What is Wifi Extender

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While most people are familiar with the term ‘WiFi,’ few know much about a Wi-Fi extender.

A Wi-Fi extender is a device that can amplify or extend the Wi-Fi coverage of your existing Wi-Fi router.

How does a wifi extender work

A Wi-Fi extender receives the signals from your Wi-Fi router, amplifies them, and then transmits the boosted signals to extend the Wi-Fi coverage area.

It primarily extends or amplifies the Wi-Fi signals over a specified area.

This device, also known as a Wi-Fi repeater, aims to extend the coverage area of your Wi-Fi network. However, the actual increase in coverage can vary based on several factors, including the original signal strength, obstructions, and extender capabilities.

Wi-Fi extender vs Booster

While the terms Wi-Fi extender, Wi-Fi booster, and Wi-Fi repeater are often used interchangeably, they all enhance Wi-Fi coverage by boosting or extending the signal.

Their functionality is identical to stereo amplifiers that enhance any music system’s sound effects.

You just need to plug them into a power source, and they are all set to transmit the amplified signal in the air in collaboration with your Wi-Fi router.

You may call these devices by various names—a Wi-Fi booster, a Wi-Fi extender, or a Wi-Fi repeater, but the purpose achieved by all of them is quite similar.

A Wi-Fi extender can certainly be deemed as a useful device that can boost your wireless connection speed at home or office.

So, make an educated choice when picking the best portable Wi-Fi extender by considering the following factors before getting one.

Factors to consider before buying a Wi-Fi extender


Most Wi-Fi extenders support a single 2.4GHz frequency band or are dual-band, supporting both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, allowing you to choose one that best fits your network requirements and budget.

Wi-Fi extenders with single 2.4GHz frequency spectrums are cheaper and widely available.

Conversely, if the router supports dual-band and you are ready to spend extra money, going with the dual-band Wi-Fi extender is highly recommended.


Wi-Fi extenders come in different sizes and profiles, but you must pick the one that doesn’t cover much space within your surroundings.

You can easily pick from the list of wall plug-based Wi-Fi extenders, Wi-Fi extenders with no external antenna, or Wi-Fi extenders with dual antenna features.

Standard compatibility

Compatibility is crucial in connecting your existing router with the best portable Wi-Fi extender. Moreover, this aspect depends on the frequency and age of your router.

As of now, most Wi-Fi extenders are compliant with IEEE 802.11 standards, including a/b/g/n and ac, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of wireless networks and devices.

Hence, you must check your router’s specifications and the standards it supports before purchasing the best portable Wi-Fi extender.


Besides all the other aspects, you must also ensure the safety and security of the portable Wi-Fi extender you buy.

As of the latest standards, many Wi-Fi extenders support advanced security protocols such as WPA2-PSK, and newer models are beginning to support WPA3, which offers enhanced security features.

Still, people have many questions and doubts regarding using Wi-Fi extenders, boosters, and adapters in their respective devices. We are currently covering some of the major questions in the same respect.

Do I need a Wi-Fi adapter for my PC?

You need a Wi-Fi adapter to connect your PC to a wireless network. While most modern PCs and laptops have built-in Wi-Fi adapters, older models may require an external Wi-Fi adapter.

If you want to check whether your PC has the required Wi-Fi adapter, follow the process below.

  • Opt for the WINDOWS START button and type DEVICE MANAGER in the search box.
  • Select the DEVICE MANAGER option, and there you will find NETWORK ADAPTERS
  • Look for a network adapter in the list with ‘Wi-Fi’ prefixed in its name

How to connect the desktop to Wi-Fi without an adapter?

Connecting the desktop to Wi-Fi without an adapter is quite simple and easy. You just need a smartphone, a high-quality USB cable, and a Wi-Fi connection within the vicinity.

Afterward, follow the process below.

  • Establish the connection between the Smartphone and the Wi-Fi.
  • Now connect the Smartphone to the PC via USB cable.
  • Go to the general settings of your Smartphone and turn ON the “USB tethering” (This option is available adjacent to the Wi-Fi hotspot).
  • The PC is now connected to the Wi-Fi

The bottom line

A Wi-Fi extender is helpful in areas with weak or low Wi-Fi coverage. Still, you must check all the above factors before purchasing.

See Also

Best Wifi Router for Large Home

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