We all have a dead zone in our homes, an area where the WiFi suddenly disappears, not allowing us to use the internet anymore. For this problem to be long gone, WiFi extenders have appeared, these devices extending the reach of the signal to ensure that you will enjoy using the internet no matter where you are in your home. As you have probably already noticed, we have rounded up the best models on the market and ranked them according to their performance in the comparison table above. Also, in the rest of the article, we have created different sections where we talk more about these products in order to help you better understand their role and importance.
|1. NETGEAR N300 EX2700||2. NETGEAR AC1900 EX6400||3. NETGEAR AC1200 EX6120||4. TP-Link N300 TL-WA850RE||5. Linksys AC1200 RE6500|
|Dimensions (inches)||2.64 x 2.17 x 1.34||6.34 x 3.2 x 1.75||2.17 x 2.64 x 1.54||4.3x 2.6 x 3.0||1.69 x 0.45 x 6.06|
|WiFi Tech and Range||N300 Range||AC1900 Dual Band Range||AC1200 Dual Band Range||Dual Band Range||AC1200 Dual Band Range|
|WiFi Performance||N300M||AC1900||AC1200||11n: Up to 300Mbps, 11g: Up to 54Mbps, 11b: Up to 11Mbps||AC1200 867Mbps|
|WiFi Band||2.4GHz||Dual Band 2.4&5GHz||Dual Band 2.4 & 5GHz||2.4~2.4835GHz||Simultaneous Dual Band|
|Number of Ethernet Ports||One fast Ethernet Port||One 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet Port with auto-sensing technology||One 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet Port||One 10/100M Ethernet Port||4 Gigabit Ethernet ports|
|Security||WiFi Protected Access and WEP||WiFi Protected Access and WEP||WiFi Protected Access and WEP||64/128/152-bit WEP, WPA-PSK / WPA2-PSK||WiFi Protected Access and WPS|
|Ease of Use||CD-Less Setup, Push ‘N’ Connect using Wi-Fi Protected Setup(WPS)1||CD-Less Setup, Push ‘N’ Connect using Wi-Fi Protected Setup(WPS)1||CD-Less Setup, Push ‘N’ Connect using Wi-Fi Protected Setup(WPS)1||Range Extender Button, Reset Button||One Reset Button|
|Standards||IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz Fast Ethernet port||IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz, IEEE 802.11 a/n/ac 5GHz||IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz, IEEE 802.11 a/n/ac 5GHz||IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11b||IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11ac|
|System Requirements||802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz Wireless Router or Gateway, Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0, Firefox 2.0 or Safari 1.4 or Google Chrome 11.0||2.4 or 5GHz 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wireless Router or Gateway, Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0, Firefox 20, Safari 5.1 or Google Chrome 25.0||2.4 or 5GHz 802.11ac & b/g/n Wireless Router or Gateway, Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0, Firefox 20, Safari 5.1, or Google Chrome 25.0||Microsoft Windows 98SE, NT, 2000, XP, Vista or Windows 7, 8, 10, Mac OS, NetWare, UNIX or Linux||2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi Router or Gateway, Microsoft Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP1, Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.1 , Lion 10.7, or Mountain Lion 10.8 OS|
|Boost N300 WiFi||Boost WiFi||Boost AC1200 WiFi||Range Extender Mode||Cross-Band Technology|
|External Antennas||FastLane Technology||Two WiFi Modes||Ethernet port||Gigabit Ethernet Ports|
|Fast Ethernet Port||Ethernet Port||Simultaneous Dual Band WiFi||Tether App||Audio Capability|
|Simultaneous Dual Band WiFi||Ethernet Port||Night Mode||Simultaneous Dual Band|
|Secure Setup||FastLane Technology|
|Two WiFi Modes||External Antennas|
|Package Contents||WiFi Range Extender (EX2700), Installation Guide||AC1900 (EX6400), Quick Start Guide||AC1200 (EX6120), Quick Start Guide||300Mbps Universal TL-WA850RE, RJ-45 Ethernet Cable, Resource CD, Quick Installation Guide||AC1200 MAX RE6500, AC/DC Power Supply, 2 Dipole Antennas, Ethernet Cable, Quick Installation Guide|
|Warranty||1 year||1 year||1 year||1 year||1 year|
This is one of the most efficient WiFi extenders because it boosts the existing network range and speed, delivering wireless speeds of up to 300Mbps. Its external antennas are able to provide coverage and higher speed, while its convenient wall-plug was created to save space. If you are thinking about purchasing such a unit, you should know that it works with any standard router as well. Also, it is just perfect for video gaming and streaming. Besides all these aspects, it’s important to know that it features a fast Ethernet port that can connect a wired device such as a Blu-ray player, TV or game console to your network as well. Furthermore, this unit is easy to use thanks to its CD-less setup that is great for mobile devices, and the Push ‘N’ Connect that uses WiFi Protected Setup (WPS). In addition, the NETGEAR N300 EX2700 comes with a 1-year warranty that covers all the damages and reparations.
