The best WiFi extenders: top 8 devices for extending your Wi-Fi

 

If you have a ton of different computers, tablets, smartphones or even gaming consoles that need constant, simultaneous Wi-Fi connections, the best Wi-Fi extenders can manage your home or office network a lot easier, and take a lot less time. Even if you’re only need one device connected, but have a lot of space to cover, the best Wi-Fi extenders will make sure that you’re never disconnected from the internet.

For most people, your network is likely powered entirely by a single modem and a single router that is either built directly into the modem or located very close to it. This will work just fine for some people – especially if you’re in a small apartment or flat, but if your router isn’t in a central location, or if you have walls or floors between your device and your router, you can run into some potential performance problems.

That’s where the best Wi-Fi extenders really shine. They connect to your main network, then boost that signal throughout your entire home or office so that you can get reliable network performance in every corner. That’s right, you’ll finally be able to watch your favorite Netflix show while sitting in the bathroom.

There are just a ton of great Wi-Fi extenders out there, so to help you find the best Wi-Fi extender for your needs, we’ve created a list of the best Wi-Fi extenders you can buy today.

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

Super simple setup
Compact design
Pricey
Only one Ethernet port

Netgear has become almost ubiquitous in the networking world over the years, and it has put its considerable knowledge to great use here with the AC1200 WiFi Range Extender EX6150. The EX6150 model is a simple device that you can plug directly into any electrical outlet.

This Wi-Fi extender boasts quick and simple setup, with no need to use any installation software. Just follow the straightforward instructions and, before you know it, you'll have reliable and fast Wi-Fi throughout your entire office or home.

2. D-Link Wi-Fi Dual Band Range Extender DAP-1520

Compact solution

Bands: 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz | Connectivity: N/A | Features: Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPS), two internal antennas

Small design
Easy to use
No Ethernet
Basic functions

D-Link's reticent Wi-Fi Dual Band Range Extender (DAP-1520) is tiny and inconspicuous, meaning that while it has extremely robust performance boosting your Wi-Fi network throughout your home or office – it’s virtually invisible to anyone who isn’t explicitly looking for it.

The unassuming and straightforward design does come with some inherent issues, however: it doesn’t feature an Ethernet port for extending a wired connection. Also, contrary to some Wi-Fi extenders, the antennae are internal, and while that does allow it to disappear into the background, it does mean range is somewhat reduced.

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

Ethernet connection
LED showing connection strength makes installation easy
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TP-Link is a Chinese networking company, and that shouldn’t put you off, as they’ve slowly been gaining recognition in the West. And, with good reason. With devices like the TP-Link RE350 AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender, it’s easy to see their worth: it does the job well, it's inexpensive and the design is pleasing, as well.

While it’s far from being fastest Wi-Fi extender in the world, it features a phenomenal range, due to two external high-gain antennae and an LED on the front displaying how strong the signal quality is, making installing it in the right location a walk in the park.

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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

Very powerful
Five Ethernet ports
Expensive
Big

If you're seriously thinking about expanding your Wi-Fi network, then the Netgear AC1200 Desktop WiFi Range Extender (EX6200) is certainly worth consideration. Many other Wi-Fi extenders are small devices that sit in an outlet, the EX6200 looks more like a router or modem though.

While the size may rub some people the wrong way, it does allow it to offer a range of options – including five Ethernet ports for wired devices, which other Wi-Fi extenders are unable to include. 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 reliable.

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

Audio streaming capability
Powerful
Expensive
Bulky design

The Linksys RE6500 AC1200 is an yet another Wi-Fi extender that looks more like a router. The more sturdy design allows Linksys to include four gigabit Ethernet ports, which means that you are empowered to expand your network to internet-connected devices that need an ethernet 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 audio receiver.

6. D-Link DAP-1320 Wireless N300 Range Extender

Small and cheap

Bands: 802.11n 2.4GHz | Connectivity: N/A | Features: WPS, internal antennae

Very small
Cheap
Not the fastest Wi-Fi
No Ethernet

If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to beef up your Wi-Fi network, and you’re ok with making a few concessions in performance and features, then the D-Link DAP-1320 Wireless N300 Range Extender is a great device for you. This tiny device doesn't include any Ethernet ports, and it doesn't feature dual bands or 802.11ac, presently the fastest form of Wi-Fi.

Still, it is designed well and built to last, and it's a quick, easy and cheap way of bolstering your Wi-Fi network as long as 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

Good price
Good selection of ports
Not great range
USB is only 2.0

That’s right, D-Link has scored another entry on the list of the best wi-fi extenders. The D-Link Wireless AC1200 Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender DAP-1650 is a fantastic mid-range Wi-Fi extender that packs in some of the features of more pricey extenders, such as multiple Ethernet ports and USB, while also boasting a design that’s not only small, but also blends into the background.

The DAP-1650 looks fantastic, and it's priced competitively. The only drawback is that due to its compact size and internal antennae, its range isn't as wide as some other extenders.

AVM Fritz Box 3490

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

Fully modular mesh network
Inconspicuous design
Pricey in comparison
Performance too dependent on position

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