With the emergence of wireless networking and wifi-compatible devices, users are getting more interested in making their workplace and home decluttered from unending wire connections.
A reliable wireless network allows you to connect multiple computers, mobile and IoT devices to one internet connection without attaching them through wires.
Using multiple wifi-compatible devices on a single router often leads to signal degradation. This is where a wireless extender comes to the rescue.
It can help in strengthening wireless signals by taking the signal from routers and redistributing them adequately across multiple devices.
How Does a Wifi Extender Work?
A wifi router offers a generous area of coverage to a house or office, but sometimes it fails to meet your every requirement.
When your existing router doesn’t cover all the areas of your property, you may need a wifi extender to strengthen and extend the network connectivity.
Extenders take your existing wifi signals and rebroadcast them with a new and powerful signal.
How To Increase Wifi Extender Speed?
No doubt, extenders offer a hassle-free and cheaper solution to your weak wifi signal, but to get the most out of your extender, you need to install them properly.
1. Find The Right Spot
You simply cannot put your extender next to your router. In simple terms, the signal range of the extender starts where your router’s signal ends.
You can only achieve success in network speed by installing the extender in the right location. For that, you may have to do some moving around as well.
Start by marking all the dead zones and ac outlets within your house or office on a sketch.
Then, look for a power outlet equidistant to the primary router and the place where you want to extend your Wi-Fi signal. Once done, plug in your extender, and link it with the router by completing the step-by-step process as mentioned in the instruction page.
Once it starts working, visit the dead zones individually to check the signal’s quality.
Before you start operating, make sure you are receiving the speed you intended. For that, you can use a network speed test app to verify your online bandwidth.
2. Use An Extension
Sometimes, the desired area for wifi connectivity remains so far from your router that the regular extension cord falls too small to reach the dead spot.
In such a situation, you need to use an extension cord. If you want to extend the range to the upper floor, then you can place the extender on top of a bookshelf or somewhere higher.
Adjusting the antennas position also helps in reposition the signal in a specific direction.
Also, if your extender comes with detachable antennas, then you can switch them with higher amplified antennas to optimize the range.
Moreover, you can use a wifi reflector to divert your wifi signal in a particular direction. You can use empty soda cans or aluminum foil to create a wifi deflector at home.
3. Improving Signals In Upstairs And Downstairs
As long as you live in a single-floor apartment, you are less likely to see any network connectivity issues.
Meanwhile, getting optimum network speed on a basement or an attic remains a tough cookie to chew.
Setting up an extender for a floor above or below the router may require some additional effort from your side.
You have to take the extra height and the construction material into consideration as well.
For example- materials like wood, plaster, and steel in your ceilings and floors often hinder the Wi-Fi signal.
In such a scenario, you can place the router in the exact position proportional to your router. In short, make sure your router and extender remain above/below each other.
4. Remove Barriers
Many objects around you have the potential to absorb or reflect your wifi signals. For example- objects like mirrors and metals reflect wi-fi signals, while walls and closets absorb it.
Radiofrequency signals from cordless phones, microwave ovens, refrigerators, etc. can also disrupt your wifi signals on a massive scale.
So, whenever placing a router and an extender, make sure to keep them away from such objects as much as possible.
5. Change Your Network Name & Passcode
While setting up an extender, you have two choices- you can either use the same network name or use a new one. Using the same network name allows you to move freely in your home without having to connect to new networks.
However, there are some areas in your house or office where you will receive the signal from both the router and the extender.
As a result, the signal will always overlap, causing possible disruption. When that happens, you can switch your devices to a different network point.
You can do that by creating a new wifi connection while staying in the same network. Moreover, connecting to a new network hardly affects your wifi experience.
All you have to do is allow your device to save the password of the new connection. Consequently, your device will automatically connect to another network whenever you move away from the existing network.
6. Use An Application
Most extenders come with dedicated software that helps you to choose the accurate position and enhance the overall performance of the network.
Besides, you can also use some applications specially developed to analyze the WI-fi signal.
The app displays the signal strength and the internet speed on your mobile device. Also, don’t get alarmed by a negative dBm level as it denotes a stronger signal.
7. Update Your Router
If you are still receiving a bad signal and slow internet speed, then you may have to update your router’s firmware.
You never know when you may encounter a malware attack or you may already have. Hackers often infect your router with malware to steal your internet bandwidth.
Moreover, the malware also travels through the network and infects your devices as well.
Keeping your router’s firmware updated ensures you the security and faster internet access.
Start by opening a web browser either on your computer or smartphone and then access your router’s network.
After that, you need to enter the IP address of the router. In case you forgot your router’s IP address, you can find it somewhere mentioned on the information tag on the router.
Then write the IP address on the address bar of your browser and press enter. This is to open up the login page of your network.
Once done, you need to enter your admin credentials like username and password. Again, if you haven’t noted down your credentials, you can either contact your service provider or you may find the bottom or backside of your router. (The default credentials)
Side Note : It’s always highly recommended that you change your default credentials of the router.
You may not find the firmware update option on the first go. Make sure to check some settings and options as they differ amongst brands.
Once you find it, click on the update button and wait while your router updates.
At times, your router may go completely unresponsive during the process, but that’s completely fine. Wait for a few minutes before you unplug your router.
Most likely it will soon be back to a responsive state of its own. Most importantly, you should never stop the update in between.
If you are using a system, attach it to a UPS, so that it won’t hinder the update during a power cut. Similarly, keep the battery of your laptop or mobile device in full charge.
8. Use Latest WiFi Technologies
To get the top internet speed, you should get an extender with IEEE 802.11ac technology.
Compared to older technologies like IEEE 802.11bg and others, ac technology offers superior download and upload speeds.
However, you should also check whether your existing router comes with the same technology or not.
If not, you may consider switching your router to 802.11ac as well.
While buying extenders, make sure to check features like gigabit ethernet ports, MU-MIMO, guest networks, detachable antennas, and of course, the quality of service.
9. Select 5 GHz
Compared to conventional 2.4 GHz wireless networks, routers and extenders with 5 GHz deliver faster data at shorter ranges. If your router supports 5 GHz, then you have to change your 802.11 bands from 2.4 to 5 GHz by logging in to your router’s settings page.
1. Do Wifi Extenders Reduce speed?
Wifi Extenders are less likely to reduce the internet speed as, unlike repeaters, they are wired. Meaning, you have to connect the router and the extender with a wire.
As a result, extenders offer the same speed as the router. In rare cases, you may find some minuscule amount of speed deterioration.
There are two ways to use an extender, you can plug them directly to your device, or use them wirelessly by plugging them on an electric outlet.
If your extender is located far away from your device, then you may face some speed issue due to obstruction. Try to place the extender close to your device or remove the objects that distract the wifi signal.
2. Which Is Better- WiFi Repeater or Extender?
If you look at efficiency and performance, then wifi extenders clearly win against all odds. However, that doesn’t mean repeaters are not efficient. In some cases, repeaters offer a great amount of speed and performance. However, when it comes to covering an extensive area and dead spots, Wi-Fi extenders work perfectly.
Many internet users consider wifi extenders as an exceptional solution to a sluggish internet connection. Although wifi extenders eliminate your internet woes, you are never really safe until you encrypt it with a high level of security.