Home / Tech Gadgets & Electronics / Basic guide to buying a Wi-Fi repeater: tips and a selection of models for all pockets
Basic guide to buying a Wi-Fi repeater-tips and a selection of models for all pockets

Basic guide to buying a Wi-Fi repeater: tips and a selection of models for all pockets

What a frustration when, despite having Wi-Fi in your home, it does not arrive with enough force to all places. And is that many people do not have the router where they should to maximize their signal , either because they did not think before or because there was no other alternative.

For all of them there is only one option: Wi-Fi repeaters, small and simple devices in charge of capturing the existing Wi-Fi signal and disseminate it , so that it reaches you more powerfully in the problematic points. In addition, its installation is quite fast and simple. Now, which one to buy? What factors do we have to take into account?

Initial considerations: Do I really need a Wi-Fi repeater?

Before buying a Wi-Fi repeater because the signal is weak, you should take a look at your current router . If you already have some years, investing in buying a new one is the most effective way to solve this problem. You could even use your old router as a Wi-Fi repeater with a cable connection.

Yes, wired connections are the best from the point of view of speed , but it is not always possible due to distance and number of devices to connect. If you only need to get the network to a specific device, you could also use an Ethernet adapter connected to Wi-Fi that used your home’s electrical network to broadcast the signal.

But this alternative is only viable for a specific team that you will not move, not to increase the signal in areas of the house for mobile devices such as a tablet or smartphone. In these cases, it only remains to mount another additional Wi-Fi network, so that you do not increase the traffic of your current Wi-Fi network, or a Wi-Fi repeater.

Buy a Wi-Fi repeater: factors to consider

Before buying a Wi-Fi repeater it is essential to take into account aspects such as how is our router – or if we do not have a router and we anticipate that a system that includes a repeater and router will be necessary -, ease of installation, security protocols, transfer speeds of data, if we live in an area with few interferences or very saturated or if we need something compact or on the contrary, space is not a problem.

Finally we will consider the price. And it is not necessary to make large outlays to get a decent Wi-Fi repeater : we can find from little more than 20 euros to 200 euros, although from that price we can also find models that integrate the router itself.

Easy connection

Launching a Wi-Fi repeater is very simple. Basically you will need to connect it to the current and know both the name of the network and the password. But it can still be easier, by means of protected configuration – briefly called WPS – that will connect this repeater with your Wi-Fi simply by pressing a button on both devices .

Design

The most common design of the current repeaters is that of a small plastic block that will be connected directly to a socket . They usually have a pair of LED lights so we know at a glance that they are on and the strength of the signal, as well as antennas.

Other Wi-Fi repeaters, generally more complex, have more ports, options and more expensive, have an aesthetic similar to those of routers.

Safety standards

The Wi-Fi repeater model you buy should integrate WPA2-PSK (AES) , the latest and safest standard that exists to date. These standards refer to the encryption method used, something that will prevent a person outside your network from accessing it. If you want to avoid intruders, choosing the best encryption system is one of the measures to avoid it.

The available security standards are, ordered from best to worst:

  1. WPA2 + AES
  2. WPA + AES
  3. WPA + TKIP / AES
  4. WPA + TKIP
  5. WEP
  6. Open network

Today, Wi-Fi repeaters for sale in the market are compatible with at least WPA. Again, if your router does not support WPA , it’s time to update it and buy a new one.

Below, some models from different price ranges in which security stands out especially:

D-Link DAP-1320

D Link Dap 1320
  • The best : benchmark, very compact, simple, fast configuration via WPS and low cost
  • The worst : Simple 2.4 GHz band, low speeds

The D-Link DAP-1320 repeater is one of the smallest and cheapest devices of the selection, a basic use is highly indicated in areas with low density of devices , taking into account that it makes use of the 2.4 GHz band and is limited to a maximum data transmission speed of 300 Mbps.

It is elegant, intuitive and only has an LED light to indicate that it is working. Its price is 19.94 euros on Amazon.

Technical specifications:

  • Supports Wi-Fi 802.11 n / g / b.
  • Speeds up to 300 Mbps in 2.4 GHz
  • Easy configuration: just plug it in and press the WPS button.
  • Secure WPA2 encryption.

D-Link DAP-1520

D Link Dap 1520
  • The best : compact, cheap, from a reference brand and compatible with all Wi-Fi standards
  • The worst : Average speeds

The D-Link DAP-1520 is a wireless repeater of easy configuration, is small but powerful, reaches speeds of up to 750 Mbps , with dual band, all Wi-Fi standards and fits in the palm of your hand. Its price is 30.13 euros in PcComponentes.

