A seamless internet connection is something all homeowners and renters should want in their homes and apartments. Whether you rely on having a strong wireless signal for work, play or both, a patchy wireless connection can waste your time.
Your signal strength has the power to make or break your study session or movie night, so it's best to do everything you can to ensure reliable wireless coverage in your home. If you're paying a fortune for high-speed internet, you should also have access to a dependable wireless signal for staying in touch with your friends and family with the latest technology to your home.
In This Guide
The Best Wireless Extender: Our Top Picks
Nighthawk AC1900 Review
- Dual-core processor running at 1Ghz
- Simple to set-up (relies on "plug and play")
- Web browser and mobile app interfaces
- Open-source firmware
- No parental controls
- Doesn't have the best range
The NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 router is an affordable option given its high level of performance and variety of features. While there are some features that are lacking, such as parental control, it does make up for it in other ways. Its performance on the 5GHz band is excellent and it operates on a dual-core processor running at 1GHZ, making it one of the fastest 802.11ac router options.
This router is quite bulky but is very simple to set up and use. It works on a 'plug and play' basis, which means minimum fuss in terms of getting it set up. You will find printed information with the pre-set WiFi network and password details on the bottom of the device. If you happen to lose that information, it will show up on the NETGEAR web-based interface the first time you run the browser from a connected device. You can then take the information from the web interface and print it.
You can also use the NETGEAR web-based interface to make customizations to the router. Another way to do this is via the NETGEAR Genie mobile app, although the settings with the mobile app are more limited than with the web interface.
Attempts by devices on the internet to connect to devices in your local network will be blocked by default by NETGEAR routers. However, there are a number of ways to get around this including port forwarding. Using the port forwarding method will enable you to open up certain ports on your network that are usually blocked.
TP-Link AC1750 Review
- Easy to install
- Plenty of settings to choose from
- Fast speeds
- Clunky interface
- Unimpressive parental control settings
The AC1750 is one of the top wireless extenders from TP-Link with a design that makes it easy to plug into any outlet, install and move around. In addition to improving the reach of your network up to 10,000 square feet, this wifi range extender allows for simultaneous gaming and 4K streaming with its dual band processor.
The TP-Link AC1750 also encompasses a Gigabit Ethernet port, which allows users to connect a wired device to wifi.
With assistance from three external antennas and their high power amplifiers, the TP-Link AC1750 is perfect for homeowners who want access to two-year warranty and unlimited technical support.
Out of the box, the TP-Link comes with a CD that has setup instructions, the user manual, warranty, and printer software. For those experienced with setting up wireless networks, you can simply use the router's web UI for easy setup. There's also an ethernet cable and line filter to get you started.
Overall, the AC1750 offers great features and solid performance at an affordable price.
AC1200 MAX Review
- Increases signal strength to a whopping 10,000 sq. feet
- Universal router compatibility
- Great customer service
- Poor instructions
- Slow 5Ghz speed
The AC1200 MAX is one of the leading wifi range extenders from LINKSYS with its ability to eliminate dead spots by extending your existing wireless coverage. Through its 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz dual bands and next-generation wireless AC, this Gigabit repeater works with your router or gateway to create a reliable wifi connection.
The LINKSYS AC1200 MAX also uses wireless AC technology compatible with devices and routers from your service provider. With its ability to reduce traffic while maximizing data, the LINKSYS AC1200 MAX is a high-ranking way to get faster wireless on a budget.
While the AC1200 offers fast and reliable dual-band WiFi speeds at both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. You'll also find excellent network storage when you plug in an external hard drive, making sharing media like movies, TV shows, and music between devices a breeze. Despite it's clean aesthetic and solid performance features, the AC1200 is walking a fine line between mid-tier and top-tier wireless extenders. Unfortunately, it's a little too expensive for budget wireless extenders but extremely affordable if you group it with the top-of-the-line models.
If you want quality Internet speeds for a price that is a little higher than average, the AC1200 will be for you. If you want the ultimate in wireless extenders, then you might want to look elsewhere.
