A Wi-Fi extender is a special device that extends the signal it receives from the router it is configured with. A wireless router sends data over radio waves instead of cables. Radio waves are also known as a signal, and the extent to which this signal reaches in all directions is known as its presence. The distance from the router to the edge of the footprint is its range. A wireless extender makes the signal from a Wi-Fi router available over a greater distance. The extender is a complete device itself and doesn’t require to be hooked up with the router with a cable.
A Wi-Fi extender is like a Wi-Fi router but without any processing power. It does not have any software that allows it to handle data that passes through it. The extender does not interpret or examine any of the signals it is processing and is not built to clear a signal by removing interference. It simply renews the signal to cover the same distance again.
Most Wi-Fi routers are “Omni-directional.” Their footprint is a sphere with the signal reaching an equal distance in all directions. Most householders put their router over by a wall because it needs to be connected to an electrical outlet and or a telephone outlet that is to say near a window (if it is receiving wireless Internet). This means that almost half of the signal footprint leaves the house. The extender works, widening the fan in one direction. It needs to be within the range of the router so that it can receive and send signals to it, and is best placed within the edge of the router’s signal footprint. The range of the router’s signal is, therefore, slightly less than doubled in one direction
Wireless extenders have their own signal footprint like a router’s footprint, and it is omni directional. If visible, seen from above, the two signal intervals would look like an oval. A wired compatible computer within the range of the outer side of the repeater’s footprint can communicate with the router although it is outside the router’s signal footprint. Any signal received by the extender is immediately re-transmitted, so that the router, within the range of the extender, receives the signal from the computer out of range. Likewise, all transmissions from the router are re-transmitted by the wireless extender, which means that a computer outside the router’s signal range, but within the extender’s footprint, can receive the signal.
Misconception about the extenders
A common misconception about wireless extenders is that they indiscriminately repeat everything in all directions. This means that the router immediately receives its own signal, as do all computers that transmit in the extender range. It does not weaken the signal strength of the router, but it doubles the traffic within the repeater’s footprint. Since Wi-Fi transmitters have to wait for silence on a frequency channel, the Wi-Fi extender can decrease the performance of a wireless network.