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Best Wi-Fi extenders of 2021: top devices for boosting your WiFi network



best wi-fi extenders

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VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

If you struggle getting your Wi-Fi signal to reach every corner of your house, you might want to check out some of the best Wi-Fi extenders on the market. Sometimes also called Wi-Fi Boosters or repeaters, these handy range extenders have made huge improvements over the years since they were first introduced onto the market. Buying a Wi-Fi booster is a great solution to ‘dead zones’ within your home or office, and if you have a lot of square feet for your router to cover, such as buildings with multiple floors. 

A Wi-Fi extender or repeater will increase and improve your connectivity – for gaming and for productivity – and save you money since you won’t have to replace your router. It might be that an upgrade to a mesh Wi-Fi router or something with Wi-Fi 6 support is what your network needs. But for many folks, a Wi-Fi extender is more than a good enough fix, and it might be even more cost-effective.

To help you find the solution to your network blues, especially this back to school season, we’ve collected our choices for the best Wi-Fi extenders. If you’re wondering if you should buy a Wi-Fi extender, our guide below should help you decide. Be sure to check our price comparison tool included to get the best deals available

Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 at an angle on a white background

(Image credit: Netgear)

1. Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 Tri-band WiFi Extender

The best Wi-Fi extender in 2021

Specifications
Bands: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4/5GHz simultaneous
Connectivity: 4 x RJ-45 10/100/1000M LAN ports
Features: Tri-band
Reasons to buy
+Fast speeds and dependable network coverage+Easy setup to create a mesh network
Reasons to avoid
Large and bulky

If you’re after a Wi-Fi extender that provides best-in-class performance for expanding your wireless network throughout your home, then the Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 Tri-band WiFi Extender is the one for you. You can use this extender to create a mesh network, so you have a single, large, Wi-Fi network, rather than smaller separate ones. This allows you to easily roam your house, and your device will seamlessly keep connected. It’s expensive, but it’s the best Wi-Fi extender you can buy right now, offering fast speeds and dependable network coverage throughout your home.

TP-Link RE605X WiFi 6 Range Extender at an angle on a white background

(Image credit: TP-Link)

Simple set-up and solid performance

Specifications
Bands: 802.11ax 2.4GHz + 5.0GHz
Connectivity: 1x Gigabit Ethernet
Features: Wi-Fi 6, Intelligent Signal Light, TP-LINK Tether App
Reasons to buy
+Affordable Wi-Fi 6 range extender+Works with any router
Reasons to avoid
Only dual-band support, and 1800Mbps speed

If you’re looking to extend your newly-minted Wi-Fi 6 network to all four corners of your home, TP-Link’s RE605X WiFi 6 Range Extender is worth taking a look. It’s as affordable and as easy to set up as the RE650 extender while being backwards compatible with older Wi-Fi 5 routers. It isn’t just for the less savvy users, however. The RE605X also provides a web browser interface for more experienced users who want more control over their network settings.

Read the full review: TP-Link RE605X WiFi 6 Range Extender

Netgear Nighthawk X6 EX7700 at an angle on a white background

(Image credit: Netgear)

3. Netgear Nighthawk X6 EX7700 Mesh Range Extender

The best affordable Wi-Fi range extender

Specifications
Bands: 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz
Connectivity: 2 x Ethernet
Features: Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPS), Mesh connectivity
Reasons to buy
+Small design+Powerful enough for 4K content
Reasons to avoid
Pricier than most extenders

Bring the power and convenience of a mesh network to your home with the Netgear Nighthawk X6 EX7700. Not only does this extend the area of your Wi-Fi network, but it creates a seamless Wi-Fi network throughout your home or office – so you don’t need to switch networks while moving around.

Thanks to the powerful hardware inside the Netgear Nighthawk X6 EX7700, you can stream 4K content, play games and hook up all kinds of devices to your Wi-Fi network without a hitch. The included Ethernet ports are also a nice addition for bringing your network to wired devices.

