Wireless Extenders & Repeaters

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Extend the reach of your home and office Wi-Fi® networks by deploying wireless extenders. This networking equipment repeats signals from routers and access points so users can enjoy stronger wireless signals far away from their routers. Browse the wide selection of networking equipment at Staples® to find Wi-Fi range extenders from leading brands such as Netgear®, Linksys®, and D-Link®.

Eliminate Dead Zones With Wireless Repeaters
The size and layout of a home or office significantly affects Wi-Fi signal strengths. Dense materials used for walls and floors also limit wireless coverage. When setting up a router in a large space or a multistory home, it’s best to put it in a central location. If this isn’t possible, areas farther away from the wireless router may receive weak signals. A Wi-Fi repeater can help eliminate these dead zones by rebroadcasting the signals from a router. For best results, place the range extender midway between the router and a dead zone.

There are two types of Wi-Fi extenders. Desktop models look like regular routers and have external antennas as well as multiple LAN and USB ports. Plug-in models are smaller, more affordable, and meant to plug directly into wall outlets. They may have external or internal antennas to pick and rebroadcast Wi-Fi signals. LAN and USB ports are optional features of plug-in Wi-Fi repeaters.

Key Features to Consider When Shopping for Wireless Extenders
These networking products use the same wireless technologies as routers. When shopping for them, find models with the same specs as your router. The most common Wi-Fi standards supported by these devices are 802.11n and 802.11ac. Wi-Fi extenders that support 802.11n offer a maximum throughput of 450Mbps per stream, while 802.11ac can hit speeds higher than 1Gbps.

Single-band units only use the 2.4 GHz frequency band, while dual-band repeaters broadcast and receive signals with 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. Dual-band models offer better performance since they’re less prone to wireless interference and network congestion. More devices can join a dual-band wireless repeater without slowing down connection speeds. Tri-band units deliver improved performance for large homes and offices with tri-band routers. By adding a second 5 GHz band, these models accommodate more users and devices.

Why Do Wireless Extenders Need LAN Ports?
LAN ports are for establishing wired connections with devices such as TVs and desktop computers. These devices may lack Wi-Fi connectivity. Users also choose wired connections because they’re faster than wireless ones. There are two types of LAN ports used in Wi-Fi extenders: Gigabit Ethernet and Fast Ethernet ports. Gigabit Ethernet is 10 times faster.

Must You Use a Wireless Extender and a Router from the Same Brand?
No. Networking equipment uses standard protocols for transmitting data. This standardization ensures that products from different companies are compatible when used in the same wireless network. However, the processes involved in setting up and managing an extender from one brand may differ from those used by a router from another vendor.

What Is the Difference Between a Wireless Extender and a Mesh Router?
A Wi-Fi extender connects directly to one router and creates a different wireless network while rebroadcasting signals. A mesh router is a part of a kit that includes two or more identical routers. One serves as the main router and others as nodes or satellites placed around a home or office. Each mesh router connects to all the other units in the mesh network to create a unified Wi-Fi network with one SSID or name.

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