If you thought dual-band repeaters were the newest and most modern, I would disappoint you. The newest and most advanced are those that support WiFi Mesh technology. With their help, you can have a seamless WiFi repeater, in which the main problem of signal amplifiers – switching devices between router and amplifier – will be solved. All devices (except old ones that do not support fast roaming in a WiFi network) in such a network will switch very quickly (fast roaming) and without breaking the connection. If your router is wireless, in this case you can use myrepeater website to set up your settings.
But it would be best if you had Mesh support from all devices (router, amplifier, and client). Unfortunately, there are very few such devices on the market today. TP-Link has a line of devices (routers and amplifiers) called OneMesh. If you have a router that supports WiFi Mesh, you simply buy a signal booster (in the case of Mesh, it must most likely be the same manufacturer as the router), set it up, and you have a seamless WiFi network. One network throughout the house. Just like with a WiFi Mesh system. In the article at the link above, I showed you how to set up such a network using a TP-Link RE300 amplifier and a TP-Link Archer A7 v5 router as an example.
So far, I haven’t seen this kind of device from other manufacturers. Keenetic and ASUS have something similar. But there, it is possible to combine several routers with this technology into one network. It seems that there are no separate WiFi repeaters. But this is at the time of writing. I think they will appear.
Antennas and their number
As for the number of antennas, there are usually two. Four antennas can be found only on expensive models, which generally have support for MU-MIMO technology. Otherwise, the four antennas are just not needed there.
Antennas when choosing a WiFi repeater
The range of the network does not depend on the number of antennas. It doesn’t even make much difference whether the antennas are internal or external. Therefore, the range of the repeater WiFi network will be approximately the same in all models. Moreover, there is no need to be guided by the length of these antennas.
Support for the access point mode
This is when the WiFi signal booster can be connected to the router with a network cable, and it will distribute the Internet via WiFi, receiving it via cable. Using them instead of routers (to connect a cable from your ISP). And in most cases, it cannot be done at all.
This scheme can be used if you have a network cable to another room, and when you connect the amplifier via WiFi, it severely cuts the speed. However, the speed loss over the cable is negligible.
Most modern amplifiers have support for access point mode.
The ability to control via an app from your phone. Not all devices have this feature. Usually, setup and control are done via the web interface (via a browser).
If you are, for example, choosing a repeater on online stores, make sure that the seller offers a product with a suitable plug for you. It must be of the “Europe (EU)” plug type. Otherwise, you will be able to connect it only through an adapter.
The presence of a WPS button (or similar) simplifies the process of setting up the device.
Support for MU-MIMO and Beamforming technology can be found only on the top models of WiFi amplifiers. If you have an expensive and high-performance router, you need a fast network, and there is no way to do without the amplifier, it is advisable to choose a model that supports these technologies.
If you have a new router, I advise you to check whether it supports WiFi Mesh. You can check the specifications on the official website. You can also update the firmware to the latest version, as Mesh support may depend on the firmware.
If it does, it is much better to choose a repeater that supports WiFi Mesh repeater or another similar router and combine them into one seamless WiFi network. I wrote about it in more detail above.