Wireless Extenders & Repeaters

Wireless networks provide fast internet access in many homes and offices. A Wi-Fi range extender or repeater improves signal strength and expands network coverage. Use them to provide wireless access in a distant bedroom or create a Wi-Fi network that covers an entire office. Staples carries a broad variety of wireless products, including range extenders from NETGEAR, Linksys, D-Link and Amped Wireless.

Enhance Signal Strength With a Wi-Fi Repeater
Wi-Fi uses radio waves to transmit data through the air, but distance and obstructions such as walls, ceilings or pipes reduce signal strength, creating dead spots. A wireless extender serves as a secondary transmitter for Wi-Fi data. It receives and rebroadcasts weak signals from a wireless router. Most of these products support 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless standards and handle both 2.4 and 5GHz radio frequencies. Many models support dual-band communication, which can expand network bandwidth and reduce interference from structures or radio sources such as microwaves or cordless phones.

Many Wi-Fi range extenders use beamforming and MIMO technology to further enhance wireless network performance. Beamforming focuses the wireless signal to maximize its strength when it reaches a receiver. MIMO optimizes connections between multiple Wi-Fi receivers and transmitters, which helps eliminate dropped connections when moving a device from place to place. Select repeaters have built-in Ethernet ports that provide network access to systems without wireless capabilities. Some products have integrated audio jacks. Connect speakers to these devices and stream music from wireless smartphones or tablets.

Create a Secure Wi-Fi Network With a Wireless Extender
A secure wireless network helps defend transmitted data and connected devices from malware threats, curious visitors or malicious intruders. Most extenders can protect the data they transmit using 128-bit AES encryption. They also support WPA, WPA2 and WEP authentication standards, which helps prevent unauthorized network access.

What Are the Differences Between Wireless Extenders and Routers?
While routers and extenders both transmit Wi-Fi signals, they serve different purposes. A router provides a link between two or more separate networks, sending data across the borders as needed. You'll find a router at the connection between your ISP's public network and your private home or office network. An extender expands the range of Wi-Fi signals, but most models can only communicate with a single network.

Is a Wi-Fi Range Extender Difficult to Set Up?
Almost all of these products offer plug-and-play setup, making it simple to maximize network performance in your home or office. Most use Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) to configure their network access with the press of a button. Some models include Android or iOS apps that turn your smartphone into a signal sensor, so you can find the placement for your extender that maximizes Wi-Fi performance.

Can You Mix Different Brands of Wi-Fi Repeaters and Routers?
Wireless devices use standard protocols to transmit data, so routers and repeaters from different vendors will work with each other, provided they support the same communication methods. However, management software for one device may not be compatible with a different brand's products.

Extenders and repeaters improve Wi-Fi signal strength, eliminating dead spots and speeding up internet access. Browse the selection of networking products available at Staples and enhance the performance of your home or business wireless connections with a Wi-Fi range extender.