What is a Wi-Fi repeater for?
The main function of a Wi-Fi repeater is that it will allow us to easily expand the wireless coverage of our home. This happens because the router is not able to offer Wi-Fi coverage throughout our home. In these situations, these Wi-Fi amplifiers become the most effective and cheapest solution to complement the router and have coverage throughout the house.
Among the main manufacturers of Wi-Fi repeaters we have D-Link, ASUS, NETGEAR, AVM FRITZ! or TP-Link among many others.
However, if we want to have the same speed using the Wi-Fi of the main router, what we have to do is buy a Wi-Fi repeater with the same specifications as the router, and if possible, they have simultaneous triple band to have a frequency band dedicated to the interconnection between the router and the repeater. Also, another specific alternative that we could use to create an access point would be to use our Windows computer.
Know the technical specifications of your router
If you are going to want to make the most of Wi-Fi in your home, the first thing you should know is the technical specifications of your router. One of the things you have to start figuring out is whether your router uses one frequency band only or is simultaneous dual band. The one-band ones are older, and work only in the 2.4 GHz band. The most common today are simultaneous dual-band, and operate in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
A simple way to know if we have a dual-band router is because we will have two SSIDs or network names, one for the 5 GHz Wi-Fi and the other for the 2.4 GHz. In that regard, to have everything clear, the best thing is Check the manufacturer’s or Internet provider’s website for their technical specifications. This way we will know if it only supports the standards of 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n of the Wi-Fi 4 of the 2.4 GHz band, we also have the 802.11.ac standard of the 5 GHz band or Wi-Fi 5. Also, recently The 802.ax standard has been added or also known as Wi-Fi 6, which can also operate in both frequency bands.
As a curiosity, if you have an old router on some occasions you can use the router as a repeater to expand coverage. Then, since you can take advantage of the same speed using Wi-Fi, it will depend on whether they have similar characteristics.
How our Wi-Fi repeater should be
Once we know the specifications of our home router, we have to find a partner with similar specifications. Here we would have to look at two details to start:
- That both support the same standard, for example, 802.11ac or WiFi 5.
- Also that they offer the same speed. For example, if we have an AC1200 router, buy an AC 1200 Wi-Fi repeater.
Sometimes if the price is not going up a lot, you might think about buying something of a higher category, especially a repeater that has simultaneous triple band, so that the interconnection trunk is dedicated, and not shared with customers. So when you change the router you could take advantage of it.
Other things we should look at:
- Ethernet ports: If that repeater has several ports of this type, we must find that they are Gigabit Ethernet and we could use it to connect a laptop or desktop PC by network cable. This saves us having to buy a Wi-Fi adapter. It could also be used as an access point and connect it to the router.
- Dedicated trocal link: some WiFi repeaters allow you to have simultaneous triple band. Thus, they can use a 5 GHz band for interconnection with the router and achieve better wireless performance.
- Firmware: know the extra options that you can provide, for example, create a guest network or if you have a Wi-Fi programmer. It would also be interesting to know the years of support to know how long we will have firmware updates that keep our repeater protected.
- Supports WiFi Mesh with WiFi roaming: some repeaters allow you to integrate your equipment to the Mesh network, especially if they are from the same manufacturer, in this way, we can configure a complete Mesh WiFi network with WiFi roaming so as not to have a cut in the wireless connection.
In summary, to obtain the same speed using Wi-Fi, we must look for a repeater with similar characteristics to those of the router, which is of a good brand and with good support.