Unless you live in a smaller house or apartment, chances are you have a dark corner of internetless space in your home. It’s OK, it happens to the best of us. There are a few options available to you to address this concern. One emerging solution is a mesh network — a series of devices that all work together to blanket your home in Wi-Fi. You can see some of the best mesh network options in the link below, but another solution is to use a Wi-Fi extender.
Both of these systems work on the same principle — repeaters placed throughout your home all broadcast an internet signal. The key differences between mesh networks and Wi-Fi extenders are cost and basic function. A mesh network broadcasts a Wi-Fi signal to the entire home with the same SSID everywhere. A Wi-Fi extender creates a new network based on your old network. This isn’t necessarily a problem — your device should move from network to network as it needs to. It only becomes tricky when you are in an area where the extender is strong, but the other Wi-Fi is weak. You may need to manually reconnect to the extender’s network.
Cost is also a factor to consider when weighing your options. Mesh networks are expensive, easily reaching over the $300 mark for basic set-ups. That is 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 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.
1. TP-Link RE230 Wi-Fi Extender
The TP-Link AC750 RE220 was one of the most popular Wi-Fi range extenders because of its low price and great performance. A newer version follows suit and changes the design language. The TP-Link RE230 still costs under $30. And while it’s not the best performer in the industry, it outperforms some Wi-Fi extenders that cost more than twice the price.
The unit will work perfectly for medium spaces with dead spots, as it can cover up to 1,200sqft. Supported speeds cap at 750Mbps and it supports up to 20 device connections. Those are not amazing numbers, but you shouldn’t expect more out of a device with this price. If you have gigabit speeds and a plethora of devices, you might want to spend some more cash on something more powerful.
2. D-Link N300 Wireless Wi-Fi Extender
If you need a range extender on the cheap, the D-Link N300 is a great Wi-Fi extender for a super low price. It only supports 300Mbps speeds, but many users with less demanding needs will find said speeds sufficient. It also comes with a LAN port and a WPS button for easier connection.
3. D-Link DAP-1820-US AC2000 Wi-Fi range extender
The D-Link DAP-1820 works with both 2.4GHZ and 5GHz frequencies, at 300Mbps and 1,733Mbps respectively. It also comes with a gigabit port and features two external antennas. Like most other range extenders on this list, the DAP-1820 plugs into a wall outlet.
It’s very easy to set up. Not to mention the new design is very modern and sleek, making this one of the coolest-looking Wi-Fi extenders available in the market.
4. TP- Link AC2600
The AC2600 is fast and easy to set up. The unit comes with a built-in signal detector, making placement super easy in the house. Four external antennas support both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, at 800Mbps and 1,733Mbps respectively. This extender also comes with an iOS or Android app to manage your device. This high-performance range extender is one of the more expensive options around, but it is great for larger homes with high-speed internet connections and great and ideal for running multiple phones, laptops, gaming consoles, and smart home products.
5. Linksys RE9000 AC3000 Max-Stream
The Linksys RE9000 Max-Stream Tri-Band Wi-Fi Range Extender can give your network a serious upgrade. It’s pricier than many of the other best 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.
Check this: The RE9000 can extend your network by up to 10,000sqft. 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.
6. Netgear Wi-Fi Mesh Range Extender EX6250
The Netgear EX6250 is one of the best Wi-Fi extenders if you don’t mind spending about $100. Netgear takes things to a whole other level with this one, as this device’s technology can turn your existing router’s connection and turn it into a mesh network. It has universal compatibility and should work with any router. This means that you won’t have to deal with multiple networks and switching back and forth if you go with this Wi-Fi extender.
It’s also plenty powerful, giving you the ability to extend your coverage by up to 2,000sqft. It can connect with up to 32 devices and supports speeds of up to 1,750Mbps.
7. Netgear Wi-Fi Mesh Range Extender EX8000
Things start to get a little more serious with the Netgear EX800 Wi-Fi extender. This is essentially like the EX6250 but is made for much more demanding users. It also features mesh smart roaming using a single network for your entire home, but the rise in price will definitely have its perks.
This one can connect with up to 50 devices and can extend your coverage by up to 2,500sqft. Speeds are also substantially higher at up to 3,000Mbps. It was the best of its kind for some time.
8. Netgear Nighthawk WiFi 6 Mesh Range Extender 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 like 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 speeds of a whopping 6Gbps. Its dual-band set-up can also extend coverage by up to 2,500sqft. It provides nearly full router capabilities by adding four Ethernet and one USB port. It’s a total connectivity beast.