WiFi Booster Pros and Cons

Learn > WiFi Boosters > WiFi Booster Pros and Cons
WiFi boosters are designed to improve the WiFi signal coverage throughout your home, and each kind has its pros and cons depending on your network set up and needs.

This article covers the different types of WiFi boosters, the pros and cons of each, and which booster is right for you.

 

Types of WiFi boosters

There are a few types of WiFi boosters:

  • WiFi range extenders (also called WiFi repeaters)
  • WiFi network extenders
  • WiFi mesh whole home systems

 

What’s the difference?

 

WiFi range extender (WiFi repeater)

A WiFi repeater is one device. It re-broadcasts the same quality of WiFi signal that it receives and extends the reach of your WiFi by creating a second network for your wireless devices to use.

 

Pros of WiFi range extenders:

  • Boosts WiFi signal for extended coverage for your home
  • Effectively eliminates WiFi dead zones to boost Internet speeds
  • Budget-friendly
  • One device is convenient to set up
  • Works with a traditional/regular router

Best for: Getting better coverage to extend the reach of your WiFi by creating a second network. You should use this type of booster if the WiFi signal is already strong. If the WiFi signal is weak, the range extender (repeater) will re-broadcast a weak signal.

Cons of WiFi range extenders:

  • Creates a second network to bridge the gap and eliminate dead spots, so bandwidth may be halved because of the rebroadcasted signal
  • Requires that you manually switch your device over to the new network

 

WiFi network extender

A WiFi network extender is one device. It re-broadcasts the same quality of WiFi signal that it receives without impacting the network’s bandwidth output and does not create a new network for connectivity.

 

Pros of WiFi network extenders:

  • Does not create a separate network like a WiFi range extender
  • Added WiFi signal coverage for your home
  • Effectively eliminates WiFi dead zones to boost Internet speeds
  • Budget-friendly
  • One device is convenient to set up
  • Works with a traditional/regular router

Best for: Re-broadcasting an already-strong signal further throughout the home for better coverage. WiFi network extenders are different than range extenders (repeaters) because they re-broadcast without impacting the network’s bandwidth output and do not create a new network for connectivity.

 

Cons of WiFi network extenders:

  • Can have some compatibility issues with some routers
  • Not the best solution for large homes or homes with many floors
  • Can be difficult to configure, and multiple need to be configured individually 

 

WiFi mesh

WiFi mesh is a whole-home WiFi system. It includes a mesh router that connects directly to your modem, and a series of satellite modules placed around your house for full WiFi coverage. The mesh router and nodes communicate to extend the reach of your WiFi

 

Pros of WiFi mesh systems:

  • Better coverage for your home, especially great for large homes
  • Eliminates WiFi dead zones to boost Internet speeds
  • Smartphone network management
  • Customizable to the size of your home
  • Less interference and connection failure

Best for: Those looking for a whole-home solution. Mesh WiFi is best for large homes (2,000 sq ft or more) that need full coverage WiFi.

Cons of WiFi mesh systems:

  • More expensive than other WiFi booster options
  • Does not work with a traditional router (requires a mesh specific router)
  • Requires more units (nodes, pods, modules, etc.) to scale up
  • May lack some advanced features to run both a 2.4GHz and 5GHz band network like with WiFi extenders

 

Which to choose?

Which WiFi booster type is right for you? Now that you know the pros and cons, you can better choose the right one for you.  Consider these points in making your decision:

  1. Where do you have weak WiFi? Weak WiFi signals in the basement, attic or even the garage may need a wired solution, such as Coax to Ethernet adapters, since it’s traveling multiple floors and larger distances.  If you have coax TV cable you can create a MoCA network.
  2. What coverage do you need? A WiFi Mesh solution may be needed if you have a bigger area to cover.  Smaller homes or apartments may only need a WiFi extender or repeater.
  3. Price you’re willing to pay. WiFi Mesh systems can be an investment price-wise and may not fit every budget. This is because WiFi mesh are a completely new network set up versus adding a WiFi extender to your existing network.

 

WiFi boosters provide a better wireless reception at a distance from your router, or a direct line of connection such as using Ethernet over coax adapters.  Depending on which solution you choose, WiFi boosters are designed to create better WiFi signal coverage, giving you a stronger connection for all of your WiFi needs.  WiFi boosters eliminate dead spots inside and outside of your home, whether that is through Ethernet, MoCA, or WiFi.

Got existing coax TV cable?  Use MoCA technology to enhance your WiFi connection to every corner of your home with HT-EM4 MoCA adapters.  Want to learn more about WiFi boosters?  Please check out Hitron’s Learn page or Blog.

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