The Best WiFi Extenders — Reviewed and Ranked

What is a WiFi Extender and Why Do You Need One?

A WiFi extender, also known as a wireless repeater or signal booster, is a device that expands the range of your existing WiFi network. It works by receiving the wireless signal from your router and rebroadcasting it further to eliminate dead zones in your home or office.

WiFi extenders are extremely useful if your router does not provide strong enough coverage for the entire space. A weak WiFi signal can hamper activities like video calls, online gaming, 4K/HD streaming etc. It may even completely drop out in certain rooms or on upper floors. This is where a good WiFi extender comes into play.

Benefits of Using a WiFi Range Extender

  • Expands WiFi coverage area to eliminate frustrating dead zones
  • Boosts signal strength for faster Internet speeds further from router
  • Enhances streaming, gaming and other bandwidth-heavy tasks
  • Allows more wireless devices to connect simultaneously
  • Provides more stable and reliable wireless connectivity

By installing a WiFi signal repeater, you can enjoy seamless Internet access no matter where you are in your home.

How Do WiFi Extenders Work?

WiFi extenders bridge the gap between your wireless router and devices that are too far to connect directly. Here is a brief explanation of how WiFi extenders work:

Step 1) The extender is placed between the router and the WiFi dead zone. It should be within range of your existing wireless network.

Step 2) After plugging it into an electrical outlet, the WiFi extender connects to and copies the signals from your router wirelessly.

Step 3) It then amplifies these signals and rebroadcasts them with more power to expand coverage. Devices previously out of range can now connect.

You can place additional WiFi extenders at strategic locations to grow your network as needed. Multiple extenders will seamlessly work in tandem to carry the boosted signals further through the home.

Our Picks for the 5 Best WiFi Extenders

After extensive research comparing over a dozen top-rated devices based on price, performance, range and ease of use, we’ve compiled this list of the best WiFi extenders:

1. Netgear Nighthawk X6S (EX8000) – Best Overall

Netgear Nighthawk X6S

With powerful amplifiers and intelligent dual-band technology, the Netgear Nighthawk X6S delivers extremely fast wireless speeds up to 2.2Gbps and blankets up to 10000 sq ft with strong WiFi. It also supports 20+ devices simultaneously.

While it is on the pricier side, you get best-in-class performance that’s perfect for 4K media streaming even to distant rooms. Easy setup and management through the Netgear app makes it our #1 recommendation overall.

Key Features:

  • Coverage for extra large homes up to 10000 sq ft
  • Next gen 11ac WiFi with combined speeds up to 2200 Mbps
  • Simultaneous dual band to avoid congestion and lag
  • Works with any wireless router, gateway or cable modem
  • Gigabit Ethernet port for wired connections
  • Useful signal strength indicator lights
Check Price on Amazon

2. TP-Link RE650 AC2600 – Runner Up

A close second choice, the TP-Link RE650 provides excellent value by matching much of the Nighthawk’s capability and surpassing its 2600Mbps theoretical max speed. It can comfortably cover 1500 sq ft along with 20 or more connected devices.

The powerful external antennas auto-adjust direction to optimize signal strength. Gigabit Ethernet, heat sinks for cooling, MU-MIMO and beamforming tech check all the right boxes making this our runner-up pick.

Key Specs:

  • Total wireless speeds up to 2600 Mbps
  • Gigabit Ethernet port for wired devices
  • 4 external antennas with 180° rotation
  • MU-MIMO Simultaneous streaming
  • Dedicated high speed mode for gaming
  • Works with all Internet providers
Check Price on Amazon

3. Linksys RE6500 AC1200 – Best Budget

Linksys RE6500

The Linksys RE6500 delivers surprising performance at under $50. While max speeds top out at 300+867 Mbps, its dual-band capability provides enough bandwidth for 1080p video and causal gaming. It can boost signals up to 10000 sq ft to effectively eliminate dead spots.

Setup takes less than 10 minutes thanks to the intuitive Linksys app. An Ethernet port lets you connect wired devices like a smart TV or game console as well. For an affordable yet powerful WiFi upgrade, the RE6500 is our budget recommendation.

Why We Recommend It

  • Inexpensive price under $50
  • Gives AC1200 dual-band speeds
  • 10,000 square feet of WiFi coverage
  • Works with existing router seamlessly
  • Easy plug and play setup
  • Wired Gigabit Ethernet port
Check Price on Amazon

4. Google Wifi Mesh System – Best Whole Home Coverage

Google Wifi uses multiple access points that work together as a unified system to deliver seamless roaming across every inch of your property. Easy setup through the Google Home app walks you through placing each node for optimal WiFi distribution.

This modular mesh network approach means you can start with 1 pack and add more nodes whenever you need expanded capacity. Ai-driven software intelligently manages traffic between nodes to avoid congestion. Family friendly parental controls like content filtering, usage limits and pausing come included too.

With robust AC1200-rated speeds and enough bandwidth to support 100+ devices, the Google Wifi Mesh provides flawless whole home connectivity.

Notable Features:

  • Modular system adds nodes to match needs
  • Intelligently self monitors and optimizes
  • App simplicity for setup and controls
  • Family-centric security features
  • Sleek, unassuming design
Check Price on Amazon

5. TP-Link AC750 RE220 – Best for Small Homes

Don’t let the low price fool you – the TP-Link AC750 delivers entirely respectable performance perfect for a small home or apartment. It offers combined 300 + 433 Mbps speeds that easily handle most daily needs like email, social media, music etc.

Set up takes only minutes with the TP-Link Tether app guiding you through the process. At under 3 inches tall, the RE220 sports a conveniently tiny footprint that plugs right into any wall outlet. For a few rooms that need an affordable boost, this little WiFi extender packs a helpful punch.


