Access point vs Router vs Repeater

Access point vs Router vs Repeater

If you are among the many who are confused about the differences between repeaters, routers and access points, then fear not – we will break it down for you and the cases of using each. The basic benefit they all have is the extending of a reliable and stable Wi-Fi connection in various parts of your office or home beyond the router’s positioning.

The solutions that are available are quite numerous, and the use will usually depend on your requirements as well as the architecture of the network itself. If you are having issues with extending your Wi-Fi signals to every corner of your home, there are some basic solutions you should initially try before bringing in these solutions.

These basic solutions are:

  • Bringing your router to the closest central solution as much as possible, and examine whether the signals are strong enough
  • If this fails to work, then you should consider upgrading to a better router (this can be the case if you are suing an older model with weaker signal strength). The best routers would be those with MIMO technology.
  • If all these fail, then it is time to look for Extenders or Repeaters, and this will depend on your requirements.

The differences between each

Wi-Fi extenders

These are very easy fixes when it comes to extending the coverage of your Wi-Fi networks. They are simple kits that will allow you to send Wi-Fi signals throughout the home or office over electrical circuits.

They have two kinds of adapters:

  • The first one is what you would plug in near your router
  • The second is the type you plug in at the place where you need the coverage

If you want a Wi-Fi signal outside your home or in a place that is slightly farther away from the router, such as your garage, they can come in handy in the task. At their second terminal, you can also connect an additional Wi-Fi router or an Ethernet cable for an additional network.

They have various advantages, key being that they are quite easy to operate. However, they will experience some loss when it comes to speeds since they are constantly communicating with the router, in addition to the distance between the terminals and the wiring you decide to use.

Wi-Fi repeater

This is for you if the Wi-Fi extender fails to work for you. They do almost the same task, but accomplish it in a different way.

The structure of a repeater involves the use of two routers, similar to what you would use in an everyday situation. One of these routers will pick the network that you want to broaden, and then transfer it to the second router. This second one will then distribute the signal after it boosts it.

The installation is quite smooth, as you just need to place the kit in the place that can get the signals of the existing network. You then follow some instructions in the user manual, which will help you sync the Wi-Fi network and the repeater.

The best aspect about them is that they give you more flexibility than an extender would, as you can move the kit from one location to another. You also do not need to worry about security, since they will still provide similar protection levels as a typical Wi-Fi router. However, the speed losses can be quite bad, especially if you use single band repeaters.

Access Points

Unlike the previous two, you use this when you want to connect the router to an internet source through a cable. This is quite different from the usual method of Internet connection – while the usual method will rely on direct plugging to the internet, Access Point instead uses a cable that you can use to connect to another router as well.

It also works well if you want to extend the Wi-Fi range, but there is a catch: the main router itself should not be too far away from the router you want to connect. The cable will do the rest for you, as it ensures the best speeds you can get from the access point to the central router, and this is where it beats the other two methods: you will not need to worry about signal losses.

In addition this makes it a very good option if you want to increase the scope of your internet connection past obstacles like solid walls and doors.

Final thoughts

All these three methods of extending your range are great, but the best option will depend on your needs. If you want to put the main router very close to the central hub and want the best speeds, then access points are best. In general, each of these methods will have their own benefits and disadvantages, so you should keep them in mind if you want to extend your reach.


About Charles 18 Articles
HI, my name is Charles. I have spent a considerable amount of my time learning about technology. My interest for tech does not just stop at my degree in IT, it means so much to me. It is something that I have been exploring since I started learning about it in school. Aside from developing, and testing the new tech in the market, I highly enjoy sharing my feedback/information and queries with other people. This blog has given me the opportunity to teach and learn new things while helping people get the right set-ups in their homes. Writing for and interacting with the people is a hobby I enjoy very much.

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