Technical specifications:

  • Supports Wi-Fi 802.11ac / n / g / b / a.
  • WPS and reset buttons
  • With two internal antennas
  • Encryption method: WPA / WPA2 / WEP 64/128-bit
  • Easy configuration using WPS, start it up by pressing just one button.

Compatibility with your Wi-Fi

The original 1997 IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi is now obsolete. Since then, standards A, B, G, N and AC have been added. It does not make sense to buy a Wi-Fi repeater with the latest technology if it is not supported by your router, since you can not take advantage of it. So before buying a Wi-Fi repeater, first check your router and if at least it is not N, consider replacing it.

These standards refer to the amount of data that they are capable of transferring, something that is measured in Mbps. Thus, a 1Mbps is equivalent to 1,000,000 bits per second.

The Wi-Fi 5 or IEEE 802.11ac standard is the newest, operates in the 5 GHz frequency band, a fairly clean channel of interference as there are no other technologies such as Bluetooth operating on it. However, the 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g and IEEE 802.11n standards work in the 2.4 GHz band, which is available universally. Of course, the data transmission speeds are very different as you can see in this graph:

Standard Speeds Wifi

If you’re looking for speed, these Wi-Fi repeaters support the most current standard, Wi-Fi 5 or IEEE 802.11ac:

TP-Link AC750

Tp Link Ac750
  • The best : compact, cheap, from a reference brand and compatible with all Wi-Fi standards
  • The worst : Average speeds

The TP-Link AC750 is also a simple repeater with a convenient plug-in design that achieves speeds up to 750 Mbps , has an Ethernet port to connect a cable and dual band device for routers that work in this frequency band. Its price is 29.99 euros on Amazon.

Technical specifications:

  • Supports Wi-Fi 802.11ac / n / g / b / a.
  • Unspecified secure encryption method
  • Easy configuration by pressing the WPS button.
  • Dual band 2.4GHz (300Mbps) + 5GHz (433Mbps)
  • A 10 / 100Mbps Ethernet port

Netgear EX3800

Netgear
  • The best : Good speeds and good range, compatible with all Wi-Fi standards, several Ethernet ports, good value for money.
  • The worst : Design something rough

The Netgear EX3800 is not the most aesthetic Wi-Fi repeater in the market: with two antennas in the upper zone, four LED lights distributed in the front, it is squared, heavy and full of holes, however it is compact and the spatial distribution of the two Ethernet sockets are optimal for its use. Its price is 49.99 euros on Amazon.

Technical specifications:

  • Supports Wi-Fi 802.11ac / n / g / b / a.
  • Easy setup the WPS button.
  • It reaches speeds of up to 750 Mbps combining the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
  • Two Ethernet ports

Asus RP-AC66

Asus Rp Ac66
  • The best : Good speed rate, simple configuration.
  • The worst : It’s big and bulky.

As for the design, the Asus RP-AC66 is large and bulky , has an Ethernet socket, a switch, button and three LEDs to indicate the status of connections and buttons to reset and configure the device using WPS.

In addition to being a repeater, it can also be used as a wireless access point or as a media bridge . A point to thank in its design is that the plug rotates, to be able to fit it into sockets with little room for maneuver.

It is a dual repeater that reaches peak speeds of up to 1750 Mbps at 5 GHz, as specified by the manufacturer. Its price is 86.25 euros on Amazon.

Technical specifications:

  • Supports Wi-Fi 802.11ac / n / g / b / a.
  • Unspecified secure encryption method
  • Fast, secure and easy synchronization by pressing the WPS button.
  • Dual band, achieving average speeds of 1300 Mbps in the 5 GHz band and 450 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band
  • An Ethernet port.
  • With two powerful antennas.

Dual or simple band

Starting with the 802.11n standard, Wi-Fi introduced dual band support, a technology that covers the traditional 2.4 GHz band and also the 5 GHz band .

And is that the 2.4GHz band has a higher range, but the 5 allows higher transmission speeds . In case you have a dual router, it is a good idea to buy a repeater that is also dual. But, the simple band is cheaper and will extend your Wi-Fi network whether your router is single channel or double.

In saturated places like a big city or an office, it is better to opt for 5 GHz precisely to avoid these interferences. If there is not much traffic in the area as it is in rural areas, the single band will suffice.

Next, a series of Wi-Fi repeaters for both cases: from a single band for areas with few interferences and double band:

TP-Link N300 TL

Tp Link N300
  • The best : recognized, compact brand with Ethernet port
  • The worst : only a band of frequencies, low speeds.

