There is hardly a place in our lives where we are 100 percent content with the WiFi signals and that is just sad. However, you can thank us later because we are bringing you some of the best WiFi extenders that are available in the market right now. These beauties work like the WiFi witches and boost up the signals as well as the coverage for you.
The good part is, they don’t cost a lot. The bad part is that there are so many of them to choose form that even our testers were flabbergasted. We have reached concrete conclusions though. We will be sharing with you not only the best WiFi extenders in general but also those that can be good to use in specific situations.
Best WiFi Extenders to Buy This Year
You might be living in a large home or your office might be too large for a simple router. Whatever the case is, a WiFi extender / WiFi booster can be put in the place with weak signals to fill up the void. Clearly this is a league ahead of having a mess of networking wires all over the place.
There are other solutions too, like getting a mesh WiFi. But you could also simply get a good WiFi range extender so that the wireless signals can be repeated forward.
Amped Wireless Athena-EX
Power, Flexibility and Durability
If you want just the best and nothing less. The Amped Wireless’ Athena-EX is a beast that boasts the greatest range with 16 amplifiers and impressive flexibility with a variety of ports for wiring. Once setup is done, you won’t complain about WiFi signals again.
Best Budget Alternative
Most Affordable, Most Compact
This might not be the best quality out there, but it surely is the cheapest fix to your WiFi problems. It takes the least bit of space and the setup is very simple. The D-LINK is the quickest off the shelf solution but you give up on dual bands and Ethernet ports.
Our testers agree that the Amped Wireless Athena-EX WiFi repeater is definitely one of the best WiFi extenders out in the market right now. However, for this gadget you will need to spend a little extra.
Amped Wireless boasts that the repeater will be able to extend the wireless range of signals by up to 15,000 square feet. While we don’t agree on that number, we do think it does exceptionally well. As the design shows, there are four high gain antennas on the back of the wireless extender, these help catch even the weakest of signals.
Moving on, there are a total of 16 amplifiers that use their raw power to boost the signal and provide you with one of the best coverage these things can give. We are talking about speeds up to 2.4GHz 800Mbps + 5GHz 1733Mbps.
There is a Multi-User MIMO installed that allows better sharing between more than one users. However, the MU-MIMO itself is the one area of concern for our testers as they found the throughput to be somewhat middling. Other than that we are sure this is one of the best WiFi extenders if money isn’t an issue.
In the end, it is true that a good WiFi extender is going to be costly. After all, optimum internet is no joke and even the best WiFi router sometime needs an upgrade. So naturally, the Amped Wireless Athena-EX WiFi booster is around the high end of prices.
- 16 Strong Amplifiers
- Great Functionality With Multiple Ports
- Expensive Product
- Middling MU-MIMO Throughput
I for one am the type of a person who would first look at the value for money in a product before deciding a product. This way most of the highly priced ones get filtered at I even take home a similar product as them. Our testers suggest believe that one of the best WiFi extenders – on the cheaper side – was TP-Link RE200.
While it is not as large as the Amped model above, this TP Link extender is still one of the top picks. It is very modest in terms of asking price and even in such an affordable range you get results to reckon with.
TP-Link RE200 is basically a dual band wireless AC extender that doesn’t even need much effort in the set up as well. Even in comparison to their previous models this WiFi range extender has a greater range now. Also, all tests proved that this device takes the smallest dip in performance as compared to the others.
Just plug it into a socket directly, no wires involved. The rate at which it improves simple throughput is rather impressive for the price. There also is a 100 Mbps Ethernet port in case you decide to plug in a device. Last but not the least, you get an industry leading two year warranty in case something goes south.
- Very Economical
- Easy Set Up
- Increased Range
- There Are Better High End Models
- No Extended Antennas
Since we are sharing with you some of the best WiFi extenders, it makes sense to talk a little about the best mesh WiFi systems that you can buy. Just in case you want a state of the art solution that is more reliable.
The reason why many people settle for a WiFi repeater or just a WiFi signal booster is because mesh WiFi systems are rather complicated and expensive. However, the difference is also that they also are stronger, more reliable and with greater range.
One mesh WiFi that we have picked for you is the Netgear Orbi RBK50. As you can see in the image this is a very well designed gadget that would do you better than just a Netgear range extender. It is affordable as compared to the high end mesh WiFi networks.
You get three towers with one band dedicated for the back channel. And each one of them has LED indicators sharing the status of signals on the go. The company claims to cover around 5000 square feet area with 1.2 Gbps data flow. In total you get 12 Ethernet ports, one on each tower which means all your devices can have a bespoke port.
Netgear promises the best mesh WiFi with the Orbi, that can be set up easily either through the web or the app.
- Strong Mesh WiFi System
- Good value
- Impressive design
- Expensive In Comparison to WiFi Extenders
- Less Mobility
There are some options that are either filmsy in the look or they fail to actually deliver on what they promise. The Netgear AC1200 means business though. According to our testers, this Netgear WiFi extender is one of the most powerful ones that we tested so far.
You will realize that unlike the RE200 this Netgear WiFi extender setup is bulky. It will take some considerable space in the room, but that is all for good reason. It packs five Ethernet ports which is something we hardly see on WiFi boosters – especially in such numbers.
The size is bigger because it had to fit in some really powerful amplifiers and a quad core processor. This is where the reliability comes from. Being a dual band extender, it streams not only on 5GHz but also 2.4GHz. It supports the Wireless-AC standard and also features Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPS) and Beamforming.
