What Is a Wireless Repeater For?
So these days everyone is using wireless devices. Whether it’s on your desktop, your laptop, your tablet, your phone or… well the list goes on. Most of our devices are connecting wirelessly these days.
Now you may, or may not, know what that box is plugged into your phone line. That’s the modem and wireless router. It’s getting the signal from your ISP – think of it like a telephone for the internet. Now a few years ago you might have plugged this modem or ‘phone’ directly into your computer.
And this was great – you had internet and could do whatever you wanted to do. But things have moved on a little now. Since most of the family wants to use the internet and you don’t want wires all over the house you setup wireless so everyone can connect.
But there’s a problem, actually several problems which is why you want to use a repeater. Even with a router antenna your wireless signal can be interrupted by any number of things. Maybe your house is big and the walls are thick. Maybe your family is routinely using other gadgets or even your neighbours around you have a lot of wireless devices.
Really there are numerous reasons for your wireless AP (the ‘phone’ to the internet) might not have enough range for where you want it. This might be the garden or just a room further away but don’t fret.
Fixing this is as simple as getting a wireless repeater and setting it up between where you want the signal and the wireless access point. They’re easy to setup and you can move them as you need to (since they don’t actually have to be plugged into the phone line) and all they really do is take the wireless signal and ‘repeat’ it to extend the wireless range from where the repeater is positioned.
So, for example, if your wireless modem is in the living room but the signal isn’t going far enough to reach your garden you can put a wireless repeater in your kitchen and your laptop can connect to the repeater.
Is the Wireless Different?
This can really depend on a lot of factors. Technically the wireless signal is going to be slightly slower because it needs to repeat the signal between the modem and repeater before it reaches you. But for general use such as email and web browsing etc… you’re not going to notice a thing. The only people who will notice this really are PC gamers connecting through the repeater can sometimes give you a slightly higher ping.
On the other hand the repeater (also known as a wireless range extender) is built for one specific purpose. It’s built to fetch and repeat the signal as strongly as possible and generally will get a better connection than your standard wireless adapter. I’ve been able to repeat a wireless signal from the same room my laptop wasn’t able to even see a signal before.
It really depends on how you set the repeater up. If you give the repeated network a different name (which is very easy to do and covered in our setting up a wireless repeater guide) you can connect between the two networks depending on where you are.
So really a wireless repeater is just there to make your wireless even more flexible. They’re very easy to use and once they’re setup you don’t have to bother with them again. It’s a lot better than just resorting to putting in a second phone line and paying the same price anyway for another modem. And it’s also a lot more flexible because you can always move it again in the future if you wish.
If you have wireless internet and you’re having a problem getting a signal then get yourself a wireless repeater and stop having to fight with it – make your internet a dream again instead of a nightmare.