WiFi Signal Booster Buying Guide – The Number 1 Guide

The implementation of WiFi in homes began in 1999 when a government technology was passed over into the consumer market. However, even with the now 21 years of consumer wireless internet technology under our belt, we are still looking to improve our home networking abilities. That is why we are creating the WiFi signal booster buying guide.

WiFi is something that, with smartphones, we are almost unable to live with. However, it is not just phones that use a wireless internet connection. Think of all of the things around your home that use WiFi, and I bet you will be slightly surprised. Phones, tablets, laptops, PCs, TVs, Alexa, the list is almost endless. The problem that you may face with the growing number of wireless connections you own in your home is that not all of them will have a sufficient enough WiFi signal. That is why boosters offer such an excellent opportunity for the family home.

WiFi Signal Booster

There are only a few things more annoying than being on a video call to your distant relative, and moving to another part of your home to find it drops out. Alternatively, you’re sat in your favourite spot in the house, waiting for a film to stream, which never happens. There are some options that you have, such as moving your router into a different spot. However, if you have “dead zones” now, you are likely to have them after moving it too. 

Wifi Signal Booster

It is also often not as simple as merely moving the router. You will need to reroute cables around your home, etc. which can take some time and effort that you are still going to be disappointed with, in the end. Before we get into the buying guide, we need to look at a few other things:

What is WiFi

A simple explanation of WiFi is the wireless transmission of broadband internet to a device, whatever that is, via radio signals. When you sign up to broadband, it is highly unlikely that they will not offer you a free wireless router to go along with it. They often have various ethernet connections on them to allow for wired connections, and wireless radio transmitters built-in for the devices that you cannot connect through wires. 

Every WiFi router will create its own WLAN or Wireless Local Area Network. The issue is that sometimes, that WLAN is too local, meaning that you have to stand in specific areas of the home to receive it. 

WiFi Frequencies

The electromagnetic frequencies that the routers often use only have two frequencies: 2.4GHz (802.11b) and 5GHz (802.11a). However, due to cost, the lower frequency of 2.4GHz was a lot more prevalent. The price was not necessarily an end-user issue, though. The cost to develop equipment to run on the 5GHz frequency was also higher at the outset of wireless routers. So, some devices didn’t work on the routers that provided that frequency. 

WiFi Frequencies

WiFi Standards

As with everything, there are standards for wireless internet equipment. That is, in this case, the IEEE802.11. Each standard within this set of guidelines offer different advantages, and disadvantages as I will show you now:


  • Year Adopted. – 1999
  • Frequency. – 5GHz
  • Maximum data rate. – 54Mbps
  • Typical indoor range. – 100ft
  • Typical outdoor range. – 400ft


  • Year Adopted. – 1999
  • Frequency. – 2.4GHz
  • Maximum data rate. – 11Mbps
  • Typical indoor range. – 100ft
  • Typical outdoor range. – 450ft


  • Year Adopted. – 2003
  • Frequency. – 2.4GHz
  • Maximum data rate. – 54Mbps
  • Typical indoor range. – 125ft
  • Typical outdoor range. – 450ft


  • Year Adopted. – 2009
  • Frequency. – 2.4/5GHz Dual-band
  • Maximum data rate. – 600 Mbps
  • Typical indoor range. – 225ft
  • Typical outdoor range. – 825ft


  • Year Adopted. – 2014
  • Frequency. – 5GHz
  • Maximum data rate. – 1Gbps
  • Typical indoor range. – 90ft
  • Typical outdoor range. – 1,000ft

As you can see, depending on the time that you first had your router, you may well be behind the times. Even so, some of the data in the standards tables are not what they should be. If you go and spend a lot of money on an 802.11n router, are you certain that the indoor range is what it states? You may go and spend hundreds of dollars on a new router to find that you still have the same issue of “dead zones.” 

Next, we will talk about some of the features that you need to look for when you are buying a WiFi signal booster.

Wifi Signal Booster – Compatability

While the majority of WiFi signal boosters are universally compatible with everything, you need to check the router that you already own. For example, if you have an 802.11g router, you do not want a 5GHz signal booster. However, you may still want a dual-band booster, to allow you to upgrade your router at a later date, or if you change ISP (Internet Service Providers).

Also, not all WiFi boosters are compatible with every router. Some of the manufacturers only allow their boosters to connect to their routers. 

Device Numbers

All WiFi signal boosters will allow multiple device connections at the same time. However, the number of devices that you can connect to the booster can and is usually limited. While you may have some of the devices in your home connected to the router directly and not your signal booster, you will still have to ensure you know how many devices you want on your booster at any one time. 

WiFi Devices

I have seen some that do not tell you how many devices you can use at one time, but I have also seen some that give you a limit of 5 or 10. Therefore, you need to take caution in buying the ones that do not state how many devices can connect to it at once. However, there are still many of them available on the market that allows many connections, such as the ones you find in places like shopping malls, casinos, etc. 