While in comparison to other wireless extenders the price of Netgear AC1200 is a little higher, the quality justifies it.
- Powerful WiFi Extender
- Five Ethernet Ports
- Solid Design
- Bulky and Bigger Than Usual
- Expensive in Comparison with Competition
This is the best WiFi extender for the budget buyers reading this, simply because it is the cheapest. Although we would ask you to spend about 10 bucks more to buy TP-Link RE200, the TP Link extender that we reviewed above.
It is very small in size, which means you will not need to create space for it. It just needs to be plugged in and after you have followed the simple set up process you are good to go. Obviously, since you are spending very less on this, do not expect a very fast Wi-Fi.
What we are saying is that it will be a bearable connection, not the fastest. Other let downs might include the lack of an Ethernet port. But then again, it is such a compact design where would they have fit it in the first place.
It also doesn’t have the 802.11ac Wireless-AC or dual bands. Instead there is just the 802.11n and a single 2.4GHz band.
It isn’t among the best WiFi extenders out there but if you just wish to extend the WiFi for a small area it will do the trick for you.
- Cheapest of the Lot
- Most Compact Design
- Wi-Fi Speed Isn’t The Best
- Single Band
- No Ehternet
If the minuscule WiFi Extenders by D-Link and TP-Link don’t cut it for you and you still want a cheap and compact solution, the Motorola MX1200 might fit the profile. This is yet another small sized WiFi booster that doesn’t ask a lot from you. If we had a category we would have chosen it as one of the best WiFi extenders under $50!
Nevertheless, do not think it is just the price we are attracted in. There are a ton of cheap extenders that are small in size as well. The reason why this one is important is that it has better specifications than the D-Link.
For starters, you get a dual band complete with the 802.11ac. The Wireless-AC allows a stronger connection. There also are two internal antennas on the Motorola MX1200 which help increase the range on WiFi signals. These antennas cannot be removed though, since they are internal.
You have beanforming technology alongside the AC1200 throughput that competes with products that would otherwise cost you around a 100 bucks.
Despite having such a small size, it manages to include one Ethernet port of 1 Gigabit. What’s more, there even is an industry leading two year warranty from the makers.
- Very Affordable
- Great Value
- Two Year Warranty
- Performance May Fluctuate
There are some companies that have literally covered the wireless technology market with tons of products. And guess what, some of those products are even the best in their categories. Like more than one products in our review of best WiFi extenders belong to TP-Link. This WiFi signal booster is mid range in price but comes with a plug-in design type.
Previously we discussed the TP-Link RE200 for being a strong contender to the top. This one is also a fairly well performing internet booster that is one of the best WiFi extenders on our list. It packs four external antennas, none of them are removable.
As a result, the four cameras are able to keep strong WiFi signals for up to 75 feet. In order to achieve this, the gadget is aided by a dual band 802.11ac and the AC2600. There is a lot of power in this one especially for the size that it has. We were thoroughly impressed by the signal throw.
Moving on, TP-Link also has the dedicated Tether app that makes it further easy for you to install and set up the device. Other functionality offered by the app includes security settings and also some advanced tools.
Since some of you wouldn’t want to spend more than $100 even on a TP Link extender, this might appear to be a little pricey. Also, since it has been designed as a plug, the six inch length of the device might also be a turn off. But not for us, we loved every bit of it.
- Strong Performance
- Dedicated App
- Dual Band
- Ethernet Port
- High Price
- Bulky for a Plug-In Design
Therefore, it might not be reasonable to upgrade to a WiFi system when all you actually needed was to fill a dark spot in the corner of one room. In other words, a simple WiFi extender (below $100) could do the trick for you if you just want some part of the home to get better wireless signals.
For instance, even if your extender has it, your router will need to support Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) in order for the extender to benefit from the MU-MIMO functionality. Similarly, an AC1200 router will work well only with an AC1200 WiFi extender and so on.
Other than that, the desktop type is preferred by those who would like to connect with it devices like their Xbox One or the TV, even peripherals like printers. There are some of the best WiFi extenders that are made in the plug-in design, but usually they are lacking in one feature or the other. Mostly, plug-ins have just one or no Ethernet port and USB port.
Hence, the plug-in type are usually inexpensive while the desktop type extenders put some weight on the wallet.
Basically what the range extenders do is that they start repeating the signal that they are getting to a range of their own. This effectively sends the signal further. You will obviously need a base router where the original wireless signal will come from.
Where is the best place to put a wifi extender?
You first need to figure out the area where the signals drop. Keep that region in mind and then pick the middle spot between that region and the place where you have placed your router. It is there in the middle that the extender should be placed for best results.
Do WiFi extenders increase or decrease speed?
Technically, if you are using a truely wireless extender and with no cables, it will negatively impact your speed. However, if you were experiencing low speeds because the original router is at a distance from your mobile or computer, that is a different case. In such a case the signal strength will be fixed and we expect that will improve your internet speed as well.
Can I use 2 WiFi extenders?
Yes it is possible to use more than one WiFi extenders on the same internet connection i.e. same router. However, even some of the best WiFi extenders would also disappoint you if you aren’t careful. First off, make sure that you are not connecting the extenders to each other.
What you need to do is connect each one of the extenders to the main router. Another small technical point is that when setting up more than one extenders together, you will have to set them up separately using two different SSIDs. Otherwise they may end up connecting with each other instead of the router.
Obviously you could also daisy chain the extenders using an Ethernet for a complete solution.