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What Is a DECT Extender?

Alex Newth
Alex Newth

A digital enhanced cordless telecommunications (DECT) extender, also known as a DECT repeater, is a device that increases the effective range of a DECT phone. A DECT extender will work by being plugged into an outlet, or it may run on batteries, depending on the model. Some phones will need to be registered with the extender to ensure that only certain phones can use the signal, while others will work with any phone in range. This is meant for homes or businesses that are especially large, have thick walls or have poor reception. While phones are the most common DECT devices, devices such as computers and fax machines also will benefit from the extender.

The DECT specification deals with wireless communication and enhances the older, analog system of transmitting audio signals. While this improves on older systems, cordless technology still has an effective range. After the device leaves that range, the device will stop working, experience delays in signal transference or receive noticeable static. A DECT extender alleviates these problems.

A fax machine may benefit from a DECT extender.
A fax machine may benefit from a DECT extender.

An extender will connect to a wall outlet or run on batteries, depending on the model. Both types of units remain on, in sleep mode, until a DECT device is detected nearby. When this occurs, the unit will come out of sleep and generate a DECT signal that allows the device to work, even if the device is no longer in the main station’s effective range.

A DECT extender may be used to extend the range of a baby monitor.
A DECT extender may be used to extend the range of a baby monitor.

Some DECT extenders need to have the phones registered to the extender, and others will accept any nearby DECT phone. Registering may prove irritating at first, but it will keep neighbors from using the DECT extender and drawing power from it. The latter needs no setup, but the signal may weaken if many phones are using it at once.

The most common users of DECT extender devices are homes and businesses that are large or have thick walls. This is because the DECT main station range is not enough for the property or the effective range is blocked because walls are getting in the way. Secondary customers are those with poor reception, because the extender may be able to boost signal strength.

Primarily, a DECT extender is meant for phones, because phones are the most common DECT unit. Other devices that use the DECT signal are fax machines, computers and baby monitors. The extender will work the same for these devices as it would with a phone.

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Discussion Comments


@miriam98 - The article says you’d need to have pretty thick walls or a huge house to suffer from distance problems with your phone. If you have neither, I don’t think you’d need the extender.

I think I understand the technology however. Having worked in the telecommunications industry, I can tell you that we had something called a repeater. This wasn’t for households but for entire phone lines.

A digital repeater would take a phone signal and repeat it to enable it to continue to reach its destination. These were digital signals, and repeating simply involved taking the original digital signal and duplicating it.

I don’t know much about the DECT extender but I guess maybe it would do something similar.


While I think DECT extenders are useful, I’ve noticed lately that cordless hand phone manufacturers have improved their technology so that the digital phones are able to deliver reception over longer distances on their own.

In this lineup of phones is the Panasonic DECT 6.0 cordless phone for example. It’s a digital phone system that provides long talk time and extended ranges. I haven’t used it myself so I can’t really vouch for its effectiveness.

I can say, however, that when we moved from our first small house to our larger house we swapped to a digital cordless phone precisely because we wanted better performance.

We bought a digital system (it wasn’t Panasonic) and it’s worked great, much better than the old analog line system that we had.

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    • A fax machine may benefit from a DECT extender.
      By: Rob Byron
      A fax machine may benefit from a DECT extender.
    • A DECT extender may be used to extend the range of a baby monitor.
      By: Dalia Drulia
      A DECT extender may be used to extend the range of a baby monitor.