If you are experiencing slow Wifi speeds, you may be wondering will a Wifi extender help with buffering.
Buffering videos can be a thorn in the flesh. It is not possible to enjoy your streaming experience if a video keeps on buffering.
While this is a problem associated with Wifi speed, it is also affected by range. So, will using a range extender help?
Using a Wifi range extender can help improve internet speeds in certain conditions.
If your Wifi is being blocked by a wall or any object, introducing a range extender will help.
Even so, the Wifi booster does not boost your Wifi bandwidth. Your bandwidth will remain the same as the one offered by your internet provider.
Why then should you use a booster if it does not improve your internet speeds? Well, the range affects the internet speed but largely it affects latency.
Keep on reading to learn more.
What Is a Wifi Extender and How Does It Work?
A Wifi extender is any device that is used to extend the range of a Wifi signal. There are different types of Wifi extenders, commonly referred to as Wifi Boosters.
The fact that you are looking for a Wifi extender means that you are experiencing poor Wifi connections in some areas of your home.
The question we must first answer is will a Wifi booster help with streaming? The answer here is both yes and no.
If you have sufficient bandwidth for streaming, a Wifi extender will definitely help.
If you have low bandwidth, an extender will not work miracles.
Situations When You Should Use a Wifi Extender
To help you understand the concept, we must look at situations where a Wifi extender works.
It is not in all situations when you will need an extender.
Some of the common reasons for using an extender are as follows:
- You have a big home and Wifi signal cannot be detected in all rooms
- You have some Dead Zones within your home
- Devices stream well in one room and fail to stream in another
- You want to enjoy the maximum Wifi speeds in all rooms
- You want to extend Wifi signal to other areas outside your house
If you think that you may need a Wifi extender for the above reasons you are on the right track.
However, using a Wifi extender to increase your speeds is not possible.
The extender only helps improve range and reduce latency.
The Types of Wifi Boosters You Can Use at Home
The type of Wifi range booster you use also plays an important role. Some range boosters may make your Wifi weaker than it already is.
You should first know the reason you want to extend the range before getting an extender.
Below are the three main types of Wifi extenders and how they function.
Type #1 Wireless Repeaters
Wireless repeaters are the pioneers in the area of Wifi boosters. They are not extenders but rather repeaters.
All they do is accept a Wifi signal and repeat it.
They are placed in a location where they can receive the Wifi signal well. When they get the signal they rebroadcast it.
In other words, the quality of the Wifi signal received will be the same as the one broadcast.
So if you want to know the quality of signal you will get from a repeater, just stand where you would install it.
- It maintains the Wifi frequency hence the ability to use 5GHz even at a long distance from the router
- It extends the Wifi signal to regions beyond barriers and restrictions
- It is cheaper to purchase and install compared to the other options
- It does not improve the Wifi signal but rather rebroadcasts the same signal
- It does not improve latency from the point of reception
Type #2 Wireless Range Extenders
The wireless range extender is quite similar to the wireless repeater.
The range extender accepts a Wifi signal from the router and rebroadcasts it further.
While it is similar to the repeater, an extender does give out a signal in a different channel.
This simply means that if you are using an extender, the frequency of your Wifi might change. It might accept 5GHz and rebroadcast 2.4 GHz.
The advantage of this is that you get to have a wider range. The disadvantage might be that the further it goes the poor the signal gets.
The good news is that you can always use more than one extender if you want to get a much stronger signal.
With this device, the location where you place the router must be very strategic.
It should receive a good signal to give out a good result. A hardwired range extender gives much better results.
- Can significantly increase the Wifi range
- It can give out a much-improved signal than the one received
- Can reduce latency and hence lower buffering rates
- The signal could get weaker over long distances
- It is easily affected by objects and may fail to receive the appropriate signal
- You might need to use hardwire for signal strength
- Slightly costly to buy and install compared to repeaters
Type #3 WiFi Network Extenders
Wifi Network Extenders are the most commonly used devices to distribute Wifi signals in large buildings.
They can offer reliably high-speed Wifi to all users at the same time.
Typically, the network extender transfers the same router signal and speed to a new location.
The extender directly communicates with your getaway using a hard wire.
In other words, the Network Extender works more like cellular networks. They need a cable back to the router as the means of communication.
- High-quality and high-speed connection similar to standing next to your router
- Can go to a very wide range since it uses hard wire
- Not affected by walls or obstacles when receiving a signal
- Very expensive to install since it requires hard wiring
- Does not improve latency
- Not ideal for small homes where the range can be improved by a repeater
Can You Use Wifi Extenders to Improve Speed?
There is a misconception that using a Wifi booster increases Wifi speed. In reality, your internet speed will not change much when you use a booster.
What you need to check are your internet speed and latency time.
You will notice that there is a drop in your speed when you are far from the router and an increase in latency.
To fix this problem, you can introduce an extender. The extender will help reduce latency and also maintain the speed provided by your ISP.
Other Solutions to Slow Wifi Speeds
Besides using a Wifi extender, there are other ways to improve your internet speeds. Only go for a Wifi extender after trying the following options:
- Improve your router location such that it is placed in a central point to all rooms
- Restart your router if the internet speeds have dropped
- Try upgrading to a different router
- Get a better internet package that offers sufficient bandwidth for your home
Note: All the actions you take to improve your speed will not change your available bandwidth.
If the problem is with your bandwidth, you must talk to your service provider to improve.
Will a WiFi Extender Help With Buffering on Slow Internet
Yes, the good news is that using a Wifi extender can help reduce buffering.
However, this only applies if the buffering device is located at quite some distance from the router.
If your device can receive up to three bars of signal, there is no need to get an extender.
Only go for an extender if you are getting two or lower signal bars in your room. In this case, you may change the speeds and reduce buffering.
If you have been asking will a Wifi extender help with buffering here is your answer.
The situation will get better if you are in a room that does not get a good signal from your router.
In this case, get a Wifi extender of your choice.
Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.