Even the strongest Wi-Fi router must comply with radiation limits. This limits its range and causes reception problems especially in households with thick walls and ceilings. In order to increase the Wi-Fi reception within the applicable guidelines, you can simply place additional antennas strategically in your household.
AndroidPIT wifi repeater 2413
Bridges extend your Wi-Fi to remote areas. / © NextPit
There are two ways to expand your Wi-Fi, both of which do not require you to use additional cables:
A Powerline Bridge (or powerline adapter) uses your power grid to connect two remote rooms. It consists of two adapters, the first of which is connected to the router via a LAN cable. This feeds an encrypted LAN signal into your power grid. The second (and possibly further) adapter receives this signal and outputs it as a Wi-Fi one.
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Bridges pass the power to their sockets. / © NextPit
The Wi-Fi emitted on the second D-LAN adapter has the same combination of SSID and password as your router in modern, mesh-capable models, so that your smartphone, for example, can seamlessly jump from one Wi-Fi connection to the next.
TP-Link AV600 Powerline Ethernet Adapter
NETGEAR PowerLINE 1000 Mbps WiFi Essentials Edition
Many of the Wi-Fi amplifiers sold today as repeaters are technically no longer repeaters at all – and that’s a good thing! Because classical repeaters halve the Wi-Fi bandwidth and have other huge disadvantages. Modern models operate as a mesh network and, thanks to multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO), have significantly better performance than their inefficient predecessors.
If you want to amplify your Wi-Fi properly, you need a mesh-capable repeater. And not only that: the repeater must be placed optimally. An app like NETGEAR WiFi Analytics can help you:
You can check your signal strength and network status. / © NETGEAR Genie
NETGEAR WiFi Analytics
Install on Google Play
Once you have found the right position, all you need is the right device. For maximum compatibility and coordinated software updates, the repeater should come from the same manufacturer as your router. However, you can also use Netgear hardware. The Orbi brand devices performed well in our tests:
Netgear Orbi RBK40 review: four times as fast as Google Wi-Fi
wifi repeater router vs devolo vs avm repeater
Fritzbox vs. Devolo WLAN Repeater ac vs. Fritz Powerline 546E as WLAN bridge vs. Fritz WLAN Repeater 1750E. / © NextPit
The bottom line
Repeaters promise a fast and inexpensive solution for a better Wi-Fi range if you find the right model for your router. But to create a large Wi-Fi network, it may be worth taking a look at the existing Mesh-Net solutions. Modern repeaters use meshed networks to transport the data packets to a room of your choice without serious speed losses.
If such a system is not yet available for your router, you will soon find a special article with tips around Mesh-Net from us.
What do you think about Wi-Fi repeaters and powerline bridges? Let us know in the comments.
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