Extender vs Router: Difference and Comparison

The Internet is a network of different computers and computing devices. The network is made by connecting different computing devices in a grid, where information can be passed on from one device to another.

For creating this grid, network handling and switching devices, such as routers, extenders, switches, and so on are required.

Key Takeaways

  1. Extenders expand the range of an existing wireless network, while routers connect devices to the internet by creating a network.
  2. Routers manage the traffic between devices, whereas extenders help extend the signal from routers to more distant areas.
  3. Routers have more advanced features and customization options, while extenders are simpler devices with limited functionality.

Extender vs Router

An extender, also known as a repeater, is used to increase the range and coverage of an existing wireless network by retransmitting the signal. A router, is the central device of a network, connecting devices together. It allows multiple devices to connect to a network and share resources.

Extender vs Router
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A wifi extender or wifi range extender is a network device that is used to extend the range of a wifi signal. The device acts as an amplifier for the wife signals and increases the strength of the signals.

The amplified signals can then travel more distance and hence the range of the wifi signals is increased.

A Wifi router is a basic network device that is used to connect a computer to a local area network with the help of an ethernet cable.

As a router is also integrated with a wireless module, it can also transmit and receive wifi signals along with analog ethernet signals.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Extender Router 
Definition A wifi extender is a network device that is used to extend the range of the wifi signal A wifi router is a network device that is used to transmit wifi signals to other devices 
Operation Extender amplifies the wifi signal and increases signal strength Router converts ethernet data into wifi signal and transmits to other devices 
Internet connection The extender has to be connected to a router for internet connection The router gets an internet connection through the ethernet cable
Ports Extenders have a limited number of ports and hence they cannot be used to connect multiple devices   Routers have more number ports and hence more number devices can be connected  
Network security Extenders offer very less network security Routers offer a higher level of network security than extenders

What is Extender?

A wifi Extender is a network device that is very commonly used in medium to large scale wireless networks, in offices for creating a large scale computer network.

The main purpose of a wifi extender is to extend the range of a wireless signal so that the signal can reach multiple devices.

The parameters of the signal, such as the frequency and the speed, in most cases, remain the same or may even fall to a lower value.   

A wifi extender works like a typical signal amplifier circuit. The circuit consists of a receiver that is used to receive the wireless wifi signal. The signal is then amplified through the circuit.

This increases the strength of the signal.

The amplification increases the range of the signal and the signal can travel more distance. The amplification is done by duplicating or repeating the signal.

Thus a wifi extender is also sometimes called a wife Repeater.

Thus wifi extenders can be used to expand an existing wifi network, to incorporate more devices into the wifi network. Thus devices in different rooms or floors of a building can be connected to a primary wifi network using the wifi extender.

The downside of using a wifi network is that the security of the network is degraded, as Extenders themselves do not provide any security to the wireless network. Thus the network becomes prone to injection attacks.

wifi

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What is Router?

A wifi Router is the most basic network device used in a wireless network. It is an ethernet router with a wireless module attachment, which allows the router to broadcast the ethernet data wirelessly.

Thus a wife router allows devices to be connected to the internet wirelessly.

The router itself is connected to the internet using the ethernet cable or a fiber optic cable. As fiber optic cables allow for greater speeds, nowadays mostly fiber optic cables are used.

After receiving the data from the data cables, the router broadcasts the data packets through the antennas provided on the router to create a wireless network.

Devices capable of receiving the wireless signals can then connect to the router network through the wireless ports.

The strength and speed of the wireless network depend on the primary strength of the signal coming from the data cables, as well as the signal broadcasting capabilities of the router. 

Most wifi routers are also provided with several physical ports to connect devices through the wired medium.

Wifi routers also provide a higher degree of security to the network, as the security features provided in routers are far superior to switches and extenders.

router 1

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Main Differences Between Extenders and Routers

  1. A wifi extender is a network device that is used to extend the range of the wifi signal. A wifi router is a network device that is used to transmit wifi signals to other devices
  2. Extender amplifies the wifi signal and increases signal strength. Router converts ethernet data into wifi signal and transmits to other devices
  3. The extender has to be connected to a router for an internet connection. The router gets an internet connection through the ethernet cable
  4. Extenders have a limited number of ports and hence they cannot be used to connect multiple devices. Routers have more number ports and hence more number devices can be connected
  5. Extenders offer very less network security. Routers offer a higher level of network security than extenders
Difference Between Extender and Router
References
  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/360276.360304
  2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-54328-4_19

Last Updated : 15 July, 2023

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