TP-Link RE350 AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender from a side angle on a white background

Simple and easy to use

Specifications
Bands: 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz
Connectivity: 1 x Ethernet
Features: Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPS), LED shows connection strength for easy placement
Reasons to buy
+Good Wi-Fi performance at a competitive price+Extra Ethernet port is really handy for older PCs
Reasons to avoid
Set-up takes a little while

TP-Link is a Chinese networking company that has been steadily gaining popularity in the west, and for good reason. With devices like the TP-Link RE650 AC2600 Wi-Fi Range extender, it’s easy to get why: this extender – among the best Wi-Fi extenders you can buy right now – does the job well, and it’s affordable. It’s not going to be the fastest Wi-Fi extender out there, but with the range this extender provides at the price it’s available at, it’s a steal. Finally, thanks to an LED signal indicator on the front, installation is a breeze.

Read the full review: TP-Link RE650 AC2600 Wi-Fi Range Extender

Devolo Mesh WiFi 2 and two nodes on a white background

(Image credit: Devolo)

5. Devolo Mesh WiFi 2

All-in-one PowerLine and mesh networking kit

Specifications
Bands: 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz
Connectivity: 4 x RJ-45 10/100/1000M LAN ports
Features: multi-user MIMO technology, future-proofed G.hn Wave 2 standard, access point steering
Reasons to buy
+Mesh Wi-Fi networking+Two Gigabit Ethernet ports on each adaptor
Reasons to avoid
Unhelpful app and documentation

Extend your network through thick walls and into the furthest corners of your space with the Devolo Mesh WiFi 2. Boasting both mesh Wi-Fi features and versatile powerline connectivity, this device can even follow you and your mobile devices around, automatically switching you to the closest adaptor and the fastest Wi-Fi band. It even has three adaptors that give you five Gigabit Ethernet ports for fast, wired connections. This is the best Wi-Fi extender for games consoles, smart-TVs and other devices that work best with wired connections.

Read the full review: Devolo Mesh WiFi 2

Netgear Orbi Whole Home Mesh WiFi System on a white background

(Image credit: Netgear)

6. Netgear Orbi Whole Home Mesh WiFi System

Fast, affordable, tri-band mesh Wi-Fi

Specifications
Speed: IEEE 802.11ac dual-band with 1x 2.4GHz (400Mbps), 1x 5GHz (866Mbps)
Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet
Features: Beamforming implicit and explicit for 2.4GHz/5GHz bands
Reasons to buy
+Affordable dual-band mesh Wi-Fi system+Good performance for mid-sized spaces
Reasons to avoid
Only one Ethernet port for wired connections

The tri-band Orbi Whole Home AC1200 offers solid performance at a reasonable price, and will be a good choice for most small and medium-size homes that need to improve their Wi-Fi coverage. It’s simple to set-up and use for newcomers, although Netgear’s decision to use Disney’s subscription-based Circle service for parental controls is discouraging, considering that rival routers and mesh systems have often provided better parental controls for free. The lack of Ethernet ports for wired connections as well as more advanced features in the Orbi app might turn off experienced users as well.

Linksys Velop Wi-Fi extender from aside angle on a white background

(Image credit: Linksys)

7. Linksys Velop Wi-Fi extender

Layman’s mesh Wi-Fi comes at a cost

Specifications
Bands: 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz
Connectivity: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet per unit (1 WAN and 1 LAN each)
Features: App-based setup; dual-stream (2×2), 802.11ac networking; 716MHz quad-core ARM Cortex A7 processor, beamforming
Reasons to buy
+Fully modular mesh network+Inconspicuous design
Reasons to avoid
Performance too dependent on position

The Linksys Velop offers a solid argument for a wireless mesh network’s ease of setup. Looking to replace both your router and your now-antiquated range extender, the Velop comes at a time when companies like Google and Netgear are trying to accomplish the same thing. The main way Linksys hopes to stand out from its competitors in the wireless mesh networking space is with a user-friendly setup that anyone with a smartphone can easily do. With just a visit to the App Store or Google Play marketplace, you’ll have the Linksys Velop up and running in a matter of minutes. It’s certainly a worthy addition to our list of the best Wi-Fi extenders.

Read the full review: Linksys Velop

Trendnet Wi-Fi Everywhere Powerline 1200 AV2 on a white background

8. Trendnet Wi-Fi Everywhere Powerline 1200 AV2

Two birds with one stone

Specifications
Bands: : 802.11n (up to 300Mbps) 802.11ac (up to 866Mbps)
Connectivity: : 3x Gigabit LAN ports
Features: : 300m range over electrical power lines, Auto-connects to other TRENDnet powerline adapters, QoS Management support
Reasons to buy
+Easy to set up and straightforward to reconfigure+Three LAN ports
Reasons to avoid
Flawed Design

If you need a great way to upgrade your network so you can have fantastic coverage anywhere in your house, a powerline adapter is a remarkable option. Not only do they offer the same functionality as the best Wi-Fi extenders, but the Trendnet Wi-Fi Everywhere Powerline might just be a dream come true.

