Access Point Vs Wi-Fi Extender: Which One is Right for You?
Your router might provide you with a fast and reliable internet connection. But, as you know, it has limitations based on its range. So, you might need to extend the range of your Wi-Fi connection for various reasons. And, you can do that by using access points and Wi-Fi extenders.
Apart from that, you have some other options as well. But, we are only going to take a look at access points and Wi-Fi extenders here. Are you wondering which one of them is a better choice for you? Then, keep reading to know what they have to offer you, and you can decide for yourself.
How are a Wi-Fi Extender and an Access Point Different?
Extenders and access points serve the same purpose if you look at their functions. Both of them allow you to extend your Wi-Fi connection. So, how are access points and extenders different from each other? In case you are wondering, here are the main ways they differ from each other:
Access points and extenders expand your Wi-Fi network in different ways. Extenders replicate an existing network that you have set up with your router. But, an access point creates its network. That means you are connected to your router’s network while using an extender. But, you have to connect to an access point separately to use its network.
You would also find a difference in the expansion that access points and extenders provide to your network. You can expand your Wi-Fi network over a large area with an access point. And that makes it more suitable for large workplaces. At the same time, an extender can provide a comparably smaller expansion and are mostly used in residences and smaller workplaces.
Ease of Setting Up
When it comes to an extender, you can set it up all by yourself. And, you probably would not need any assistance with that at any point. But, setting up an access point is comparably harder than that. Moreover, you might want expert help to find the best spots to set up access points.
The cost is also a significant difference between extenders and access points. Extenders are a very cost-effective way to expand your wireless network. But, access points cost more to set up. However, they do amplify your network more than extenders do.
Pros and Cons of Wi-Fi Extenders
Are you considering setting up a Wi-Fi extender? Then, you must carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks that it poses to you. And, here are some of the main pros and cons you would find in a Wi-Fi extender:
Removes All Dead Zones
Your Wi-Fi connection might fail to reach certain areas of your home. And, an extender can help you fix this issue effectively. It will ensure that you can access your router network from all areas of your home.
Easy to Set Up
You can connect your extender to your computer over a wireless connection. And, you can set it up easily by logging into its interface. You can also use the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button on its body to get it ready for use.
Improves Your Wi-Fi Signal
You might often get a low signal strength on your wireless network. And, an extender can provide you with an optimal solution to that. It can increase the signal strength significantly and provide you with a better experience.
Speeds Up the Internet
Wi-Fi extenders can stop the frequent network problems that you face. Moreover, it can also maintain your connection speed after multiple devices have joined the network.
Interference From Other Networks
Wireless networks often face interference from other networks near them. As a result, you would face network issues. And, using an extender can significantly increase the frequency of such problems.
Not Very Safe
Your router might have optimal protection from your cyber-attacks. But, that cannot be said for extenders. So, your devices face a cybersecurity threat while connected to them, but you can take some steps to tackle that.
Pros and Cons of Access Points
Like other devices of their kind, access points have some advantages and disadvantages.
They can Connect to a Large Number of Devices
As mentioned before, access points create their networks, and they can strengthen your Wi-Fi signal more than some other options. Moreover, you can connect hundreds of client devices with them.
Supports a Wide Range of Wireless Devices
With an access point, you can connect various wireless devices to the network. And, many other options, including extenders, do not support as many types of devices as access points do.
They Cover Large Distance
Access points can expand your router’s network over a hundred metres. And, other alternatives including extenders, cover significantly smaller distances than that. So, this is a significant reason for you to prefer using access points over other options.
They are Costly
Do you want to set up multiple access points? Then, that will cost you quite a lot of money. So, only companies may find this option suitable unless they want to cut costs. And, this is probably the most significant disadvantage of access points.
They Can Cause Clutter by Using Cables
You have to connect an access point to your router with a cable. So, you need to use multiple cables for multiple access points. And that can cause quite a lot of mess unless you manage the cables properly.
Which One is Better?
As we have seen, both access points and extenders have pros and cons. So, you must consider them to know which of them suits your requirements better. Needless to say, the one that offers you more advantages than disadvantages is the right choice for you. Also, you need not limit yourself to extenders and access points as there are other options.