If you notice your Wi-Fi drops every time you walk upstairs, then your coverage isn’t reliable. Maybe your house is a little too spacious or the layout is not conducive for a consistent signal. This is where a wifi range extender comes in. This device works with the existing wireless router to improve performance in your home. I made this list as a starting point for your research for the best WiFi range extender, so let’s have a look at the alternatives:
Last update on 2021-07-26 at 02:18 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Our recommended WiFi Range Extenders:
TP-Link AC750 WiFi Extender – RE200
If you are looking for ways to extend your WiFi range, but not sure where to start your research from, this is a great candidate to consider. This product from TP-Link was the first range extender I’ve ever bought and until now it works as intended. The device is very easy to set up and will allow you to use your favorite devices, mobiles, home assistants, etc in a wider area of the extent of your signal.
This is a great product that thanks to its Ethernet port you can also connect wired devices that don’t have WiFi, plus it’s perfect for people like me that prefer a wired connection for devices that stream content. It is backward compatible with any WiFi network and will work with any router or access point allowing it. You can upgrade your gear or extend your network without worries.
This range extender from TP-Link works as a dual-band with 2.4GHZ and 5GHz bands available for your to connect. This is a great way to split devices in those two bands so that they don’t get saturated and work at their max performance. If you want to stream content, play online games, or share files at the same time, such solutions are vital in order to avoid lag or buffering.
Overall, this is a great product that can be found at a great price. I find that it is very easy to use once you read the instructions, and can help extend your WiFi network with minimal investment. It can work with any router, and any Operating System, so if you are looking for a budget-friendly option for your home, this is a great product that worth having a closer look at. If you need longer range, higher speeds, or have to connect more devices on the same Extender you can always go for higher-end TP-Link products on this list.
TP-Link N300 WiFi – TL-WA855RE
I wanted to include this WiFi extender on the list for people looking for a cheap option to extend their network without a need for bells and whistles. I bought this as a gift for a friend that is not computer savvy so I had to set it up the first time. This is a great product that can be found at a really low price, in fact, it’s probably the cheapest WiFi range extender on this list. If you are on a limited budget, this is the perfect product to start your research from.
The unit supports slower speeds than our other recommendations, but still, 300mbps is still enough to handle the needs of a home user. After all, as technology advances, you will upgrade in the future in order to handle greater speeds anyway, so this is a great way to extend the range of your router without investing a fortune. If you absolutely need high transfer speeds the other alternatives on the list can be more useful.
This extender works on 2.4GHz and features two external antennas that are able to provide even more range than standard extenders. It can be used to cover up to 800 square feet and allow for easy setup with the press of a button. Overall, for its price, this is a great product to consider if you need to simply extend your WiFi.
The only drawback is the speed and the fact that it works only on one bank, but for its price, you can’t ask for more features. If I were you, I would bite the bullet and invest a little more for a higher-end model from TP-Link to have a dual bank, and great speeds for future use, but still this is probably the greatest value for money product you can find online.
Things to consider when looking for the best WiFi range extender:
If you have too many doubts about the kind of device you need, we’ve done the legwork for you. Here are the things to consider when buying a wifi range extender:
Speed. The speed of a Wi-Fi range extender is indicated in Mbps. You should check the Wi-Fi speed supported by the extender. In addition to that, you should look for the latest Wi-Fi standards – 802.11ac. This means that you can play online games and stream HD quality video without glitches. What if the extender doesn’t support 802.11ac? No problem. Keep in mind this is the easiest way to upgrade the network without replacing your router. If you use 802.11N- router, you don’t need to buy the 802.11ac model. However, you can buy an extender that supports 802.11AC.
Since all boosters will not show you the speed, you want to be sure you get what you need. Perhaps the best approach is to understand the speed your internet provider offers. Another way is to look at the speed you receive on all devices that are Wi-Fi enabled. To be on the safe side, you should buy a device that exceeds your actual speed by 50%. This is because all extenders don’t give the rated speed.
Dual-band. If the extender has a dual support band, then it can use 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. The 2.4GHz was the original band but it was crowded. You can use it for web surfing with wireless devices. The 5GHz is less crowded and is the best to use to watch videos. This is not the kind of frequency that gets blocked by walls easily. With a dual-band extender, you get plenty of options and the smoothest wireless experience possible.
A higher frequency means higher speed but a lower range. On the other hand, a lower frequency means it’s much easier to transmit the signals through the walls. This fact remains true in spacious rooms and apartments. When it comes to speed and frequency, there’re so many options to look for.
Wire mesh or wired backbone. The wifi mesh device connects to the router and then repeats the wireless signal. With this approach, you connect the wireless device and the router at the same time. This means that only 50% of the bandwidth gets to the router. So the further you place the router, the less bandwidth you get.
A wired-based extender connects directly to the wifi router and saves the bandwidth for the other devices. This, in turn, leads to a faster and strong wifi signal. If you have coax wiring in your home, you should use a wired-based extender. Nevertheless, you can still use a wireless extender for instant coverage.
Ethernet ports. Wifi range extenders come with Ethernet ports for better speed. While most devices are fitted with FE ports, they only allow up to 100Mbps. You may want to consider buying an extender that uses Gigabit Ethernet ports (GE) ports. And if you want to attach external hard drives and printers, you may want to consider those devices with USB ports. Most extenders can be plugged directly into wall outlets, so they are a convenient option for most people.
Frequency coverage. Just like a router, the frequency coverage of the wifi range extender matters. All the range you see on these devices doesn’t consider the walls. When you see two ranges on a wifi extender, don’t get confused with the area coverage and distance in a direct line. Some show a range of up to 43 feet provided there’re no walls on the way. Others can show the range in the format sq. While 6000 sq. ft. sounds a lot, this is only 43 feet on a straight line. Before you make your investment decision, be sure to consider the distance the signal can travel. If your wifi gives a signal of up to 100 feet, you may want to place the extender after 100 feet to strengthen the signal.
Modes. Wifi range extenders come in different modes. If you choose an extender with the repeater mode, then it receives the wifi connection from the router, boosts it, and redistributes it again. In other words, you get the same wireless broadband but in different locations.
An extender with the wireless router mode means that you can use it as a router alone. But why go for a low-quality wifi extender if you have to lose the signal instead of gain. The client mode allows the user to plug Ethernet cables into the extender for direct connection. This is the best device if you’re using a PC that does not have wireless capability.
Waterproofing. What if you want to set up your extender outdoors? Well, you need a waterproof wifi extender. Before you make the purchase, pay should close attention to the IP rating. If there’s no IP rating, then stay away from it. The lowest number you should go for is IP65.
Ease of management. When you update the network name or encryption, you must set a new password. If you do the same on the router, you have to set up the extender again. Thankfully, the wifi mesh extender solves this problem. Once you set it up, you don’t have to repeat the process when you change the passwords. Another area to look at is parental control. The truth is, the modern home has a mix of smartphones, notebooks, and tablets connected to the net. A wifi range extender should allow you to track your children’s surfing habits.
You should also consider a device that allows you to choose the channel you want to send your band on. It should also help you to learn the traffic patterns. In some wifi extenders, the service provider can monitor and troubleshoot the device. This also means that you can fix the problem over the phone without someone having to come to your home.
To ensure you get the most from the wifi extender, you must identify your Wi-Fi dead zone. You should place the device halfway point between the dead zone and the router. But beyond speed and bands, there are tons of features to consider. For the best performance, you should match the extender with your wireless devices.