To understand why we sometimes struggle with wifi, it is best to think of it like sound.
Wifi is simply a radio wave that is broadcast from a device such as a router and travels through the air. Without obstacles it would travel almost forever. With obstacles in its path, it is soon weakened. Imagine your router is a stereo speaker pumping out music at a medium volume, this is how strong wifi signal is, if you go into another room a few doors down from the router you will notice the music is much quieter, go to the other end of the house or maybe downstairs and you may not be able to hear it at all. As it is with wifi, the further our device is from the router, the less signal bars we will get, and we will struggle to use the internet without drop outs and buffering.
In addition to this, wifi is currently broadcast using two separate frequencies, 2.4ghz and 5 ghz.
The 2.4ghz frequency is the original protocol we started with 20 years or so ago and it has done a fine job up till now. The reason wifi moved to the 5ghz frequency was that it allows us to send data more quickly, allowing us to stream video and play online games. The unfortunate consequence of using 5ghz is that it can’t get through as many walls and floors before becoming weak. Going back to the sound analogy, the 2.4ghz frequency is like the bass notes, if someone is having a party down the road, we can usually hear the bass pumping into our home but can’t make out the singing or melodies. The higher notes, singing and melodies are likened to the 5ghz frequency. If we want to experience fast consistent wifi throughout the home, we need to make sure the 5ghz signal is strong in every room. The only way to achieve this to install wireless access points.
To find out why wireless access points work and extenders dont, click here.