The best WiFi extenders may eliminate wireless dead spots in your house by spreading your Wi-Fi service across a broader region. Your home network’s range can be increased without spending a fortune by sending a signal farther than your current router can.
These little, inexpensive devices, often referred to as Wi-Fi repeaters, Wi-Fi boosters, or signal boosters can increase your Wi-Fi signal where it is needed while frequently costing a lot less than upgrading to one of the best mesh routers.
We’ve thoroughly tested and reviewed a number of popular WiFi extenders, and this is how they compare to powerline adapters. These range from affordable wall plugs that can be hidden behind a sofa to desktop models that put power above looks.
The finest WiFi extender for you is the one that most effectively increases the range of your Wi-Fi, even though there are many features and functionalities to take into account (they can even boost network speed if placed in the right location). For the greatest guidance when choosing a Wi-Fi extender, we tested every model, no matter how big, tiny, affordable, or pricey it was.
Table of Contents
1. Netgear AX1800 WiFi Extender
The Netgear AX1800 Mesh Extender (EAX20) was already a candidate for the best WiFi extender available with WiFi 6 speeds and even mesh functionality built right in. The proof is in the performance, despite the fact that not everyone will be thrilled by its huge desktop style without a plug-in design, there’s no hiding this extension behind the sofa or in the corner, and a price that’s more expensive than comparable routers. The Netgear EAX20 definitely lives up to expectations, boasting industry-leading speeds and a fantastic 95-foot range.
The Netgear EAX20 expands networks that are quicker and have a longer range than the competitors. It does this quite effectively. It’s easy to conclude that this admittedly pricey extension is well worth the money when you consider the customizing choices it offers and the additional layer of internet protection it adds to assist safeguard your home network.
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2. TP-Link RE505X WiFi Extender
The TP-Link RE505X comes with a vital feature you really require if you enjoy buying the newest gadgets and devices and have a lightning-fast internet connection: Wi-Fi 6. The fastest Wi-Fi technology now available, 802.11ax has potential speeds that are nearly three times as fast as Wi-Fi 5. The caveat is that in order for you to receive any benefits, both your router and your devices must support Wi-Fi 6.
Despite the technical jargon, this simply means that Wi-Fi 6 is faster and more effective than Wi-Fi 5, allowing for more simultaneous connections without experiencing a lag. Wi-Fi 6 connections also reduce the power consumption of linked devices, which may result in longer battery life. Get the TP-Link RE505X if you own one of these devices so you can benefit from Wi-Fi 6 throughout your house rather than just the area near your router.
3. Netgear Nighthawk X4 WiFi Extender
The Netgear Nighthawk X4 will do the trick if you’re satisfied with your router’s general performance and simply want enhanced Wi-Fi coverage. Our favorite Wi-Fi extender is this one since it is easy to set up, offers great performance and coverage, and is reasonably priced.
This extender is excellent for extending a network to a different level or the far corners of a big house because it has a range of up to 2,000 square feet. It can manage numerous devices simultaneously.
The AC2200 portion of the name indicates that it can simultaneously deliver 2.2Gbps of bandwidth, which is sufficient to simultaneously stream Netflix in 4K, conduct video chats on FaceTime, and maintain a competitive advantage in online games on multiple devices.
We’ve got an explanation of what that actually means here. Actually, your internet access won’t be this quick, but if you pay extra for a lightning-fast connection, you should be aware that this device will handle it.
It is made to plug straight into a wall socket and supports WPS push-button configuration, making it incredibly simple to set up and use. Since it lacks an outlet pass-through, it only uses one outlet while leaving the other open.
This extension will also work with any non-Wi-Fi equipped gadgets you may have. A network cable can be used to connect a smart TV, gaming console, or anything else that needs a connected connection to the Ethernet port on the Nighthawk X4.
4. Linksys RE7310 WiFi Extender
The Linksys RE7310 trailed TP-Link for second place in 2022 but performed nearly equally well on most residential networks. The RE7310 delivered average Wi-Fi 6 download speeds of 132Mbps throughout the entire multistory house in the CNET Smart Home, where we have a fiber internet subscription with upload and download speeds of up to 150Mbps. That barely falls 4Mbps short of TP-top Link’s pick. For the uploads, Linksys achieved a 124Mbps whole-home average to my Wi-Fi 6 test device. That lags TP-Link by 2Mbps.