Knowing how to connect your booster to your router is another critical thing to know. For example, there are three main types that you may find:

  • Ethernet. – Some of the boosters will require an ethernet connection to the router to enable a broader home wifi signal. They are possibly the best type for speed and coverage. However, you need to run an ethernet cable to it, which almost defeats the object. 
  • Home electrical wiring. – Utilizing your home electrical wiring is a fantastic idea for transferring broadband to other areas of the homes. With WiFi capability, they will also allow you to connect multiple devices wirelessly, and sometimes with an ethernet connection, too.
  • Wireless only. – Possibly the most straightforward and simple method to use is the wireless-only boosters. A simple plug into an electrical outlet and let them take care of everything else. However, they will not have the same speeds of connection as other ones, such as ethernet connected boosters. 



As with a router, all boosters have an inherent range that they can deliver a signal. One thing that you will have to consider, though, is that all of the ranges of coverage that you will see, likely state the outdoor range where there are no walls in the way, etc. There are two ranges that you are likely to see on any WiFi signal booster; a distance in a direct line, and area coverage. Do not get the two confused with each other, for example:

A range of 43 ft. will only mean 43 ft. in a single direction, providing there are no walls in the way. Likewise, a similar specification signal booster may show the same coverage in a format of m2, or sq. Ft. Which will appear like a larger area. However, a 6,000 sq. Ft. Booster is only 43 ft. in a single direction. If you find a booster that shows you a squared feet or meter number, follow the next equation to convert it to distance that you can travel away from the WiFi signal booster before there is no more coverage:

Ft. sq. ÷ Pi (3.14) and then find the square root of the number:

6,000 ÷ 3.14 = 1910.

√1910 = 43.7

Wifi Range

However, you must remember that the rated distance is unlikely to be the “useful” range of the WiFi signal booster. Therefore, as you get closer to the boundary, the accessibility of the broadband becomes weaker. 

Frequency Coverage

There is a direct correlation between speed, coverage, and frequency. The higher the frequency, the higher the speed, but the lower the range. While there are not many options when you look at the standards above, the fact still stands true for indoor applications. 

Lower frequencies will transmit signals through walls much easier than higher ones, too. Using low-frequency technology, a new WiFi standard is becoming available: 802.11ah (HaLow). The “ah” variant of the 802.11 standards utilizes an entirely different frequency range that is much lower than the standard 2.4GHz or 5GHz. The “ah” model uses an unlicensed television frequency of 900MHz. That is not a frequency that gets easily blocked by walls, etc. However, the data transfer speed will be much lower. 


Speed matters an immense amount when considering your WiFi signal booster. Not all of the boosters on the market will show you their capable speed, and you need to be sure of the speed you will get. First of all, you want to know what speed your internet service provider offers you. That is often available on your contract, but if not, search for their website and see what speed they offer in your area. 

Speed Test

Next, you need to check what speed internet you are receiving at your computer, phone, or anything else with WiFi-enabled. You can check that here. After you know the speed of your internet, you can start to look for WiFi signal boosters. However, you will need to ensure that you buy one that exceeds your actual speed by at least 50%, if not more. The reason for that is because not all boosters will provide the rated speed, and if you upgrade your internet, you do not want to have to buy another booster to compensate. 


Different WiFi signal boosters will offer different modes that you can use. Here, we will take a look at some of the critical aspects of those modes and what they are for.

Repeater Mode

Access point mode, or AP for short, is the default mode for most WiFi signal boosters. It merely receives your WiFi connection from your router, and boosts it, then distributes it again. Therefore, giving you the same wireless broadband in different locations.

Wireless Router Mode

You can use some of the signal boosters as a router alone. However, you often get what you pay for. Using a low budget WiFi booster as a router may cause you actually to lose internet coverage instead of gain it. Therefore, you are best to ensure you have a significant WiFi connection before using a booster.

Client Mode

Client mode, or station mode, will allow WiFi to transmit your broadband most of the way through your home, and then plug ethernet cables into the WiFi signal booster for a direct connection. They are ideal if you have a PC that does not have wireless capability. 


If you have a large garden that you would like to provide with WiFi coverage, you will certainly need to consider a waterproof WiFi signal booster. When buying a “waterproof” booster, please ensure that you check the IP rating. If the product says, it is waterproof but has no IP rating or one that is too low for the intended use, stay away from it. You can learn about IP ratings here. However, the lowest number that you should be looking for is IP65.


There are a few things that you want to consider before buying a Wifi Signal Booster, such as where you need it for, how many devices you will connect to it, how they will connect (wireless or wired), etc. However, I hope that this guide has given you a little more information on the aspects that you need to look for, and which you need for your home or place of work. Check out our homepage for new articles.