How to Setup a WiFi Range Extender

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Updated August 9, 2022

If you are trying to perfect your wireless network, you may wonder how to set up a WiFi range extender. Even the best routers, after all, can struggle to provide reliable Internet to large homes, so range extenders are a necessary accessory. Keep reading to learn all about the network range extender setup process.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Range extenders work to increase the overall range of your wireless network, making them a great choice for large homes.
  • Setting them up is fairly easy, as you just have to connect to your network using the extender.
  • Make sure the extender is plugged in far enough away from the router so that it can be useful for connected devices, but close enough that it receives a proper wireless signal.

Setting Up a WiFi Range Extender

A WiFi extender is a device that imports a wireless signal and then exports it out on the same network name and frequency, thus increasing the range of your network. Think of it as a variation on a radio repeater. The end result? You won’t have to learn how to check on a network’s signal strength, as your whole home will be covered in sweet, sweet wireless Internet.

For more guides on networking, you might like what the difference is between a router and a gateway and how to position antennas on a wireless router.

Setting up one of these extenders is relatively simple and you’ll find your network increases in availability and reliability, though perhaps not as much as if you learned to use a link aggregation router.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time Required: 5 minutes
  • Tools Needed: Range extender, Cable Modem, Router, Ethernet Cable
  • Steps: 4

STEP 1 Make Your Network is Operating

  1. Plug your router into your modem via Ethernet cable and Ethernet port.
  2. Power on each device and test to make sure that wireless Internet is working on your various WiFi networks.

STEP 2 Find a Location and Plug in the Extender

  1. Find a good location for the wireless range extender that is close enough to the router so that it receives a solid connection but far enough away that it can be useful in providing a connection to other connected devices.
  2. Plug the extender in and power it on.

STEP 3 Launch the Extender’s App

  1. Take note of your wireless network’s name and password.
  2. Download and open up the associated app that comes with your range extender on a mobile device or computer.
  3. Follow prompts to connect the extender to your wireless network, using the password and network name.

STEP 4Merge the WiFi

  1. Once the extender is connected to your wireless network, follow the on-screen prompts on the app to merge the two connections.
  2. When the extender has successfully merged with the router, you now have an extended range.
  3. Test out the range by moving throughout your home with a laptop or smartphone to check on the Internet speed, reliability, and overall connection. Alternatively, if you want to make your WiFi router faster or fix a slow WiFi extender, we have guides for that, too.

Insider Tip

Wireless extenders come in two varieties, though that plug into a power outlet and those that plug into a computer port.

F.A.Q.S

How to find the right extender for your router?

This depends on your wireless router, as each Wi-Fi router is different. It may also depend on if the extender includes an Ethernet port or not.


What can’t wireless extenders do?

Wireless extenders cannot increase the overall bandwidth or the download speed, though they can connect just about any mobile device to WiFi networks of your choosing. If you still have questions, check out our guide to setting up a wireless router before working on an extender.


Do you need a desktop or plug-in extender?

Generally speaking, plug-in extenders do a better job of extending the range of WiFi networks, offering better WiFi coverage for game consoles and even wired devices.



STAT: When two or more hosts have to be connected with one another over the IEEE 802.11 protocol and the distance is too long for a direct connection to be established, a wireless repeater is used to bridge the gap. (source)

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