Editor choice

Best WiFi Repeater Reviews – WiFi Extenders and Signal Boosters Buying Guide

The Best WiFi Repeater Reviews – Long Range Wireless Extender Buying Guide by defineproduct.com

A wifi repeater is an exceptional product useful for those who connect to the internet through the use of portable devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and notebooks.

Almost all of these devices are connected to the network using Wifi technology. But like everything else, this too presents its pros and cons especially. If you are living in a large house, often the wifi signal does not reach every room and, where it enters. Sometimes the signal becomes weak. Because of this weak signal, the users cannot do their work on time.

Let’s start with the basics. Before buying a Wi-Fi repeater, you must make sure that. It is compatible with the modem/router in your possession, even if it does not necessarily have to be of the same brand. You also need to make sure that it includes all the technical features you need.

The purchase of a powerful wireless network extender is often chosen precisely in the attempt to counter this discomfort. But what’s that about specifically?

It is merely a device, easy to use and compact, which allows extending the wifi signal emitted by the main modem router. In this way, the area covered by the network will increase, and it will be possible to connect to it in tranquility from different corners of the house. Even those previously unable to reach the signal.

What is a WiFi repeater?

The WiFi repeater is used to repeat the WiFi signal so that it can reach places not covered by the main box or router. It is useful, for example, if you have thick walls that the signal has difficulty passing; or if you have multiple floors. The WiFi extender will help you distribute your network evenly throughout your home (or office). Therefore, particularly useful when installing a 4G router or installing a roof antenna, with the router in the attic that further distances the WiFi source at home.

Are you confused about the difference between WiFi extenders, signal boosters, and wireless repeaters? Whereas every term gets used frequently, this is one bit of tech jargon that should not be confusing, because all of them mean the same thing.

How We Pick the Best WiFi Repeaters

Buying a Best wireless range extender is difficult because the goal is to invest in a device that is effective and suitable for your use! Here are the different purchase criteria to consider:

1. Standard WiFi

When you want to buy a WiFi repeater to improve the router’s coverage in your home. It is essential as a first step to verify precisely which WiFi router is updated. It is particularly important when the repeater of your own choice does not support the standard of your router. The two devices will not be able to communicate with each other. In short, you have bought the useless WiFi repeater.

Fortunately, many of the newer WiFi amplifier models support a range of WiFi standards and large enough to be considered universal. It is compatible with any router. However, pay attention that the Wi-Fi repeaters updated to the 802.11a /b/g/n standard do not communicate. For example, with a latest-generation “ac” router that does not support the previous standards as well. Are you looking for a genuinely universal repeater? If you are sure that the range of measures is complete, you can talk about any other router at home.

Compatibility with the modem router

Similarly, it is essential to purchasing a WiFi extender that receives and transmits data on the same frequencies used by the router. The frequencies used always depend on the supported WiFi standards. As a universal amplifier, you will have to be sure of having a compatible device. If your router is Dual Band and uses both the 2.4 bands and the 5 GHz band. It will also be necessary for the WiFi repeater to be Dual Band, on pain of losing one of the two frequencies (usually the fastest one, from 5 GHz).

In the same way, if you have a Single Band router, which transmits only 2.4 GHz. You will not need a Dual Band repeater. Therefore, you can buy a rather inexpensive Single Band model and remain entirely satisfied.

Data transfer speed

Finally, you have to be considering the overall data transfer speed of a Best wireless booster also. We must immediately clarify some things. First of all, a speech that also applies to WiFi routers and modem routers. The overall speeds that you will find indicated among the technical specifications of a WiFi repeater do not correspond to the maximum data transfer rate that the device can reach. It relies on the reality that the velocity stated by the producers indicates. So that a repeater can manage simultaneously instead of the quantity of information over everything.Taking advantage of the available frequencies and based on the WiFi standards it supports. It is an example for these purpose Dual Band repeater you will find the sustainable traffic volume for each frequency indicated. Which together will give the overall speed.

Secondly, it must be remembered that a WiFi repeater uses about half of the bandwidth available to receive the WiFi signal. And the other half to retransmit it. For this reason, the actual speed is always lower than the declared one. It is still lower than the one reached when you are covered by the “original” signal of your router. This detail should be considered.  For example, if your WiFi extender should allow you to play online or watch movies in streaming. In this case, you will want to opt for a high-end, high-speed, and dual-band model.

