Range extenders looks similar to standard routers, but work differently. For starters, they pick up the existing Wi-Fi signal from your wireless router and simply rebroadcast it. As far as your network router is concerned, the range extender is just another client with an IP address, much like a laptop. Even though it's not a router, you should still use the same rules for figuring out placement; the extender should be close enough to your main network router to pick up a solid signal, but close enough to the weak spot so it can do its job of, well, extending that signal. You don't need an extender that is the same brand or model as your existing router, but you should pick one capable of broadcasting your signal. For example, don't buy an extender if your router is on . For more on how to choose and set up an extender, take a look at the Best Wireless Range Extenders we've tested.