What is a wi-fi extender? To put this in a simple way for you, wi-fi extenders help you widen the range supported by your wi-fi router or your wi-fi access point. Technically, a wi-fi extender might be a repeater which simply tries to understand a weak signal and then reproduce it to make it stronger.
A wi-fi extender might also be an independent router when it plays a wi-fi client in your main wi-fi network then provides the internet it has to its own subnetwork. In both cases, you’ll get a better and stronger wi-fi signal.
1. Router design wi-fi extenders
Some extenders are designed to look a lot like a router itself. This design has the advantage of power and speed. It provides the best speed for the largest coverage area possible using the least power possible, though, the least power possible for this type might be a lot higher than the others, with much lower speed. The support for media streaming prioritizing, gaming features, and Ethernet ports is also available. The CPUs process the packets at a ridiculously high speed and are paired with a fair amount of RAM. Our best pick for this type of router is the Amped RTA2600-R2 Wireless Athena-R2 High Power AC2600 Wi-Fi Router with MU-MIMO
2. Minimalistic Extenders
The minimalist extenders are designed in the factories for people who want to extend their wifi network but lack space to put a large, monstrous device in. They might or might not include one or two antennas to maintain their beautiful and elegant design. Two antennas are always better than one, and one antenna is always better than zero of them, but looks are important to people, though. Check this out for more details about this kind TP-Link AC750 WiFi Extender (RE220)
3. USB wifi extenders
When an electricity socket is unavailable or you simply don’t want to reach out to one, a USB wifi extender is worth a check. It is designed to be plugged into your computer and operates with the little 5V-0.5A omitted by your computer. Sometimes it can be plugged to a power bank, your car, or anything with a USB port. Isn’t that the easiest thing in the world? Yes, in exchange, you can’t get to the best speed and best coverage area because of the device’s size that holds back the potentials of the hardware.
Plus, it gets hot after a while by not having a great airflow and cooling system. This usb wifi extender from TUOSHI is a great product of this kind. TUOSHI USB WiFi Range Extender.
1. How many devices do you want to use with your extender?
Sharing the same capabilities with a router, a wifi extender is usually made to support up to 32 devices, stated on the box. In real life, this is just 50% accurate. When you use too many devices with the extender, it gets hotter and hotter every minute, the performance then decreases dramatically to the point no one can do anything. Evidently, determining the number of devices using the extender in your house is a must before buying.
5 - 9 devices: This is the most popular option for people and for brands to offer. Any available non-USB devices on the market right now would be powerful enough to support less than 10 devices in the scenarios of extending the signal.
More than 10 devices: Please note that if you plan to use 10 devices with your extender, you gotta make sure that your network and the original wifi router can handle that many devices at the same time. It requires a strong CPU, much RAM, and good antennas for this. I recommend that you buy this Amped RTA2600-R2 Wireless Athena-R2 High Power AC2600 Wi-Fi Router with MU-MIMO as a performance choice, or otherwise, buy multiple “weak” devices to form a giant network.
2. Where is the extender?
There are two situations where you need to use an extender:
Your room is too big: In this case, it is advised that the extender is put at the opposite corner of your room to your primary wifi router, but to make sure that nothing blocks in the way the signal travels from one corner to the other. Keep in mind that the repeater only works when it stays in a fairly accessible spot of the original network.
You live in a multi-floor house: This case is actually easier than the case I’ve mentioned before. The best thing and the first thing everyone thinks of is to put at least one router in every floor of the house. That makes sense, intuitively and technically. A set of same-brand routers should come in handy here because they need collaboration.
3. Power of extender
Not much different from how a router works, you need a 24/7 power to the extender. Even if you plan to use a USB router, constant power supply is still required. Disconnecting the extenders should be okay and simply rebooting it will again give you internet access. However, it takes more than 2 minutes of time to boot and start the connecting sequence, so you don’t want it to be frequently disconnected from the power source.
Once you’ve prepared yourselves enough for the extender, the space, the power, consider products in our list below when you buy on off amazon.com.
Created by the big brand Netgear, the Nighthawks are always monsters in performance. This beast claims to cover an area of up to 2300sqft of extending and support up to 45 devices accessing at the same time. It is built with the 802.11 ac standard, which can also be called the Wifi-5, allowing the data to flow at the rate of 2.2Gbps. This could be bad news to the wifi lovers when the Nighthawk doesn’t support the latest Wi-Fi 6, but the Nighthawk is gonna evolve in the future, so regularly check out at netgear.com for new products.
- 45 devices supported.
- 802.11ac standard of 2.2Gbps throughput.
- Large coverage area of up to 2300sqft.
Add it to your card by clicking the link here. The Netgear Nighthawk X6 EX7700 Mesh
2. Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000
Based on the X6, the Nighthawk X6S is an improved version of its brother. The X6S is redesigned to be less geometric but better with curves and rounded edges. It also comes with the ability of working with 2.4 GHz and 5GHz simultaneously and 4 ports of RJ45 Ethernet in comparison with 2 from the X6. The setup is made easy by netgear with simple UI and understandable concepts.
Better than the X6 but lighter.
- 4 ports of LAN.
- Simultaneous 2.4GHz and 5GHz support.
- Worth upgrading from the X6.
3. TP-Link RE650 AC2600
It’s not a network device review post without a product from the “one everyone knows” TP-Link. This time, the TP-Link RE650 AC2600, looks like a rabbit from Alice in the wonderland or some robots from Star Wars, depending on how you see it. It has two ears (antennas) and a built-in socket connector.
