The best Wi-Fi extenders will make your life a whole lot simpler if you have many computers, smartphones and tablets that require concurrent Wi-Fi connections wherever you are in your home or office. Even if you only have one device but have a large space to cover, the best Wi-Fi extenders can help make certain you’re connected to the internet wherever you may go in your home.
There’s only one catch: with a lot of Wi-Fi networks, you’ll have a modem and a single wireless router located close to it or built directly into it. Now, this does work for very small apartments or flats reasonably enough. But, if that router isn’t set up in a central location, or if you have walls and floors between your device and the router, you may not get the most reliable Wi-Fi experience.
That’s where Wi-Fi extenders are advantageous, as they connect to the original Wi-Fi network and then boost the signal, so you can watch Youtube in the upstairs bathroom even if your router is down in the basement.
There's a giant market for amazing Wi-Fi extenders out there, so to help you find the perfect solution for your situation, we've constructed this list of the best Wi-Fi extenders for 2017.
1. Netgear AC1200 WiFi Range Extender EX6150
Fast speeds throughout your house
Bands: 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz | Connectivity: 1 x Gigabit Ethernet port | Features: Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPS), Extender/Access Point mode switch, power button
Netgear is a huge player in home and office networking, and they’ve put their tremendous expertise to good use here with the AC1200 WiFi Range Extender EX6150. The EX6150 model is a modest device that you can plug directly into an electrical outlet.
This Wi-Fi extender has a quick and easy setup, with no need to use an installation disc. Just follow the straightforward instructions and, just like that, you'll have speedy and reliable Wi-Fi all over your entire home or office.
2. D-Link Wi-Fi Dual Band Range Extender DAP-1520
Bands: 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz | Connectivity: N/A | Features: Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPS), two internal antennas
D-Link's inconspicuous Wi-Fi Dual Band Range Extender (DAP-1520) is small and unassuming, meaning that almost no one will even notice it's there – meanwhile it’s dutifully sending Wi-Fi throughout your home or office.
The small and modest design does come with an problem, though: it doesn’t offer an Ethernet port for extending a wired connection. Also, opposed to some Wi-Fi extenders, the antennae are internal, which makes for a more stylistically pleasing device, but it does mean range is somewhat diminished.
3. TP-Link RE350 AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender
Simple and easy to use
Bands: 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz | Connectivity: 1 x Ethernet | Features: Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPS), LED shows connection strength for easy placement
TP-Link is a brand in networking that is slowly becoming more and more popular in the West and, with devices like the TP-Link RE350 AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender, it’s difficult not to see why: it does the job well, it's affordable and the design looks pretty good, too.
It may not be the fastest Wi-Fi extender on the block, but it offers a great range, thanks to two external high-gain antennae and an LED on the front displaying how strong the signal quality is, giving you a convenient guide to installing this device in the best place for the ideal results.
4. Netgear AC1200 Desktop WiFi Range Extender EX6200
Big and powerful
Bands: 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz | Connectivity: 5 x Ethernet, 1 x USB 3.0 | Features: Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPS), Beamforming, quad-core processor
If you're honestly thinking about expanding your Wi-Fi network, then the Netgear AC1200 Desktop WiFi Range Extender (EX6200) is absolutely worth some consideration. Many other Wi-Fi extenders are small devices that sit in an outlet, but the EX6200 looks more like a router or modem.
While the size may rub some people the wrong way, it does enable it to boast a range of features – including five Ethernet ports for wired devices, which other Wi-Fi extenders are unable to offer. High-powered amplifiers ensure your Wi-Fi can reach all parts of the building, and a quad-core CPU helps make the network faster and more stable.
5. Linksys RE6500 AC1200 Dual-Band Wireless Range Extender
Another powerful choice
Bands: 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz | Connectivity: 4 x Ethernet, Audio Jack | Features: Linksys Spot Finder Technology, music streaming, easy setup
The Linksys RE6500 AC1200 is an additional Wi-Fi extender that looks more like a router. The more robust design allows Linksys to offer four gigabit Ethernet ports, which means that you are allowed to expand your network to internet-connected devices that need a wired connection.
It also has an audio output jack which allows you to connect it to speakers or an audio system, allowing you to stream digital music from your PC to your sound system.
6. D-Link DAP-1320 Wireless N300 Range Extender
Small and cheap
Bands: 802.11n 2.4GHz | Connectivity: N/A | Features: WPS, internal antennae
If you’re searching for an affordable option to expand your Wi-Fi network, and you don't mind making a few compromises, then the D-Link DAP-1320 Wireless N300 Range Extender may be what you’re looking for. This small device doesn't come with any Ethernet ports, and it doesn't offer dual bands or 802.11ac, presently the fastest form of Wi-Fi.
Still, it is well-built and designed, and it's a quick, simple and affordable way of expanding your Wi-Fi network if you’re not anticipating too much network traffic.
7. D-Link Wireless AC1200 Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender DAP-1650
A great all-rounder
Bands: 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz | Connectivity: 4 x Ethernet, USB 2.0 | Features: WPS, reset button, guest access
Yep, another D-Link device. The D-Link Wireless AC1200 Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender DAP-1650 is a great mid-range Wi-Fi extender that brings some of the features of more expensive extenders, such as multiple Ethernet ports and USB, while also featuring a small and unobtrusive design.
Not only does it look good, but it's priced well. The only issue is that due to its compact size and internal antennae, its range isn't as large as it could be.
8. Linksys Velop
Layman’s mesh Wi-Fi comes at a cost
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 (2x2), 802.11ac networking; 716MHz quad-core ARM Cortex A7 processor, beamforming
The Linksys Velop makes a sound argument for a wireless mesh network’s ease of setup. With the aim of replacing both your router and your now-antiquated range extender, the Velop arrives at a time when companies like Google and Netgear are doing the same thing. The main way Linksys hopes to differentiate its contender in the wireless mesh networking space is with a user-friendly setup that anyone with a smartphone can understand. With just a visit to the App Store or Google Play marketplace, you’ll have the Linksys Velop running in a matter of minutes.
Read the full review: Linksys Velop