Travel Router vs WiFi Extender: Which is Best for You?

This post may contain affiliate links, for which we may earn a small commission at no cost to you..

You may wonder what the difference is between a WiFi travel router and a WiFi extender, if you’re in the market for a device to start or expand your wireless network. The best travel routers should have a pretty decent wireless range, but improving your network may require more than just a new router. 

It’s a good idea to find out if a WiFi router or WiFi extender could work for you to get rid of wireless signal dead spots, and boost your internet speeds.

It may seem obvious just to buy a wireless extender if you want better WiFi coverage, but it’s not quite that simple. 

For example, suppose you haven’t upgraded your travel router in a few years – in that case, it’s probably slowing things down because it’s outdated. Adding a WiFi range extender won’t solve the problem, and may even worsen it!

WiFi extenders work in conjunction with a router rather than in place of one, so it’s best to have a high-quality router before looking into an extender.

Can You Use a WiFi Extender for Travel?

A WiFi extender makes it simple to connect to networks that your computer or mobile device wouldn’t usually be able to pick up, or to get faster internet speeds when travelling. You can find many of these small enough to fit in your pocket, that can make the difference between useable Wi-Fi and hours of irritation.

There are several options for WiFi extenders available. Whether you need quicker WiFi on your laptop, or you have several devices that need to connect to the a weak network signal from wherever the router has been positioned. 

Does a WiFi Extender Work in a Campervan?

As well as extending the range of your WiFi network, boosters improve the quality of your router’s signal. For the most part, WiFi boosters do a decent job; however, this does depend on the individual device and features. 

Though most repeaters are wireless, and can be installed anywhere in a campervan or home, the best placement in an area with poor signals is near the router for optimal performance. When plugged into an electrical outlet, the booster will pick up the signal from the campsite or public area, and reproduce the signal in your campervan. 

WiFi extenders differ from repeaters because they require a hardwired connection to your network, typically through an Ethernet cable. Because of this configuration, WiFi is faster and has better coverage. An advantage to using an extender over a repeater is that the former can boost the strength of the original signal. 

WiFi Extender for Travel [PROS + CONS]

Pros

  • Better Coverage in Large Open Spaces
  • WiFi Extender is simple to install.
  • Reusing an Existing Router Saves Money
  • Several users can connect.

Cons

  • Signal Strength (if the router emits a weak signal)
  • Low speeds
  • WiFi Extender and domestic appliances (these can lower the signal strength)
  • Incompatibility Problems with the router
  • Future WiFi Standards Compatibility

Travel Router vs WiFi Extender

The primary distinction between an extender and a router is that an extender is a network device used to amplify the range of a WiFi signal. A router, on the other hand, is a network device connecting various devices to a local area network.

A WiFi extender, also known as a WiFi range extender, is a network device that extends the range of a WiFi signal. The device works as an amplifier for the WiFi signals, increasing their power. The enhanced signals can then go further, expanding the range of the WiFi signals.

A router is a network device that connects devices to a local area network via an ethernet cable. Because a router has a wireless module, it can send and receive WiFi signals and make the network wireless.

Suppose you’re using a 3G/4G travel router, and you’re not getting coverage for the area outside your campervan. In that case, a WiFi extender will help, providing the network signal coming into your router is sufficiently strong. A WiFi extender might also help boost the signal from the campsite WiFi. 

However, bear in mind extenders can’t boost an already weak signal. Relatively speaking, campervans have a much smaller areas than a house, and don’t have the same amount of dead spots – you should be OK with just your router.

However, if you want to cover a broad area with a strong WiFi signal, you’ll need a dual-band WiFi extender that supports both 2.4 and 5 GHz.

The extender should also comply with the most current WiFi standards, and enable technologies like beamforming and MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple input, multiple outputs).

Recent Posts