This Wi-Fi booster guide will give you information about everything you need to know about Wi-Fi boosters. It should help you understand essential information about how to make your Wi-Fi better and which Wi-Fi boosters really work for you before you buy.
In this article, we will cover:
- What Is a Wi-Fi Booster?
- How Do Wi-Fi Boosters Work?
- Common Wi-Fi Issues that Wi-Fi Boosters Resolve
- Difference Between Wi-Fi Booster, Wi-Fi Range Extender and Wi-Fi Mesh
- Common Set Up Scenarios
- Which Booster Type Is the Best Option?
- Wi-Fi Management
What is a Wi-Fi Booster?
A Wi-Fi booster, sometimes referred to as a Wi-Fi signal booster, is a device that helps extend the reach of your Wi-Fi signal to extend your Wi-Fi coverage. Improving your Wi-Fi coverage will eliminate dead spots in your home and improve your Internet.
There are a few types of wired and wireless Wi-Fi booster options to extend your Wi-Fi signal reach:
- Wireless repeaters
- Wireless range extenders
- Wireless network extenders
- MoCA adapters
- Wi-Fi Mesh (or sometimes displayed as Mesh Wi-Fi)
The two that are most helpful for extending your Wi-Fi coverage are:
Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi boosters like range extenders to get more coverage.
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 Wi-Fi Boosters Work?
Wi-Fi boosters are designed to make your Wi-Fi better. The Wi-Fi boosters we cover in this page are different solutions to the same problem: weak Wi-Fi coverage.
Here’s how they each work:
Wi-Fi range extenders explained:
Wi-Fi range extenders work by re-broadcasting your router’s existing Wi-Fi signal. You place the extender between your router and the dead spot area. The extender receives the existing Wi-Fi signal and extends its reach. An important note is that a Wi-Fi range extender will not strength the Wi-Fi signal, so you need to make sure the existing signal is already strong.
Wi-Fi Mesh explained:
Wi-Fi Mesh works by creating a mesh network of devices. This requires you to place nodes in all rooms that need the added coverage. Wi-Fi Mesh also requires a mesh router which is different than a regular router. Mesh Wi-Fi 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:
Common Wi-Fi Issues that Wi-Fi Boosters Resolve
Wi-Fi boosters are a solution for common Wi-Fi issues. Things like:
- No Ethernet or limited Ethernet connection
- Wi-Fi dead zones (dead spots)
- Poor quality Wi-Fi from a weak Wi-Fi signal
- Obstacles such as cement floors, thick walls, appliances and other obstacles.
By nature, Wi-Fi is vulnerable to inferences, which weakens a signal’s strength and reach. Wi-Fi boosters are the “middle devices” that help carry the signal further to reduce or eliminate interferences.
Difference Between Wi-Fi Booster, Wi-Fi Range Extender and Wi-Fi Mesh
There is a difference between a Wi-Fi booster, Wi-Fi range extender and Wi-Fi mesh. This section is high-level, but you can dive deeper on this page.
The term “Wi-Fi booster” covers all Wi-Fi enhancing devices, which includes Wi-Fi range extenders and Wi-Fi Mesh. Each type helps boost your Wi-Fi but in a different way.
Let’s cover Wi-Fi boosters vs Wi-Fi range extenders vs Wi-Fi Mesh, what they do and how they help your Wi-Fi:
“Wi-Fi booster” is a general term for devices that enhance your Wi-Fi coverage by boosting your signal strength and reach. Two of those devices are Wi-Fi range extenders and Wi-Fi Mesh.
A Wi-Fi range extender is a device that extends the reach of your Wi-Fi signal.
Wi-Fi mesh is a whole-home system that extends the reach of your Wi-Fi signal coverage.
Common Set Up Scenarios
Typically, a Wi-Fi booster/range extender device is used to improve Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi signal is successfully transferred and received.
Wi-Fi mesh is usually saved for larger homes and spaces, especially with multiple levels. A Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi. 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 Wi-Fi boosters are the right solution for everyone. They each have their pros and cons. The best Wi-Fi booster option depends on your situation and needs. Here are things to consider before buying a Wi-Fi range extender, Wi-Fi mesh or MoCA adapter.
Wi-Fi 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.
Wi-Fi mesh also extends Wi-Fi signal reach and coverage. However, Wi-Fi mesh is a better solution for large or multi-level homes or spaces. Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi boosters.
Managed Wi-Fi requires Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi Boosters
Wi-Fi boosters help ensure you are getting the best Wi-Fi coverage, Internet connection and performance. It’s important to know how to give your Wi-Fi signal a boost where and when it needs it.
At Hitron, we design, manufacture and distribute high-performance Wi-Fi 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.