Choose Your Best Netgear WiFi Extender

Selecting the right Netgear WiFi Extender is made easier with NetSpot. It can help you find the weak spots in the network to help get every device connected.
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Getting complete coverage of a building’s WiFi network can be a challenge. But by picking the right device for the right places, we can get everything working in harmony.

How To Set Up a Netgear WiFi Extender


Dead zones in ones house or business can be frustrating. Getting to the conference room and finding that people can’t connect to the WiFi network. Or that spot in the kitchen when we need to connect to display that video on how to make the best Macaroni and Cheese.

The solution would be to know just where the best places in the building are for connection, and which are the worst so we can find the best place to expand the reach of our network with a Netgear extender. Otherwise we’ll just be placing it in random places and hoping that it works.


The other issue is to decide what extenders to use. If there is just one dead zone in the network, then perhaps something like the Netgear AC750 will work just fine. But if there’s a large area where machines can’t connect, then something with a wider range might be better.

To get an accurate map of the WiFi signals through the building, we’ll use a WiFi analysis tool. The best tool for this is Netspot, which has a free version that can be downloaded at https://www.netspotapp.com/. It works with both Windows and Macs, so whatever the business or home use, we can get the best results for both platforms.

How Netgears Extenders Widen the Network

When we look at a map of our building, we can identify the dead spots where the network doesn’t quite cover. For example, connection might be great in the CEO’s office, but not so much in the secretaries office.
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NetSpot
What a WiFi extender does is takes the signals from the WiFi, and acts as a bridge between the remote system and the machine. Think of it as a person standing between two friends on distant mountaintops, listening to the one shouting out, and then passing the message on to the other friend.

Netgear extenders work in the same way, only much more advanced than someone just shouting across mountaintops. They are capable of scanning multiple frequencies and channels, and depending on the model can tap into Ethernet networks as a method of providing more access to WiFi enabled devices in remote devices.

Each of the Netgear WiFi Extenders will come with standard features. They’ll include instructions on how to setup the Netgear WiFi extender, and will be able to connect to other Netgear devices to stretch the range of the WiFi signal. Typically they feature a browser based interface, so they are fairly operating system and computer platform independent.

If we’re using a computer that can already browser the Web, they can use the Netgear WiFi Extender Login system to select the WiFi network, set passwords, and other features.

There is a difference between a WiFi Router, and a WiFi Extender. A Router connect the WiFi network into the larger network — usually that being the local work network, or into a Cable Modem that connect the local network into the biggest network of all, the Internet. An Extender works to increase the range of an existing WiFi network into areas where it could not reach before.

A device such as the Netgear AC1200 Smart WiFi is a router with a long range — but it is not necessarily an extender like the AC1200 Dual Band WiFi Range Extender. It can be confusing between the different names, so make sure we’re getting the right device.

Picking the Right Extender

Picking the right WiFi extender is like picking the right car for the family or business. Most people wouldn’t buy an multi-ton 18 wheeler truck to go grocery shopping, and most lawn businesses wouldn’t get a 2 door coupe for loading up yard work machinery.

Here’s some tips for picking the right Netgear extender for our environment:

  1. The size of the location. The larger the location, the larger the extender will be needed. Or consider the use of multiple extenders for very large locations.

  2. Network Wiring: Many businesses have Ethernet wire run through the establishment. In a case like this, a WiFi extender that has Ethernet connections would be optimal to let the extended WiFi network to tap directly into the wired network.

  3. Building materials: The makeup of the building can affect the WiFi signals. Areas with large open spaces will be able to carry the radio signals father than a location with more steel frames or sections with a lot of other wiring or metal pipes.

  4. Other Wireless Devices: Wireless communication devices work via radio wave transmission. If one device is on the same signal as another, they can interfere with each other, and this can cause communication issues.

When determining what WiFi extender to use, it’s a good idea to make a map of the location. As mentioned earlier, a tool like NetSpot can show a “heat map” of what networks can be detected, and how strong they are. NetSpot can detect all of the signals from different WiFi networks, and help find those dead spots where doing the Netgear WiFi extender setup will do the best.

