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If you live in a sprawling house, you’ll understand the first-world problem of having weak wireless signals in certain parts of it. WiFi extenders are a great solution to this, as they drastically increase the overall range of your wireless network, often enough to cover the entire house. They’ve gotten smaller and more discrete with time, and now many are small enough to be plugged in a socket and forgotten in the background forever.
Best WiFi Extenders Reviewed
Wi-Fi extenders are invaluable if you live in a larger house. Whether it’s a multi-storied home or one that spans a large lateral space, instead of having bulky and ugly routers dispersed everywhere, a few discrete extenders will work exceptionally well.
In the most basic sense, WiFi extenders simply capture the signal from your router, boost it, and spread it all over within their set range. The performance of your wireless network tends to decrease drastically as signals get weaker, so it’s important to have stronger signals even at the fringes of your router’s range limit, and that’s where WiFi extenders work brilliantly.
We’ve handpicked what we believe are the five best WiFi extenders available right now. We’ve kept performance, pricing, form factor, and advanced features in mind while selecting them. Let’s get started.
NETGEAR Nighthawk X6S
Super-fast Extender with Lots of Ports
The Nighthawk X6S is a powerful AC3000 wireless extender that costs plenty but promises to greatly extend the range and speed of your wireless network by a large margin. It comes with a generous four gigabit Ethernet ports and features a whopping six antennas.
If you want the fastest Wi-Fi extender that can match speeds of one of your ultra-fast high-end routers, then there are few options that can beat the Netgear Nighthawk X6S.
It’s big, bulky, and kind of ugly, but the Netgear Nighthawk X6S surpasses just about every WiFi extender in pure performance and connectivity options. This odd-looking slab of black plastic may not be appealing to look at, but tuck it away somewhere safe, turn it on, and watch the magic happen.
The speed and performance of the Nighthawk X6S are possible thanks to its 6 antennas and tri-band functionality. Yes, you read that correctly: tri-band. This extender has the standard dual-band system at 2.4 GHz and 5Ghz but also features an additional 5GHz third band solely dedicated to communicating with your router. This results in much more efficient and faster data transfer speeds, which is one of the several features that give this extender its AC3000 ability.
Additionally, the Nighthawk X6S also comes with MU-MIMO. This technology lets the Nighthawk communicate with several devices at the same time, providing far better efficiency than other extenders which usually communicate with only a single device at a given time. The Nighthawk also keeps the same SSID (service set identifier) as your main router, which means you don’t have to reconnect to the extender and back to your router when you move around the house. The Nighthawk’s extended signal will identify as that of the router.
Finally, there are 4 Ethernet ports to make use of, so you can connect various devices to it such as gaming consoles and desktops that are far away from your main wireless router. The Netgear Nighthawk also features a single USB port for charging purposes, though it’s only a USB 2.0 port. The only complaint we have with this extender is its high price tag, but given how it beats the competition, it’s well worth it for large homes full of gamers and streamers.
Best for Big Homes
Three Antennas for Massive Coverage
The powerful TP-Link RE650 is a strong alternative to the NETGEAR Nighthawk. With 4 external antennas and a single gigabit Ethernet port, this dual-band Wifi extender is rated at AC2600 to greatly increase the range of your wireless signal.
Packed with great high-end wireless features and a wall-plug design, this is a powerful Wifi extender that every large home deserves.
If you live in a large house, you’ll understand the problems of having weak signals in certain areas. While more powerful wireless routers have been released in the last few years, they’re still not capable enough of providing high speeds closer to their range limit. That’s where Wifi extenders like the TP-Link RE650 are super-handy.
TP-Link has numerous extenders in the “RE” lineup, and the RE650 is their most powerful. It boasts AC2600 speeds, which means it can deliver speeds up to 1733Mbps on the 5GHz channels and 800Mbps on a 2.4GHz channel. Yes, it’s fast.
The range is also fantastic for a Wifi extender that plugs into the wall. Thanks to its powerful array of 4 antennas, this TP-link wifi extender is capable of delivering great speeds at up to 75 feet. Combine this with the native range of your wireless router and you should be able to cover almost every large house out there.
