This past year has forced us to push and test our Wi-Fi network’s limit at home. From working online and video chatting with friends and family to streaming movies and shows all night, countless kinds of limitations were tested. Like every other technology, your internet connection will also slow down until it can no longer sustain a strong home network. So what do you do? You boost your connection without breaking your bank account. Is that possible?
We’re here to tell you it is! Setting up a wireless home network involves investing in quality devices, cables, and multiple access points. If you want to have a strong wireless internet connection at home, there are several factors you need to consider before diving into the technicality and upgrading your hardware.
Your home network includes the following: a router, a modem, and multiple wireless access points for the devices to connect wirelessly to the internet. And when your Wi-Fi connection starts acting up, your internet service may not always be blamed. Especially when you have a reliable and fast connection from AT&T internet service.
So when your internet starts slowing down, purchasing a Wi-Fi extender may be the best affordable solution. To help you understand the difference between a Wi-Fi router and a Wi-Fi extender, let’s define the two first.
What Is A Wireless Router?
From its name, you can assume the router is responsible for ‘routing’ or directing the Wi-Fi signals to the connected devices. It makes sure the data sent from point A is directed to the correct destination. All routers come equipped with the capability to wirelessly route data. Almost all dual-band routers are capable of supporting 2.4 GHz and 5GHz frequencies.
The 2.4 GHz frequency band is consistently filled with noise and traffic since everybody needs an internet connection to do the most basic tasks. The 5GHz band is more capable of handling a larger task and therefore doesn’t face much interference.
What Is A Wi-Fi Extender?
No one appreciates poor Wi-Fi performance. Slow internet connection and longer loading times? No, thank you! This is where a Wi-Fi extender enters to save the day. A Wi-Fi extender is a device that extends the range of your Wi-Fi signals, so there are no dead zones left in your home. They are also known as Wi-Fi boosters and repeaters, but they all serve the same purpose.
The Wi-Fi signals are forwarded from the router to all the other areas of the house, where the signals couldn’t reach before. It boosts Wi-Fi coverage over a larger area.
The Major Difference between a Wi-Fi Router and a Wi-Fi Extender
The extender creates a separate network based on the signals originating from the router or the actual network. The devices are then connected to the new network to access the internet. The extender does not work in a standalone capacity nor does it act as a wireless access point. Its functionality depends on getting wireless signals from the router (an access point) and extending them throughout.
The router on the other hand acts as a single wireless access point that can work in a standalone capacity and sustain a strong wireless home network. It doesn’t rely on another access point or device to operate or function. However, a Wi-Fi router, alone, is not able to transmit the signals through concrete walls, floors, etc. Therefore, a Wi-Fi extender is used to extend the signals and ensure full Wi-Fi coverage throughout the house!
Best Wi-Fi Extenders
Some of the best Wi-Fi extenders are listed below – they’re reliable, affordable and significantly improve Wi-Fi performance!
- D-Link DAP-1650 Wi-Fi Range Extender (AC1200)
This extender is powerful enough to deliver up to 1200 Mbps and comes with extensive configuration options. And the best part? Its price. A strong performance, Gigabit LAN support, and dual-band connectivity at a low price? Sign us up!
- Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2200 Wi-Fi Range Extender (EX7300)
The Netgear Nighthawk is capable of creating a huge mesh Wi-Fi network using your existing router! Isn’t that amazing? It offers large-area coverage, Gigabit Ethernet ports, and strong performance with better range coverage!
Wrapping it up
Now that you understand the difference between a Wi-Fi router and a Wi-Fi extender, it’s time to upgrade your home network with the best routers and extenders available for that ultimate online experience!