What’s the difference between a booster antenna, a cellular repeater, and a Wi-Fi extender?

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A booster antenna, a cellular repeater, and a Wi-Fi extender all improve the strength of your installed mobile broadband connection, but they do so in three different ways. If you’re looking to improve your internet speeds, one of these devices could be the solution. But which one?

To find out, let’s take a closer look at the differences between a booster antenna, a cellular repeater, and a Wi-Fi extender.


A booster antenna improves cellular coverage

If you’re struggling with poor coverage, a booster antenna is the fastest way to connect reliably to the nearest cellular tower. There are two types of booster antennas:

  • A directional booster antenna, like our Super Duo-Yagi MIMO Antenna, strengthens the connection with the nearest cellular tower. This antenna setup minimizes signal loss and maximizes potential download and upload speeds.
  • An omnidirectional booster antenna, like our Panel MIMO Booster Antenna, increases your internet speeds by strengthening the cellular signals from nearby towers. Unlike directional antennas, omnidirectional antennas can connect with multiple towers at once.

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Ready to explore your options? Learn more about our Panel MIMO Booster Antenna or our Super Duo-Yagi Antenna.


A cellular repeater improves cellular network range

A cellular repeater system is an apparatus that uses two antennas to amplify a cellular signal and send that signal efficiently from one location (for example, outside your building) to another (typically inside your building). Each repeater system consists of:

  • An antenna is placed where the cellular signal is strongest, which transmits directly with the nearest cellular tower
  • A signal amplifier amplifies the signal that the antenna sends and receives
  • A second antenna, which transmits with the signal amplifier and with cellular devices
  • A cable, which transports the signal from the first antenna to the amplifier to the second antenna

While cellular repeater systems are the most effective way to improve the strength and range of your cellular signal in many situations, they’re often more difficult to use than booster antennas.

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A Wi-Fi extender improves Wi-Fi network range

A Wi-Fi extender is an antenna that extends the range of your Wi-Fi network. A Wi-Fi extender connects to your wireless router, amplifies your W-Fi signal, and repeats that signal to extend the range of your network. In many ways, it works just like a cellular repeater system, except it repeats Wi-Fi signals instead of cellular signals.

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Want to learn more about Wi-Fi extenders? Check out our External Wi-Fi Extender.


Which solution is right for you?

  • If you’re struggling with poor coverage, a booster antenna is the best way to connect reliably to the nearest cellular tower.
  • If you get a better cellular signal outside a building than inside it, a cellular repeater improves the range of your cellular network for better indoor coverage.
  • If you get a better Wi-Fi signal in one part of your building, a Wi-Fi extender improves the range of your Wi-Fi network for more even coverage.

Still not sure whether a booster antenna, a cellular repeater, or a Wi-Fi extender will work for you? For help choosing the network hardware that’s right for you, contact us at 866-439-6630.