Which WiFi extenders are best?
A reliable internet connection at home has become non-negotiable in the modern world. While the routers in many households are enough to get by, others call upon WiFi extenders for increased ranges and coverage of dead spots. Finding the best WiFi extender depends largely upon your individual circumstances, but the best models used the right way can wipe out dead spots entirely.
A number of WiFi extenders may get the job done, but users have shared rave reviews about the Netgear EX7000 Mesh WiFi extender.
What to know before you buy a WiFi extender
Size of the space
Before you can find the best WiFi extender for your circumstance, you’ll need to know the rough size of the space you plan to cover with your WiFi extension. If there are just a few dead spots in one area of the house you want to cover up, you may be able to go with a WiFi extender that has a smaller range. Alternatively, those who hope to cover a huge space with their WiFi extender may want to find an extender that offers a much higher square footage.
Number of devices
It’s also helpful to consider the number of devices you usually have operating at one time when considering which WiFi extender to buy. In general, the more devices that are connected to the internet and running at the same time, the slower each device’s internet will be. As such, finding a powerful enough WiFi extender with dual-band connectivity can help users get the most of their WiFi, no matter how many devices are connected.
While some simply want a WiFi extender to re-broadcast their WiFi signal even further, others use ethernet ports on nearby WiFi extenders for a wired connection to devices like TVs, gaming consoles and other media hardware. If you plan to use ethernet ports on your WiFi extender, you’ll want to buy one that not only has them but also has enough to accommodate all the devices you plan to plug in.
What to look for in a quality WiFi extender
First and foremost, buyers looking for a WiFi extender will want to ensure the model they buy can accommodate the amount of space they’re looking to cover. While most WiFi extenders advertise the rough amount of square footage they can boost signals to, other factors can also affect how well a given model’s performance is in a certain space.
Another important factor to consider when looking at WiFi extenders is what speeds you need to accommodate with your extender. This will largely depend on the speeds you get through your provider’s plan, as well as the speeds offered by your internet router. If you’re getting speeds of roughly 600 Mbps, for instance, you’ll want to buy a WiFi extender that offers 600 Mbps or more to ensure you get access to the connection speeds you’re already paying for.
Dual-band WiFi extenders offer two separate WiFi broadcasting bands: one at 2.4 GHz and the other at 5.0 GHz. As a result, dual-band WiFi extenders can support connections to more devices and offer faster connections to devices connected to the differing WiFi bands.
How much you can expect to spend on a WiFi extender
The price of a WiFi extender can vary quite a bit, depending on the size of your space and the speed you need to accommodate. In general, WiFi extenders tend to cost between $15-$120, with a wide range of options at just about every price point in between.
WiFi extender FAQ
Are WiFi extenders the same as routers?
A. WiFi extenders are not the same as routers. While routers project your internet provider’s WiFi signal throughout a given space, WiFi extenders simply re-broadcast the existing signal to project it further or into specific spots where routers may not reach.
What are WiFi extenders used for?
A. WiFi extenders simply help to increase the distance a WiFi router’s signal is able to reach. They can also be used to help project powerful wireless connections into spots where the router can’t reach on its own, like behind walls, on other floors and in other dead spots.
What’s the best WiFi extender to buy?
Top WiFi extender
What you need to know: A powerful WiFi range extender, this model works great in spaces of up to 2,100 square feet and can accommodate internet speeds of up to 1,900 Mbps.
What you’ll love: This WiFi extender’s mesh, dual-band architecture allows it to extend a powerful WiFi signal throughout spaces of up to 1,900 Mbps, and it also offers five ethernet ports for wired devices. While it works best with other Netgear products, they’re also useful with other router brands.
What you should consider: This model is more expensive than most other WiFi extender solutions, despite offering a powerful solution.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.
Top WiFi extender for the money
What you need to know: For those on a serious budget, this small Netgear unit works well for smaller spaces and offers up to 300 Mbps of WiFi speed.
What you’ll love: The best part about this particular WiFi extender is its price, which most users are able to justify despite it having a little less functionality than other units. It includes one ethernet port and offers surprisingly strong connections suitable for most users.
What you should consider: Some buyers needed WiFi extenders with better ranges or speeds than this unit could offer.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If you’re looking for something with a lot of power, this WiFi extender from TP-Link offers speeds up to 2,600 Mbps in spaces of up to 14,000 square feet, all without breaking the bank.
What you’ll love: With such high speed and range offerings, this WiFi extender is great for 4K streaming and other performance-intensive content, and it also happens to offer a very user-friendly setup. It’s a very reliable unit, especially for such a reasonable price.
What you should consider: Some found the unit’s aesthetics to be a big downside, especially if they planned to plug it in somewhere out in the open.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.
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Zachary Visconti writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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