Are Broadband Boosters Any Good, And Do They Actually Work?

Feb 11, 2021
By Staff writer

Are you experiencing slow internet or dead spots at home? Broadband boosters can help fix that! 

In theory, it can distribute the Wi-Fi signals better in hard to reach areas like bathrooms and kitchens. Depending on the type of booster, it can also amplify them and extend the range of your internet even beyond thick walls and flooring.

But do they really work? Or, is it just another gimmick by broadband providers to get you to spend more? How does it increase internet speed throughout your home? Read the benefits and advantages of broadband boosters right here.

What is a broadband booster?

A Broadband booster is a very straightforward tech. Coming from the name itself, it boosts the internet speeds, which is especially helpful when connecting wirelessly. This lets you fully take advantage of the speeds advertised in your broadband plan.

For example, you have a plan of up to 1Gbps, but are only experiencing between 600-750Mbps. A broadband booster can help you reach the maximum speeds by distributing signals smartly. It doesn’t increase your internet speed; it simply helps it to perform better.

What are the different types of broadband boosters?

Haven’t heard of a broadband booster? You may be more familiar with terms like Wi-Fi extenders, Wi-Fi repeaters, or mesh range networks. Essentially, they’re the different types of broadband boosters.

They work almost similarly with some minor differences on their functions. To get a clearer grasp of their similarities and differences, here’s an explanation.


What is a Wi-Fi repeater?

A Wi-Fi repeater retransmits the signals it receives. From the name itself, it simply replicates whatever the router is distributing to make the signals reach further. As it can only repeat signals, it needs to be within the original range of your main router.

You have to strategically place them in an area where the signals are strong. Placing them in an area where signals are already weak means it only has weak signals to distribute. Place them strategically to fully take advantage of your Wi-Fi repeaters.

Pros Cons
Easy to set up, with one click of a button Correct placement can be very tricky
Inexpensive, mostly costing less than $100 Significant amount of bandwidth is loss
Works with almost all kinds of routers Unable to connect between Wi-Fi repeaters

What is a Wi-Fi extender?

Wi-Fi extenders are connected in your main router through a wired connection. This receives the wired signals and distributes them wirelessly. As it’s connected directly to the router, it doesn’t need to be within the original signal range to extend Wi-Fi.

Essentially, this works like another router at home. Since it uses the signals in the router, it can fully take advantage of the speeds of your broadband plan. It’s ideal for places with thick brick walling and flooring.

Pros Cons
Easy setup process, needing only wires Can be more expensive than repeaters
Right placement isn’t an issue Connecting to Wi-Fi network can be fiddly
Works with almost all kinds of routers Unable to connect between Wi-Fi extenders

What is a mesh range network?

Compared to the previous boosters, mesh range network is a relatively new tech that uses nodes to improve signal distribution. These nodes work as a receiver and a transmitter at the same time, giving you the freedom to place them in areas where you need internet the most.

What’s great about this system is, each node can communicate with each other! This lets you take advantage of full bandwidth and maximum speeds of your router without the need for wires. If you also plan to extend your Wi-Fi network further, this is a quick and easy choice.

Pros Cons
Very flexible set-up and network Can be very pricey, costing over $200
Able to take full advantage of broadband May require additional mesh routers
Simple and easy installation Complex tech can be hard to understand

Compare and find the best Broadband provider in your area, right here at glimp!

What should you consider when buying broadband boosters?

Now that you know the different types of broadband boosters, which one should you purchase? Of course, it always depends on what you need. As a general rule of thumb, here are the most important factors you should consider when buying broadband boosters.

  • Size of the house
  • Internet activities
  • Ease of usage
  • Data security
  • Bandwidth and speed
  • Bands and antennas
  • Other features

What are the best broadband boosters in New Zealand?

When it’s working as intended, broadband boosters can really improve the signal quality of your broadband plan at home. To make sure your broadband booster can work well for your internet needs, get one from a trusted manufacturer.

Commonly, some broadband providers offer this as an extra in your broadband plan. However, you can always get one from a third-party manufacturer. Take a look at the best broadband boosters in New Zealand.

Netgear Nighthawk AX8 WiFi Mesh Extender (EAX80)

It’s one of the best on the market if you have a big household. It supports the most number of devices, without dropping on speed and bandwidth. What’s more, it doesn’t create another broadband name, saving you from the hassle of setting up another network.

Key features:

  • Fast speeds of up to 6Gbps
  • Four gigabit ethernet ports
  • Supports the latest Wi-Fi 6
  • Uses one network only
  • Works well with any router

TP-Link AC750 Wi-Fi Range Extender (RE205)

If you’re on a slightly tighter budget, then this is your best option. Even with its affordable price, you get the standard 802.11ac with a dual design that supports up to 750Mbps. It also supports a 5GHz band with its two external antennas.

Key features:

  • Costs as low as $98.99
  • Easy to setup with WPS buttons
  • Supports WPA2-PSK security
  • Uses one network only
  • Works well with any router

D-Link AC1200 (DAP-1650)

It’s an easy to set up broadband booster that you can activate with one simple click. It comes with security features that ensure only you and your family can have Wi-Fi access. Most of all, it comes equipped with USB for quicker file and content transfer.

Key features:

  • Dual bands at 2.4 or 5GHz
  • Four gigabit ethernet ports
  • Secured log-ins through WPS
  • Speeds reaching up to 900Mbps
  • Easy setup process

TP-Link AC1350 WiFi Powerline Extender Kit (TL-WPA8630PKIT)

Want a broadband booster that ticks all the right boxes? This is the one of the best you can get in New Zealand! Speeds can reach up to 1.3Gbps wirelessly, perfect for 4K streaming and other heavy-bandwidth online activities.

Key features:

  • Dual bands at 2.4 or 5GHz
  • Three gigabit ethernet ports
  • Autosync if you add more boosters
  • Consumes only low power
  • Setting up involves only one click

Netgear AC1750 WiFi Mesh Extender (EX6250-100AU)

For heavy gamers and streamers, it’s the best choice you can get! The bandwidth can reach up to 1.7Gbps wirelessly. You can also plug in your different devices such as Xbox, PlayStation, Apple TV, and more! 

Key features:

  • FastLane tech for faster speeds
  • Installation only takes minutes
  • Smart Roaming sets up one network
  • Get many features for the price
  • Setting up involves only one click

Still experiencing lags? Switch to a better Broadband provider!

If you’re still experiencing lag in your internet connection after getting a broadband booster, your broadband plan may be the culprit It’s not exactly the provider’s fault. You may be experiencing slow broadband speeds because their services aren’t the best for your area.

It may be best to switch! Get the best broadband services in your address using our comparison tool right here at glimp. We give you customised results in just a few minutes!

Shane Egan (Popup) , 2023-07-10

Excellent service. Responsive and easy to deal with. Got me an awesome deal on Broadband. Well worth calling to see what they can do. 👍

Jamie Martin , 2023-06-18

Really great service, helped us save about 30% on power plus a free $100 sign up bonus. Very fast and efficient.

Kat W , 2023-06-20

Very helpful and informative. Lovely chatting with them on the phone, helped me find a power supplier, pretty simple and straight forward

Dee Painter , 2023-08-08

So easy to use, very helpful and got a great deal with my power and gas