How to boost your WiFi signal using a WiFi extender

A WiFi extender helps deliver strong signal coverage to every corner of your home and outside your home.

Are you looking for a way to increase the WiFi coverage in your home or business? If there’s a dead spot where your devices can’t connect to your WiFi, or experience a slower connection, it may be time to consider using a WiFi extender. Discover how to boost your WiFi signal strength with an extender.

What is a WiFi extender?

The device does exactly what it says — extends wireless signal strength throughout your home or business. That means better coverage and download speeds. By taking your existing WiFi signal and transmitting it in a given area, WiFi extenders help to reduce buffering issues and dropped connections for devices that are farther away from your router.  

How does a WiFi extender boost your signal?

A WiFi extender connects to your router and then becomes part of your network. The extender uses radio waves to distribute your internet connection as a wireless signal between access points.

 

Extenders are available in single- or dual-band frequencies, just like routers. Learn more about the two frequencies.

WiFi extender FAQs

Some WiFi extenders known as "powerline" extenders use the electrical wiring in your home or business to carry high-speed internet traffic over a wired connection through your house, before converting it to a wireless signal.

Other WiFi extenders rely purely on wireless transmission to extend your signal to access points in your home.

You could benefit from a WiFi extender if you answer “Yes” to one or more of the questions below:

  1. Are there dead spots in your house where your WiFi doesn’t reach? For example, maybe your WiFi signal is weaker in your upstairs home office, or you can't stream video without lags in the basement.

  2. Do you want WiFi access outside, like in your back yard or on your deck?

  3. Do you have a very large house, either with a sprawling single level, or with multiple floors?

  4. Is your wired internet speed pretty good when you test it, but your WiFi connection is significantly slower? 

Yes, extenders will work just about anywhere with existing internet service. All you need is a power outlet to plug it into. And, one of the many awesome things about extenders is that once it's set up, you can move it to a different room easily without breaking the connection (as long as it's within range).

You can purchase any extender that is compatible with your internet speed. Visit our Accessories marketplace to shop for extenders in the WiFi Performance area. You'll see a few options available at a range of costs. The basic models will work for most households; higher-cost options work best for super-fast Gigabit connections, and will provide better coverage over a longer range. 

The range you get will depend on the extender you choose, as well as the layout of your home and distance between devices. Factors like the thickness of your walls and floors, appliances, and other obstructions can affect your signal range. To extend your signal over a longer range, consider a premium (higher-priced) extender, as these tend to offer superior coverage.

If you previously purchased a G.Hn WiFi/Ethernet Extender from CenturyLink, you can visit our troubleshooting page for support, or contact our repair team for additional help.

If you purchase a WiFi extender from TP-Link or another CenturyLink partner, or from an outside source, you will need to get help directly from the manufacturer. You can usually search for the model name/number online to find user guides and online support options. Or contact technical support for that company.

cloning – The process of making a copy of a wireless network. This allows you to access it using the same network name and password as the original network.

Ethernet – Ethernet is one of the most widely used ways of connecting computers together in a local area network (LAN), as well as to the internet, through a wired connection.

G.hn – Gigabit Home Network: The specialized technology used in the G.hn WiFi extender, using the existing electrical circuit to transmit the internet connection and extend it to another area within the house. This powerline-style extender was previously sold by CenturyLink.

gateway – The preferred term in the tech industry for a modem or router

GUI – Graphic user interface: This refers to an online portal (a special kind of webpage) used to manage advanced settings for a device such as a modem, wireless extender, etc.

pairing – The process of linking two devices together in a way that will be “remembered” by one or both devices. For instance, once the two devices in your G.hn WiFi Extender kit are paired, they will stay paired until you unpair them, allowing them to stay connected even as you move them around.

range – The distance or radius that a wireless signal can reach and be accessed by a device. Signal strength is best near the center of the radius, and gets weaker as you go farther away from the source.

WiFi – Refers to a wireless connection between devices over radio waves. WiFi is commonly used to connect devices to the internet, but can also connect devices to each other, such as a computer and a printer. Typically, an internet connection comes into a home or building through some kind of wired connection, such as fiber, Ethernet or DSL. Then the modem or router transmits the signal into a wireless frequency, using either 2.4 or 5 Ghz band. 

Interested in getting a WiFi extender? Browse WiFi Performance products from our partners on the Accessories marketplace.

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