So let's start at the beginning; what exactly IS a WiFi extender?

Generally, a WiFi Extender is a small device that you plug into a power-point. In some cases, you download an App and “talk to it” with your iOS or Android device, linking it to your main router. It then piggy-backs your router’s signal, ensuring that no matter where you are, you’re always close to a nice strong WiFi signal.

Some WiFi extenders include an RJ 45 connection, meaning that any of your non-WiFi technology can still connect to your WiFi network.

Although relatively small in size, extenders can have a big effect on the effective range of your home network.

Most WiFi routers have an effective range of around 35 metres in all directions. However, a variety of conditions can cause you to need a bit of a boost. We'll explore that soon.

How good is your home network signal? Long gone are the days when your computer had to be wired into your phone port. Today’s modern networks are generally wireless, with fast upload and download speeds. At home you can work wherever your device detects the WiFi signal.

Today’s households are increasingly smarter, with all sorts of devices now talking on the internet. I envisage the day when your toilet will communicate the state of your health directly to your GP, and will let your supermarket know if you’re running out of paper.

Your router/hub is where all the traffic in your home originates and departs from. Generally it will be in a designated area. Some homes are designed with a hub built into a cupboard. For most of us, though, our fibre will be located somewhere close to our television, and the router will be close by.

And to the point, here are 11 Reasons Why You Need A WiFi Extender:

  1. You have solid walls in your home/office/building
  2. Your router is at one end of the building
  3. You need WiFi in outlying buildings
  4. Some of your networked components are not WiFi capable
  5. There are "heavy use" area in your building
  6. Your whanau all have devices, from laptops through to online game stations
  7. Heavy multi-media use occurs in your home: movie and music makers abound in each teen's workspace, and in the garage studio where the band practices and records
  8.  Your building has old wiring
  9. Your neighbourhood has overlapping signals on multiple channels
  10. Dad streams his "car maintenance for dummies" vlog from the garage, while mum's online pilate's class streams from the conservatory
  11. Your home is literally a castle

 

Does that answer all your questions? Or are you still a bit unsure?

 

Here are our 8 reasons why you may NOT need a WiFi extender:

  1. Your building is a modern structure with lightweight cladding and insulation
  2. Your router is nicely located near the centre of your domain
  3. All your internet activity happens in a small area, close to your router
  4. Everything in your home is WiFi, down to the dog's dinner dish
  5. You're a family that surfs together in one place
  6. Internet traffic in your building is light
  7. You have a telly, a transistor radio, one or two computers, and too busy a life for that interweb thing
  8. You embraced the "tiny house" culture

 

WiFi extenders are outrageously simple to set up and come in a variety of types. They provide an inexpensive alternative to daisy-chaining routers throughout your domain, and save you from the expense of having to install an expensive and limiting wired network.

 

Here are some of our most popular:

Edimax N300 3-in-1 Mini Wi-Fi ExtenderEdimax N300 3-in-1 Mini WiFi Extender, Access Point and Wifi Bridge $49.99

Edimax N300 Air Edimax N300 Air Ultra-Compact Smart WiFi Extender

Did you find this post helpful? Do you have more, unanswered questions? Are there some reasons we missed? Drop us a comment, we'd love to hear from you!

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3 comments

  • Hey Geoff,

    Once you’ve pointed the Edimax N300 to your router, it’s incredibly simple to set up. Just remember to give it a separate name. e.g. If your home network is called “Fort Knox” then you may want to call the Edimax “Fort Laramie.” Also, if you have a router with 2.4 and 5.0 channels, your device needs to be on the 2.4 Channel, as do the items accessing it.

  • Hi Geoff
    What Make and Model was it?

    Cheers Seth

  • How easy are they to set up.. had one that i couldnt set up snd got rid of it.

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