Wi-Fi extenders can be very useful home networking gadgets for better wireless coverage in the home, but there can be some confusion as to how they work for first time users. For example, will devices automatically connect to them once you’ve set them up? Or do you need to find their network and enter the password every time to connect?
To get devices to auto-connect to an extender, simply check or toggle on the option to “connect automatically” (Windows) or “Auto reconnect” (phones) when connecting to the extender’s network.
Do this the first time you connect, and that device will always connect to the extender when in range, and you don’t have to worry about it.
Do Devices Auto Connect To A Wi-Fi Extender? (Plus How To Set It Up)
Devices will only automatically connect to a Wi-Fi extender (or in fact any router or other access point) if you select this option when connecting to it’s network. This just requires checking a box for Windows/PC devices, or toggling a switch on for phone/tablet devices.
On Windows, it looks something like this (check the box when finding and connecting to the extender’s SSID on your Wi-Fi network list):
And on phones/tablets, it looks something like this (open Settings…. Wi-Fi/Connections menu, find your extender’s network, and click on the Settings/cog icon next to it):
This makes sure your device will always connect to your extender’s network when in range, without you needing to click on it, or punch any passwords in.
If you don’t enable this option, but have entered the extender’s password and connected once before, then you can usually connect again just by manually clicking on it on the network list again. Enabling auto-reconnect just prevents you needing to do this and automatically re-connects you as soon as you’re in range of the extender again.
Configuring Devices To Auto-Connect To Multiple Access Points
You can use the Auto-connect feature for as many saved networks as you like in your device, as it’s a convenient feature to use.
For example, you can enable this for your extenders, but also for your main router when connecting to that as well. This can act as a kind of network “insurance policy”, whereby if you lose connection to your extender for whatever reason, your device will automatically connect you to your main router instead if possible, as a kind of backup. Vice versa as well.
Therefore it’s a good idea to enable auto-connect for all routers, extenders, mesh nodes or other access points in your home, as it means your devices can fall back on secondary connections if their primary ones fail temporarily, and you’re less likely to lose internet access.
Note however that devices won’t by default automatically connect to the “best” or “fastest” access point. They’ll only connect to a secondary saved network if it’s in range and they lose connection totally with the first access point. The auto-connect feature can act as a kind of backup to ensure there’s always some kind of connection to some access point that’s in range.