Synology RT2600AC Review
- Offers some of fastest internet speeds in the market
- Setup is quick and painless
- Possesses functionality beyond most routers
- Will last you longer than most other routers
- The most expensive WiFi extender in this review
- Not that much community support
The RT2600AC is one of the exemplary wifi Gigabit routers from Synology with its 1.7GHz dual-core processor and fast, uncompromising performance. Given that its two powerful radios enable breakthrough internet speed, this wireless extender guarantees you'll never again deal with a slow connection.
This router offers some of the fastest speeds available on the market, at a price that is a little steep for some. Theoretically, the RT2600AC can achieve top speeds of 1,733Mbps on the 5GHz band and 800Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. Of course, the real speeds will never hit that mark due to natural obstacles in your house, where it is located, and the distance between your device on the router. That aside, it still delivers extremely fast speed.
One thing that should be noted is the sheer number of features that come packed with the RT2600AC. Network sharing of an external drive is standard, but a VPN client and a security suite come bundled in. You can use Cloud Station to access files from mobile devices outside the home and the Media Server allows you stream movies and TV on devices across your house.
The Synology RT2600AC also creates seamless transitions with regard to both speed and range while maximizing your wireless connection with traffic monitoring and control. With a dual WAN for load balancing and failover support, the Synology RT2600AC is the perfect wireless extender for those willing to spend more money.
Asus RT-AC88U Review
- Ultra-Fast Wireless
- Stable Connections
- Eight ports
- Multi-User Multiple Input, Multiple Output enabled
- Fantastic management features
- Placement of USB 3.0 is awkward
- NAS performance, when router is coupled with external hard drive, is typical
This Asus RT-AC router provides ultra-fast wireless access that is ideal for streaming, gaming, file sharing and more. The 4x4 antenna design is designed to provide the ultimate in coverage and the 1.4GHz dual-core processor helps to improve USB, WAN and LAN speeds.
With this Asus RT-AC router, you get eight gigabit Ethernet LAN ports. This is double the gigabit LAN port number you normally get with a home router. You can also benefit from parental control facilities to ensure a safe online environment for younger people in the household. By protecting your connection with AiProtection and Trend Micro, this wireless extender gives you complete network security.
If you have a problem with lag and interruptions when streaming, this router will help to eliminate this issue. This is because it uses NitroQAM technology to deliver fast, consistent speeds so that everyone using the network can continue to enjoy streaming and gaming without any problems. The router also provides coverage and bandwidth for all gaming devices including consoles, mobiles, and PCs.
A Wireless Range Extender: Your Solution to Dead Zones
If you're having trouble with latency and dead zones in your house, apartment or office, you can use a wireless extender to boost the reach of your internet connection. A range extender will work with your wireless router to create a stronger wireless signal depending on where you are and what you're doing in your home.
With a wireless range extender that connects to your main router, you'll enjoy the luxury of high-speed internet without the trouble of an inconsistent internet connection. You can expect to have an improved wireless connection in your home or office after you discover the best wireless range extender and set it up with ease.
Your Comprehensive Guide to the Best Wireless Extenders
The best wireless range extender is your solution to a poor internet connection. Whether you're looking to boost your wifi, expand its reach or both, a range extender paired with your existing wireless router is an effective way to achieve these goals using a single product.
We'll walk you through how to maximize your router and wireless extender in this guide while pointing you in the right direction with a breakdown of the top five wireless extenders on Amazon. Once we answer your questions about wireless extenders and help you find the right one for your home, you'll never have to try to speed up slow internet again.
What is a Wireless Extender?
Before we delve into the different kinds of wireless range extenders on the market, we're going to go into more detail about what they are and how they work. A wireless range extender, which is also known as a wireless repeater, takes the existing signal from your router and rebroadcasts to create a second network.
