what are the differences, advantages and disadvantages of using each of them

Las Wi-Fi networks they are already essential in our digital lives. They allow us to connect to the Internet and its multiple services when we are at home and do not want to use data from our mobile operator or wired connections. Nevertheless, its performance inside the house is not always optimalhaving slowdowns, cuts in the connection, areas that are left without coverage or simply increases in the delay of the packets that prevent us from playing online.

Normally the connection is usually good when we are close to the router, but in the most distant rooms it is usually difficult for the signal to reach us well, a situation in which it is convenient to resort to some help in the form of additional routers, access points, etc. signal extendersmesh systems or PLC networksas we have already seen in this article in more detail.

Today we are going to focus on pointing out the differences between two of the simplest and cheapest alternatives that we have at our disposal, the WiFi extenders and PLCs with integrated WiFito see what they offer us, their advantages and disadvantages.

WiFi extenders: what they are, advantages and disadvantages

wifi amplifier

The easiest, fastest and cheapest way to improve wireless coverage inside your home is by using WiFi signal extender or amplifier. These are small-sized teams that we can connect directly to a socket or power strip and are able to amplify the signal of an existing WiFi network.

For it detect the WiFi network signal that we already have at home and amplify it so that it reaches further, thus expanding the coverage radius through the rooms. The resulting network will usually have the same name or identifier than the original and the password will be copied automatically, serving the extender as a kind of bidirectional bridge between the old network and the new one generated by itself.

In some cases, in addition to expanding existing networks, extenders also create their own completely independent WiFi network, with a different name and password. This has the disadvantage that you will have to reconfigure your devices to connect, although if you will always have those devices connected to the extender, it is a lesser evil in exchange for better performance.

WIFI repeater

Its main advantage is simplicity. It is enough to plug the adapter into the power supply and little else. It does not matter if we do it to a power strip, UPS, power outlet thief or similar, since it will not affect performance. In most cases, the configuration is done automatically, perhaps only having to change some parameters if we want, for example, a new password.

In addition, WiFi extenders are characterized by being relatively cheap equipmentat least if we compare it with the rest of the options available on the market.

Its drawback is that they do not usually have the latest features on the market or if they do they are not cheap anymore. Nor do they know how to analyze the general state of home wireless networks and if we want a very wide coverage area, we will have to resort to installing several of these devices that may not get along very well with each other, reducing the maximum speed offered.

Its performance will also depend on the shape and dimensions of the house as well as the distribution of the partitions and configuration of the rooms. Thus, for example, if we want to take the connection to a room very far from the router through a long corridor without plugs to connect the extender, the original signal may not correctly reach the room in the background to be amplified by the extender and we will not achieve good results.

In other words, in order to extract its full potential we will need is located in an intermediate place between the router and the room where we want to take the connection, and also that the original signal from the router reaches it with an adequate power level. Otherwise we will not achieve much more connection speed.

Also, we will not be able to take advantage of the connection in its entirety if the home router is not very powerful, since we will be limited to a bottleneck at the maximum speed that the wireless interface of the router is capable of managing. For example, it will be of little use to buy an amplifier with high-speed WiFi 6 if the router whose signal it amplifies is only capable of working with WiFi 4.

PLC adapters with integrated WiFi


Another option available on the market is PLC adapters with integrated WiFi. These are very simple systems to install that use the home electrical network already existing to bring the connection in a wired way to the different rooms.

consist of a first PLC adapter usually without WiFi interface that connects to the operator’s router via Ethernet and to different nodes or additional satellite adapters scattered around the rooms.

plc wifi

The main adapter sends the data signal through the house electrical wires to the different rooms of the house. Once there, the satellite PLC adapter with WiFi capabilities picks up the data signal from the electrical outlet and establish a wireless access point to which our devices such as mobile phones, computers, etc. will connect.

They are usually a very good option and offer excellent performance in relatively modern electrical installationsalthough they are not exempt from problems and possible situations of cuts and speed fluctuations that can result in a real headache.

Plc Wifi1366

Its main advantage is that They are very easy to install and configure.. It is enough to plug them into a free outlet on the wall and little more than pair them on some models or adjust some parameters through a mobile application. In addition, we also often offer built-in Ethernet ports for connecting wired equipment in rooms.

Its disadvantage is that they are more expensive solutions than simple coverage amplifiers. If we look for models with the latest connectivity standards and that are even compatible with mesh networks, then the price goes up quickly.

In addition, its actual performance It will depend on the state of the electrical network of the houseof the appliances that we have plugged in and if the two nodes are under the same electrical circuit in the light box. This can mean that, depending on each particular case, the performance is excellent or very poor, something that we will not know until we have bought and installed them at home.

Source: Xataka Smart Home by www.xatakahome.com.

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