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    WiFi repeater, what it is and how it works

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    Pau Monfort
    @paumonfort

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    We will explain what a WiFi repeater is and how it works. A Wifi amplifier is one of the main alternatives along with the PLCs you have when it comes to amplifying the WiFi signal in your home and getting it to the corners where you have less coverage. So, especially if you have to buy wifi signal amplifier, it is important to know how they work.


    It really is a very simple and straightforward device, so you will quickly understand how it works. But in order not to leave any doubt to anyone, we will try to explain everything in a simple way, first what a wifi signal booster is and then how it works and how you can make sure you get the most out of it.



    What is a WiFi repeater

    A Wifi range extender, also called Wifi booster, is one of the devices you can find to extend Wifi signal. Yes, wired connections are the best in terms of speed, but it's not always possible due to the distance and the number of devices to connect. And the range of your router has its limits too.

    And it is precisely in these moments that WiFi repeaters come into operation as the cheapest alternative to expand the coverage of your network. What they do is capture the WiFi network signal you already have in your home and extend it so that it reaches farther. The signal is exactly the same, with the same name for the WiFi and the same password.


    Therefore, what we have is a device that bridges il gap between the area where you have good WiFi coverage and the area you want to extend it to because it has a weaker signal. It does this by capturing the WiFi signal that reaches it and then extending it with its own antennas.



    This type of "bridge" works both ways. This means that it not only takes data from your router to an area where its original coverage does not reach, but it collects data from devices that are in the same area and sends it back to the router so that there can be a smooth connection and the experience is the same as if the router was there.

    In some cases, in addition to expanding existing networks, some Wifi extenders they also create their own WiFi network totally independent, with a different name and another password. This has the downside that you'll need to reconfigure your devices to connect, although if you always have those devices plugged into the extender, that's a lesser evil in exchange for better performance.


    Wifi signal amplifier how it works

    As for how it works, this is quite simple. The Wifi repeater contains two wireless routers. With one the existing WiFi signal of your home is collected, which is transferred per second to broadcast it again boosted so that it has more range and reaches the corners where the coverage of the router does not reach.

    An example of a Wifi amplifier how it works. Imagine you have your router installed in a room and there is not enough signal in your living room to connect a device to WiFi. So, what you would do with this Wifi repeater is to connect it in an intermediate area where the WiFi signal arrives and from where the amplifier can emit a signal that arrives in the living room.


    The fact of mentioning an intermediate area is not accidental, and it is that the place where we place the Wi fi repeater is fundamental for its correct functioning. You have to put it in some sort of intermediate point between where the router is and the area where you want coverage to arrive.



    Of course you also need to make sure that at that intermediate point you are receiving a good signal from the router to be able to expand it properly. Therefore, it has to be in that place until the WiFi coverage gets bad, but from which it starts to deteriorate. What you will do when you put this repeater on it is just that it emits a signal as if the router is there and that it goes over without any problems.

    Unlike PLCs, another alternative that extends coverage by carrying the WiFi signal through the electrical wiring, with the wi fi amplifier it is not necessary to purchase any type of pack, as only one device is needed to expand the WiFi network. This makes them a cheaper alternative.

    It also doesn't depend on how the electrical wiring is in your home. Obviously, the Wifi enhancer it will need to be plugged into an outlet to have enough power to function and perform its tasks. The PLC can be particularly useful in large homes where a repeater is not enough to cover all areas, but in most areas it is more than enough to improve the connection.


    What you need to consider before buying a Wifi signal enhancer

    If you have already decided to buy a new Wifi network amplifier, in this link you will find the best models. Below we leave you the summary of points to consider when you choose a Wifi amplifier antenna.

    • Ease of connection: configuring a wi fi signal amplifier is very simple. Basically you will need to connect it to the power supply and know both the network name and the password. But it can still be simpler, through a secure setup - called WPS for short - which will connect this repeater to your Wi-Fi by simply pressing a button on both devices.
    • Designdesign most common of power boosters is a small block of plastic that will plug directly into an outlet. They usually have a couple of LED lights so we know at a glance they are on and the signal strength, as well as the antennas. Other wifi signal amplifiers, generally more complex, have more ports, options and more expensive, have a similar aesthetic to those of routers.
    • Safety standard: The Wi-Fi repeater model you purchase should integrate WPA2-PSK (AES), the latest and most secure standard to date. These standards refer to the encryption method used, something that will prevent a person outside your network from accessing it.

    The safety standards available are, sorted from best to worst:


    1. WPA2+AES
    2. WPA+AES
    3. WPA + TKIP / AES
    4. WPA+TKIP
    5. WEP
    6. Open network
     Read also: How to improve your WiFi by choosing the best channel on the modem

    Further Reading:

    • How to connect a Smart TV to WiFi
    • Tired of your slow WiFi? Here is the ultimate solution
    • Connection problems with home WiFi: how to solve them
    • How to connect to a Chromecast without a WiFi modem
    • How to improve the WiFi signal of your home with your Android smartphone
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