Question Extender as extender vs router as extender which one to use?


Aug 4, 2018
A noob in this regard. So I've two routers and one extender. Want to extend the signal so that the very end of my home gets strong question is should I use the router as an extender or the extender. I've heard that repeaters halves the bandwidth. Not sure if that is the case for extenders since the extender has a dedicated wifi SSID in my case. Wired extension isn't an option for me for technical reasons. Any sort of advice would be highly appreciated. My devices are as follows:

Mi alot 3600x (primary router)

Mi 4a router (backup)

Mi wifi extender (extender)

What do you think a "extender" is. That is just a generic name they call all boxes pretty much now days....unless they call them MESH. But it is all the same. When you connect to the main router via wifi you are running as a repeater. If you connect to the main router via ethernet then it is running as AP.

No matter what you do you are going to suffer the huge penalty when you run a repeater. The SSID does not matter it is still using the same radio frequencies and interfering with the signals from the main router. You generally are very lucky to get 1/2 the speed because you also have 2 radio signals that your neighbors can now stomp on.
Now some of the fancy mesh device have a extra dedicated radio chip to talk to the main router. That of course increases the price. It only partially solve the bandwidth repeater issue. There are still 2 signals but using different radio bands but there just is not enough radio bandwidth to for this to work well. 1 router/mesh unit will use almost every available radio channel. This only works well if you have no neighbors who want to use wifi. Now days huge numbers of people run these mesh systems where everyone is trying to use all the bandwidth and all they accomplish is to stomp on each other.

The only true solution to wifi coverage is to use some form of wire to connect to the main router and run as AP. This is how enterprise business do it. None use silly repeater or mesh systems. Best would be to run ethernet cables but not a option for many. The next option if you have coax tv type cable in both room is to run MoCA. This can get gigabit speeds. You could also consider powerline networks. The ones that have 1000 or 2000 numbers on them work in most houses and you can get 300mbps. Then way down the list of options is to use extender/repeaters.


It doesn't really matter how many SSID's you have, it matters how many internal radio's the unit has and whether or not it dedicates radio's as a backhaul wifi channel. More expensive systems like Orbi use a dedicated backhaul channel, so it doesn't HALVE the bandwidth on existing radio channels.

Either way, myself and other people here will tell you to use wifi extenders as a last resort. Instead, try to explore MOCA or powerline options first.