Please do not forget that the point where the WiFi repeater is installed is essential for a correct and satisfactory signal extension. You will keep in mind that the Wireless Repeater picks up and retransmits the signal as it receives it. If you place your repeater in an area of the house where the router signal is already fragile. In that case, the WiFi amplifier will transmit will also be a weak signal. For this reason, it is ideal for installing WiFi repeaters in an area where the router signal is at least of medium power.

2. Functions

Secondly, it is advisable in a WiFi repeater to consider which features are equipped. It can be more or less useful that depending on the type of data traffic we produce and the characteristics of our home network. WiFi repeaters can operate in three different modes, depending on the model and price range.

Repeater only

The simplest WiFi repeater models are designed to perform only this task. Collect the WiFi router radio signal and retransmit it, so that it can extend its range. This type of WiFi signal amplifier is usually tiny and inexpensive. It can be installed simply by plugging it directly into a power outlet. If you want to extend your home WiFi coverage, this type of device is the right choice.

Access Point

Many WiFi repeater models have the low-cost segment have a second mode of operation, which is called “Access Point,” or “access point.” The WiFi repeater does not collect and retransmit the router signal. But it creates WiFi access to the home network where it is missing. For example, you can connect a WiFi access point to a router without wireless functionality to turn it into a WiFi router. Or you can compare the access point to a smart TV to provide it with a WiFi transmitter. By using it, you can connect it wirelessly to the modem/home router.

Bridge

The third mode of use belonging to high-end models. More full and “table-top” is the way which is called “bridge,” or “bridge.” In this case, it is possible to connect several wired devices, such as smart TVs or printers, to the WiFi extender. Thanks to the presence on the device of a good number of network ports. The devices connected in this way are then connected to the home network via the WiFi connection of the amplifier. Thus it becomes accessible to all devices in the system.

We must also remember that a WiFi repeater is equipped with a remote control panel. Very similar to that of a WiFi modem/router, which can give us access to a certain number of functions in particular with regards to network access management housekeeper. Almost always, this type of device allows us to view the devices connected to the network. The possibilities offered usually include the inhibition of access to the selected devices and, often, the programming of working time of the durable wireless network extender.

In some cases, when it comes to high-end models, there are also Quos functions (Quality of Service). It allows you to establish a more or less accurate level of detail. Which type of traffic should receive band priority over others? Invariably, then, all WiFi repeaters are equipped with WPS (WiFi Protected Setup), a simplified connection procedure with the home router and wireless devices. Although this feature dramatically facilitates the installation of a WiFi repeater, its security is not the best. For this reason, we recommend that you always manually connect the device to the router, using the control panel.

3. Antennas

When you want to buy a Long Range WiFi repeater is to pay attention to its antennas which are equipped in it. We advise you to pay attention to the location of antennas. Whether externally to the amplifier that integrated into it, and how many they are.

Always prefer repeaters with an external antenna. These can be oriented and tilted in different directions. It is an important feature to allow you to experiment with their positioning until you find the ideal coverage. This possibility is lacking for devices with integrated antennas, which are often also less potent than external antennas. You will always find repeaters of at least two and as many as four.

The number of antennas is essential because their function is a transceiver. The more antennas there are more antennas so that a wireless booster can handle more data simultaneously. You have to keep in mind about the transfer speed and the use of the band for receiving and repeating the signal what we have said you previously.

Here is the importance of having a good number of antennas becomes evident. Also, in this case, we remember that the repeaters with integrated antennas hardly have more than two. While the models with external antennas can have more.

4. Doors

A final factor is to consider before purchasing are the ports on the Best wireless booster. Particularly if you feel that you can also serve as an access point.  In fact, in the simplest models which function solely as signal repeaters, lack both LAN ports and USB ports. It is compatible with their use of “pure” repeaters.

We have already mentioned that many models, even in the low-end segment, now also support the access point mode. So on these models, you can generally find at least one or a maximum of two network ports.

As we have said that LAN ports wired devices can be connected to the network ports without integrated WiFi connectivity, to enable them to connect wirelessly. The network ports that can be found on Wi-Fi repeaters can be more or less fast. Typically the cheaper models mount Fast Ethernet ports with a maximum transfer speed of 100 Mbps. While the mid-range and high-end models almost exclusively fit Gigabit ports Ethernet, with a top speed of 1 Gap.

