WiFi Repeater vs. Extender: Which One Should You Buy?

UPDATED: APR 13, 2023

Tired of poor WiFi performance? Either WiFi Repeater or extender can work to boost your WiFi, but they do it in very different ways.

Let's explain the difference between the two.

WiFi Repeater vs. Extender: Which One Should You Buy?

We cannot avoid using the Internet for work, study, and entertainment. A proper internet connection can help us accomplish these things. However, sometimes WiFi isn't enough to provide everyone in your home or office with a fast and reliable Internet connection. Therefore, WiFi extenders or repeaters play a role in helping you extend the range of your WiFi. 
In this article, not only will you learn the difference between a WiFi extender and a repeater, but you'll know which one is better for your home.

What is a WiFi Extender?

WiFi Extender is a device used to extend the range of a WiFi network. It extends the primary router's internet signal to another location. It works by connecting to an existing network via a wired connector and creating a new WiFi access point where the extender is. 
It's like putting another router into any WiFi "dead zone" in your home. After the above steps, the WiFi signal in your home can be extended.

Before buying a WiFi extender, you may worry about a question:
If you can't get a network signal while sitting in your bedroom, it's because your router isn't powerful enough to transmit the signal throughout the house. At this point, the WiFi extender comes in handy. These extenders take signals from your central WiFi router and transmit them to increase coverage. A WiFi extender is like a sponge, and it absorbs network signals and transmits them where needed.
The effectiveness of a WiFi extender also depends on several things: the size of your home, the number of signal dead spots, the target coverage area, etc. A WiFi extender can do just that if you want to eliminate dead spots in a certain home. What's more, it's easy to set up, you just need to plug it into the plug, and you can get the extension of the WiFi signal with a simple setting. One of the most important factors is that it is cheap. A common WiFi extender only costs about $30.
Are WiFi extenders the ultimate solution to your internet connection problems?
Not necessarily. 
A WiFi extender won't leave your entire home on a stable and undisturbed signal. Also, the different signal names require you to manually switch WiFi signals to get a stronger WiFi signal when you move around.
In short, a WiFi extender does work, but it's not the perfect solution to all WiFi signal problems. 

What is a WiFi Repeater?

What is a WiFi Repeater?
WiFi repeater is a network booster that extends the range of your WiFi signal. Like a WiFi extender, a WiFi repeater is designed to extend WiFi coverage to areas of your home that would otherwise have no network signal, but it does it differently. 
It acts like a relay system that connects to our WiFi network and rebroadcasts the signal to other areas where we have poor connections or weak signals.

Do WiFi repeaters really work?

WiFi repeater works in some cases, and it does extend your WiFi signal. Also, most WiFi repeaters simply plug into an outlet, making installation very easy. However, it doesn't necessarily solve your problem.
There are two types of WiFi repeaters. Single-band repeaters have only one band. Therefore, it must receive and transmit signals over the only band it has, which results in only rebroadcasting the signal at half strength.
There is another type of WiFi repeater, which is a dual radio repeater, which takes the signal from a lower channel and rebroadcasts it on a higher channel. This repeater also reduces bandwidth, but the result is better than in the previous case.
In summary, a WiFi repeater is a tool that helps extend your WiFi signal, and it will do something, but that doesn't mean it will solve your specific problem.

What is the difference between WiFi Extender and WiFi Repeater?

Although both WiFi extenders and WiFi repeaters are tools used to extend WiFi signals, they have many differences. The following table can tell you the difference between the two.

WiFi Extender
WiFi Repeater
Signal Strength
Extend signal range without changing signal strength.
Weaken signal strength.
Network Coverage
Extend the range of a network by 300-2,000+ square feet.
Extend the range of a network by 300-1,000 square feet.
Setup Process
Easy to set up.
The installation process is easier than extenders.
Bandwidth Potential
Keep bandwidth at its full potential.
Bandwidth may not be used to its full potential.
The price of a WiFi extender is between 50-80 dollars.
The price of a WiFi repeater is between 30-40 dollars.
It is cheaper than an extender.

WiFi Repeater vs. Extender: Which One Should You Buy?

Now, you should also understand the difference between wifi extender and repeater. Let us analyze which one is more suitable for you to buy.
WiFi repeaters are best for areas of your home that are close to a strong wireless internet signal but just out of reach. For example, choose WiFi Repeater if you want to install a connected garage door opener. However, repeaters are not recommended for devices or activities requiring fast internet and bandwidth. All in all, a WiFi repeater is a great option if you don't need ultra-high bandwidth.
WiFi extender can connect to another network and function as a router. While it won't reach the maximum speed of your home network, a WiFi extender will support video chatting, viewing of high-definition video, and even basic online gaming. Therefore, if you want to maintain your daily online work, choose a WiFi extender.
Both are good for extending network coverage, but which one to buy depends on your needs.