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Distance from your router or weak spots from a poor signal can cause Wi-Fi delays. Who wants to be working on something and have the Wi-Fi go out? To prevent network interruptions and connection issues, consider investing in a Wi-Fi extender.
The best Wi-Fi extender can give you the freedom to work outside the router's standard coverage range.
You may be pleasantly surprised to find that many Wi-Fi extenders are fairly affordable and capable of rebroadcasting speeds of up to 6Gbps. Several users within the network can simultaneously stream 4K/8K-quality media or play multiplayer games with no lag or buffering -- even if they're in an upstairs corner bedroom that used to suffer from connectivity issues.
While the best Wi-Fi extender can dramatically reduce weak signal issues, it also relies on the quality of your router. The extender can only rebroadcast what's available. If you're in search of faster speeds, purchasing the latest extender with Wi-Fi 6 won't work unless your router also delivers that speed. Luckily, most extenders are universally compatible, and you can always upgrade your router to improve your home network's performance.
We researched and compared the best Wi-Fi extenders to save you time and money. We ranked the following Wi-Fi extenders for home and office based on ease of setup, features, universal compatibility, price, and performance.
Also: The best mesh Wi-Fi systems
Tehc specs: Range: 2,500 square feet | Number of devices: 30 | Price: $250
If you're looking for a robust Wi-Fi extender that can handle a variety of devices, the Netgear Nighthawk EAX80 Wi-Fi Extender is the one for you. It's the priciest option on our list because Netgear offers features that rivals don't.
The EAX80 is optimized for all Wi-Fi 6 routers, providing the fastest form of wireless internet you can buy today. The dual-band technology offers up to 6Gbps performance, which is ideal even for the heaviest-duty 4K/8K Ultra-HD streaming and multi-player gaming.
As far as our picks for extenders go, the EAX80 is capable of delivering the fastest speeds. However, if high speeds are important to you, upgrading your router may also be necessary. An extender will not improve your network's speed -- it can only work with what the original router outputs. Setup is easy, and Netgear claims it takes five minutes or less.
Best of all, this Wi-Fi extender creates a mesh network. Mesh networks are an upgraded form of extenders that create one Wi-Fi network for your home or office instead of several smaller ones. This means that you can move around without getting disconnected, as would be the case with non-mesh extenders. You won't even have to set up a new network -- the Netgear EAX80 works with your current SSID name through its Seamless Smart Roaming function.
Tech specs: Range: 1,200 square feet | Number of devices: up to 25 | Price: $30
On the other side of the cost spectrum, you have the TP-Link RE230, our pick for the cheapest Wi-Fi extender. For $30 or less, you can get a solid device that rivals what more expensive Wi-Fi extenders can do.
Set up is also simple. The extender works with nearly all routers, making it a modular solution when you need to extend range while traveling. Simply plug the device in at a wall outlet. Press the WPS setup button on your router and the button on the extender for about one second. You should see the RE230's light change to a solid light which indicates the connection is a success. Perhaps the biggest challenge here is having a second party push on the RE230's button at the same time if it's located out of reach from the router, which it most probably will be.
Once it's paired, the RE230 will broadcast over its networks in 2.4 and 5GHz bands. The TP-Link RE230 doesn't have Wi-Fi 6 compatibility (or the speeds that come with it), but for less than $30, you have a low-profile, easy-to-use Wi-Fi extender that gets the job done reliably. In fact, it's so affordable you could add a couple of extras throughout your home or office to ensure a strong signal from some of the most Wi-Fi-challenged areas.
Tech specs: Range: Up to 10,000 square feet | Price: $90
The Linksys RE7000 is small but powerful. It's designed to extend your coverage up to 10,000 square feet, which is an impressive range. Next generation AC Wi-Fi and multi-user MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output) technology make it easy for all devices to connect at the same time without buffering or lag.
The extender's dual Wi-Fi bands of 5GHz and 2.4GHz can deliver combined speeds of up to 1.9Gbps. You'd think such a powerful extender would be bulky, but the sleek device actually plugs into a single power outlet.
Setting up your RE7000 is easy. Push the connect button and let it sync to your router. RE7000's Spot Finder feature can help you find the best place to plug in your extender in order to eliminate dead spots and optimize overall performance.
