A Wi-Fi booster is a type of device that helps you get better Wi-Fi coverage within your network area. Whether that area is at home, in an office, a restaurant, wherever.
You may have heard of a Wi-Fi Extender, Wi-Fi Repeater or Wi-Fi Range Extender? These are types of Wi-Fi boosters. They all help “boost” your Wi-Fi. The difference between these devices comes down to a few things:
- Signal strength / speed
Spoiler: Wi-Fi extenders are your best bet. But here’s a brief overview of what each device is, what it does and when to use it:
What it is: A type of Wi-Fi booster that repeats (or re-broadcasts) the received signal.
What it does: A wireless repeater receives your Wi-Fi signal and re-broadcasts it to a finite localized area. A repeater’s challenge is that it only repeats the exact quality of Wi-Fi signal strength received. Therefore, if your Wi-Fi signal is weak and your speeds are slow, your repeated signal and speed will continue to be weak.
This results in latency or lag, which is a poor Wi-Fi network response time.
This will make gaming or video streaming a frustrating experience.
When to use it: Repeaters can improve latency and response time. However, only if you have a small number of wireless devices (like 5 or less) and you don’t plan on gaming or streaming videos. (Unlikely.)
Wi-Fi Range Extenders
What it is: Another type of Wi-Fi booster that repeats (re-broadcasts) the received Wi-Fi signal.
What it does: A Wi-Fi range extender is similar to a repeater. The difference is that the re-broadcasted signal is on a different wireless channel from the one used by your wireless router. But just like a repeater, if your signal and speed are weak, they will continue to be. Your wireless performance will struggle as a result.
The challenge with Wi-Fi range extenders has to do with location. If your stand-alone range extender device isn’t close enough to the router or is not in a direct line to receive the signal, it will struggle to receive and extend the reach. Like a repeater, this will result in latency or lag.
When to use it: The use case is similar to repeaters. Best for a small, open space. Limited wireless devices. Not likely to online game or stream videos.
What it is: A type of Wi-Fi booster that uses a wired connection to extend the reach of your Wi-Fi. ScreenBeam’s Wi-Fi Extenders offer coax and Ethernet-based models, so they are versatile for any home network setup.
What it does: Unlike the Repeaters and Range Extenders, Wi-Fi Network Extenders communicate directly with your gateway or Wi-Fi router using a wire. While it may not seem like the best solution because of the wired setup, you might be surprised.
Wi-Fi extenders do not require loads of cables running all over your space. Instead, they require a cable connection to your router and then an adapter plugged into a wall power outlet. That’s it. As a result: solid internet to every inch of your space.
When to use it: Remember, wireless internet is convenient, but it can be inconsistent. These are the best solution for consistent, reliable internet coverage.
Wi-Fi extenders are a gamer’s best friend. If you are an avid video streamer, you will benefit from these, too.
How do you know if you need a Wi-Fi booster?
You need a Wi-Fi booster if you answer “yes” to any of these questions.
- Content pausing or lagging?
- Gaming slow and painful?
- Poor connection scrolling through apps on your phone?
- Your router is modern, but you still experience Wi-Fi drops, lags or slow speeds?
To read more about whether you need a booster or an extender, check out this article. We also have a Complete Guide to Wi-Fi Boosters for you to checkout. As always, return to ScreenBeam’s blog as a resource for Wi-Fi tips.
Watch this video and learn how everyone in your household can enjoy their own Internet fast lane with the ECB7250 MoCA Adapter!
Products to Try
ScreenBeam Bonded MoCA 2.5 Network Adapter for Highest Speed Internet, Ethernet Over Coax - Starter Kit
The ECB7250 MoCA 2.5 Network Adapter delivers next-generation speeds up to 2.5 Gbps* using your home’s existing coaxial wires.
ScreenBeam MoCA 2.5 Network Adapter for Higher Speed Internet, Ethernet Over Coax - Starter Kit
The ECB6250 MoCA 2.5 Network Adapter delivers next-generation speeds up to 2.5 Gbps* using your home’s existing coaxial wires.