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What’s the difference: Wi-Fi Booster; Extender; Repeater; Antenna; Hotspot?

What’s the difference: Wi-Fi Booster; Extender; Repeater; Antenna; Hotspot?


People often ask us: “I’m trying to get better range from my Wi-Fi. What’s the difference between a Wi-Fi Extender, Booster and Repeater, Antenna and Hotspot for Wi-Fi?” While some people use the terms carelessly, and there is some overlap, it’s important to know the difference.

Wi-Fi Antenna

The Wi-Fi Antenna is just that – the antenna and nothing else. It is a device that receives a radio signal (such as Wi-Fi). The question is whether the antenna does anything with the signal – some antennas have built in electronics, many don’t.

Wi-Fi Hotspot

A Wi-Fi Hotspot shares your Internet connection locally. That’s way you can use your smartphones, tablets, and computers. On a boat, you might also have Wi-Fi navigation and sensing devices. Many Wi-Fi Extender systems don’t include a hotspot. This makes the setup more difficult and costs you more money in the long run.

Wi-Fi Booster

The Wi-Fi Booster might mean any improvement to give you better Wi-Fi from your existing hotspot.

Wi-Fi Extender or Wi-Fi Repeater

A Wi-Fi Extender or Wi-Fi Repeater can mean the same thing: a system that picks up Wi-Fi from some distance so you can use its Internet connection locally, ideally with a local hotspot on your end. If you’re a boater, RV or Camper owner, be careful because many small cheap units are made for use in the home where they only need to boost the signal a few feet. Many of us need to connect to a signal from miles away. That’s why we created the RedPort Halo Long Range Wi-Fi Extender System.

RedPort Halo Long-range Wi-Fi Extender System

The RedPort Halo long-range WiFi Extender System takes a weak WiFi signal from a public or private Wi-Fi source (a marina, for example, or truck stop, basecamp, etc)  and boosts it, repeating it back to you up to 7 miles away in perfect conditions. The Halo System is the perfect all in one solution for anyone needing to connect to Wi-Fi outdoors and just offshore.

The RedPort Halo Long-range Wi-Fi Extender system includes the following:

  • Long-range Wi-Fi antenna – our amplified antenna uses the highest power level allowed by law to give you maximum Wi-Fi range. Up to 7 miles in perfect conditions.
  • Wi-Fi Extender – connected to the antenna, this device understands the Wi-Fi signal and processes it for repeating.
  • Optimizer Wi-Fi Hotspot – Gives you a local Wi-Fi hotspot that seamlessly works with the antenna and lets you connect your Wi-Fi devices. It even shares NMEA data for use with your compatible marine electronics.
  • Stainless Steel Mount/10M cable – Standard and rugged marine-grade mount stands up to extreme conditions on land or sea.

With the Halo, you can quickly and easily connect all of your smartphones, tablets, and computers at the same time for families, friends or work situations.

What Users Think of the Halo

“Here is the winner. It was easy to install and works like a charm, has plenty of power, pulls in a weak signal, covers a range up to 7 miles, works wonderfully on Skype and gives us freedom to work simultaneously on multiple devices like a laptop and iPad and was not breaking the bank…I liked what I saw, this unit was the top of the bunch for Marine and RV application, weatherproofed with o-rings and silicon rubber seal, carrying tube machined out of stainless steel with incorporated 1”-14 thread to accept the Standard Marine Antenna Mount, included was a neat “Optimizer” router which could handle Cell Networks, Satellite Phone for Satellite Internet beside the “Red Port Halo WiFi Extender”. Included too was a 32 ft coiled up Antenna/Power Cable, a bag with assorted Hardware and an easy to follow Quickstart Guide and Setup Manual. A truly professionally, nicely put together package by someone, who must have done a lot of research.” -Marlene and Benno Klopfer

Quick and Easy Connection

We understand the difficulties and guess work involved when shopping for a new Wi-Fi set up. At the GMN we believe we take care of that. With the Halo Long-range Wi-Fi Extender System, everything you need is in the box. Our all-in-one solution provides you with the best Wi-Fi connectivity as quickly and easily as possible.

GMN has numerous awards and certifications for technical innovation. For more information on how GMN is changing the way we connect – whether ship-to-shore or in an RV visit

halo wifi system consultation


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