The features to look for in a WiFi repeater may start making more sense if the buyer knows the concept behind it. The need to use this device arises from the fact that even the best wifi repeater has a specific range, and sometimes it must be expanded. The enhanced reach can be achieved by buying a router with a wider reach, or by adding boosters or repeaters.
Repeaters, also known as a wifi amplifier, communicate with wireless routers in much the same way as a tablet or laptop. The extender then rebroadcasts the network, thus creating a zone where users are connected to the router with the extender as a gateway. This arrangement is often used to provide network coverage in places which the router may not be able to reach.
It works best when the extender is placed in the right spot. It must be able to access the original network while still being able to broadcast into the unreachable area. This kind of network patching is very useful to provide coverage in gardens, yards, parking lots, garages, lobbies and corridors which are a part of the property but too far away from the router.
Consumers looking to buy this device tend to focus on the range and price. Its cost will vary depending on the model and manufacturer, each of which is likely to have differing features. Extenders have indicators showing how much additional range they have added to an existing network. Broadly speaking, it must add at least 50 percent more reach than before.
The bandwidth reduction is one of the critical factors to keep in mind. Some additional throughput loss is inevitable when an extender is inserted in between the user and the router. Since both devices usually transmit and receive data on the frequency, it further adds to the bottleneck. One way to make sure there is enough bandwidth available is to opt for repeaters which use a separate frequency for the router than the one used for communicating with network users.
Universal compatibility is another required feature, but this is pretty common these days since all repeaters are built to IEEE 802.11n protocol standards. It simply has to be switched on and allowed to acquire the network, similar to the way wireless-enabled laptops and tablets connect to Wi-FI networks. Customized settings are only required for access permissions and encryption where security must be enhanced.
Creation of a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot is another application where the extender comes in handy. A USB connector links a laptop or tablet to the repeater, which can then be easily carried over to any place where multiple users must temporarily be provided network access. The main method of transmission is a wireless broadcast, but extenders also have a few Ethernet ports in case wired connectivity is needed.
Organizations and individuals who are environmentally conscious tend to prefer a WiFi repeater that has at least some green features. It could be a power-saving system with a switch for turning the device off when not in use. Many providers also use biodegradable or recycled packaging material.
Here are some wifi repeater reviews.