You can count on seamless roaming with one caveat -- it doesn't integrate with every router. To enjoy smooth Wi-Fi connections when moving around your home or office, you'll need to purchase a Linksys Max-Stream router. Otherwise, you may disconnect when you're out of the coverage area. It's more of an inconvenience than a dealbreaker.
If you're disconnected for being out of range, find the strongest available Linksys extender network in the zone or reconnect to the router. You may only have to do it once though -- most devices nowadays can remember networks and connect automatically once you're within range.
Tech specs: Range: 5300 square feet | Price: $110
Sometimes size isn't the issue -- your building may be the problem. Some homes and offices feature thick concrete walls, steel stairways, or large columns that wreak havoc on a network's signal strength. You may need a powerline adaptor to extend Wi-Fi to the farthest corners of a major structure.
Powerline adaptors send signals through existing electrical wiring instead of the air. Netgear's is fast -- it offers Gigabit speeds to ensure multiple devices can game and 4K stream lag-free. It's built with an electrical outlet on the front of the plug-in device, so you don't sacrifice limited power outlets in a room, either. And it's noise filtered, so it won't affect connectivity speeds.
The only drawback is the wired nature of this solution. You may finally get connectivity in areas that seemed impossible before, but you need to connect the device through one of the two high-speed Ethernet ports. Fortunately, most smart TVs, games consoles and computers have an ethernet port. However, you may not be able to connect your smart devices or newer-generation MacBooks.
Specs: Range: 1,500 square feet | Number of devices: up to 25 | Price: $90
Range extenders do a great job of expanding your network's reach. However, you may have to connect to different SSIDs as you move throughout the coverage area. A mesh network system eliminates the extra "EXT" networks and handles the transition smoothly behind the scenes by routing your connection as needed.
D-Link's Wi-Fi Mesh Range Extender expands your network as soon as you plug it into an outlet and pair it with your router. For a seamless experience that allows you to move within range without disconnecting, you'll need to use a D-Link router.
Considering how popular they are, you may already have one. Although you may want to upgrade to some of D-Link's latest, which include 6G Wi-Fi connectivity, like the EXO Smart Mesh Wi-Fi Router.
The small extender's dual-band technology is compatible with older wireless devices that operate on 2.4GHz. For newer devices, 5G delivers the fastest speeds. The DIR-LIX1870's Wi-Fi speeds can reach 300Mbps in the 2.4GHz band and 1,733Mbps on 5GHz.
You can also plug your wired device into the Gigabit Ethernet port. Plus, the extender is compatible with voice control, so you can conveniently use Alexa, and Google Assistant commands to manage it.
Tech specs: Range: 1,500 square feet | Number of devices: up to 30 | Price: $100
The RE605X is one of the simplest and most effective Wi-Fi extenders available at the moment. It's ready to match any speed your router is capable of delivering. If you're a heavy 4K/HD streaming user, the adjustable, high-gain antennas can hit up to 1.8Gbps thanks to 5GHz AX and 2.4Ghz AC dual bands.
The best part? Installation is quick. Simply plug it in near a dead zone or an area with limited connectivity and adjust the antennas to improve signal strength. You'll know when you hit the right spot based on the signal strength light.
The range extender is compatible with all routers, Wi-Fi-enabled devices, and access points including the latest-generation AX devices. In addition, you can set up a seamless home system by adding a OneMesh-compatible router. When you do, you can roam without worrying about disruptions to your signal.
Tech specs: Range: Up to 5,000 square feet | Price: $350
We round off the best Wi-Fi extenders with an all-in-one solution that works as a router, extender and mesh network. Although many individuals already have a router they own or lease through their internet provider, those looking to upgrade their home or business should look at this bundle. It comes with a router and two extenders which can be set up in different areas of the home or office.
Wireless mesh networking can be complicated, because the router and extenders must be compatible to deliver seamless connectivity. Linksys simplifies the process by providing a free iOS and Android app that can help you set up the Velop mesh network in just a few minutes. Simply connect the router, plug in extenders in an area with poor connectivity, and link the devices or nodes through the app.
Once it's set up, you can move around without manually connecting to the extender's network for the zone. The process happens automatically, so you can focus on surfing or streaming without worrying about dropping off a network and searching for a new one.