On higher-end models, more complex, it is also possible to find USB ports. These are useful for use in bridge mode and therefore for connecting devices without an Ethernet connector. In these cases, the type of USB ports can be either of the old kind 2.0 or the more modern type 3.0. This data transfer speed is more than tenfold compared to the previous standard.

Other Factors to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Wi-Fi Extender

Are the Materials Important?

In the case of Wi-Fi repeaters, factory materials are not an essential element for purchase. Beyond the internal electronic parts, the external casing is always in plastic, and the antennas are also of the same material. What changes are the design and the size of the WiFi repeater, which can be basically of two types? The most uncomplicated, most compact, and cheapest models can be found that can be directly attached to a power outlet. While the more complex models look like a WiFi router or modem, are therefore more cumbersome and must be installed on a shelf or, in some cases, fixed to the wall.

Is the brand Important?

In the case of computer products such as WiFi extenders, the brand alone can already make us understand what kind of product we are considering. Brands like TP-Link or Net Gear, for example, are specialized in the production of a medium-low-end product. Generally cheap but extremely simple to use. Other brands such as Asus focus instead on more specialized products for entertainment, designed, therefore, for the management of high data traffic generated by streaming audio/video and online gaming. An emerging brand in wireless connectivity is then AVM, whose products are characterized by an excellent quality/price ratio and attention to the latest technologies.

Is the Price Important?

Even for WiFi repeaters, the general rule is that as the complexity and sophistication of the product increases, the price also increases. The cost of a WiFi amplifier can range from around $20 to over $200. Of course, on the two ends of the fan are very different models. The economic models are typically “pure” WiFi repeaters, that is without additional functionalities, to be installed directly in the socket. The most expensive devices are more bulky, to be installed at the table, with feature also bridge and access point. They usually have three or four external antennas and offer more traffic management controls.

We can summarize the price ranges as follows and the relative characteristics of current WiFi extenders:

  • Low price range: $20-30, overall speed 300 Mbps or less, Single Band, repeater only, two internal antennas. 
  • Average price range: $30-80, overall speed 750-1200 Mbps, Dual Band, also access point, two-three external antennas.
  • High price range :> $100, overall speed 1900-2200 Mbps, Dual Band, also access point or bridge, three-four external antennas.

How to use a Wi-Fi Repeater

The Best wireless booster must be positioned at a point that has sufficient WiFi reception to function. It is possible to pay attention to place a repeater in a room of your house that has an inferior reception of the WiFi signal emitted by your main box. Because the two WiFi transmission areas must “overlap” to make your repeater function correctly.

If you have a huge house (you are lucky), you will have to install several repeaters to transmit the signal. But keep in mind that it is generally not possible to put more repeaters in series.

Not infrequently it happens that you are not satisfied with the coverage of the Wi-Fi network. A house that is too large, many obstacles and a modem or a poorly sized router have blind spots. In many places, it is not possible to surf the Internet or do it very slowly. The Wi-Fi repeater represents the solution to this problem. It receives the signal of the modem and expands it. By this way, it was increasing the range and the power of the signal.

How to Setup Wireless Repeater

First of all, let’s try to understand how to configure a device of this kind. How it hooks up to the modem router. There are two systems, one is simple, and the other is very simple. But let’s start with the simple.

In some cases, it is necessary to connect the repeater, previously connected to a power socket, to the computer via an Ethernet cable. At this point, the browser is opened from the computer, and an IP address is entered as indicated in the instruction booklet. The repeater identifies wireless networks, which must be selected manually.

At this point, click on next and enter the protection key. If the repeater and router have the WPS button, then everything becomes even more comfortable. Click the WPS button on both devices, and the connection will be established in a few seconds.

Where to place the Repeater

The question that many people ask is where to place the repeater. The advice is to put it halfway, place it where the router signal is still active so that from that point it can branch out to the rest of the house. Some models have adjustable nets, which are very useful for obtaining better signal reception.

The Strength of the Repeater

If there are repeaters that cost $30 and another 50 or more, there will be a reason, and it’s all in the strength of the signal. Now, in most cases, an N300 repeater is more than sufficient in a house of 80 or 120 square meters, even if arranged on two floors. Therefore it is not necessary to spend too much money. If instead, the idea is to repeat the signal in a large structure, as a hotel might be, then it is clear that something more powerful and expensive is needed.

