Aachen, Germany, October 2022 – Wi-Fi repeaters are a good option for expanding a residential wireless network if the connection leaves something to be desired. To get the best results, however, a few factors should be taken into account. Home Wi-Fi experts devolo AG summarises the most important facts and tips for positioning a Wi-Fi repeater optimally.
How does a repeater actually work?
How a Wi-Fi repeater works can be explained quickly. First, the repeater receives the Wi-Fi being emitted from the router. This wireless signal is then sent back out by the repeater after being amplified. This extends the effective range of the router and that’s why repeaters are also frequently called Wi-Fi boosters.
A critical factor for the speed and wireless stability of this “Wi-Fi extension” is the quality of the connection between the router and repeater. The best possible positioning is crucial for optimally expanding the router Wi-Fi with a repeater.
Selecting the correct distance
When choosing a position for the repeater, here’s what you should keep in mind: The closest location is not automatically the best. What does this mean? Imagine a house in which the home office is far away from the router and therefore has an inadequate Wi-Fi connection.
It’s easy to think that you should install the repeater in the home office. The problem: If a Wi-Fi repeater receives a weak signal, it can only forward a weak signal. In this example of the home office, the weak connection between the router and repeater would throttle the online connection. The repeater would have hardly any effect.
Instead, the rule of thumb is that a repeater should be positioned about halfway between the router and the devices that need the boosted signal. This means the repeater should receive a sufficiently strong signal, which it is then able to extend. In addition, the repeater should be positioned centrally if possible and not be hidden in a corner of a room. Walls and furniture decrease the transmission capacity and thereby weaken the Wi-Fi signal.
Unexpected interference factors
The fact that walls and ceilings slow down the Wi-Fi connection is probably common knowledge. But it often is a surprise to learn about other everyday objects that are obstructions to a stable Wi-Fi connection. Microwaves, wireless computer accessories and baby monitors are some usual suspects that can interfere with the Wi-Fi due to radio waves. Water lines, in-floor heating, aquariums, pools and even smaller objects like flower vases and air dryers with wet clothing prevent spaces from getting good Wi-Fi reception.
Finding the right position
Due to such external factors, searching for the ideal location for the repeater can take some time. It is generally advisable to try out different locations and assess the connection quality by taking speed test measurements.
To quickly check signal strength, state-of-the-art repeaters such as those from German manufacturer devolo offer quite a lot of convenience. On the front of the devices there is an LED indicator that indicates the quality of the received signal, so you can see directly how effective the connection is.
Technologically adept users who want to dig deeper can also search for various third-party software solutions for generating Wi-Fi heatmaps. These can be installed, for example, on a laptop to check the signal quality at various areas in the home – and to mark wireless gaps on a floor plan.
The alternative for long distances
When positioned correctly, repeaters improve the range of the residential Wi-Fi over the long term and ensure significantly stabler and faster Wi-Fi coverage. But even these can reach their limits – particularly if the Wi-Fi is needed on multiple storeys.
In these cases, it is recommended to use products with Powerline technology, which devolo offers with its Magic 2 product series. These adapters can be integrated very conveniently in your power sockets. The main difference between them and repeaters is that these adapters use your home’s power line as a data cable to communicate with each other.
This way the network signal can go from one storey to the next without being slowed down by ceilings or water lines. At the destination, you can connect end devices as needed using either a LAN cable or Wi-Fi.
This is how repeaters and Powerline adapters with a Wi-Fi 6 create the perfect customised home network.
Strong Internet “Engineered in Germany”
devolo, a German company based in Aachen, has been developing powerful technology for smart networking for 20 years. Customers receive everything they need for a reliable online connection in their own four walls from a single source. The current product portfolio includes flexible solutions for customised expansion of the home network using repeaters or Powerline adapters – which can be conveniently controlled via an app for smartphones and tablets.