How Does a Wireless Range Extender Work?

How Does a Wireless Range Extender Work
How Does a Wireless Range Extender Work

Wireless range extenders are great for getting Wi-Fi signals to places your router can’t reach. They do this by using the repeater, a method of communication that has been used in radio communication for many years. Wireless range extenders do make your signal reach farther, but they also have some problems.

Retransmit, Repeat, Rejoice

A wireless range extender, which is sometimes called a wireless repeater, picks up the signal from your wireless router and sends it to computers and devices that are out of range of the router. In turn, it gets signals from your devices that are out of range and sends them back to your wireless router. This makes your Internet experience pretty smooth. To make sure the extender works, you must put it in a place where it can connect to both the current router and the devices that are out of range.


Even though on paper this sounds like a great idea and repeaters and extenders do work well, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Your bandwidth is cut in half because the extender is talking to two devices at the same time. This can make it hard to watch high-definition videos or do other activities that use a lot of bandwidth, but it won’t affect how you use the Internet in general. Also, extenders make a second network. This network can have the same password as your existing network, but devices that move between the ranges of the two networks may not always switch to the strongest one.