Home Router Wi-Fi Booster vs. Wi-Fi Extender (What’s the Difference?)

Wi-Fi Booster vs. Wi-Fi Extender (What’s the Difference?)

by stacy

The internet has changed dramatically thanks to Wi-Fi technology. No more wires or cables running along walls. A Wi-Fi router allows you to connect wireless devices seamlessly to your home network, and then access the internet.

Although Wi-Fi routers can establish an internet connection, their range is limited. Wi-Fi routers operating in the 2.4 GHz frequency range have a range of 150 feet indoors and 300 outdoors. A 5GHz router, on the other hand, has a range that is 50 feet indoors and 150 feet outdoor.

It is possible to have difficulties connecting to your wireless internet if you live in an extremely large house. Even if you are able to connect, your internet speed may drop. This can be solved by installing a Wi Fi booster or extender.

This article will compare a Wi Fi booster/repeater to a Wi Fi extender and highlight the main differences between them. Continue reading to learn more.

What is a Wi Fi Booster?

Wi-Fi booster/repeater, a hardware device that increases your internet coverage, amplifies your Wi Fi signals and eliminates dead zones in your home. It’s a standalone gadget that sits between your router, and other areas in which you need better Wi Fi coverage.

Wi-Fi boosters give your network a boost, as the name suggests. It receives signal from your wireless router, then rebroadcasts it out to the rest of area. This creates an additional network and increases internet coverage. It extends your wireless router’s range, so that you have internet access in all parts of your house.

Wi-Fi boosters increase internet coverage and network speeds. For faster connections, you’ll need to hardwire the device.

The location of the booster can also affect its efficiency. The incorrect placement of the device can make it difficult to receive signals from your wireless router. This could impact overall performance.

What does a Wi Fi Booster do?

An Wi-Fi booster, also known as repeater, connects wirelessly to an access point such as a router or hotspot. The booster then receives the wireless signal from the access points before amplifying it and rebroadcasting the signal to the rest of your home or office. This will improve internet coverage.

Interference from objects, walls, furniture, metal items, cordless phones and microwaves can often cause weak Wi-Fi signals. Bad router placement can lead to weaker Wi Fi signals and dead spots in your house or office.

Wi-Fi boosters include built-in antennas. These antennas help to catch weak signals and amplify them, thus allowing for wider coverage. This creates a second network that improves internet coverage and allows for stronger connections with wireless devices.

The location where the booster is installed will determine its effectiveness. The booster should be placed near your wireless router, and close to areas that need better internet coverage. The Wi-Fi booster should ideally be placed between the problem areas and the access point.

What is a Wi Fi Extender?

Wi-Fi extenders allow you to extend your network’s reach to areas that are difficult to reach in your house or office. The device is placed between your wireless router’s problem areas and the extender, expanding your network coverage to every floor and corner in your space.

It is not like a Wi-Fi booster that wirelessly grabs and rebroadcasts signals.Wi-Fi extenders connect to your router by using a cable. This creates a second or even a third wireless network.

Your wireless devices may be far from your router/access point so you might experience slowdowns and drops in your connection.

Wi-Fi extenders bridge the gap between your router’s devices and your router by expanding your network and improving your connection speed and overall performance.

You can stream HD videos and play online games from anywhere in your home by installing a Wi Fi extender. This device will ensure that you have better internet coverage, regardless of how large your home is.

What does a Wi Fi Extender do?

The Wi-Fi extender connects directly to your wireless router via a wired connection. The device extends your network by connecting to your wireless router using cables, instead of taking your Wi-Fi signal and broadcasting that to other areas.

Wi-Fi extenders are wireless devices that connect directly to your router using cables. This creates a new Wi Fi network. Instead of trying to connect directly to the router, devices located in problematic areas will be able to connect via the extender to the new network. The extender does not require you to add wires to your home.

A Wi-Fi extender uses a wired connection so it does not decrease your network bandwidth. Moreover, you won’t experience slowdowns or Wi-Fi signal drops from thick walls, or electromagnetic interference. They act as secondary routers eliminating dead zones in your house or office.

Note:Most Wi-Fi extenders support repeater mode. They can also receive wireless signal from routers. Every Wi-Fi extender can also be used as a repeater or booster. Many repeaters are equipped with Ethernet ports, which allow you to create a wired connection between your router’s repeater and it. They are Wi-Fi extenders.

Differences between Wi-Fi booster and Wi-Fi extender

The terms Wi-Fi booster/repeater or Wi-Fi extender are often interchangeable. These devices share striking similarities and do the same task: improve your wireless internet coverage.

