Tips and advice

The WiFi repeater: When do you need it?

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You may need the WiFi repeater (also called WiFi extender or WiFi amplifier) ​​in a number of situations. But what exactly is it? In this article we explain what it is and when you need it in your smart home.

Are you considering a WiFi repeater?

If you have a weak WiFi signal in your home (for example: the router is on the ground floor and you hardly have any connection in the attic), then you should study a WiFi repeater (also known as a WiFi extender or WiFi amplifier. mentioned). However, there are a few things to consider before buying one. Wifi repeaters come in all shapes and sizes and can cost a lot of money. That is why we will go through a number of things with you. But first: what is a WiFi repeater anyway?

What is a WiFi repeater and how does it work?

WiFi repeaters can help you amplify the router’s signal in your home. They pick up the signal and amplify it for a specific part of the house (for example the aforementioned attic). Not all WiFi repeaters are the same. Some you plug into the socket (the connection then goes over the power network), while other amplifiers go directly into the router and the device of your choice (in your television or laptop, for example). You also have another variant, in the form of wireless amplifiers (wireless repeaters).

These again consist of two devices. One router that picks up the signal and one router that receives the signal and broadcasts it to the room that could use a boost in WiFi. When you buy one, make sure that you understand the product so that you know its options and limitations. Ask for it in the store or do good research online about the different products. Because not all types of WiFi repeaters work in all homes. In addition, you have to ask yourself a number of things before you even purchase one.

Remember: WiFi repeaters halve the speed of your WiFi connection when broadcasting.

Is your WiFi repeater in the most optimal place in the house?

If it is the case that your router is currently in a location that makes it difficult to transmit its signal anyway, a WiFi repeater is of little use – it can therefore only receive the signal poorly. Therefore, try – where possible – to relocate your router first and keep trying until you are sure that this is the most optimal place for the device. Try to block the router as little as possible with other objects (although we understand that this is not always possible due to the layout of your home).

Is your WiFi router actually good enough?

You would do well to have a WiFi router with support for 802.11ac. That is the current standard. It is still possible to buy routers with n support, but you shouldn’t want that. 802.11ac offers more than double the speed and is suitable for devices that would only support one. So if you already have an 802.11ac router, then you don’t have to worry; you don’t necessarily have to upgrade. If you have a router with the older standard in your home, then you should upgrade.

Map the speed of your WiFi connection

There are applications on different platforms that can map your WiFi connection. That way you know how good your connection actually is. These apps can also show where exactly in the house the signal is lost, so that you can determine whether you should have a WiFi repeater for that part of the house. You can also use it to determine the best position for your router. In addition, you should always try a speed test , so that you can compare the actual speed with the promised speed of your provider.

Watch your usage

Suppose you live in a house with a large family. There are several smartphones linked to the network, as well as a television that streams Netflix daily and a game console, such as an Xbox or a PlayStation, on which online games are played – and then of course everything at the same time – that could also be the problem. Then the use is too intense for your current router, so that a WiFi repeater will not help. If you live alone and you have a smartphone, PC and some devices and your Netflix continues to falter, your router is also secondary.

Wouldn’t it be better to use a cable?

If you really depend on well-functioning internet (for work, for example), you can always consider going back to cable (of course: if possible). PCs still have an internet connection and most TVs and game consoles do too, and if everything is together, that’s a nice option. Then you really only have problems with the network when your internet service provider (ISP) has problems – otherwise not. It is also true that the fewer devices are connected wirelessly, the more space the rest will get.