How do wi-fi boosters work? What are they for?

Dec 1, 2022 | Broadband & Phone, Moving Guides

Wi-Fi boosters, a.k.a. internet range extenders or signal boosters, extend the range of your Wi-Fi network. These handy devices are a lifesaver for anyone with a weak internet signal at home. Knowing how your Wi-Fi booster works is crucial for getting the most from them, and getting the best internet signal you can.

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How does a Wi-Fi booster work?

A Wi-Fi booster connects to an existing wireless access point such as a router or hot spot and amplifies the network signal. This extends the range of the wireless network, meaning you’ll be able to connect to your Wi-Fi in areas that were previously black spots.

A Wi-Fi booster won’t increase the speed of your broadband connection itself, but if you previously had a weak signal you’ll see an increase in the speeds you reach on your devices.

Wi-Fi boosters can be either single-band or dual-band. The ‘band’ is the frequency the router receives and transmits signals at. Dual-band devices can handle more traffic as they operate at both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies, receiving a signal on one band and transmitting it on the other.

Did you know? If you’re a sky broadband and TV customer then your TV box acts as a network range extender for your internet, creating a powerful mesh network in your home


How can I improve my booster’s performance? 

The number one obstacle to wireless internet signals is obstruction from thick walls and furniture. Glass and concrete are the worst materials for blocking signals. Try and move your booster to a position where it has a clear, unobstructed line to your router, and between the booster and the device you’re connecting to the internet.

You can also connect to your Wi-Fi booster directly with an Ethernet cable. This can be useful if you need a strong internet connection in a different room from your router, but it isn’t practical to run a cable into your router directly. By removing half of the wireless transmission, there’s less chance for the signal quality to decrease. However, you’ll still get the best quality connection by connecting your device directly to your router.


What’s the best home internet connection?

The best quality internet connection available to you depends on where you live and the infrastructure available to connect to. As a general rule, Fibre to the premises (FTTP) internet is the fastest, then Fibre to the Cabinet. DSL and ADSL broadband are some of the slowest widely in use, relying on traditional copper telecom cables rather than fibre optics.

Regardless of the kind of connection you have, if you find that your home has dead zones or areas where your Wi-Fi network doesn’t reach then a Wi-Fi booster could help.


Where can I get a Wi-Fi booster?

You can find Wi-Fi boosters at most electronic stores, as well as from online retailers.

Your internet supplier may also offer you Wi-Fi range extenders. Internet providers including Sky, Virgin Media and BT offer their customers range extenders, as well as guarantees of internet access in every room, as an add-on with their broadband packages.


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