The Best Netgear Extenders


Once we have our mapping and environmental details set, we can decide what kind of Netgear WiFi extender would work best in our environment. Here’s a list and what features they include:


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choice #1

  • Extends 2.4 GHz WiFi signal in a small area
  • Connects 1 wired device via Ethernet

Netgear N300 Wifi Range Extender
Netgear N300 Wifi Range Extender
choice #2

  • Supports 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi signals
  • Connects 5 wired devices via Ethernet
  • Supports WPS Push and Connect

Netgear AC1200 WiFi Range Extender
Netgear AC1200 WiFi Range Extender

  • Like it’s big brother the AC1200, supports 2.4 GHz and 5GHz wifi connections
  • No USB connectors
  • 1 Ethernet port

AC1200 WiFi Range Extender — Essentials Edition
AC1200 WiFi Range Extender — Essentials Edition
choice #4

  • Supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi Signal
  • Allows for 1 Ethernet device to connect to the WiFi network
  • No USB ports

Netgear AC750 Wifi Range Extender
Netgear AC750 Wifi Range Extender

As we can see, there’s several different options depending on what we’re trying to connect, and where we’re trying to connect it at. For the best results, make sure that we fit our network connection needs with what our budget.


The Netgear Nighthawk X6S is a tri-band WiFi mesh extender capable of covering your entire house with a strong WiFi signal, from your garage to the last inch of your backyard. The extender uses patented FastLane3 Technology to achieve speeds of up to 3 Gbps, which is more than enough even for 4K video streaming or simultaneous gaming on multiple devices.

Being a mesh extender, the Netgear Nighthawk X6S is meant to be used with your existing WiFi router to extend its range by creating a whole-home WiFi system. Your WiFi devices can then seamlessly switching between your router and the Netgear Nighthawk X6S mesh extender without having to connect to a different WiFi network name (SSID).

Netgear Nighthawk X6S Tri-Band WiFi Mesh Extender (EX8000)
Netgear Nighthawk X6S Tri-Band WiFi Mesh Extender (EX8000)

Mesh systems like this are ideally suited for houses and office buildings that are too large to be covered by a single router. In the past, it used to be difficult to connect multiple routers and extenders together and turn them into a single mesh network, but that’s no longer the case.

The Netgear Nighthawk X6S is installed and configured using the Nighthawk App. This app runs on any Android and iOS device, and it makes both installation and configuration effortless. With a few simple taps, you can test your internet speed, set up parental controls, activate built-in security features, and more.

For these and other reasons, we can recommend the Netgear Nighthawk X6S to all WiFi users who want the best performance possible and are willing to pay for it.


The fact is that most routers are unable to cover large homes with a strong signal. Some users accept this as the reality of connecting to the internet wirelessly, while others are willing to go to great lengths in order to optimize WiFi settings and router location for maximum coverage. However, the easiest solution is a WiFi mesh extender like the Nighthawk X4.

This unassuming white device plugs directly into any wall outlet and connects to your existing router. It then creates a powerful mesh WiFi to extend the router’s coverage without forcing your device to constantly switch between two SSIDs, which can be not only annoying but also dangerous when it comes to network security.

Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2200 WiFi Range Extender (EX7300)
Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2200 WiFi Range Extender (EX7300)

The Nighthawk X4 can extend any 2.4 and 5 GHz WiFi network up to 2,200–750 Mbps thanks to its support for FastLane Technology, which uses both WiFi bands to establish one high-speed connection. Because the extender is able to achieve such blazingly fast speeds, it can confidently handle even multiple simultaneous connections thrown at it at the same time, such as two people browsing the internet on their mobile devices and one person watching 4K video.

Installing the Nighthawk X4 is easy because all you have to do is push a single button on the extender. The rest can be done using the Nighthawk app, which runs on Android and iOS devices. The only thing we don’t like is the size of the Nighthawk X4 since it always blocks the entire dual-socket outlet.


If you’re looking for a mesh extender that can deliver the fastest WiFi speeds possible, the Nighthawk AX8 is worth looking into. This powerful extender can reach speeds of up to 6 Gbps because it supports the latest generation of WiFi technology, WiFi 6 (also known as IEEE 802.11ax).

