If your Wi-Fi router lacks enough oomph to reach all your devices or leaves you with dead zones around the home or office, you’ve got a problem. As much as a decent router can alleviate that problem, Wi-Fi extenders can push your signal even further. Our favorite is the TP-Link RE650, which offers high speeds and MU-MIMO compatibility. However, if you are looking for something a little less pricey, we have picked other great models as well, including some very affordable options.
For are more affordable solution to the problem, you could also learn how to convert a old router into a Wi-Fi extender of your own.
If you’re looking for an elite extender that doesn’t sacrifice your Wi-Fi quality (possibly for gaming, or for a larger office, etc.) then this AC2600 TP-Link model is an excellent choice. It comes with a high-speed mode that prioritizes a stable connection, and an intelligent signal indicator that will help you locate the right area for maximizing your Wi-Fi signal as much as possible–up to 14,000 square feet! It also supports the latest router technologies like MU-MIMO, so you don’t lose those advantages when extending your network. Like modern routers, this extender also uses beamforming to help maintain connections with wireless devices even if they aren’t MU-MIMO compatible.
It’s definitely the best extender we’ve found, but the price may be a little high for some buyers, especially those who don’t need to cover such a large area or who don’t need such a powerful signal. Fortunately, we have a lot of other options available for those who are looking for something less expensive! Check out below.
BTBSZ Mini Wireless Extender
On the other end of the scale, you may need something that’s incredibly affordable and a better fit for small areas. This little extender can provide extended Wi-Fi speeds up to 300 Mbps — not the highest we’ve seen, but enough for any basic internet tasks you can think of, especially if there’s only a couple of wireless devices around. Interestingly, this model offers several models for what you want to do: It can function as a router, a repeater, wireless ISP, and so on. It even supports wired connections. This is a great extender for a garage, sunroom, or other home area that may not get very reliable connections and could use a Wi-Fi boost.
This dual-band AC1200 extender can extend both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands at once. It’s also a great choice if you have multiple devices to connect directly — there are four Gigabit Ethernet ports on the device just for these situations. The WPA2 security is also top-notch, so you don’t have to worry about extending your network at the cost of security. It can also act as a more direct access point if necessary (it’s a repeater by default, but you can easily switch modes with the app-based controls). It’s a solid option if you use Wi-Fi to stream a significant amount of content and need a particularly reliable extender to make your network larger. However, note that this model does need a table or shelf to rest on!
This Linksys model may be small, but it packs a lot of power. The AC1900 extender can remove dead zones with intelligent beamforming, help you find the right location for plugging it in to get maximum coverage, and can increase your Wi-Fi zone by up to 10,000 square feet. It’s another extender that’s MU-MIMO compatible, so you don’t have to worry about upcoming compatibility issues for reliable connections to your newer devices. It also offers seamless roaming, a feature that automatically switches to the strongest Wi-Fi signal available as you move through the extended network, so you don’t need to worry as much about lingering on a poor wireless connection.
Netgear’s simple, effective dual-band extender is a nice middle-of-the-road compromise. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but it is a good 300Mbps extender with great reliability and a super-simple setup process for connecting and making sure the extender is working. Don’t let the Netgear brand fool you, either: This extender will work with any router that you’ve got. It also includes an Ethernet port for one wired connection if necessary. It’s nothing fancy, but it gets the job done and is a great fit for most homes.