In addition to its great performance, you also get MU-MIMO for improved communication with multiple devices connected to this extender. Furthermore, this extender also supports Beamforming technology, which allows you to send target Wifi signals to a specific individual device for stronger (and faster) connections.
The downside to this extender is its bulky and large design. Even though this mounts to your wall socket, it’s large enough to obstruct any neighboring socket. It’s also not the cheapest out there. However, it does beat the Netgear Nighthawk in both its size and price.
Cheap and Reliable
The TP-Link RE200 isn’t the fastest WiFi extender on the planet, but it’s cheap and performs consistently. This extender is rated at AC750, meaning it can reach speeds up to 750Mbps. It is a dual-band range extender that is simple and reliable.
You don’t need to spend equivalent to what you’d buy a new router to get a nice Wifi extender. The TP-link RE200 wireless extender works well and won’t set you back close to $100.
The TP-Link RE200 is simple, effective, and reliable. It’s not going to blow you away with crazy speeds or give you the kind of extensive access that some of the more expensive wireless extenders will, but it’s not designed to. At less than $30, this Wi-Fi extender will give you consistent performance. Rated at 750Mbps, this isn’t a super-quick router, but it will greatly improve the throughput of your router over an extended range, which is the main reason to get an extender in the first place.
It’s important to note however that the TP-Link RE200 may not work too reliably out of the box. This isn’t because it’s a poor extender or you got a lemon – far from it. Instead, as should be common practice for any Wi-Fi extender, it’s paramount you update the firmware of this extender before using it.
Like many extenders, the TP-Link RE200 also features a single Ethernet port on board. However, this port is only limited to a conservative 100Mbps. This is common practice for cheaper extenders like this one, but it’s still considerably faster than Wi-Fi if you want to take advantage of this extender’s presence in a socket.
The D-Link DAP-1520 is a great affordable alternative to the TP-Link RE200. This is, once again, a simple yet effective little router. What it does have as an edge over the TP-Link RE200 is just how compact it is. There’s no “tail” that sticks out. The inconspicuous design and great affordability are what make it such a popular option for many.
D-Link integrates its DAP-1520 extender with two internal antennas. Yep, there are no longer things sticking out of this little device, which makes it even more discrete. This is a dual band extender that goes to speeds up to 750Mbps, much like the TP-Link RE200. Again, it’s not the fastest, peaking at just 433Mbps at 5GHz frequencies, but it’s good enough to do the job and boost the throughput at longer distances.
One major difference between the D-Link DAP-1520 and the TP-Link RE200 is that the former has no Ethernet port. That’s why we gave the TP-Link RE200 a slight edge, as otherwise the performance and functions of both devices are very similar. If you find the Ethernet port redundant or unnecessary though, you might want to consider this D-Link Wifi extender for its dirt cheap price.
If you’re looking for a high-performance Wifi extender that has the discreteness of the cheaper D-Link DAP-1520 but the speed and range of more expensive extenders, then Linksys might have the answer for you in the form of the RE7000.
This Wifi range extender comes packed with rich features, but it will never let you know until you actually use it. The design is highly discrete despite its high-performance. It’s a simple rectangular shaped box with a single LED up front. The heat vents to the side are a little larger which makes it slightly bulky, but this is still incomparable to some of the bulkier extenders that it competes against in-terms of performance.
The wireless standard in use with this device is AC1900, so it can reach speeds of up to 1733Mbps at 5GHz and 300Mbps at 2.4GHz. It has four in-built antennas inside it, and a single gigabit Ethernet port for tethered connectivity if you ever need it.
The Linksys RE7000 comes at a low price point for what it offers. There’s MU-MIMO technology integrated into this extender, so all the devices connected to it will get undivided love and attention if you want. But if you want to send stronger signals to a single device, you can use Cross-Band and Beamforming technology to optimize your Wi-Fi connection for specific devices. The device also features wireless MAC filtering.
We love the aesthetics of the Linksys RE7000 and what it offers in such a compact size. However, despite the large heat vents, the device does tend to get hot. Furthermore, while it may be the most discrete looking high-end wireless extender, it’s not the best in terms of performance, which is why we recommend the TP-Link RE650 above it.