Optus now offers includes an Optus Wifi Booster with certain NBN internet plans. I’m guessing Optus, like many ISPs were finding customers were having connection issues with a single router. If you’re struggling with slow Optus wifi, your wifi connection could be the culprit.
Large houses and modern concrete apartments can struggle with a single router. The signal will just not reach throughout the entire house. One option is to use a Wifi Booster.
Is the Optus Wifi Booster Worth it?
If you’re thinking about switching to Optus NBN and wondering whether the booster will fix your Wifi issues, then here is my take.
If you have a large house, the Optus Wifi Booster may do a great job of improving your Wifi. It’s included in some of the Optus NBN plans. You don’t have to use it. It shouldn’t degrade your Wifi network but it won’t be as efficient as one of the top Mesh Wifi Networks.
If you have NBN to the premise I would definitely look into Mesh Wifi. These are intelligent systems that are way better than standard Wifi Extenders. Instead of one router, your get lots of little mesh outlets that get placed throughout your home. These systems are expensive (I wouldn’t use one of the cheaper systems. My testing found them unreliable) but they do provide excellent coverage and reliability. The TP-Link Deco is my current mesh router of choice. It’s reasonably priced, very reliable and has a good set of features. These mesh systems also come with dedicated mobile apps which make them much easier to manage compared to the outdated browser based interfaces.
If you’re looking for cheaper alternative you could just use a standard wifi extender.
If you have NBN to the node, the Optus Wifi Booster is a better choice than a Mesh Router. The mesh systems won’t work well with your Optus Modem which is required for NBN to the node. (It is possible to setup mesh using the Optus router, but it is a complicated process beyond the scope of this post)
The Optus Wifi Booster vs Mesh Routers
Mesh Wifi systems can use three bands. 2.4ghz, 5ghz and a seperate backhaul band to connect the mesh system together. I currently have a mesh wifi system in my apartment and it blankets the entire place with super reliable Wifi. Unlike a Wifi extender, a mesh system is intelligent. It automatically connects you to the best mesh endpoint. With an extender you’re often stuck on a poorer connection until it drops completely and then you’ll connect to the router or extender.
I’m not entirely sure how the Optus Booster works as there are very few details from Optus on how the device functions.
I’m a huge fan of Mesh network systems like Eero or Google Wifi. They get continuous updates that improve their hardware. Optus doesn’t have the same engineering expertise. I imagine the Optus Booster is a badged product that has been built by a third party (although I’ll update this if I hear back from Optus regarding hardware specs).
If you want the best Wifi experience I would go with a Mesh system. These systems work best if you have NBN to the premise. They will not work well with VDSL or Fibre to the Node connection as you’ll still need a modem.
Will Smart Devices work on the Optus Wifi Booster
Some smart devices can have issues with band steering. This is where your 2.4ghz and 5gz networks have the same SSID (name) and the router chooses which band to connect to your device with based on signal strength. I know that the Mirabella Genio lights have problems with this type of setup. So you might find some smart devices won’t work with the Wifi Booster.
On the upside, if you have smart devices that connect directly to your Wifi, a booster may make them more reliable. I’ve found many of these devices have connectivity issues which is more often than not caused by a weak wifi signal. If you have smart devices such as outdoor smart lights that are located far from your router, the Optus Wifi Booster could potentially make them more reliable.