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Question Wi-fi extenders vs repeaters

Chris4891

Established Member
I was looking to get a better signal on the top floor of the house and purchased a Netgear range extender:


Unfortunately it arrived damaged so it’s been returned. In the meantime I’ve since seen a BG double wall socket with Wi-fi range “extender” but have also seen this product described as a “wi-fi repeater”


Any advice which route to go as have heard that repeaters halve the signal???

Thanks in advance
 
Last edited:
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Deleted member 24354

Guest
Wifi extender or repeater are both the same thing. Most will half the throughput with every hop as they rely on one of the radio channels to provide the link between the wireless source and its own broadcast. Many of the newer 'wireless mesh' systems have a dedicated radio between each device, so that you are not tying up one of the radio channels, these do not halve the speed, but rely on all of the devices being in the same ecosystem (brand). I would be more tempted to try and use powerline adapters with wifi built in. These in my experience are more reliable than repeaters or extenders.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
The two terms are interchangeable.

Cheaper examples of those sorts of devices do use the same radio to talk to devices that they use to talk to the rest of the network so they can only spend half their time on each.

Spending half the time communicating means they can only transfer half as much data.

Those with an additional radio dedicated to communicating with the rest of the network are called tri-band (or dual-band for ones that only work on one frequency - 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz).

Cheap range extenders have a poor reputation generally so I'd avoid the ones built into the plugs unless you just need a slow signal for some basic low bandwidth stuff.
 

Chris4891

Established Member
Thanks for the replies - don’t want to go down the route of mesh systems etc - it’s really only to improve phone / iPad, smart tv signal in the bedroom (Netflix streaming etc).
 

outoftheknow

Moderator
. I would be more tempted to try and use powerline adapters with wifi built in. These in my experience are more reliable than repeaters or extenders.
In mine too. Also mine have two ethernet sockets and I use those for TVs etc where the unit is.
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the replies - don’t want to go down the route of mesh systems etc - it’s really only to improve phone / iPad, smart tv signal in the bedroom (Netflix streaming etc).
Why not? They are super simple to set up and much better than extenders
 

Chris4891

Established Member
Where did you get that from? Is it easy to set up?
I’ve also got the added complication of trying to keep the Mrs happy (read discreet) plus I’m not very tech savvy so set up needs to be quite simple...
 

KyleS1

Distinguished Member
Where did you get that from? Is it easy to set up?
I’ve also got the added complication of trying to keep the Mrs happy (read discreet) plus I’m not very tech savvy so set up needs to be quite simple...
eBuyer. Tenda MW5 4 pack.
Piece of cake. Plug main one in to power and router, download app, connect to it's wifi via your phone, create a new SSID and password, change to bridge mode. Plug remaining 3 in. Voila, all done.
 

neilball

Prominent Member
The MW5 are not tri-band, so do not have the separate decorated radio for the mesh links, so maximum wi-fi bandwidth is halved (like with standard extenders), but it does make deployment much simpler than setting up several standard extenders. It looks like they have band steering (so try to push 5Ghz-capable clients onto that frequency for potentially better performance, and also look to support optimised roaming between mesh nodes (which should ensure you maintain decent signal levels as you move around the house).

Their marketing blurb is a bit dodgy in how they use language to potentially mislead on features - they talk about having 2 external antenna to double the range when the graphic simply show one Tenda unit talking to its extender unit and then the wi-fi client decide as opposed to a single unit in the base position with no extender. However they look to be as effective as any of the other standard mesh packages you could otherwise choose, and should be better than basic non-meshing extenders. However do not expect their range to be any better than any other wifi equipment, they still have to meet the regulatory standards on maximum signal output, but by deploying several units around the house you should be able to avoid too many not-spots (where you otherwise would have no wifi signal available.
 

Chris4891

Established Member
As the dead zone is literally one bedroom on the top floor of a townhouse I may go with the powerline adaptor option based on cost and aesthetics (plugged into a hidden socket upstairs). @neilball - many thanks for your detailed reply - much appreciated
 

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