It’s not exactly visually pleasing, and the price tag may be a bit much. However, this unit more than makes up for those issues with sheer performance. And, unlike other powerline adapters, the Trendnet Wi-Fi Everywhere features a clone button that will clone the SSID and WPA key of your network so that it can double as a Wi-Fi extender.

Read the full review: Trendnet Wi-Fi Everywhere powerline 1200 AV2 

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Linksys Velop 

Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream AC1900+ from a side angle on a background

(Image credit: Linksys)

9. Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream AC1900+ Wi-Fi Range Extender

Another great compact Wi-Fi extender

Specifications
Bands: : 802.11ac dual-band
Connectivity: : 1x Gigabit LAN ports
Features: Seamless roaming, deadspot finder
Reasons to buy
+Easy to set up+Compact size
Reasons to avoid
Can run hotNot the best performance

If you want a small, discrete, Wi-Fi extender that will reliably spread the coverage of your network throughout your home or office, then the Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream AC1900+ Wi-Fi Range Extender is a great choice. It’s small enough that it won’t block other power outlets (like some larger Wi-Fi extenders can do), and it offers pretty good performance for a nice low price. Best of all, it comes with a ‘dead spot’ finder that allows you to locate where your network strength is the weakest. By installing it there, you should see a nice boost to your Wi-Fi.

Product Plume Superpods Netgear AC1200 WiFi Range Extender EX6150 D-Link Wi-Fi Dual Band Range Extender DAP-1520 TP-Link RE350 AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender 5. Linksys RE6500 AC1200 Dual-Band Wireless Range Extender D-Link DAP-1320 Wireless N300 Range Extender Linksys Velop Wi-Fi extender Trendnet Wi-Fi Everywhere Powerline 1200 AV2
Bands 802.11b/g/n/ac 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz 802.11n 2.4GHz 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz 802.11n (up to 300Mbps) 802.11ac (up to 866Mbps)
Connectivity 2x Gigabit LAN ports 1x Gigabit LAN ports N/A 1x Gigabit LAN ports 4 x Ethernet, Audio Jack N/A 2 x Gigabit Ethernet per unit 3x Gigabit Ethernet ports

How do we test WiFi Extenders?

TechRadar tests Wi-Fi extenders in a variety of ways, from how easy they are to connect and setup, what apps or software they might come with, and of course, how much increase you get to the range of your wireless internet.

Features will be noted, we check to see if Wi-Fi 6 is supported, as well as if they’re able to connect to any existing router and if the products are Dual-band or Tri-band compatible. As a Wi-Fi extender is designed to support an existing router, and not act as a dedicated router in itself, you’ll likely want to check if your wireless router isn’t up to scratch before you spend serious money on an extender.

A series of benchmarks are used to determine how effective a Wi-Fi extender is, using applications like the Ookla Speed test and the Steam game download client to test how many megabytes per second of data is achievable in different locations of a home, such as right beside the extender itself and behind partition walls that could block a signal.

How does a Wi-Fi Extender work?

Wifi extenders, repeaters and boosters – what’s the difference?

Wi-Fi extenders, also known as Wi-Fi boosters or repeaters, are largely the same thing under a different name. If you have areas of your home where your current wireless internet cannot reach, they’re the perfect piece of kit to boost your existing signal.

They’re typically easy to use and set up, with most simply plugging into an available AC outlet in your wall, though some can resemble a stand-alone router.

Naming conventions appear to be a branding decision, but there are a few different ways that Wi-Fi extenders work. The most common is that your booster or extender houses two wireless routers, much like the wireless router you already have at home, or in your place of work. One of these wireless routers picks up the existing Wi-Fi network and then passes that to the secondary router which transmits the boosted signal.

It’s worth noting that many Wi-Fi extenders broadcast on a new Wi-Fi network with its own name, so you’ll need to connect to a different Wi-Fi signal depending on where you are in your home. As most devices will automatically connect to a trusted signal, this isn’t likely to cause too much of an issue.



Source from www.techradar.com

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