Compatibility

Generally, there are no compatibility problems. However, before purchasing it is a good idea to check that the repeater and modem in your possession have the same Wi-Fi class. But we repeat unless you have an obsolete modem and there should be no problems to the location of the modem.

Even the location of the modem has its importance and finding the right one will further improve the performance of the repeater. Try to put the modem in an area where there are as few obstacles as possible. If it can be positioned in mid-air, it is even better.

Outdoor WiFi Repeaters

There are also circumstances in which you prefer to place your wi-fi repeater outside the home.

The reason could be the aversion to the presence of a new object in the house. But the reasons could also be others such as extending the wireless signal in the garden. In reality, from a purely functional point of view. It does not change much both the home and outdoor repeaters have the task of extending the wifi signal emitted by the modem.

The main difference lies in the fact that an outdoor wifi repeater allows a much broader coverage that can reach up to 5 km away! Your purchase will, therefore, be essential in all those cases in which you want to extend the signal to several houses or inside extensive gardens, swimming pools, and beaches.

If positioned effectively in an outdoor environment, attention must also be paid to the ability of the device to withstand atmospheric agents, especially rain.

The price, in this case, will be a little higher than the internal repeater, but in any case, everything depends on the model selected.

Conclusions and Final Considerations

In this guide to buying the best wifi repeater, you could discover all the information you need to purchase these devices on the web, on Amazon or in the physical stores you prefer. From what it is, to the uses, through the technical features and reviews, you have discovered a world on these small, but powerful, devices! If you need more information, or if you failed to find the right model for you, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Frequently Asked & Questions

Q1: How to connect the various devices to a Wi-Fi repeater?

The quantity of the various devices that can be connected depends on the number and type of ports on the Wi-Fi repeater. For example, a USB port can be connected to a printer or an external hard drive only by using a standard USB cable. Audio input can be connected to a speaker or other sound system to stream music from your mobile device.

More numerous should be the Ethernet ports to which you can connect other devices that do not support wireless connection such as computers, decoders, televisions, and more. Attention also to the type of Ethernet ports present. There are the normal ones, the Fast Ethernet that reaches 100 Mbps and the Gigabits with peaks of 1,000 Mbps, ideal for those looking for maximum speed in data transfer.

Q2: How to install a Wi-Fi repeater?

Before buying a Wi-Fi repeater, it is necessary to check its compatibility and if in doubt, to prefer universal models. Those that work with any router and Internet Service Provider. It is also a good idea to check if the distance covered is sufficient for the whole environment and if the transfer speed is adequate for your needs. For example, to have video streaming and video calls via the Internet. Once this is done, you need to connect the device to a socket that is not too far from the router and where the signal is still strong, with coverage of at least 50%.

Otherwise, the results may not be as hoped. The wall repeaters are very compact, but those who need a more significant number of connections could opt for a more voluminous model that, generally, should be placed on the desk.

Q3: How to configure the Wi-Fi repeater?

Being an electronic device that must necessarily be configured before being used, the less experienced could turn up their noses. Before buying the right model, it is a good idea to check that there is a wizard that explains the operations to be performed. A few, in reality, to complete the configuration. This guide starts as soon as the repeater is connected to the computer and illustrates step by step all there is to do, even with the help of images and screens.

It only takes a few minutes. Those who love maximum simplicity may prefer models equipped with the WPS function. Each time a new device needs to be associated with the Internet, all it takes is a push of a button. No need to enter passwords or codes a fast and secure system that does not compromise the security of the connection.

Q4: What is the Wi-Fi repeater used for?

The Wi-Fi repeater, also called range extender or repeater, is a small device ubiquitous both at home and in work environments such as offices and commercial activities. The reason is that often, the wireless Internet connection provided by the router is not able to adequately cover all the areas of the home or office especially. If they are unusually large environments or those are developing on several levels.

A good repeater boosts the router’s signal and extends it even to the most distant and trying to reach points, the so-called shadow areas. Many Wi-Fi repeaters are versatile because they also act as an access point. Therefore, allow you to transform the wired Internet into a wireless network. In this way, the signal is received directly by the repeater and not by the router.

 

Define Product