Nowadays, there are plenty of devices that can provide a strong and reliable wireless internet connection, and the EX6400 is one of those units. In order to improve your home signal without being necessary to make any complicated technical adjustments, you can confidently choose this model. The EX6400 model provides performance, durability, and a great price. Moreover, it is incredibly easy to use, all that you have to do being to plug it in the area where you don’t have wireless internet access and you want to have additional coverage. Before buying this model, it’s good to know that it combines both the 2.4 and 5 gigahertz bands that provide a lot of available bandwidth for both channels, offering up to 1.9 gigabits of data transferring speed. Additionally, it uses the FastLane technology that was designed to improve the bandwidth speeds by combining both bands into a stronger, single dual-band signal. When it comes to compatibility, the NETGEAR AC1900 EX6400 is capable of connecting to any new 802.11ac units, including some devices that require a wireless protected setup protocol, such as wireless printers.
The EX6120 model is one of those range extenders that can help you boost the existing network, delivering AC dual band WiFi of up to 1200 Mbps. This small and discreet unit works with any standard router, and most people use it for HD video streaming and gaming. Furthermore, if you are looking to purchase such a unit, you should know that it comes with a lot of impressive features such as two wireless modes that can extend the existing connection or create a new wireless access point, simultaneous dual bands that extend 2.4 and 5GHz WiFi up to 1200 Mbps and reduce interference, external antennas used for better coverage and more speed, an Ethernet port that can connect a wired device, including a TV or game console to your network, and the FastLine technology that is designed to use both bands in order to create one high-speed connection.
The TL-WA850RE is the best choice that you can make if you own an apartment or a small house that has a WiFi dead zone. These days, most people buy this product because it is easy to install and configure. Moreover, it provides a good signal at up to 75 feet away from the router. If you are thinking about buying it, you should know that it is a dual-band unit that supports up to 300Mbps throughput. Also, it comes with an interesting package that contains an RJ-45 cable, a quick installation guide, and a resource CD. If you want to test it first, you can use WPS, but only if your router supports it. You have to plug in the extender and turn it on, press the WPS button on both the router and the extender, and the connection should be established. There are other methods that you can use, but they are quite complicated and they can take a little longer. However, if you want to improve your wireless signal, you can confidently choose the TL-WA850RE as it is more affordable than other units.
As you already know, Linksys is one of the most important brands in the home networking market, especially in the wireless segment. The RE6500 model is an amazing extender that does a great job and that exceeds all expectations, showing the quality of the manufacturer’s work. Its most useful feature is the 3.5mm headphone jack that can be used to stream music through media players that support DLNA or Apple’s AirPlay. This device uses a MediaTek MT7621A processor that is a dual-core 880MHz SoC. Its 5GHz band is powered by MediaTek’s MT7612E controller, while the 2.4GHz radio uses the MT7602E. Also, it features the Cross-Band technology that maximizes the simultaneous use of both bands. This means that it maximizes the use of high-speed data transfer and uninterrupted streaming and gaming. Besides this, it has audio capabilities as well. As such, you will be able to connect the stereo system or audio speaker to the range extender and stream your music from a smart device or computer.
If the WiFi signal tends to be weak, a perfect device to turn to in order to improve it is the TP-Link AC1200 RE305. This compact WiFi extender is compatible with all standard routers and gateways, being a guarantee that it will improve the internet on your devices. This makes it ideal for those who play many online games and who need a good internet connection as well as for those who stream on YouTube or on other platforms. One of the biggest highlights of the product is the fact that it improves the signal to Alexa and Echo devices, iOS and Android smartphones, and PlayStations among other devices. What makes it one of the most convenient choices of the moment is the fact that it features the innovative Intelligent Signal Indicator that helps you determine the best location for the extender to have as wide of a reach to your devices as possible. It’s easy to use, all that you have to do to expand its range being to press the Range Extender button. Due to the fact that it supports the AP mode, you will be able to create a new Wireless Access point whenever you want. It boasts a universal compatibility, being able to work with all 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac routers or access points. Best of all, it’s accompanied by a 2-year warranty that ensures the manufacturer will fix or replace it free of charge during this period of time.
Nowadays, most people are using WiFi extenders because they can improve the home signal. The internet connection can be ruined by a poor home network setup, but a quality extender that can provide a fantastic performance is able to solve this problem. Actually, these small devices can catch a wireless signal and rebroadcast it, helping to strengthen the signal from a router on a different floor of the house.
The devices should be placed in a central location, near the main router. In fact, the perfect spot for an extender is halfway between your main router and the intended wireless devices because as you already know, it is just boosting the signal. However, if they are placed far away from it, the speed of your connection to the rest of the network and to the Internet will be reduced. Also, you should know that the main cause of low coverage and poor wireless performance is the number of walls and doors between you and your router. For example, if you live in a house with thick walls, it’s crucial to have such a unit because even if you have a great router, it won’t be able to provide top-notch performance up a floor.