The best Wi-Fi extender is the one that works best for your space -- whether you need the most square footage, the sleekest design, or a wired option for thick walls. The best Wi-Fi extenders in this list maximize efficiency and range. Netgear's Nighthawk extender is the best Wi-Fi extender overall based on the value it offers.
Choose this Wi-Fi extender…
If you want…
Netgear Nighthawk EAX80 Wi-Fi Extender
The best Wi-Fi extender overall
TP-Link AC750 RE230
The cheapest extender
The most compact solution
The best Wi-Fi extender for obstructions and thick walls
The best extender for seamless roaming
The easiest extender to set up
The best 2-in-1 router and extender
What are your most pressing Wi-Fi needs? The best Wi-Fi extender for you depends on what you prioritize. Does a more extensive range mean a better product for your space? Or are you looking for a cheap Wi-Fi extender that can get the job done? Here's a comparison of the best Wi-Fi extenders based on price, range, and number of devices.
|Best Wi-Fi extender|
Number of devices
Netgear Nighthawk EAX80 Wi-Fi Extender
2,500 sq ft
TP-Link AC750 RE230
1,200 sq ft
10,000 sq ft
5,300 sq ft
1,500 sq ft
1,500 sq ft
5,000 sq ft
I started my search for the best Wi-Fi extender by researching the most popular brands on the market. I compared the technical specifications of each device, including the maximum coverage area, transmission speed, and compatibility with different routers. To get a better sense of how the extenders perform in real-life situations, I read through user reviews on the internet, paying close attention to common complaints and praises. After analyzing all the information, I was able to identify the best Wi-Fi extenders for most needs.
Range distance is the most important factor, because the purpose of getting a Wi-Fi extender is to extend the range of your Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi standard also matters -- make sure your extender can accommodate the latest Wi-Fi standards. Beyond those considerations, price will also be a factor in your decision.
A Wi-Fi extender simply rebroadcasts your signal further away from the router itself. It essentially boosts your coverage to areas that typically don't have coverage because they are too far from the router to receive a stable signal.
However, to achieve this, you may need to connect to the extender's own network. This means that if you want to move back and forth, you may need to connect and disconnect from the router's SSID and the extender's. Alternatively, you may want to set up a Wi-Fi mesh instead.
Mesh Wi-Fi connects multiple devices into one seamless network. Instead of having several networks comprised of the router and each extender, you have one. As you move about, your devices will connect to whatever "node" is available seamlessly and without disruptions.
Yes they do, but they have limitations. Some restrictions include the Wi-Fi needs of your home, the speed of the internet connection, and the distance from your router. The best Wi-Fi extender is the one that works best for your needs. They work, but you have to be careful about which one you pick.
A Wi-Fi extender works as a relay or middleman between your device (a smartphone, TV, game console, or computer) and the router. It receives the internet signal from the router and broadcasts it farther along, expanding the range in which you can access your internet connection. Wi-Fi extenders are useful in larger homes, workspaces, and even outdoors. They can ensure that your Wi-Fi is more reliable and expansive.
You can connect as many Wi-Fi extenders as you need to a single router. However, extenders need to link to the router itself. Daisy-chaining, which means one extender is connected to the router and the rest connect to a subsequent extender may not work as effectively. If you're dealing with a very large space, you are better off buying an extender with a powerful range instead of daisy-chaining several lower-range versions together.
The best Wi-Fi router depends more on the capabilities of the router than the brand. Some top brands are Linksys and Netgear. It's best to look more for capabilities than for brand alone when selecting an extender. Range is also an important factor.
You can use a Wi-Fi extender anywhere you need a signal boost. It could be in bedrooms on the second floor of a home or an outdoor area where you like to work. Most models have suggestions in the manual of where best to place the extender. Some extenders, such as the Linksys RE7000 even help you find the right place. In general, position the extender halfway between the dead zone and router.
Most of the best Wi-Fi extenders are universally compatible, meaning they work with nearly any router. However, older routers may be slower. It could be worth upgrading to a newer-generation model for better range and speed, even before you add the extender.
Keep in mind that while most extenders work with most routers, your connection could drop in and out as you move through range zones. To avoid the inconvenience of a temporary disconnection, choose an extender with smart seamless roaming from the same brand as your router.
In our search, we also found these Wi-Fi extenders that may be worth a second look.