  • Tiny wall plug design
  • Dual band speeds up to 750 Mbps
  • Covers 800-1000 square feet
  • Works with any WiFi router
  • Painless setup via Tether app
  • Gigabit Ethernet port included
Check Price on Amazon

How to Choose the Right WiFi Extender

Picking a suitable WiFi extender requires matching its wireless capability and coverage footprint to your environment and usage needs. Follow this 5 step process for choosing the best WiFi repeater.

Step 1: Determine Your Coverage Requirements

First and foremost, how much area do you need your extended network to reach? Take measurements of your entire space including multiple floors and outdoor zones you want covered.

If it‘s a larger home exceeding 2000 – 3000 sq ft, you’ll need a long range model rated for that size. Smaller apartments can get by with lighter duty extenders covering 800 – 1500 sq ft.

Factor for any thick walls, interference from appliances etc that may impact signals penetrating throughout. Give yourself some extra margin too so connectivity remains solid as you move around.

Step 2: Consider Your Device Count Needs

In addition to physical range, pay attention to how many devices need simultaneous WiFi access. Do you have lots of family members with phones, tablets and laptops?

Every streaming box, smart appliance and IoT gadget connecting at once eats into available bandwidth. Add them all up (with room for future growth) and match it to the device limit in the extender’s specs.

Mesh router systems often support 100, 200 or more devices – excellent for busy smart homes. Even budget extenders can handle 10-15 devices which suits smaller spaces fine.

Step 3: Check Wireless Speed Capabilities

The speed rating indicates total combined throughput across bands that the extender can theoretically deliver. While you‘ll experience less than those maximums, faster is better.

Here’s a brief decoder to WiFi generations and their typical speeds:

  • 802.11ac – Up to 1300 Mbps
  • 802.11n – Up to 600 Mbps
  • 802.11g – Up to 54 Mbps
  • 802.11b – Up to 11 Mbps

So for example, AC1750 means 450 + 1300 Mbps. Higher numbers provide headroom for smooth 4K video and multiplayer gaming which need consistent 20 – 50 Mbps speeds at a minimum.

Step 4: Compare Key Features

Along with speed and coverage ratings, consider these aspects:

  • Dual-band (2.4GHZ + 5GHz) prevents congestion
  • Gigabit Ethernet ports enable wired connections
  • External antennas amplify signals better
  • Simple setup and control apps add convenience
  • Compatible with all modem/router brands

More advanced capabilities like fast roaming, MU-MIMO simultaneous streaming and beamforming focus signals towards client devices are worthwhile bonuses too.

Step 5: Match Extender Performance to Budget

Finally, weigh capabilities against your budget to zero in on the right choice. Our best value recommendations above cover a spectrum from wallet-friendly to premium performance.

In most typical homes, solid AC1200 – AC1750 models offer plenty bandwidth for under $100. Larger spaces may require more robust AC1900 – AC2600 units closer to $200. For whole home mesh systems, packages start around $250.

Following these guidelines helps narrow the field to a few quality WiFi extenders tailored to your situation. We invite you to check out our top reviews above to find just the right fit.

Tips for Optimal WiFi Extender Placement

Where you install your new WiFi extender is just as crucial as choosing the right model. Proper placement amplifies signals instead of creating new dead zones. Apply these tips:

– Centralized Location: Set up the extender halfway between your router and the WiFi dead zone for maximum reach throughout the area.

– Avoid Obstructions: Keep the extender away from thick walls, ceilings, appliances and other physical barriers that weaken wireless penetration.

– Elevation Helps: Give signals a height boost by installing higher up, such as wall mounted vs sitting on a shelf.

– Test Signal Strength: Use WiFi analyzer apps to check signal bars in different locations to determine the optimal spot.

– Verify Performance: After setup, walk around using devices further from router to confirm expanded coverage. Adjust placement if needed.

Taking the time to find the WiFi sweet spot makes a world of difference for the extender to work its magic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a WiFi extender reduce Internet speed?

Extenders can add a minor amount of overhead but should not significantly slow your overall speeds if set up properly. Reduce bandwidth congestion by connecting devices directly to the extender instead of the router whenever feasible.

Do I need an extender if I have a mesh network?

Mesh systems have the extender function built-in to blanket large areas with multiple access points working in harmony. Extenders and Mesh complement each other well for the ultimate in Wi-Fi expansion.

How do I know where is the best place to install my WiFi extender?

The key is finding a central position within direct line of sight to your router where signals can easily penetrate to cover dead zones. Use WiFi analyzer maps to identify optimal locations with the strongest signal reach.

Can I use someone else’s WiFi with my extender?

No – extenders only amplify and rebroadcast WiFi signals from an existing local network. Broadcasting signals from a foreign network router would have security and practical connectivity issues.

Do extenders work across floors?

Extenders can indeed help WiFi cross between floors assuming the router‘s signals can penetrate floors/ceilings. Place the extender on the edge nearest to router for best inter-floor amplification.


Boosting weak WiFi coverage in every corner of your home is easy with a reliable wireless range extender. These clever devices expand and enhance existing router signals so you can enjoy stronger Internet speeds no matter where you are.

Choosing the right WiFi repeater comes down to honestly matching its wireless capability and coverage footprint to your specific connectivity requirements. Our top picks suited to any environment make it simple to eliminate dead zones for good.

Did you find this guide helpful? Please let us know any other topics about improving home Internet connectivity you would like us to cover. Our goal is to help you stay seamlessly connected for work, entertainment and more.

Did you like those interesting facts?

Click on smiley face to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

      Interesting Facts
      Login/Register access is temporary disabled