The Wi-Fi repeater TP-Link N300 TL offers a simple and compact solutionfor those users who need to increase the signal in areas with little interference. It only operates in the 2.4 GHz frequency band and its transmission speed is 300 Mbps.

Its appearance is simple, with a single button and without antennas in sight, but with an Ethernet socket discreetly located at the bottom. Its price is 20.99 euros on Amazon.

Technical specifications:

  • Supports Wi-Fi 802.11ac / n / g / b / a.
  • An internal antenna.
  • A 10 / 100Mbps Ethernet port
  • Simple band of 2.4 GHz.
  • Up to 300 Mbps Wi-Fi speed
  • With easy configuration through WPS.
  • With its own app to manage different features, such as the night mode that turns off the LED light.

TP-LINK RE350

Tp Link Re350
  • The best : Simple configuration, attractive design, good value for money, recognized brand
  • The worst : The location of the Ethernet port

With an attractive and compact design , the TP-LINK RE350 has two antennas and a series of LED lights that work intelligently, and can be turned off at night so as not to disturb. It also has an Ethernet socket in the upper area, perhaps not the best location.

The combination of both bands makes the device reach a speed of up to 1.2Gbps. It has a Link Backup function , which protects the network from connection drops. Its price is 49.95 euros on Amazon.

Technical specifications:

  • Supports Wi-Fi 802.11ac / n / g / b / a.
  • Secure encryption method not specified.
  • Simple configuration through WPS.
  • Dual band, achieving speeds of up to 300 Mbps in 2.4 GHz and 867 Mbps in 5 GHz
  • An Ethernet port.

Other features

A Wi-Fi repeater will improve the signal of the Wi-Fi network of our house, but it can also offer more functions, such as more Ethernet ports to connect your devices via cable or a socket to connect audio – usually speakers or headphones – to listen to music streaming from your mobile or computer.

Devolo 9981

Devolo
  • The best : 4 Ethernet sockets, 5 GHz band
  • The worst : average speeds

The Devolo 9981 has an attractive and discreet design to place on a surface, it is black and has two antennas in sight, as well as a series of LED lights that report the operation. It is ideal for those people who need many Ethernet outlets to connect several devices at the same time , such as TV, computer or video game console. In addition, it also works with the most secure encryption, WPA2-AES.

The Devolo 9981 repeater works through the 5GHz band, optimal for places with high traffic , so it is only compatible with routers that work in that frequency band. However, it is not very fast for Wi-Fi: the manufacturer specifies a transfer speed of up to 300 Mbps. It is not specified Its price is 114 euros in Media Markt.

Technical specifications:

  • Supports Wi-Fi 802.11ac / n.
  • 4 Ethernet ports 10 / 100Mbps
  • Band of operating frequencies: 5 GHz.
  • 300 Mbps transfer speed
  • Maximum security thanks to AES coding
  • Easy installation

Netgear Orbi RBK40

Orbi
  • The best : high data transmission speeds, easy installation
  • The worst : the cost

Yes, the Netgear Orbi RBK40 costs 299.99 euros in Macníficos, but it is not a simple Wi-Fi repeater, but it integrates at the same time the own router and an extender that work under the same network. Operates through the 5GHz frequency band, guaranteeing the maximum data transfer speed. Its design is minimalist, with no antennas or shots in sight.

The installation is simple and is more efficient than a mere repeater from a data transfer point of view . According to the manufacturer, this kit covers an area of ​​300 square meters: 175 the router and 125 the satellite, which can also be increased by acquiring another additional satellite.

Technical specifications:

  • Standard Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 802.11ac.
  • Connections: 1 WAN and 3 LAN (Router), 4 LAN (Satellite)
  • Combined Wi-Fi speed: 2,200 Mbps (866 + 866 + 866 Mbps)
  • Four high performance antennas
  • Own app to control the Wi-Fi network

About Nick Fury

Hi, I am Nick! Apart from being a loving husband and a father of one, I dedicate myself to manage a company full time. Writing is my passion, I started writing a blog some 10 years ago, now reviving this passion again, I would love to express my views and takes on day to day stuff, hope you guys enjoy! Do share your thoughts.

Check Also

Trump and Xi Jinping

Bad News For Huawei And Apple: Trump Orders Companies To Start Looking For Alternatives To China

When it seemed that the trade war between the United States and China had not intensified enormously, today both powers have taken …

%d bloggers like this: