entire house, your Internet performs better. Let’s walk you through some of the commonly asked questions around Wi-Fi boosters and understand their usage better.
1. What Exactly is a Wi-Fi Booster?
Wi-Fi Boosters expand your Wi-Fi system’s coverage area by amplifying the wireless signal and broadcasting it into the desired areas which results in eliminating the poor internet in your home or offices. Different types of Wi-Fi booster models are available which vary in design, range, amplification power, and frequency band usage.
Wall Plug or Desktop Design: Some boosters can be simply plug-in to a power source and are great for improving the signal, while others can be placed on a desk, table, or shelf and use stronger external antennas that can improve the signal in multiple rooms.
Range: Most routers have a range of 150-300 feet and any device used outside this range can experience connectivity issues. So on an average boosters can increase the range by 300-2,000 ft.
2. Where to Place/Locate Wi-Fi Boosters?
Wi-Fi boosters connect to an access point, such as a wireless router or hotspot, grab the signal being transmitted by the access point and amplify it for better use. Some boosters are coupled with stronger antennas that help broadcast the signal further and cover larger areas and hence the placement location of the Wi-Fi booster is extremely important. You can place it close enough to the access point to receive a signal, but also far enough to cover the problem areas. Basically, look for the area that doesn’t have a strong Wi-Fi connection and plug the booster into a wall outlet somewhere in the middle, between the target area and the router.
3. How to Set-Up a Wi-Fi Booster?
Most Wi-Fi boosters have simple setup processes which utilize the WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) button, making the installation process easy and quick. Press the button on both devices and the Wi-Fi booster will connect to the router, however, different Wi-Fi signal booster manufacturers might require additional steps.
After completing the setup process, the booster can start working by grabbing the existing Wi-Fi signal and extending its coverage area. The last step would be to connect your devices such as phone, laptop, tablet, and smart home devices, to the Wi-Fi booster. To do so, go into the Wi-Fi settings on your wireless device, click on the Wi-Fi booster’s network name and enter the password (which could be the same as your current network, or you might’ve created a different one during the set-up process). Once connected to the booster, you will be able to enjoy a seamless internet connection in places that otherwise received a poor signal strength.
4. How do Wi-Fi Boosters Improve the Internet?
Wi-Fi boosters can do more than just improve your Internet by extending your signal’s reach; that is, boosters fill in dead spots which help improve speed. This is because your Wi-Fi signal is directly related to Wi-Fi speed. Therefore, if your signal is strong and reaches every corner of your home, then your Internet performance would automatically improve.
5. How would I Know if the Wi-Fi Booster is Working?
The first and the most basic sign that shows that the booster is working is experiencing better signals in the weak zone and dead zone areas. But, if you prefer a numeric proof, then speed tests are great tools that can be used to check Wi-Fi signal improvements. You can also conduct multiple speed tests- one with just your Wi-Fi connection and the other with the Wi-Fi booster which can identify and show the results side by side.
You can use speed test websites: SpeedTest.net or speed test apps: SpeedSmart (Apple/Android), or SpeedCheck (Apple/Android).
6. Common Wi-Fi Issues that Boosters Resolve
- There are areas in your home that don’t get a Wi-Fi signal known as dead zones, or dead spots, where the Wi-Fi signal disappears altogether. In some cases, perhaps an architectural feature in your home is preventing the signal from getting through. In such cases a Wi-Fi booster can help fill in the coverage and eliminate those dead spots.
- There are areas in your home that have slow Wi-Fi probably due to the router being located in the floor upstairs, but you spend most of your time downstairs where the signal can be slow and annoying. A lot of homeowners just live with these situations and learn that you can’t stream a video in the kitchen or Facetime in the living room. Maybe your kids have become used to going upstairs for gaming. Instead of suffering and getting used to adjusting your actions as per the Wi-Fi signal, it is better to consider a Wi-Fi booster which is an instant (and cost-effective) performance booster that will let you use your internet from any part of your home.
- Wi-Fi boosters can also be used to add faster speeds and even new features to your Wi-Fi network. By adding a booster you can upgrade to the latest Wi-Fi technology, including 802.11ac speeds, without replacing your Wi-Fi router. If your router is old and doesn’t support AC, then you might not get the fastest Wi-Fi speeds possible. But, with an 802.11ac Wi-Fi booster you can add fast speed to your network. Furthermore, some Wi-Fi boosters feature advanced Wi-Fi technology to increase the efficiency of your network, enabling it to handle more devices and traffic.
- As our dependence on Wi-Fi and internet grows, it’s obvious that we’ll want to start using it in more places – such as the porch in the back of the house, out by the pool, in the front yard, and also in the garage. In this case, you can install a Wi-Fi booster in a location that’s closest to the outdoor area where you want coverage, and you won’t need to use your up mobile/cellular data when you’re outside.
7. What is the Difference between a Wi-Fi Booster, Wi-Fi Extender and Wi-Fi Repeater?
The term Wi-Fi booster is a commonly used phrase for devices that extend a Wi-Fi signal, that is now more accurately known as a wireless range extender.
Wireless Repeaters are first generation Wi-Fi signal extenders that rebroadcast the Wi-Fi signal received to a specific localized area. Latency, or Wi-Fi network response time, would typically increase.
Wireless Range Extenders are independent devices which are located between your wireless router and the location where you want better wireless coverage. It grabs the existing Wi-Fi signal from your wireless router and re-broadcasts it, on a different wireless channel from the one used by your wireless router. The challenge with range-extenders is location, if incorrectly placed, the extender may not obtain sufficient Wi-Fi signal from the router to stream and engage in online gaming or watching a video. To solve this challenge you can hardwire the extender to your router, to improve the speed of your entire network.
Wi-Fi Network Extenders are the best known boosters for consistent, reliable, uninterrupted, high speed Wi-Fi signal to every corner of your home. Unlike repeaters or range extenders, Wi-Fi Network Extenders communicate directly with your gateway or Wi-Fi router using a wire. Wi-Fi Network Extenders use a wire or cable as the means of communicating back to the source.
As you know, the further away a Wi-Fi device is from the router, the slower its speed; therefore Wi-Fi Network Extenders can shorten the distance between your devices and the Wi-Fi signal thus increasing each device’s speed and improve performance.
8. Are WiFi Boosters Secure?
Wi-Fi boosters use the same level of security as Wi-Fi routers that are WEP, WPA, and WPA2. A few years ago a new security protocol was introduced, known as WPA3 that improved the security features within public and private Wi-Fi networks. This new protocol makes it more difficult for hackers to access your wireless network.
Wi-Fi boosters ensure that you get the best Wi-Fi signal/ coverage, internet connection, speed and performance. It’s essential for you to know how to give your Wi-Fi signal a boost, where to use it and when you need it!
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