It’s supposed to be plugged right to the wall and takes a tiny amount of space in your room. TP-Link has managed to manufacture this with a LAN port in case you need it, a LED light to indicate the status of the router. The final advertised feature is the Wifi Protected Setup, which allows you to have a quicker router setup. Unfortunately, this feature has been known to be vulnerable for years.
- Cute design.
- 802.11ac at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
- Fair price
4. Linksys RE7000 AC1900
Linksys RE7000 AC1900 is a viable choice for people who love a simple but useful design. There’s no antenna and the router is just gorgeous, like a box of candy. The competitive feature in this device is the app setup, meaning there’s an app for you to set up the extender. There’s no need to figure out the IP address or the initial logging credential information to get it work. Instead, you just use an app; that’s a big plus. WPS is also supported along with Wireless MAC Filtering feature, which is perfect for networks that don’t like being accessed by strangers or just neighbors. The RE7000 works with 802.11ac and the previous generations of wifi, made with a Gigabit LAN port.
- Gigabit LAN port.
- App setting up and Wireless MAC Filtering feature.
5. Trendnet Wifi Everywhere Powerline
You know what’s great about this device? It’s not a Wifi extender. To be exact, it’s a hybrid device, which means it’s not only a wifi extender but also an internet router that works with electrical power lines. The Trendnet Wifi Everywhere Powerline offers the same set of features other extenders do with 802.11ac and 3 Gigabit Ethernet ports. The exciting feature is the capability of transferring data over existing power cables.
The device relies on a device called TPL-423E coming in the package to send and receive data over unused power cables in your house, making the widening range of the device to more than 900 ft over cables. The setup is relatively easy, compared to the advantages it brings back to you.
- Easy installation.
- Extend the internet over wifi or electrical cables, which is great.
- Good price
TP-Link Deco Mesh WiFi System (Deco S4) – Up to 5,500 Sq.ft. Coverage, Replaces WiFi Router and Extender, Gigabit Ports, Works with Alexa, 3-packCHECK LATEST PRICE
NETGEAR WiFi Mesh Range Extender EX8000 - Coverage up to 2500 sq.ft. and 50 Devices with AC3000 Tri-Band Wireless Signal Booster & Repeater (Up to 3000 Mbps Speed), Plus Mesh Smart RoamingCHECK LATEST PRICE
Linksys RE9000: AC3000 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Extender, Wireless Range Booster for Home, 4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports, Works with Any Wi-Fi Router (Black)CHECK LATEST PRICE
TP-Link AX1500 WiFi Extender Internet Booster, WiFi 6 Range Extender Covers up to 1500 sq.ft and 25 Devices,Dual Band up to 1.5Gbps Speed, AP Mode w/Gigabit Port, APP Setup, OneMesh Compatible(RE505X)CHECK LATEST PRICE
rockspace 1200Mbps WiFi Repeater (AC1200)-WiFi Range Extender Supports WPS One Button Setup with 2 External Antennas (Matte Black)CHECK LATEST PRICE
TP-Link AC1200 WiFi Extender (RE300), Covers Up to 1500 Sq.ft and 25 Devices, Up to 1200Mbps, Supports OneMesh, Dual Band Internet Repeater, Range BoosterCHECK LATEST PRICE
TP-Link AC750 WiFi Extender (RE220), Covers Up to 1200 Sq.ft and 20 Devices, Up to 750Mbps Dual Band WiFi Range Extender, WiFi Booster to Extend Range of WiFi Internet ConnectionCHECK LATEST PRICE
Last update on 2022-05-28 / Prices / Affiliate links / Images, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
1. Can I use multiple wifi extenders at the same time?
In fact, that’s been stated in the first ever design of a wifi network. Yes, you gotta make sure that all your wifi devices, routers or extenders, use the same SSID name and the same password. After that, your devices collaborate with each other to create a seamless experience of one network only
2. How many devices a router can support?
All extenders should support 5 devices with a fair speed to watch Youtube videos or view Facebook posts. Some devices can support up to 50 devices, such as this one. Nighthawk X6S
3. Do I need to concern the LAN port?
Yes if you need to use one. The extenders are made to repeat the signal from the original wifi router, causing the latency to rise to sky. It is ideal if you can cut that from wifi directly to a wired option to keep the latency as low as possible.
4. Should I use different brands for different floors?
This is usually not recommended. If you intend to use different brands’ devices, you will have to make sure that they all operate at the same frequency and the same standard, which would be a lot easier when you simply use products from one single brand.
5. How do I set up an extender?
The usual way to set up an extender is to do these steps below:
- Connect the extender to power and turn it on.
- Press the reset button if needed.
- Use your phone and connect to the default SSID created by the router.
- Navigate to the setting up IP written on the box of the router, and follow the setup instructions on screen.
- Reboot your router if asked then it’ll be ready to go.
Weak wifi signals in your own house is a common problem. That’s the true signal for you to upgrade your wifi network with a wifi extender. Below are our final picks for you
- For a good cool design: TP-Link RE650 AC2600
- The monsters: The Netgear Nighthawk X6 EX7700 Mesh and Nighthawk X6S
- Simple and easy to use: TP-Link RE650 AC2600
- The hybrid one: The Trendnet Wifi Everywhere Powerline
- The budget choice: Linksys RE7000 AC1900 and Netgear Nighthawk X6 EX7700
- The best Wi-Fi extender: Netgear Nighthawk X6S
Thank you for reading our articles about the best Wi-Fi extenders. I hope with all those reviews and recommendations, you’ll be having yourselves a real good wifi network for your media streaming and game playing. See you in our future posts.