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


The best Wi-Fi extenders will make your life a whole lot easier if you have numerous computers, smartphones and tablets that require simultaneous Wi-Fi connections wherever you go 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 sure you’re connected to the internet wherever you may go in your home.

There’s only one hang up: with many Wi-Fi networks, you’ll have a modem and a single Wi-Fi router located close to it or built right into it. Now, this does work for very small apartments or flats pretty well. 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 might not get the most ideal Wi-Fi experience.

That’s where Wi-Fi extenders are useful, as they connect to the original Wi-Fi network and then amplify the signal, so you can watch Netflix in the upstairs bathroom even if your router is down in the basement.

There’s a huge market for great Wi-Fi extenders out there, so to help you find the ideal solution for your needs, we’ve composed 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

Super simple setup

Compact design

Pricey

Only one Ethernet port

Netgear is a major name in home and office networking, and they’ve put their insurmountable knowledge to good use here with the AC1200 WiFi Range Extender EX6150. The EX6150 model is a small device that you can plug directly into a wall outlet.

This Wi-Fi extender has a fast and simple setup, with no need to use an installation tool. Just follow the simple instructions and, just like that, you’ll have fast and stable 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

Small design

Easy to use

No Ethernet

Basic functions

D-Link’s discrete Wi-Fi Dual Band Range Extender (DAP-1520) is small and unobtrusive, meaning that almost nobody will even notice it’s there – meanwhile it’s faithfully pumping Wi-Fi throughout your home or office.

The small and discrete design does come with an issue, however: it doesn’t have an Ethernet port for extending a wired connection. Also, contrary to some Wi-Fi extenders, the antennae are internal, which makes for a more aesthetically pleasing device, but it does mean range is somewhat reduced.

3. TP-Link RE350 AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender

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

Large

TP-Link is a name in networking that is steadily becoming more and more prevalent in the West and, with products like the TP-Link RE350 AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender, it’s hard not to see why: it does the job well, it’s inexpensive and the design isn’t too shabby either.

It might not be the fastest Wi-Fi extender in this list, but it offers a great range, thanks to two external high-gain antennae and an LED on the front indicating how strong the signal quality is, giving you a handy guide to installing this device in the best place for the best results.

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4. Netgear AC1200 Desktop WiFi Range Extender EX6200

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 considering expanding your Wi-Fi network, then the Netgear AC1200 Desktop WiFi Range Extender (EX6200) is definitely worth some thought. 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 put some people off, 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 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 reliable.

5. Linksys RE6500 AC1200 Dual-Band Wireless Range Extender

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 yet another Wi-Fi extender that appears more like a router. The larger design allows Linksys to include four gigabit Ethernet ports, which means that you are able to extend your network to internet-connected devices that require a wired connection.

It even has an audio output jack which allows you to connect it to speakers or an audio receiver, allowing you to stream digital music from your computer to your sound system.

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

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 extend your Wi-Fi network, and you don’t mind making a few sacrifices, then the D-Link DAP-1320 Wireless N300 Range Extender might 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, currently the fastest form of Wi-Fi.

However, it is well-built and designed, and it’s a fast, easy and cheap way of extending your Wi-Fi network if you’re not expecting too much network traffic.

7. D-Link Wireless AC1200 Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender DAP-1650

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

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.

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 (2×2), 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



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