• Stay connected with Wi-Fi extenders

    Are there areas in your home where the Wi-Fi signal keeps dropping out? Wi-Fi extenders could be your ideal solution. These devices expand your Wi-Fi coverage, ensuring a stable, consistent connection throughout your entire living space.

    Wireless extender or mesh device

  • Everything you need to know about Wi-Fi extenders

    • 1 What are they and how do they work?
      • Wi-Fi extenders can improve weak signals caused by obstacles or congestion, providing a convenient solution to extend your router’s reach. They can also help if you simply want to extend your router’s coverage beyond its current range.

        Weak wireless signals can result from obstacles like walls or congestion from multiple devices sharing the same signal. Wi-Fi extenders or repeaters can assist by amplifying and extending the wireless signal, providing cost-effective and compact solutions that easily plug into power outlets.

        These devices don’t need to be the same brand as your primary router, and can assist in diagnosing slow connections by pinpointing whether the issue lies in network or internet problems. The Wi-Fi signal will still become weaker the further the distance away from the original signal device.

    • 2 What is the speed and range of a wireless extender?
      • These are the radio bands that wireless signals broadcast over.

        • 2.4Ghz. Broader range, more reliable around interference, but slower.
        • 5Ghz. Narrower range, has more problems with interference, very fast.

        Most extenders have both frequencies built-in to them and will switch between them depending on their own computer intelligence. For example, when viewing your internet connection options in your home you will see both listed. You can tell your extender to use one or the other, in order to test or fix connection issues.

        Most home Wi-Fi extenders using the 2.4 GHz band can cover around 45 metres indoors and 100 metres outdoors. A 5GHz connection can have more problems with interference than a 2.4 GHz connection because it uses narrower wavelengths. So, it will usually have a slightly shorter effective range – about 3 to 5 metres shorter.

        More information: Is 5 GHz Wi-Fi Better Than 2.4 GHz?

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  • Other ways to extend a signal

    You can also use different combinations of routers and Wi-Fi extenders to increase your coverage across a much broader section of your property.

    • 1 Mesh routers

      While this is essentially a router, it acts like a Wi-Fi extender, but with more computer intelligence and power. One central main wireless router provides the signal, and multiple satellites or nodes take that signal and repeat it wherever you need it. The nodes “mesh” together more seamlessly as they’re all part of the same setup, so the signal they provide is much stronger and more reliable.

      This type of setup can broadcast a strong and reliable 5Ghz signal to everywhere you need, supporting uses such as music or video streaming and ‘Smart Home’ or Internet of Things (IoT) systems such as Telstra Smart Home or Apple HomeKit. It is also strong enough to send a signal to external buildings or devices on a rural property.

      They are more expensive than a Wi-Fi extender, and your service provider may not be able to provide full support for internet connection issues with a mesh system, unless it’s one they’ve provided to you.

    • 2 Access points

      Access points are similar to mesh routers but have a key difference: they connect to the network via a cable. They get both data and power from a single internet cable using an adapter or compatible switch.

      Access points tend to be more reliable than mesh routers or Wi-Fi extenders. Mesh routers and extenders act like individual antennas, amplifying the existing signal. The further away your device, the less quality you will have.

      An access point creates a new signal by establishing a fresh data connection. So, at each access point, you get a new signal, but it’s as strong as the original one, ensuring consistent quality throughout the network.

    • 3 Point to point connections (Wi-Fi Bridge)

      These are also called “wireless bridge” or “Wi-Fi bridge” systems. They broadcast a local internet connection over larger distances using matched antennas and equipment at both the sending and receiving end.

      The antennas must have an uninterrupted line of sight to each other, without obstructions from things like hills or vegetation. Where conditions are suitable, this setup can give you an internet connection from your main building on a property to outlying buildings and locations across the rest of the property.

      Wi-Fi Bridge
      Point to Point connection antenna on a pole mount holding a Fixed Wireless antenna.

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