Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Wi-Fi Extender and Booster

Wi-Fi technology and standards continue to improve and higher speeds continue to become available for years to come. Wi-Fi is primarily used in cafes, hotels, university buildings, private homes, and other public places but is spreading very rapidly. At one time, telephones were considered a luxury but they quickly turned into a necessity, such that most homes now have. The stage was ultimately set for Wi-Fi home networks with the digital subscriber line (DSL). WLAN products have established themselves in the marketplace in a very short period of time. Wireless networks are more convenient than wired Ethernet cables thus the frequency of wireless networks at homes has exploded in the past couple of years. 

However, getting a stable connection around the house might be a little tricky because of a poor Wi-Fi signal. Dealing with a poor Wi-Fi signal can be frustrating at times because Internet has become a necessity these days. You get a full signal at one room but the moment you go to other room, the Wi-Fi signal starts deteriorating which is not good because it has become as indispensable as electricity in most private homes. So if you’re plagued by poor Wi-Fi signal, slow speeds, poor streaming, and other Wi-Fi issues, worry no more! Wi-Fi range extenders or Wi-Fi boosters are a simple yet affordable solution to all your Wi-Fi problems.


What is Wi-Fi Extender?

Wi-Fi Range Extender is a networking device used to extend an existing wireless network range by amplifying the signal when it starts to drop off. Sometimes called as a wireless repeater, a range extender is strategically placed somewhere between your wireless router or the farthest wireless adaptor or device in your home. It is essentially a repeater device that picks up the original Wi-Fi signal and bounces it further down the line, thereby increasing the signal strength.


What is Wi-Fi Booster?

Wi-Fi Booster is basically an upgrade to your existing modem or router such as a wireless antenna kit. It’s like replacing your router’s existing antenna with a more powerful one which ultimately will give you the required range boost. It is usually associated with filling in those dead spots where the network fails to reach or the signal is too weak. Adding a booster will add some juice and new features to your existing network.


Difference Between Wi-Fi Extender and Booster

The terms Wi-Fi extender and Wi-Fi booster are often used interchangeably when in fact they are technically quite different from each other. Let’s take a look at some technical differences between the two to help you decide on which one to be installed.

Terminology of Wi-Fi Extender and Booster

The term Wi-Fi range extender or simply Wi-Fi extender, as the name suggests, refers to a networking device conveniently designed to extend the coverage and improve the signal strength of an existing wireless network across a large area. It adds the necessary range to your wireless transmissions. Wi-Fi Boosters, on the other hand, are quite similar to Wi-Fi range extenders except they are an upgrade or extension to your existing modem or router such as a wireless antenna kit. A booster, as the name suggests, just amplifies the signal as long as the output power stays within the legal limit.


A range extender is a type of wireless repeater which plugs into any electrical outlet and extends the existing Wi-Fi signal. It picks up the existing Wi-Fi network and transfers the signal to the other wireless router which in turns transmits the boosted signal. It simply picks up the wireless signal from your router to expand its coverage. A range booster, on the other hand, connects to your existing wireless network wirelessly similar to connecting any wireless device such as a smartphone or a tablet. It simply eliminates dead spots in your home.

Purpose of Wi-Fi Extender and Booster

While both Wi-Fi range extenders and Wi-Fi boosters are used basically for the same purpose – that is to amplify your network coverage and to improve Wi-Fi signal – there is a thin line between the two. A range extender is used to extend an existing wireless network to cover a large area around your house without moving the modem or router. Wi-Fi boosters are ideally used in large establishments or private homes where the wireless signal fails to reach in some corners. It strengthens network signal by eliminating those dead spots around the premises or house.

Wi-Fi Extender vs. Wi-Fi Booster: Comparison Chart


Summary of Wi-Fi Extender Vs. Booster

Although both the terms Wi-Fi extender and booster are often used interchangeably to amplify weak signal or to improve the existing signal strength around the house, there is a thin line of difference between the two that makes one better than the other. Wi-Fi Extended extends the coverage and improves the strength of the signal of an existing wireless network, whereas a Wi-Fi Booster eliminates those dead spots in your house where the signal fails to reach. Wi-Fi boosters are ideally used in areas that experience a weak connection, whereas range extenders are mostly used in areas with no Wi-Fi signal. At the end of the day, both the devices are good for filling in dead spots and for boosting speeds.

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1 Comment

  1. I become more confused after reading your article. Is it true that you need a new username and password when you move between your original router and the booster router?

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References :

[0]Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/111177499@N03/11316061125

[1]Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mccun934/1516091155

[2]Habraken, Joseph. Home Wireless Networking in a Snap. Indianapolis, Indiana: Sams Publishing, 2006. Print

[3]Miller, Michael. Wireless Networking with Microsoft Windows Vista. London: Pearson Education, 2007. Print

[4]Miller, Michael. Wireless Networking Absolute Beginner's Guide. Seattle: Que Publishing, 2013. Print

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