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The best Wi-Fi extenders you can buy today
Unless you live in a small house or apartment, the chances are good there’s a dark corner of your home your Wi-Fi network can’t reach. It’s alright, it happens to the best of us. There are a few options available to you to fix this. One solution is a mesh network — a series of devices that work together to blanket your home in Wi-Fi signals. However, one of the more affordable options is to give a Wi-Fi extender a try.
These systems work on the same principle — repeaters placed throughout your home broadcast an internet signal further. The key differences between mesh networks and Wi-Fi extenders are cost and function. A mesh network broadcasts a Wi-Fi signal to the entire home with the same SSID, and devices switch seamlessly from node to node. A Wi-Fi extender creates a new network based on your old network. This shouldn’t be a problem — your device should move from network to network as it needs to. Things don’t always work so seamlessly with repeaters, though. You may sometimes have to switch manually.
Cost is the other factor to consider when weighing your options. Mesh networks are expensive, effortlessly passing the $300 mark for basic set-ups. That’s almost ten times the cost of some extenders. With that in mind, here is our list of the best Wi-Fi extenders you can buy, and some of them can even turn your current set-up into a mesh system!
The best Wi-Fi extenders
Editor’s note: We will be updating this list as more Wi-Fi extenders are released.
Let’s start with something that finds a pretty good balance between value and performance. The TP-Link RE505X isn’t exactly cheap, but its MSRP sits comfortably at $89.99, and you can tell the difference when compared to the cheaper Wi-Fi extenders. This device can extend your Wi-Fi network by 1,500 square feet and handle up to 25 devices connected simultaneously. The TP-Link RE505X also supports Wi-Fi 6, making it a faster extender that tops off at 1.5Gbps.
This Wi-Fi extender is compatible with all devices and routers, but it has a little something that may entice you to use it with a TP-Link router. It supports OneMesh, which means it can become a mesh node when used with a OneMesh-supporting router from the same brand.
D-Link is another trendy networking brand, and the DAP-X1870 is one of the best Wi-Fi range extenders out there. It supports Wi-Fi 6 too, but its speeds are slightly higher at 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz frequency and 1,200Mbps on the 5GHz frequency. It also covers up to 2,000 square feet, which is nice in the world of Wi-Fi extenders.
As it goes with most modern Wi-Fi extenders, this one can also create a mesh network. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be connected to a router of the same brand to do so. It can use the 802.11 k/v standard to offer smart roaming, making it possible for devices to switch between nodes automatically.
The current trend in the best Wi-Fi extenders is Wi-Fi 6, more device connections, broader coverage, and fast internet speeds. The Linksys RE7350 meets all these requirements. This unit can extend coverage by 2,000 square feet, and speeds can reach 1.8Gbps. Linksys also offers some excellent features to improve your experience. Spot Finder can help you find the perfect location for your extender to maximize performance.
MU-MIMO provides more bandwidth for multiple simultaneous users. You’ll also love the fact that it works with any router, including the seamless roaming feature. Beamforming tech will also focus signals directly to your devices, making sure to increase the signal where it matters. It’ll cost a bit more, but you get a lot for the extra cash.
The Linksys RE9000 Max-Stream Tri-Band Wi-Fi Range Extender can give your network a serious upgrade. It’s pricier than many other Wi-Fi range extenders but offers similar or better features than the more expensive ones. This makes it very much worth your cash if you want performance.
The RE9000 can extend your network by up to 10,000 square feet. It has a tri-band system with a single 2.4GHz band and a couple of 5GHz ones. MU-MIMO technology improves multiple user performance, and it even has 4 Ethernet ports for physical connections. Speeds can reach up to 1.2Gbps, which sets it lower than some of the other extenders in this list, but is still more than enough for most users.
NETGEAR is known for offering some of the best Wi-Fi extenders around, but their designs can often be a little too much. This is one of their more discrete options, but it can still perform.
The small unit can extend your network by 1,500 square feet, and over 20 devices can connect to it. Speeds can also reach 1.8Gbps if your internet can provide that amount of data. It also works with any router, supports smart roaming technology, and can be controlled with an app.
NETGEAR Nighthawk EAX80
The NETGEAR Nighthawk EAX80 is for demanding users who want the absolute best money can buy, but it will cost you. The high price point will get you a mesh Wi-Fi extender that can turn any network into a mesh one. It has features to throw around, starting with Wi-Fi 6 compatibility.
It can connect with over 30 devices at a whopping 6Gbps speed. Its dual-band set-up can also extend coverage by up to 2,500 square feet. It provides nearly full router capabilities by adding four Ethernet and one USB port. Furthermore, it works with any router and supports seamless roaming for switching between nodes as you move through the house.
You’ve probably seen the TP-Link RE220 either at a store or people’s houses. This is one of the most popular Wi-Fi extenders for multiple reasons. For starters, it’s one of the most affordable Wi-Fi extenders, but it can provide plenty of value to most users.
The unit can extend your Wi-Fi coverage by 1,200 square feet and connect to 20 devices simultaneously. Speeds aren’t as impressive at 750 Mbps, but most people don’t even have internet speeds to match that. You can even use it as a mesh node with a compatible TP-Link router. All that for $34.99 MSRP, which is usually heavily discounted these days. Talk about value!
Did it feel good to see an affordable option on this list? Here’s another one, and this one is a bit better. The NETGEAR EX6120 can extend your network by 1,500 square feet, and connect with up to 25 devices at once. Not only that, but speeds are also faster than the TP-Link RE220’s at 1.2Gbps.
As expected, it also works with any router or cable modem. It’s a no-hassle Wi-Fi extender that can be set up in minutes and offers a simple yet great experience. It’s also pretty discrete, and plugs straight to an outlet.
Have you figured out none of these Wi-Fi extenders are enough, and you want to give a mesh network a try? Check out our link below to find out what the best options are. Be ready to spend more cash, though.