In this article, we will cover:
- What Is a WiFi Booster?
- How Do WiFi Boosters Work?
- Common WiFi Issues that WiFi Boosters Resolve
- Difference Between WiFi Booster, WiFi Range Extender and WiFi Mesh
- Common Set Up Scenarios
- Which Booster Type Is the Best Option?
- WiFi Management
- A Final Word on WiFi Boosters
What is a WiFi Booster?
A WiFi booster, sometimes referred to as a WiFi signal booster, is a device that helps extend the reach of your WiFi signal to extend your WiFi coverage. Improving your WiFi coverage will eliminate dead spots in your home and improve your Internet.
There are a few types of wired and wireless WiFi booster options to extend your WiFi signal reach:
- Wireless repeaters
- Wireless range extenders
- Wireless network extenders
- MoCA adapters
- WiFi Mesh (or sometimes displayed as Mesh WiFi)
The two that are most helpful for extending your WiFi coverage are:
WiFi range extenders, which are devices that you place between your router and the hard-to-reach area to make your Internet better. On a traditional network, you can use WiFi boosters like range extenders to get more coverage.
And WiFi Mesh, which is a whole-home system of devices that blanket your home in WiFi coverage. This is called a mesh network.
MoCA adapters are also a good solution for extending your coverage. However, they work a little differently than the ones above because they are a wired solution. We will explain in the next section.
How Do WiFi Boosters Work?
WiFi boosters are designed to make your WiFi better. The WiFi boosters we cover in this page are different solutions to the same problem: weak WiFi coverage.
Here’s how they each work:
WiFi range extenders explained:
WiFi range extenders work by re-broadcasting your router’s existing WiFi signal. You place the extender between your router and the dead spot area. The extender receives the existing WiFi signal and extends its reach. An important note is that a WiFi range extender will not strength the WiFi signal, so you need to make sure the existing signal is already strong.
WiFi Mesh explained:
WiFi Mesh works by creating a mesh network of devices. This requires you to place nodes in all rooms that need the added coverage. WiFi Mesh also requires a mesh router which is different than a regular router. Mesh WiFi typically works wirelessly, but you can connect nodes together using an Ethernet cable if your home is already wired with Ethernet cables in each room.
MoCA adapters explained:
MoCA adapters are a wired solution WiFi booster (Ethernet over coax) that increases your network speeds to give you better WiFi coverage and performance without the risk of spotty connection.
Common WiFi Issues that WiFi Boosters Resolve
WiFi boosters are a solution for common WiFi issues. Things like:
- No Ethernet or limited Ethernet connection
- WiFi dead zones (dead spots)
- Poor quality WiFi from a weak WiFi signal
- Obstacles such as cement floors, thick walls, appliances and other obstacles.
By nature, WiFi is vulnerable to inferences, which weakens a signal’s strength and reach. WiFi boosters are the “middle devices” that help carry the signal further to reduce or eliminate interferences.
Difference Between WiFi Booster, WiFi Range Extender and WiFi Mesh
There is a difference between a WiFi booster, WiFi range extender and WiFi mesh. This section is high-level, but you can dive deeper on this page.
The term “WiFi booster” covers all WiFi enhancing devices, which includes WiFi range extenders and WiFi Mesh. Each type helps boost your WiFi but in a different way.
Let’s cover WiFi boosters vs WiFi range extenders vs WiFi Mesh, what they do and how they help your WiFi:
“WiFi booster” is a general term for devices that enhance your WiFi coverage by boosting your signal strength and reach. Two of those devices are WiFi range extenders and WiFi Mesh.
A WiFi range extender is a device that extends the reach of your WiFi signal.
WiFi mesh is a whole-home system that extends the reach of your WiFi signal coverage.
Common Set Up Scenarios
Typically, a WiFi booster/range extender device is used to improve WiFi coverage in a small home or space. The setup requires placing the extender device between your router and the area that needs more coverage. Make sure they extender and router have a clear view of one another so that the WiFi signal is successfully transferred and received.
WiFi mesh is usually saved for larger homes and spaces, especially with multiple levels. A WiFi mesh setup includes placing nodes in every room that you need coverage. It also requires a specific mesh router. All of the devices work together to blanket your home in solid WiFi. This may sound like the ideal solution, but for a small home or space, it can be an unnecessary investment.
Which Booster Type Is the Best Option for You?
Not all WiFi boosters are the right solution for everyone. They each have their pros and cons. The best WiFi booster option depends on your situation and needs. Here are things to consider before buying a WiFi range extender, WiFi mesh or MoCA adapter.
WiFi extenders are the best option for small to mid-size homes or spaces. They are also a more cost-effective solution since you likely only need one device.
WiFi mesh also extends WiFi signal reach and coverage. However, WiFi mesh is a better solution for large or multi-level homes or spaces. WiFi mesh requires a number of specific mesh devices that coordinate together. The more coverage you need, the more nodes you will need.
MoCA is another cost-effective solution. With MoCA, you only need one to two devices depending on your router (traditional vs MoCA router).
The idea of WiFi management is knowing exactly what is happening on your network at all times. This is beneficial because it helps you identify any areas that may need assistance, like with WiFi boosters.
Managed WiFi requires WiFi manager tools that let you visually see your entire network. These tools also provide customized insight into various aspects of the network, like security or the ability to manage connected devices including parental controls.
You can get access to managed WiFi tools that come included with your devices, through a separate app like the MyHitron App, which is a home network management app, or through your Internet service provider (ISP).
A Final Word on WiFi Boosters
WiFi boosters help ensure you are getting the best WiFi coverage, Internet connection and performance. It’s important to know how to give your WiFi signal a boost where and when it needs it.
At Hitron, we design, manufacture and distribute high-performance WiFi boosters to quality Internet Service Providers (ISP). When you are ready for a Network Extender, Mesh and/or MoCA for your home or office, ask your ISP about all of Hitron’s Wi-Fi boosters and MoCA adapter offerings today, or check out our products available for purchase.
For more information on WiFi boosters and related topics, check out Hitron’s Learn Page and blog.