Updated on Mar 27, 2023

WiFi Boosters Vs. Repeaters Vs. Extenders: Everything You Need to Know

Have you ever been watching your favorite show when the video started buffering? Or, have you ever tried to work from home only to find that some areas where you live have a weak WiFi signal

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you are not alone. Weak WiFi signals can be annoying and make it difficult to do our favorite things online. WiFi boosters, repeaters, and extenders are just some of the devices that can help increase the range and strength of your WiFi network. 
But you may not have a clear understanding of these three terms. That's fine. In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know.

What is a WiFi Booster?

Have you ever heard the term "WiFi booster" and wondered what it meant? Well, it's a catch-all phrase that's often used to describe any device that extends or boosts your wireless signal. It's a bit like when you say, "Pass me that tool" without specifying which tool you need, like a hammer or a saw.A WiFi booster is basically anything that makes your wireless signal stronger, like a repeater, an extender, or an upgraded antenna.Before we introduce other WiFi products, let us first look at how a WiFi booster upgrades the WiFi signal.

So, How Do WiFi Boosters Boost the Signal?

Now imagine that you're in a crowded room with lots of people talking at the same time. It can be hard to hear what someone is saying when they're far away or when there's a lot of noise in the room. In this scenario, you might ask the person to speak louder or move closer to you so you can hear them better.

A WiFi booster works in a similar way. It's like having a person in the room who can help amplify the signal and make it louder and clearer for your device to receive. It does this by picking up the existing WiFi signal and boosting it so that it can travel further and be heard more clearly.
In addition to WiFi boosters, there are also WiFi repeaters that have the same effect.

Uh, What is a WiFi Repeater?

A WiFi repeater is a device that can help provide you with expanded WiFi coverage in your home or office. 

To better understand what a WiFi repeater does, it may help to compare it to baseball. A centerfielder might not be able to throw the ball from deep centerfield all the way into home plate, so, instead, they throw the ball to the second baseman, who must catch it and then throw it home. If the ball was a WiFi signal, the second baseman - the conduit between point A and point B - would be acting like a WiFi repeater.
Now that this has been discussed, don't stop. Let's dig into how WiFi repeaters work.

How do WiFi Repeaters Work?

Technically, WiFi repeaters are a little bit more complicated than the baseball analogy, as they actually create a secondary network. It is this secondary network that your devices will connect to so you can have service. 
If it helps, you can think of it as the second baseman catching one ball, but throwing another. The WiFi repeater broadcasts a fresh, strong WiFi signal to areas of your house that do not have adequate coverage. 
Although this sounds like the perfect option to get strong coverage throughout your entire home, it does have some drawbacks that we will discuss later in this article.
It's a common phenomenon here that many people confuse a WiFi repeater with a mesh network. Do you know the difference between the two?

Is a WiFi Repeater the Same As a Mesh Network?

If you purchase more than one WiFi repeater, you might think you're creating a mesh network that blankets your entire home with strong WiFi coverage.

But that is not necessarily the case.
There is one crucial difference between using multiple WiFi repeaters and a mesh network. With WiFi repeaters, communication can only travel in one specific direction. To continue our analogy, this means the centerfielder can only throw the ball to the second baseman, no matter how many other players are on the field. With a mesh network, however, the centerfielder can throw the ball to any other player on the field, strategically opting for the path that gets the ball to its destination the quickest.
In other words, a WiFi repeater follows the same path every time, no matter what, whereas a mesh network chooses the path of least resistance.
Can you understand this?
A WiFi repeater is a nice device, but don't forget there is another powerful tool: WiFi extender.
So, what exactly is a WiFi extender?

What is a WiFi Extender? 

A WiFi extender, also called a WiFi range extender, is a device that can make an existing WiFi signal reach farther. Think of it like an amplifier: just like an amplifier can boost and extend your voice so you can be heard from further away, a WiFi extender can boost and extend your WiFi signal so it can be heard throughout your home or office and further away.
The atmosphere has been set to this point. Eh, do you know how a WiFi extender works?
Let me explain it to you.

How do WiFi Extenders Work? 

Generally speaking, WiFi extenders work by picking up an existing WiFi signal, amplifying it, and sending it out again to cover a larger area. They can be a useful tool for improving WiFi coverage in your home or office, especially in areas of poor signal.
To understand how a WiFi extender works, you can think of it as a relay race. In a relay race, one runner passes the baton to the next runner, who runs part of the race before passing the baton to the next runner. Likewise, WiFi extenders act as relays between routers and wireless devices.
Now that you know what WiFi boosters, repeaters, and extenders are and how they work, let's get to the fun part and look at the pros and cons of each one.

WiFi Booster vs. Repeater Vs. Extender: Pros and Cons 

WiFi Booster

One of the main benefits of WiFi boosters is that they can help eliminate dead zones and boost signal strength in areas where WiFi signals may be weak or more prone to interference. Plus, WiFi boosters are easy to set up and are an affordable solution to improving your wireless network. 

However, there are also some potential downsides to using a WiFi booster. One of the main problems is that using a booster can slow down the overall speed of your network, especially if you have an older or less powerful model. Additionally, using a WiFi booster can sometimes cause connection issues or interfere with other wireless devices, which can be frustrating for users. 

WiFi Repeater

A WiFi repeater may be the way to go if you have a smaller home. If you put this device in the right spot, it will boost the signal and cover the areas of your home that need it the most. 

But it comes at a cost: a WiFi repeater will cut your bandwidth in half. This may not be a desirable solution if you have multiple devices connected to the Internet at once because it can drastically reduce your speeds.

WiFi Extender

Since a WiFi extender uses a wired connection to add to your existing network, it has two big advantages over other devices. First, using a WiFi extender doesn't cut your bandwidth in half. Second, you'll have more flexibility when placing your WiFi extender since the wired connection receives the signal.

However, it's important to note that while WiFi extenders help increase the range of your network, they don't necessarily improve your connection speed or overall performance.

Each type of WiFi device-boosters, repeaters, and extenders-has its own pros and cons, and the best one for your needs will depend on a number of things, such as the layout of your home or office, the type of WiFi network you already have, and your budget. Before you buy anything to boost your WiFi signal, you should do your research and think carefully about your options.

Let's look at a table that compares the pros and cons of each of these three methods.

WiFi booster
● Eliminate Dead Zone
● Boost WiFi Signal
● Easy to Set Up
● Slow Down the Overall Speed of the Network
● Interfere with Other Wireless Devices
WiFi repeater
● Enhanced Signal
● Slow Down the Overall Speed of the Network
WiFi extender
● Does Not Affect Internet Speed
● Flexible Placement
● Doesn't Improve Overall Performance


Knowing the difference between a WiFi booster, a WiFi repeater, and a WiFi extender can help you choose the right device for your needs. By weighing the pros and cons of each option and thinking about your budget and the layout of your home or office, you can choose a device that will boost your WiFi signal and improve your internet experience. Whether you choose a booster, repeater, or extender, investing in high-quality equipment can pay off in the long run by giving you faster speeds and a more reliable connection. No more waiting now. Start looking into your options right away, and you'll be on your way to a better WiFi experience.

Last updated on Mar 27, 2023
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