WiFi Range Extender or Repeater?
I see the question being asked fairly frequently about the difference between a WiFi range extender and a wireless repeater or which is the better one to go. But it’s really apples and oranges because there’s no difference other than the name.
Wireless Repeater and Wireless Repeater – The Same Thing?
Some manufacturers will call it a range extender while others will call it a repeater. Some avoid the problem all together by calling their devices a ‘repeater and range extender’.
I think the confusion comes from some wireless routers having a ‘repeater’ mode while some of the wireless range extenders just look like plugs. But really there’s no difference between the two. It’s the same name for the exact same type of device which performs the same function and it really doesn’t matter what you call them or what you look for.
Now it certainly does matter which repeater you use. I mean they’re all built to do the same thing – take one signal and extend it. But what you really want from your wireless repeater (or extender) is a high signal, an easy setup and a low price. Durability and a good warranty is also an advantage in case it breaks (I’ve had one router for over 6 years now and others have broken in just weeks). So we do have reviews to find the best wireless repeaters and that does matter.
When we go looking for devices to review we’ll look for both repeaters and extenders. A lot of the time the two will overlap each other and it’s the lesser known names which just identify as one or the other but don’t worry if you see one which says it’s an extender or a repeater. We know what we’re looking for when it comes to finding a good device and regardless of what it’s called – if we say it does the job then it’s because it gets your signal from A to B and does it well.
The term ‘wireless repeater’ really just means it extends the signal anyway. It’s just the more common name for a wireless device which receives a signal and ‘repeats’ it to extend the signal. The upshot is the same really regardless of what you want to call it.
Really you can put whatever name on it. As long as it can get the signal from your router to your wifi adapter then it’ll get the job done.