The RE7310 performed somewhat less well with Wi-Fi 5 devices from an earlier generation, especially in terms of upload speeds, which is the only thing preventing me from declaring a virtual tie between the two.
Even so, overall performance was good enough for me to make video calls in the Smart Home’s basement dead zones, something I would have had trouble doing with only the one router I used for my tests. The RE7310 is the greatest Linksys range extender I’ve tested so far, despite its large appearance. If you can find it cheap, it’s an especially excellent choice.
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5. Netgear Orbi RB50Y WiFi Extender
Although every range extender may theoretically distribute a Wi-Fi signal outside, especially if you install it close to a window, very few are truly tough enough to withstand the elements. The Netgear Orbi RB50Y is the best choice if you want to provide Wi-Fi coverage for a sizable outside region.
Although it is somewhat expensive, it is weatherproof, compatible with almost any router, and has three data bands, so it can easily handle many connections at once. The Orbi RBS50Y has a robust IP66 rating, which means it can survive high-pressure water jets coming at it from various angles.
The Wi-Fi signal may theoretically be disrupted by hitting this extender with a garden hose, so a little rain and wind shouldn’t bother it. You’ll be alright as long as you don’t knock it into the water.
The Orbi RBS50Y offers excellent connection in addition to being weatherproof. With three data bands and 3Gbps of bandwidth to distribute among your devices, it can cover an area of up to 2,500 square feet. Your network should function exactly as well and quickly outside as it does inside with those specifications.
6. D-Link’s DAP-1720 WiFi Extender
The DAP-1720 from D-Link can help saturate a home with Wi-Fi, is simple to set up, and has a useful mobile app for controlling device settings. It is a useful tool for expanding the range of your router thanks to features like a built-in Ethernet connector that supports Gigabit speeds and a physical on/off switch, but it delivers uneven performance and is so big that it may obstruct nearby AC outlets.
The D-Link DAP-1720 operates exceptionally well when pushing signal to a floor above or below, despite some inconsistent performance. Because of its verticality, it is one of the best Wi-Fi extenders for extending signal to every floor of a multistory home, making it the ideal option for anyone who has Wi-Fi signal drops when going upstairs or downstairs.
How we evaluate WiFi range extenders
Every Wi-Fi extender we examine is rated using a combination of in-depth performance tests and practical experience in a real house. We can clearly see how well each gadget performs thanks to the combination of real-world use and controlled benchmark testing.
We utilize Ixia’s IxChariot testing software to gauge throughput at various distances and environmental settings in order to benchmark Wi-Fi extenders and other networking hardware. This involves testing the extension at distances of 50 and 75 feet from a router.
This software measures the back-and-forth data flow while simulating wireless network traffic on a congested network. Higher numbers represent better performance, and the results are displayed in megabits per second (Mbps) at a distance from the extender.
You can get a better notion of how well a gadget will perform when it comes to covering the farthest reaches of your home with a stronger wireless signal by determining the effective range of each extender by measuring the throughput at various distances.
Additionally, we test each product in a real home with brick walls that block wireless signals and robust construction that might be challenging for basic routers. We utilize the network for a variety of tasks in that setting, including streaming movies and music, additional testing, and even writing evaluations.
Along with all of the settings and administration options a device offers, all of our reviews also include extra information about the setup procedure, such as the quirky and cool design features. Check out the entire reviews for more information on any of the top Wi-Fi extenders listed above.
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Are Wi-Fi extenders necessary?
How do you know which option is ideal for you when there are so many available alternatives for improving your home network, such as purchasing a new router or mesh router, installing a Wi-Fi extender, or adding a powerline extender?
It’s possible that you won’t need to acquire a new Wi-Fi router if your current one can sufficiently cover the majority of your home. If you have a room or area of your home where the internet consistently drops, a Wi-Fi extender is the ideal solution. Wi-Fi extenders are excellent for getting rid of specific wireless dead spots, extending the range of your Wi-Fi signal to reach a distant room, or giving it a little extra power to reach the next floor.
The best mesh Wi-Fi systems, which employ many devices to create a bigger shared network, may be necessary if you have significant areas of your home or property that don’t receive adequate Wi-Fi. A mesh kit is a better option if you want to extend your coverage to the garage or garden, have many rooms with patchy service, or live in a remote part of the house that your router just can’t reach.