Wi-Fi Extender vs. Booster: Full Comparison


Wi-Fi Extender vs. Booster: Full Comparison

Key Points Between a Wi-Fi Extender vs. Booster

  • Although a Wi-Fi booster, network extender, and repeater are all designed to improve Wi-Fi coverage, the methods by which they do so differ.
  • A booster has a fairly simple setup, while a Wi-Fi extender’s setup is more complex.
  • While range extenders operate at 2.4GHz like traditional routers do, mesh Wi-Fi systems operate at 5GHz—which equates to faster speeds and better compatibility with more devices.

You may have heard about the many Wi-Fi extenders available, such as range extenders, mesh Wi-Fi, and repeaters, but you’re unsure which one will work best in your home or office. Wi-Fi extenders, repeaters, and boosters are basically the same: devices that expand Wi-Fi coverage. There isn’t a clear distinction between devices labeled as “repeaters” and devices labeled as “extenders” by manufacturers. Not all Wi-Fi extenders, however, work in the same way. There are various types of devices available, and we’ll describe the differences and how they function below so you can pick the right Wi-Fi repeater for your needs.

Wi-Fi Extender vs. Booster: Side to Side Comparison

mesh network vs extender
Wi-Fi extenders work by receiving and amplifying an existing WiFi signal


Wi-Fi ExtenderBooster
What it isA networking device that helps signals reach dead network zonesA wireless range extender
Primary Use      Amplifying existing network signalAcquires an existing signal from wireless access point and rebroadcasts it to create a second network
Initial release   19992000
UtilizationMostly work best for large organizationsUtilization depends on the organization type. Can work for a small office to large organization
Influential developers             TP-link, Alcatel-Lucent S.ANutgear, Inc, Motorola Solutions. Inc, Ruckus Wireless, Inc, Cisco Systems, Ericsson
PriceSetup is costlyRelatively cheaper than extenders
InstallationHas a complex setup procedureEasier to set up

What Is a Wi-Fi Extender?

Wi-Fi extenders are network devices which help Wi-Fi signals reach dead zones by amplifying the existing network signal. Setting up a Wi-Fi extender involves positioning multiple units around your home to create a strong Wi-Fi network.

What Is a Wi-Fi Booster?

Back view of wireless wi-fi signal booster amplifier with adjustable antennas and pins for plugged in electric socket isolated on white.
Wi-Fi boosters work by taking an existing signal and rebroadcasting it to create a second network


A Wi-Fi booster is a wireless range extender which works by taking an existing signal from a wireless access point and rebroadcasting it to create a second network. Wi-Fi boosters can also help to improve the network speed, meaning that people who want a faster internet connection don’t necessarily need to purchase a new router. Unlike Wi-Fi extenders, Wi-Fi boosters only involve setting up one device, making it suitable for homes or people who don’t want to go to the hassle of setting up multiple devices.

Wi-Fi Extender vs. Booster: Must-Know Facts

  • These two devices are very different in the performance they offer. Wi-Fi booster enhances the Wi-Fi signal within your home or office without any hassles as you have to take care only of setting up one device. The Wi-Fi extender can be more complex as it involves setting multiple units around your home to build a strong network. However, the latter will not just improve the existing connection but add additional ones and make them reach further with better power over the existing connection.
  • Although a Wi-Fi booster, network extender, and repeater are all designed to improve Wi-Fi coverage, the methods by which they do so differ.
  • Wi-Fi boosters are great for boosting Wi-Fi signals in dead regions, but they can also help with improving Wi-Fi speed. This implies that if you want faster Internet, you don’t have to buy a new router.
  • A wireless booster is required when two or more hosts need to be connected through the IEEE 802.11 protocol, but the distance between them is too great to establish a direct connection.
  • TP-link was one of the first companies to produce Wi-Fi range extenders in 1999. Today, Wireless range extenders are available that support all 802.11 protocols. Backward compatibility is common among 802.11 compliant devices. 802.11ac, on the other hand, operates at 5 GHz and requires a 5 GHz-capable access point. 802.11ac is the most modern and third-generation Wi-Fi standard for wireless home networking. Backward compatibility exists between 802.11ac and 802.11n, 802.11g, and 802.11b technology.

Wi-Fi Extender vs. Booster: What to Look For

The best way to think about extenders and boosters is to picture them as part of a spectrum. On one end, there are mesh Wi-Fi systems like Eero or Orbi, which blanket your home in Wi-Fi. On the other end, a simple range extender can boost weak signals from your wireless router. So it all comes down to two big questions: How big is your house? And how bad is your wireless coverage issue? If you want a seamless experience across multiple rooms and floors in large houses (more than 3,000 square feet), you need something more advanced, like a mesh system.

Mesh Wi-Fi (also called whole-home Wi-Fi) and range extenders differ in that range extenders attempt to boost one weak spot at a time, while mesh systems are designed to blanket your entire house with strong Internet. The benefit of using a mesh system is that you can use a single network name and password throughout your entire house, whereas each spot with an extender requires its network name and password. Setting up a mesh system isn’t much more difficult, but it takes more time and involves connecting multiple devices simultaneously.

Wi-Fi Extender vs. Booster: Which is Better?

The choice of Wi-Fi extenders and boosters depends on your budget and demand. Consider how many additional rooms you’d like the extender to accommodate. Any basic Wi-Fi extension should suffice if it’s only a single small room. A dual-band Wi-Fi extender that supports 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz is required if you wish to cover a big area with a robust Wi-Fi signal. In addition, the extender should be compatible with the most recent Wi-Fi standards and technology.

A good range extender can help increase your Wi-Fi coverage without breaking your wallet if you’re on a budget. If you’re looking to cover a big area, mesh Wi-Fi will be better in most cases. Ultimately, if you want better Wi-Fi coverage and don’t mind paying extra, opt for mesh; if budget is more important to you and you have smaller spaces to cover, range extenders are your best bet. However, even though there are differences between these two technologies, they both serve similar purposes: extending your home network to reach every corner of your house.

The biggest difference between them is that while range extenders operate at 2.4GHz like traditional routers do, mesh Wi-Fi systems operate at 5GHz—which means they’ll provide faster speeds and work with more devices simultaneously than an extender would. Additionally, while some range extenders include access points (APs) that must be plugged into power outlets around your home or office—which can get expensive over time—mesh systems typically require only one AP plugged into an outlet near you already have a router set up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do internet boosters really work?

Yes, Wi-Fi boosts your existing network signals and eliminates dead zones in your coverage.

What is the best budget Wi-Fi booster?

The best Wi-Fi booster on a budget is Linksys Wi-Fi Extender, Wi-Fi 5 Range Booster, Dual-Band Booster, 1,000 Sq. Ft Coverage, Speeds up to (AC750) 750Mbps – RE6300.

Which one has faster speed: Wi-Fi extender or booster?

Wi-Fi boosters provide faster speeds and work with more devices simultaneously than an extender would.

Which one has the best signal strength: Wi-Fi extender or booster?

A Wi-Fi extender amplifies the existing signal but does not strengthen the signal. On the other hand, a Wi-Fi booster converts your existing coax wiring into a fast, stable network connection and signal strength.

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