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What is a Wi-Fi Booster or Extender?

We can all relate to a sudden Wi-Fi dead zone in our homes. One second you are gaming or streaming a show and suddenly your connection buffers or cuts out completely. But for some reason, the Wi-Fi signal is fine in every other room. This happens when your Wi-Fi signal is struggling to reach every room in your home.

If you have tried different troubleshooting steps to improve your Wi-Fi connection:

  • Rebooting your router
  • Moving your router
  • Checking your signal strength
  • Testing your Wi-Fi speed

And you still can’t get complete Wi-Fi coverage, it’s time to invest in a Wi-Fi booster or extender.

 

Extender or Booster?

A Wi-Fi booster and a Wi-Fi extender are the same thing. The terms are interchangeable.

These devices help your Wi-Fi signal range go farther in your space. An extender connects to your existing router and acts as an extension of it. So, whatever signal your router is putting out, that’s the signal that is going to get carried through the Wi-Fi extender.

Note, these devices won’t make your Wi-Fi signal stronger. So, if you have a weak Wi-Fi signal, that’s something you want to address before turning to boosters or extenders.

 

How do you use them?

You can use a Wi-Fi extender in one of two ways: wired or wireless. Once they are set up, they help eliminate Wi-Fi dead zones, so you can use your devices in otherwise difficult spaces. Like, upstairs, in the basement, the garage or even your front porch or patio.

There are other types of extenders out there that can either plug into a wall outlet or are stand-alone devices. Some feature antennas. They wirelessly pair with your router through your router settings, similarly to how you pair a Bluetooth speaker. While they may be more convenient than using wires, remember that a wired connection is always more stable.

Home networking can be overwhelming but have a lot resources to ease your stress. To learn more about home networking, check out our Complete Guide to Networking. If you want to get quick articles with tips to improve your Wi-Fi, check out the Actiontec blog.

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