There are plenty of devices that can improve your internet signal, including WiFi enhancers, Powerline network adapters, USB dongles, and router advice. Each of these devices may have the same purpose, but they won’t work in the exact same way. However, WiFi enhancers are the best choice that you can make because they are the only units that deliver a solid performance at an attractive price.
The main purpose of using a Wifi range extender is that it can enhance signal strength without requiring you to move your PC or other devices that are connected to the Internet. The further a PC is from the switch that it interfaces with, the weaker its remote flag will have a tendency to be. Therefore, if you are thinking about placing such a product between the PC and the switch that it interfaces with, it will empower the PC in order to get a more grounded flag, prompting a better speed when cruising the Internet.
When it comes to the money that you have to spend, it’s good to know that these units are not very expensive. Actually, their prices depend on their features, meaning that some are very cheap while others come at a more expensive price. Obviously, they are used to improve the range of your existing network. As such, whether it is an expensive model or a cheap one, it has the same purpose. However, some products come with an amazing technology, such as the FastLane technology that is ideal for HD streaming and gaming because it uses both bands in order to establish one super high-speed connection. Also, most devices have some impressive features of their own, like an Ethernet port that is able to connect a wired device such as a game console or a smart TV to your existing network, or the Tether App that allows easy access and management using any mobile device.
Another advantage of using a WiFi extender is that it is able to diminish the effect of several deterrents that can affect the remote association. There are plenty of strong metal items such as file organizers and various apparatuses that can debilitate remote signals and have an adverse effect on the remote network. As such, placing an extender in an area where few articles rest between it, the switch, and the PC can allow the signal to pass to the PC without going through many items.
Before buying this type of appliance, first, you should check out your existing router. If you have an old router, think about investing in a new one and use the old unit as an extender for it. However, they will need a wired connection and their set up can be absolutely challenging. On the other hand, if your router is new and you still need an extender, your purchase has to be the same standard as the original network or better. For example, if you already have an AC1200 router, you need to buy an appliance that can support the standard connection. Keep in mind that generally, it only extends one frequency band at a time. Therefore, you might need two separate Wifi extenders, because it’s better to extend both the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz bands in a dual-band network.
When you are looking to purchase such a device, you need to consider the compatibility with your WiFi. As such, it’s important to know that the original WiFi standard was IEEE 802.11. These days, the manufacturers just added A, B, G, N, and AC at the standard model. Keep in mind that is not important to buy a sophisticated unit with the latest standard if your router doesn’t support it. However, we suggest you check your router first and after buy the device. Plus, you need to know that speeds are displayed in Mbps, so you won’t gain an advantage if your unit supports a faster speed than your router, because it can only rebroadcast what it receives.
There are hundred of models available on the market and each one of these items comes with its own design. Some of them look a lot like routers with aerials and they have their own power supply, while others are just some simple plastic blocks designed to plug directly into a wall outlet. You can choose an extender which is not so bulky, but you need to know that a larger one has more feature than a smaller one. However, it’s important to choose a device which is able to satisfy your needs.
The 802.11n WiFi standard also has a dual-band support and it covers the long-used 2.4GHz band. However, it can also provide the 5GHz band. The 2.4 GHz band has a longer range, but when it comes to the 5GHz band, you need to know that it supports faster speeds. Furthermore, for those people who already have a dual-band router, the dual-band extender is the best option because it has to be a connection between the two. The single-band model can just extend 2.4GHz to the rest of your home. However, it can connect to the original router with 5GHz where it does offer coverage. Moreover, the single-band unit is also cheaper than a dual-band one.
Security standards represent an encryption method which can prevent anyone without the original password from connecting to the network. The WiFi Protected Access, which is WPA2-PSK (AES) is the latest version appeared on the market. As such, if you have a router that doesn’t support WPA, you should think about upgrading it.
The router’s network name or SSID, as well as the password or key is very important to set up a connection. As such, you need to know all these information that can be found on the back or underside of the router. Most models can provide WiFi Protected Setup (WPS), so their installation will be easier. You just have to press the button on your wireless extender and the one on your router and they will connect. It will receive the relevant data from the router, so it will be able to recognize the information in the future without you having to do anything at all.
There are a lot of features that a wireless extender can offer, and the Ethernet port is one of them. It allows you to plug in a device that has a wired connection, in order to get better speed and a reduced number of devices which are trying to connect wirelessly. If you need an extension that can serve a game console, DVR and TV that are all placed together, then a unit which has at least three Ethernet ports should be the best choice. Additionally, there are a few products which will also provide audio streaming capabilities. You can choose and stream music from your smartphone because they will boost a port to connect headphones and speakers.
It’s quite important to know that whether you are moving the router or not, its connectivity won’t be better. In fact, you won’t solve any problem by doing this. You just have to adjust its connectivity settings on its computer. Windows 7 and Mac OS X can help you adjust any OS or software settings, which can interfere with the Internet connection because they have connection repair tools.
Like so many other appliances, these products come with a one-year warranty. There are also manufacturers that offer longer warranties, but most of them will provide a standard warranty. Moreover, some of these warranties will also cover the damages caused by the product or your time and expense in getting the damage repaired.