It’s no secret that Wi-Fi extenders can be temperamental in their performance, so we might want to move it and see if we can get a better signal elsewhere. But can we unplug a Wi-Fi extender and install it somewhere else? Will it still work if we unplug and move it?
Wi-Fi extenders will continue to work without any issue if they are unplugged and moved, since they store and retain all custom settings even when they lose their power source.
In other words, yes, you can unplug and move your booster and it should still work fine.
What Happens When You Unplug & Move A Wi-Fi Extender?
Wi-Fi extenders/boosters/repeaters are clever devices in that they save/remember all custom settings even when unplugged and moved.
Therefore, here’s what to expect if you unplug your extender and plug it in somewhere else:
- Network – The Wi-Fi username (SSID) and password you use to connect to the repeater’s network will remain exactly the same if you’ve configured them yourself
- Connection – Usually, you won’t even need to reconnect to the extender on your device; it’ll usually just do it automatically. You might just have to wait 30-60 seconds for the connection to refresh. A solid green light usually indicates it’s fully working again.
- Login/Access – What you use to log in to the repeater to configure/change settings. These too will remain exactly the same if you changed them from what’s on the label and set them to your own values when you configured the device initially.
In other words, usually after a short wait, you can carry on using your extender just as you were before after unplugging and moving it.
Of course, if you’re plugging it in in a totally new place on a new network/router, you’ll have to reconfigure it all from scratch again. But just moving it within the same home network, there’s no issue at all.
The Best Place To Move Extenders To
Because you can move extenders around without any major issues once configured, it’s actually usually advised set up extenders when plugged in right near the router for the best signal, and then move it once you’ve configured it with it’s own network.
For best performance, it’s recommended to install Wi-Fi extenders in a mid-point between your router and the Wi-Fi “dead-zone” you’re hoping to reach with the repeater. Close enough that it can consistently “capture” the signal from the main router, but also close enough to the devices that need to use it that they can connect consistently.
See the short video below for a good demo of how best to install and use Wi-Fi extenders:
Here are some tips from the video, plus some more of our own about placing extenders:
- Try to find an outlet with no obstructions, and halfway between the router and the “dead-zone” (where this is not possible in homes, experiment with using different outlets and see what works best).
- Make sure the extender is within range of the router so it can ALWAYS pick up the signal and not drop out.
- Try not to place extenders behind or under furniture or other obstructions
- If the extender has an antenna, point it in the direction the signal is needed.
- The more walls through which the signal must pass, the less likely performance will be guaranteed
- In open spaces, try to place the extender in the direct line of sight of the router
- In more difficult situations in homes where the router and the “dead zone” are diagonally opposite each other (e.g., the router is in the lower front room and the signal needs to reach the upper rear room), it’s trickier and you may have to do some experimenting. I have this problem now and I get the best results when I connect the extender to the upstairs landing. It’s still close enough to the router to pick up the signal, so it works very well. Try out the downstairs and upstairs outlets and see what gives the best speed/signal.
- If you can’t get a good signal using any of the main power outlets, you can also try plugging them into extension cords and power strips to install them in a different location between your main power sockets.
What If A Wi-Fi Extender Doesn’t Work Once It’s Been Unplugged & Moved?
It can sometimes happen that moving a Wi-Fi repeater actually makes it stop working. Here are some tips if you run into this problem:
- Wait 30-60 seconds for the connection to restore/refresh.
- Check your internet service hasn’t gone down (can devices get online via the main router?)
- Reconnect your device to the extender’s network manually if you haven’t enabled auto-reconnect on your device’s Wi-Fi network settings.
- Try moving the extender back very close to the router for a few minutes to refresh the signal, and then move it back again to where it was.
- Try using it in different wall sockets.
- Factory reset the extender by pushing a pin into the reset hole when it’s plugged in, and then reconfigure it again from scratch (see our guide for the different ways to do this).