How to Extend Your WiFi Range at Home

Mohammed Emran /
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Every day, there are new devices that people want to have in their household. Maybe it’s an extra iPad for work. Maybe one kid needs a new computer for school. Whatever the needs for your household are, the truth of the matter is that your home WiFi coverage needs to be fast, secure, and incredibly reliable. 

Along with high-speed Internet, your home WiFi range needs to be on par with the needs of your household. For example, there may be a part of the house in which the connected devices do not work as well as they should. There could also be parts of your home that are considered “dead zones,” in which the WiFi signal is not strong enough; making things like downloading and streaming practically impossible. 

Most people stick to the router they’re provided with by their Internet company. However, there are ways to extend the WiFi range that can improve performance and make the connection much more flexible and able to withstand multiple devices and users. They are WiFi boosters and they can make life so much easier and manageable for everyone in the household. 

What Is a WiFi Booster?

A booster is a device that acts as a WiFi extender and makes your Internet connection more accessible from different points around the house. The booster works by amplifying, or “boosting,” the existing wireless network signals to expand the space it covers. It detects the weak signal that is coming from your existing router and it amplifies your WiFi network to multiple levels, floors, and even your garage or yard. The booster will also strengthen the signal and stabilize your WiFi network. It’s a pretty crafty solution that most consumers can install on their own without having to call their Internet provider services. 

What Do You Need to Use a WiFi Booster?

  • Internet Connection – For the WiFi booster to work, the household must already have an existing router with an Internet connection. It might be a weak connection, but it needs to be there for the booster to pick up the signal and be able to amplify it to different parts of the house. 
  • WiFi Booster – This is a separate device that you will need to purchase so that you can extend the WiFi. There are a lot of different WiFi boosters out there. Depending on your specific needs and wants for the booster, you will have multiple options to choose from. 
  • Choppy Connection – The WiFi boosters or extenders are useful in places to which the current router does not have enough power to get to, even if the router is placed in an area that is not being blocked by anything. However, if your current router covers a small space and it works well, then there’s no need to boost anything. 

WiFi Repeater or WiFi Extender?

Although there are not that many differences between them, there are some subtle variations—mostly with the way they work and not so much with the end result. 

A WiFi extender works by pulling the reception out of the router before transmitting it to a new device. Think of it this way: let’s say that your current network’s name is “WirelessNetwork1.” The extender takes the reception from the router and turns it into a new network that uses the extended signal. The extender would then create a new network of its own called “WirelessNetwork2.” That’s the network that you would use to connect to an enhanced WiFi range. 

A WiFi repeater repeats the signal from the router that is already in place. Essentially, what this means is that some form of the same wireless network connection that you already have installed will go into the wireless service—it might even have a similar network ID. It’s sort of like recycling (or repeating) the connection through a device that extends the range of coverage. 

Essential Parts of a WiFi Booster

There are a few things that are essential for a WiFi booster to work. 

  1. Ethernet Ports: Every WiFi booster comes with a different amount of ports. It’s important to check how many ports the booster has, because if you’re someone with a lot of devices to connect to, then this feature will be something you want to pay attention to when shopping for the perfect booster to compliment your router connection.

    Remember, the WiFi booster helps extend the range of the WiFi connection for all of your devices. Let’s say you have a video game console that you want to make sure gets enough of a boost to function properly when gaming—you could technically connect the console directly into the booster through one of the ethernet ports and enjoy reliable speed and connection without hiccups.
  2. Antennas: The antennas of a booster, which can be internal or external, are an essential part of the device. This is because the antennas help capture the reception that your router or wireless access point produces to get the WiFi across a particular path. For an increased range of connection, it will be ideal to get a booster with three antennas; while two of the antennas help capture the reception from your router, one antenna will capture the wireless transmission that will help broaden the connection range.

What About a WiFi Mesh System?

If you feel like the booster is not for you, another way to help extend the WiFi range at home is by installing a WiFi mesh system. Unlike traditional routers or boosters, the mesh system is a router that connects directly to your modem and is part of a single wireless network that shares the same Service Set Identifier (SSID) and password. 

The mesh system is a lot simpler than a booster because it doesn’t have so many login interruptions or bandwidth issues that make it complicated. It is user-friendly while still providing a broader range of connection.  

What Are Other Ways of Extending WiFi Range?

If you’re still unsure about installing a booster or a mesh system, there are other things you can check for that may jeopardize your WiFi range at home.

  • Router Placement – Remember that we must place the router somewhere central in the household, where nothing is blocking its signal. Make sure it’s high on a shelf so that you can get a broader range of connection across the house. 
  • Wired Internet Connection – I know it’s tempting to want to blame the WiFi for the lack of consistency with connection, but before you do, make sure that the Internet around the house is performing as it should. The best way to do this is by running a speed test. Find an ethernet cable and plug your computer directly into the modem to run the speed test. When you get the results, if the speed does not match what you have on your Internet bill, then you might need a new modem for the WiFi to work better across the entire house. 
  • Upgrade Hardware – If you’ve had your router for a long time and never thought to change it, then it’s something you should consider for the sake of a better WiFi range. Even if it works properly, there is a chance it is slowing down your connection. Technology develops quickly, and it is important to upgrade often to get the best service possible. 

You are always going to have many options available to extend the WiFi range. Every day there are a million new things out in the market that can help your Internet connection. The key is to not panic or get mad at the router. With a little patience and a little research, anything is possible.