Because the wireless repeater bridges the gap between two or more hosts, it creates an internet connection that can reach across a longer distance. This secondary network allows devices outside the primary network to connect to a stronger high-speed internet connection using this improved signal range.
Pro Tip: Use an ethernet port and an ethernet cable to create stronger ethernet connections to weak wifi zones.
How Does a Wireless Extender Work?
A wireless extender, therefore, works with your router to create wireless access in and around your house, apartment or office. By using your existing wire connection to expand the reach of your wireless LAN, the wireless repeater grants extended wireless access to new areas in your home or workplace.
The wireless extender will need to go to the wall outlet with your router and the area in need of improved wireless service to provide the best increased network coverage. Once the wireless repeater is connected to your wireless router, it will pick up the signal from this access point and redirect it to devices that would otherwise be out of range.
Do I Need a Wireless Extender?
Now that you're familiar with what a wireless extender is and how it works, you'll need to decide if buying one is the right choice. Wifi boosters are designed to solve a number of connectivity issues, so a history of slow, patchy wifi in your home or office, for instance, is a good reason to consider investing in one.
Whether you're interested in extending your main router's reach or eliminating dead spots in your home, a wireless extender can increase wifi availability and enhance its performance.
Why Should I Get a Wireless Extender?
Whether you're experiencing weak connections or dead zones in and around your home or you're looking to access the internet in additional household spaces, there's a number of reasons why you should get a wireless extender.
The signal transmitted by the wireless extender is usually the same as the one coming from your wireless router, so you'll be able to expand your wireless network's reach to more areas and devices without sacrificing a fast connection. Because the new models are easy to set up, you only need a new wireless extender and a few minutes of free time to optimize your living space with the latest technology.
How Can I Use a Wireless Extender at Home?
Wifi range extenders are often used for streaming videos, gaming and more across multiple devices in a house or apartment. Because wireless routers and wifi range extenders are staples in tech-savvy households, you'll need both gadgets to watch TV online, for example, if you have multiple family members looking to connect their devices at the same time.
The best wireless extenders for streaming on multiple devices, therefore, can power HD video in one room and maintain a strong connection for your Smart TV in another without overstretching the connection from your LAN port.
Pro Tip: Use a wireless extender to improve your wireless network's coverage and provide additional wifi access points.
What Are the Different Types of Wireless Extenders?
Your router and wireless network are likely compatible with the two most common types of wireless extenders. Because you can buy a wireless repeater based on your needs, you have the option to choose between a single or dual band model according to the ways you use the internet.
A user who relies on his or her network for answering emails, for example, will need a different wireless extender from one who plans to stream HD video on his or her Smart TV. Given that the wireless extender you choose should tie into your lifestyle, here's a breakdown of two basic types to help you pick the right one.
Single Band Wireless Extenders
Single band wireless extenders are a good choice if you're looking to expand your wifi connection without accommodating a whole host of smart TVs, smartphones and more.
Once you figure out the level of coverage you'll need according to the devices you want to connect, you can think about whether or not a single band extender, which works well in smaller areas with less demand on your wireless connection, is a good idea. A single band wireless extender will best support households who don't rely entirely on technology, so discover the range of single band wireless extenders if your lifestyle mirrors these simple workings.
Dual Band Wireless Extenders
Dual band wireless extenders, on the other hand, are a better choice if you're hoping to expand the reach of your wireless network for more than surfing the web and scrolling through social media. Given that a model communicating over two bands works at a higher frequency than one transmitting over a single band, it doesn't have to compete with other devices on your home's radio band.
A dual band wireless extender will best serve households oriented around streaming and gaming, so explore the collection of dual band wireless extenders if your lifestyle requires these added features.
Do Wifi Boosters Really Work?
If you're looking for a signal booster for your home or office, you'll need to decide whether or not a wireless extender will provide the increased level of connectivity you need in your space.
The nature of connecting to an access point and redirecting this connection to far-reaching areas does often lower your transmission speed. Because direct service from a wireless router should be prioritized to obtain the best connection, a signal booster is recommended for users who want to improve a weak signal or eliminate a dead zone.
