State-of-the-art WiFi mesh boosters are a leap ahead compared to older extenders and repeaters – we explain how they work as well as when and where you should put them to improve the range of your wireless signal.
Struggling with a weak or inconsistent WiFi signal can seem like an unsolvable nightmare, but a solution is available – WiFi mesh boosters. These handy devices can stretch the wireless signal from your router so that it reaches into rooms of your home that had previously been internet-free blackspots.
WiFi mesh boosters, such as the Super WiFi Booster available to Vodafone Pro Broadband customers, work their magic using a technology called ‘mesh networking’. This tech is only a few years old, so such devices are easily confused with older wireless extenders and repeaters that use less sophisticated technology.
It’s important to note that there isn’t really an agreed set of standardised industry-wide names for such WiFi signal enhancers. For the sake of clarity, we’ll use the term ‘boosters’ and ‘mesh boosters’ for devices that use mesh networking and ‘repeater’ or ‘extender’ for those that don’t.
What are WiFi boosters?
WiFi boosters often come in packs of one-to-three. These little signal enhancers work together to expand the reach of your wireless signal seamlessly. Using built-in intelligent routing software, they’ll work out which one is closest to the computing device you’re using, wherever you are in your home, so you’ll get the strongest possible signal. They’ll also intelligently choose the radio link (2.4GHz, 5GHz or 6GHz), that has the best possible combination of interference-resistance and speed, for the computing device you’re using, where you’re using it.
Some WiFi boosters have a dedicated radio link for communicating between themselves, rather than using the radios used by your computers and other devices. This can help improve your wireless range and speeds, as your emails, streaming videos and other data aren’t competing with wireless admin traffic for the same radio link.
So will I get faster download and upload speeds using a booster instead of an extender/repeater?
It depends. It’s important to point out that WiFi boosters can improve the strength of your wireless signal. What they can’t do is the improve the performance of the cables from your local telephone exchange into your home. It’s the ‘sync speed’ of these cables, either copper and/or fibre optic, that’s the critical element in how fast your internet experience will be.