The term wireless refers to a wide range of devices that do not need any cable to communicate with each other. These were not widespread connections except for laptops that had such technology and had a boom only since the mid-2000s when the appearance of the first smartphones began to make WiFi the connection par excellence, especially when it was in the home environment.
It is, however, good to clarify that the term wireless does not only refer to internet connections but also indicates keyboards, mice, gamepads, and any other device that can interact with a receiving device. Here, however, we will focus on a type of products that act as repeaters of the wireless signal to allow greater coverage of home WiFi: wireless repeaters. Here’s what is the wireless network and hoe does it work. Let’s get into it!
What is a wireless repeater?
It will certainly also happen to you to run around the house and suddenly notice a drop in the performance of your smartphone or tablet while being connected to the home internet network. Slowdowns, disconnections, and problems that make one doubt the actual operation of the modem/router. In reality, the problem arises because the range of the latter is limited, and often, the internal modem antenna is not powerful enough to allow uniform coverage in a large apartment or even two-story houses.
To remedy the problem, once it would have been necessary to purchase two modems to be connected in cascade to have the connection even in another area of the house, with a considerable expenditure of money. Nowadays, however, there are cheaper alternatives, wireless repeaters. If you are wondering what these devices are, they are amplifiers, able to receive the modem signal and bounce it so that it arrives in areas of the house that are discovered.
Where to install the wireless amplifier?
Understanding where to install your repeater also called range extender in simple words, is actually a lot easier than you think. The procedure to identify the signal drop can be performed with an ordinary smartphone connected to the home WiFi network. Move slowly through the various rooms of your apartment and keep an eye on the WiFi connection signal.
As soon as the fan starts to lose reception, reaching about half, you will have found the best point for installing the range extender.
We advise you not to go further, perhaps in areas where the connection is minimal, because to extend the signal, the device still needs to hook up to the primary network, and a connection that is too volatile could exacerbate reception problems rather than solve them.
In a two-story house, the best choice would be to place the repeater in the room above or below the one where the modem/router is located.
The disadvantages of wireless network technology
It is not a foolproof system, and there are some negative points concerning the use of the WiFi amplifier. First of all is the connection power that will never be equal to that provided by the modem and, subsequently, low-cost products will generate a second connection with a name similar to that of your base network but with some different elements to distinguish it.
When you move to the repeater's action area, then your device will have to automatically reconnect to the second network, with a few seconds of rejection, during which you won't be able to navigate. However, these are all things considered bearable, especially when faced with a lack of total connection.
How to choose a range extender
If you have decided to opt for this technology, it is good to know that before choosing the product, you will necessarily have to make primary considerations. First of all, the type of devices you will connect to the network and what frequencies you intend to use. Some low-cost products operate in single bands, only at 2.4 GHz, the most popular band, and the one with a greater radius. The slightly more expensive ones, on the other hand, are dual bands, and can, therefore, operate even at 5 GHz, a frequency preferred by laptops and the latest smartphones.
The difference between the two is also in the crowding. The 5 GHz band, in fact, was created in 2009 to make up for the overcrowding of wireless networks that operated only at 2.4 GHz. The former has lower coverage but is faster in data transfer, and less subject to interference should be used, therefore, for devices that are all in all close to the modem or router.
Instead, the simplicity of configuration is another discriminating factor. If you have never had to deal with network protocols, our advice is to opt for devices that take advantage of WPS, an acronym that stands for WiFi Protected Setup, and that allows, with the simple push of a button, to start an interaction automatic between range extender and modem. Also, ensure that the modem/router is also equipped with this feature.
Configure a wireless repeater
Those who have opted for a product that does not have WPS can still perform the connection quickly following our guide. First, connect the product to the socket in the chosen location. Via a computer, desktop or laptop, connect to the device by entering in the search bar of your favorite browser (Chrome, Safari, Edge and so on) the following IP address: 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1.
You should, therefore, find yourself in front of a login screen where you can enter your username and password that you can find in the product packaging (usually the default data are admin and password).
On the screen, you will need to select your connection and save the configuration. Once this is done, the device will begin to extend the wireless signal it receives from the modem in the area where it is located. A process that requires a minimum of knowledge, therefore, but any user can efficiently perform that following our instructions to the letter.
Dec 09, 2019