What is the difference between a WiFi Repeater & a WiFi Extender (and which one do I need for my home)?

If you have slow or spotty WiFi signal in certain areas of your home, one of the easiest ways to fix the problem is to install a WiFi repeater or a Wifi extender.

Extenders and repeaters are devices designed to enhance and improve your WiFi signal. While both device types may help, the way they work is different. Here we’ll explain the difference between the two devices and tell you everything you need to know about Wifi repeaters and WiFi extenders so you can choose which is best for your needs.

WiFi Repeater VS WiFi Extender

Both devices are optional, after-market accessories you can add to your home WiFi network set up, but repeaters and extenders work in different ways. An extender, for example, simply connects directly router to create a new WiFi network, whereas a repeater connects wirelessly to your WiFi signal and re-broadcasts the existing network signal to other parts of the home.

What is a WiFi Repeater?

The repeater type of network booster is designed primarily to widen the range of you router’s Wifi signal coverage. The way it works is by receiving the signal via antennae, and then sending it back out almost like a “satellite” router.

One thing to note about the repeater, however, is that the repeater will expand the range of your signal, but will reduce the signal strength. This is because the repeater creates a whole new network. When you create this new network, it will cut the total bandwidth in half. This will result in overall slower speeds, most especially if you are streaming or gaming on the network.


What is a WiFi Extender?

The extender type of Wifi enhancer transports your primary router’s WiFi internet signal to a second location in your home. Think of an extender as an extra router that you can install in any area where the signal is weak or non-existent. Extenders connect to your home network by way of the Ethernet or coaxial cable.

This method does not dilute your bandwidth and is not impacted by walls or radio waves. This is because the extender -unlike the repeater - uses a hardwired connection. An extender does not create a new network, it simply increases the coverage area of your original WiFi network’s signal.

What WiFi Booster Should You Get for Your Home? Tips from our Teks

“If you just need to extend or get coverage in other rooms throughout the location, an extender should get the job done. However if you need a stronger signal, then a repeater would be my recommendation.”

-Kevin Aughtry, TekDash Tek

Need better WiFi? TekDash will connect you!

If you’re setting up a new WiFi network or having trouble with your current home WiFi signal, or experienced Teks are on-call to get you connected. View WiFi & Network Services.