Where Can I Buy a Wireless Extender?
Verizon Wireless is a top wireless company who provides household accessories like the Verizon Wireless network extender to enhance wireless networks for its users. Given that Verizon lets you shop for signal boosters both in-store and online, you can enhance your wireless connection with help from your service provider.
You can also pay for smartphones, tablets, plans and services in the same place while receiving support from the company when you're shopping for the Verizon Wireless network extender. After you set up your data plan for your smartphone or wireless coverage for your home, you can learn more about extending your wireless network with help from Verizon.
Amped Wireless is considered a leader in high-power long-range routers and extenders for wireless networks. Because you can find a reseller or shop the Amped Wireless store online using your handheld device or desktop, you can buy a wireless extender directly from this company.
You can also browse through Amped Wireless range extenders while taking a look at routers, access points, and external antennas to find everything you need for your new gadgets. Once you've looked through the company's extensive range of household products, you can learn more about the ways their products extend wifi ranges in homes and workplaces.
Best Buy is one of the most noteworthy consumer electronics companies when it comes to stocking wireless network extenders for homes and offices. Given that Best Buy offers gadgets for your computers, tablets, and phones online and in store, you can find ways to boost your wireless internet connection.
You can also shop for routers, smart TVs, and gaming consoles while discovering a range of products designed to enhance high-speed connectivity in and around your home. By taking advantage the expert service and unbeatable prices at Best Buy, you can find everything you need for connecting your devices to a strong wireless network in one place.
D-Link is also a useful source for heavy duty long range routers and extenders that build strong networks. Because you can shop for everything from networking to security at the click of a button, this manufacturing corporation will help you find a wireless extender.
You can also look into the D-Link DAP as an example of a high power wireless range extender while finding gadgets like access points and USB hubs. Whether you find what you're looking for in the D-Link DAP or you're interested in an extender with a USB port, for example, you can discover the many ways this source for networking equipment helps you stay connected.
Amazon is one of the main retailers for the best wireless extenders, as it carries everything from the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 to the ASUS RT-AC88U. Given that this e-commerce website sells wireless repeaters from leading manufacturers, you can look through these products to find the best one.
You can also browse Amazon using our list of the 5 best wireless extenders as your guide. Finally, now that you've made it through all the information you need to know about the best wireless extender, you can read through our top picks to put your living or office space in repeater mode.
Related: Guide to Mobile Broadband Plans
How Do I Set Up a Wireless Extender?
If you're wondering how to place a wireless extender after you buy one, you're not the only one who needs help getting started when setting it up. Your new wifi range extender should be placed in the location where it can best boost your wifi signal, so your high-speed internet will reach most of the areas in your house or office.
Once you have the equipment you need to set up your wireless extender, you'll want to find the midpoint between your main ethernet port and where your wifi coverage starts to fade.
Here's the easiest way to pinpoint the ideal location to place your wireless extender:
- Connect two iPhones to the wireless connection from your router.
- Call one phone using the other to set up a FaceTime call between the two devices.
- Keep one person standing next to the wireless router.
- Let the second person walk around your home with the other iPhone.
- Stroll around until you reach a point where the connection is weak or cuts out altogether.
- Ensure there's a power source in this part of the house.
- If there's a power source nearby, set up your wireless network extender and start enjoying the more wireless coverage.
- If there's no power source in the area, repeat steps 4 and 5 to find an acceptable spot for your wireless extender.
Once you've chosen the best wireless extender and set it up successfully, you'll be able to show your friends and family how to extend wireless range like a pro. The amount of space in your house or office and how you use your wireless connection both play a part in finding the right way to extend your network's reach.
After you take the time to find areas with low to zero connectivity, you can put your new wireless extender on repeater mode and enjoy seamless high-speed internet. You can further take advantage of your wireless network to learn things like how to enable wifi calling and make the most of the internet and your network of devices.