The best router provides a strong signal through both wireless and wired connections. When it comes to your wireless connections, though, the distance between your devices and the router matters. Thus, if you want to extend your WiFi coverage, you should know the difference between a router and a repeater.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • By connecting with a modem, a router connects your wireless and wired devices to the internet.
  • A Wi-Fi repeater amplifies the signal from your wireless router and extends the range of your wireless network.
  • A router will help increase your network speed, but a repeater will improve your wireless network’s range.

Router and Repeater Compared

Suppose you regularly experience an internet speed drop in your basement office or game console, away from your home router. In that case, you have a bandwidth issue. While a WiFi booster might be an attractive option to get a stronger signal, you might just need a new router. Read on and see which is the better option.

Insider Tip

You need a Wi-Fi signal repeater if some regions of your home get inconsistent internet speed.

What is a Router?

The router is a device that connects to the internet via a cable modem, typically provided by your internet service provider (ISP). You connect individual devices to the router either wirelessly or through an ethernet cable. The speed at which it processes information varies, but modern routers can get you closer to the advertised speed of your internet plan. For more details, check out our guide on router speed vs. internet speed.

Why is a Router Important for Internet?

The quality of your router can limit your internet bandwidth. For example, if you have a 400 Mb/s internet plan, but your router is only rated for 100 Mb/s, you’re losing out on internet speed. For this reason, you need a tri-band Wi-Fi 5 or dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router to reach maximum bandwidth.

Can I Increase My Router Speed?

Firmware updates and network management solutions can fix slow speeds. That said, buying a more modern router can increase performance and wireless signals.

What is a Repeater?

A repeater, also called a Wi-Fi range extender, is a device that replicates your WiFi signal from the original network router. In addition, it is a fantastic tool for extending Wi-Fi coverage across a large home or office building.

Why is a Repeater Important for the Internet?

While modern wireless internet has come a long way, your wireless connection speed will decrease as you get further from your wireless router. This is where a repeater comes in handy. It will boost your internet signal strength to all your devices for internet access.

Is a Router or Repeater Better?

Suppose you’ve noticed a huge difference in download speed in different areas of your home. In that case, you probably need a wireless internet repeater. That said, if your network signal has a slow connection speed, then you might consider a new router for increased bandwidth output.

Warning

A repeater will not increase your network speed. You need a new router or a new internet plan to expand your network’s maximum bandwidth.

F.A.Q.S

What Is A Wireless Access Point?

A wireless access point also called a hotspot, transmits 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radio signals. These radio signals can create multiple wireless connections to give your household or business secured public internet. Making separate networks extends your wireless range while also keeping the entire network and core router safe.


What is a Wireless Router?

A wireless router connects your devices to the internet via wireless frequency bands like 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. That said, a wireless router can still connect devices to the internet via an ethernet connection.


Which is better to use, an access point or repeater?

An access point extends the range of your internet through hard-wired Cat5 cables, which connect to your modem or main router. A repeater is a wireless device that extends the wireless signal across a large home or office building.



STAT: Today, 15% of American adults are “smartphone-only” internet users. They own a smartphone but do not have a traditional home broadband service. (source)

Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."

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