While Wi-Fi extenders and boosters are similar, they also have some minor differences. Here are the differences between Wi Fi extenders and boosters:

  • Operation

Wi-Fi extenders and boosters perform the same function, but work in a different way. Boosters (also known as repeaters) can increase Wi-Fi coverage. They grab signals from the router and amplify them before rebroadcasting to difficult-to reach areas.

Wi-Fi extenders connect directly with your wireless router via existing cables. They create a new WiFi network and extend coverage.

  • Installation

Installation of a Wi Fi booster is easier than installing a Wi Fi extender. It is as easy as plugging the device into a wall outlet and pressing the setup button to activate.

You must create a wired connection between your router, extender and device before you can set it up.

How to set up a NETGEAR Wi Fi Extender

  • Efficiency and performance

Wi-Fi extenders outperform Wi-Fi boosters/repeaters when it comes to efficiency and performance. Performance can be affected by interference from electrical appliances and wireless devices.

A Wi-Fi extender uses a wired connection so it does not decrease your network bandwidth. Moreover, you won’t experience slowdowns or Wi-Fi signal drops from thick walls, or electromagnetic interference.

  • Application

Wi-Fi boosters can eliminate dead zones, increase internet coverage and extend the range of devices within a radius of no more than 2,500 feet from the router. The advertised range is not possible. It is also susceptible to interference from other gadgets such as cordless phones, baby monitors, microwaves, etc.

Wi-Fi extenders can be used to cover greater areas because they use a wired connection rather than rebroadcasting Wi Fi signals from the router. The extender connects directly with your router and creates a second wireless network for trouble areas. 

  • Cost

A Wi-Fi booster/repeater isn’t necessarily the most expensive option. Their function is far more important than their price. Wi-Fi boosters/repeaters can be more vulnerable to interference so they are usually less expensive than Wi-Fi extenders which are more efficient, more reliable, and offer better performance.

There are many reasons why you need a Wi Fi Booster or Extension

Let’s face it. It can be difficult to establish a reliable wireless network within your home. Signal drops can result from interference from metal appliances and furniture.

A Wi-Fi booster, or Wi-Fi extender, can solve this problem and improve your internet coverage.

Here are the top 5 reasons to get a Wi Fi booster/extension:

  • Slow Wi-Fi connection

Installing a Wi-Fi booster, extender or booster in slow areas of your house may be an option. Slow Wi Fi in specific rooms is a sign that wireless signals are weak. They may not be covering the area adequately. An extender or booster for Wi-Fi can improve signal strength and coverage.

Note:Internet speeds are dependent on your ISP. Wi-Fi boosters or extenders don’t improve internet speeds, but can help you get more out of your network. They can be used to boost your internet speed. Boost signal strength, guaranteeing your network bandwidth.

  • Dead Zones or Spots

Dead zones, also known as dead spots, are areas of your house or office that don’t receive Wi-Fi signals. These areas are typically out of reach for your wireless router. These interferences can also be caused by interference from metallic appliances, furniture, or household appliances.

These dead zones can be eliminated by a Wi-Fi booster/extension that improves internet coverage. The booster takes signals from the router and broadcasts them to dead spots within your home.

  • Upgrade to the Most Current Wi-Fi Technology

You should update your wireless router regularly to keep up with the technological advances. Wi-Fi extenders and boosters allow you to upgrade your router to 802.11 ac Wi-Fi technology without replacing it. You can also get advanced features to improve your wireless network.

You may not get the fastest Wi-Fi speeds if your Wi-Fi device is old. Wi-Fi boosters can be used to fix this problem and improve efficiency. Your router will now handle more devices and manage traffic seamlessly.

  • Cover Larger Homes

You might not receive Wi-Fi coverage in all areas of your house if it is large. Some areas might have weaker or no coverage. It is possible to need multiple wireless routers to cover an entire area.

Although it might be helpful to place your router in a central area, some rooms may not have internet coverage. You can resolve this issue by installing a Wi Fi booster, or a Wi Fi extender.  

  • Outdoor Internet Access

Wi-Fi technology does not have to be limited to indoors. You might want to surf the internet in other areas, such as your backyard, detached garage, porch, or yard. You can enjoy internet coverage in your outdoor areas by setting up a Wi Fi booster or extender.


The two devices have the same functions so it can be confusing to decide between a Wi Fi booster/repeater/extension. They enhance Wi-Fi coverage in your entire house or office.

You can increase the coverage of your wireless network without using wires or cables by installing a Wi Fi booster. Wi-Fi boosters and repeaters are still susceptible to electromagnetic interference which can impact their overall performance.

The existing cables can be used to connect Wi-Fi extenders to your wireless router. These extend your network coverage and prevent interference from electromagnetic waves, slowdowns or Wi-Fi drops.

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