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On February 27th, 2020

Slow Internet Solutions: WiFi Access Point vs Range Extender


No matter the industry, one of the staples for doing business is having a reliable internet connection. Whether your team needs to check online orders, schedule video conference calls, or respond to customer email inquiries, we can’t afford to watch our internet access go down. Slow internet means slower work days and productivity, which is why many companies are looking for ways to improve their internet speed and connection.

Faster Internet with Access Points vs Extenders

There are a few different options for how to fix slow internet. It just depends on what’s causing the problem at your site. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to identify the reason why your connection is having trouble in the first place. You might be dealing with WiFi range issues, or your internet could be stalling because you just have too many devices competing for a good connection. There are ways to address both types of problems, but you’ll need to consider the layout of your site to determine whether a range extender or a new access point will be the most effective.

How a Range Extender Works:

Installing a WiFi range extender works to rebroadcast your existing WiFi signal. An extender will usually be placed near the halfway point between your router (or another access point) and that distant area where you’re trying to increase the WiFi connectivity. When considering this option, though, it helps to remember that WiFi can only stretch so far. If the signals have to travel a long way to reach every corner of your building, then they will be more likely to have interference or just fade out. That’s why you have to install them in just the right spot.

Adding a range extender or two can be a cost-efficient way to bolster your site’s WiFi. But they aren’t always a perfect solution. For example, extenders can sometimes have a negative effect on your network’s overall performance. Utilizing multiple range extenders in succession usually leads to a weaker signal too. If you need to link two or more extenders together, you might be better off with a whole new access point, since those units are more robust.

How a WiFi Access Point Works:

For companies that have a larger physical presence—or just need to provide faster internet to a larger number of people—setting up a few additional WiFi access points might be the way to go. While a correctly-placed WiFi extender can boost your coverage by some 50 percent, a new access point has the potential to double your existing internet coverage. These devices work by connecting directly with your site’s internet router, usually through an Ethernet cable. Then your internet signal will mimic the same strength as your primary router and get pushed out even farther.

It’s important to note, however, that access points aren’t for everyone. First, you’ll need to have a wired connection in order to set them up, and your existing cabling may not reach to where you want your install. You may have to invest in your infrastructure and run new cables in order to get an access point ready. Because of this, extending your internet coverage with WiFi access points typically costs more. But the upside is that you get a more comprehensive solution for your slow internet.

No matter how budget-conscious your company may be, you can still figure out a plan for how to improve your internet coverage. Finding the best, permanent solution often starts with an on-site consultation. Our team at Enhanced Telecommunications regularly meets with clients of all sizes to discuss their business cabling and other technology needs. To learn more about our process, feel free to send us a message. We’d be happy to answer your questions!

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