WiFi 6 is the successor to the 802.11ac standard, and its benefits include improved capacity, efficiency, coverage, and performance. The good news is that the new standard retains complete backward compatibility with devices that only support older WiFi standards, so you don’t have to worry about the Nighthawk AX8 not working with your smart TV, mobile phone, or home security system.

Nighthawk® 8-Stream WiFi 6 Mesh Extender (Model: EAX80)
Nighthawk® 8-Stream WiFi 6 Mesh Extender (Model: EAX80)

The Nighthawk AX8 is equipped with four 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with auto-sensing technology and one USB 3.0 port. The extender has a handy WPS button that lets you securely connect any device to your home network with a simple push of a button.

choice #8

This extender has several tricks up its sleeve that make it a great buy. For starters, it supports the WiFi 6 standard, providing better performance in congested areas, higher maximum potential speeds, more efficient data encoding, and other benefits. Thanks to them, the extender can provide up to 4x more device capacity than WiFi 5 extenders.

Another major advantage of the Netgear AX1800 WiFi Mesh Extender (EAX20) is dual-band support that lets it simultaneously broadcast up to 0.6 Gbps in the 2.4 GHz band and up to 1.2 Gbps in the 5 GHz band for a combined throughput of 1.8 Gbps. Yes, there are faster extenders out there, but 1.8 Gbps is still a respectable number that most users will be perfectly satisfied with.

Mesh Extender WiFi 6 4-Stream (Model: EAX20)
Mesh Extender WiFi 6 4-Stream (Model: EAX20)

Because the Netgear AX1800 WiFi Mesh Extender (EAX20) uses Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) to enable simultaneous streaming of data to multiple devices, you can expect it to deliver great wireless 4K streaming and gaming performance even in demanding multi-user situations.

choice #9

The Netgear AX1800 WiFi Mesh Extender (EAX15) is an elegant wall-plug extender that can easily create a mesh WiFi 6 system with your existing router. Despite its small size, it can handle streaming in 4K, high-definition video calls, online gaming, and more without slowdowns or annoying lag.

The extender has a single Ethernet port with auto-sensing technology, so you can connect, for example, a desktop computer directly to it and avoid potential issues with WiFi signal interference or snooping. The Nighthawk app makes installation a breeze, and you can download it directly from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

4-Stream WiFi 6 Mesh Extender (Model: EAX15)
4-Stream WiFi 6 Mesh Extender (Model: EAX15)

Because the extender has a rather small internal antenna, you shouldn’t expect it to match the performance of flagship routers with multiple external antennas. However, you can install multiple extenders in different rooms, and they’ll automatically create a unified mesh network.

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Netgear Wifi Extender Setup

To select the best Netgear WiFi range extender for our network, we need to consider a few things:

  • What are the dead zones in the network
  • What devices are going to be connected
  • What kind of WiFi network do we have (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz? Is it a a/c/n network?)

First, we should discover what areas in our environment are having connection issues. Using a tool like NetSpot can map out where the signal is the strongest, and what sections are the weakest. Registered users can use NetSpot’s “Heat Map” feature, which shows a geographical map of network strength over an area.

For example, this heat map of one coworking space shows that the WiFi connection is stronger on the right side of the coworking (where the map is more green), but lower in the middle and on the left side (where the map is more blue):

NetSpot map Signal Level
NetSpot map Signal Level
Once we’ve identified the areas where a signal is weakest, we should see what kind of devices we’ll be using in that area. If it is a living room of the residence with just a Smart TV or a place where we use a tablet to access books or videos via a slower connection, then the N300 might be sufficient.

However, this is an office environment, and there are several PCs that don’t have any WiFi capability, and only use Ethernet ports. In this case, the AC1200 would be the better choice with its multiple Ethernet ports and enhanced WiFi multiband capability.

FAQ

Which Netgear extender is best?

The Netgear Nighthawk AX8 is the best Netgear extender you can buy today. It offers dual-band support, speeds of up to 6 Gbps, and four 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with auto-sensing technology. An extender like this can handle even several simultaneous 4K video streams, making it perfect for families that don’t want to make any compromises when it comes to their online experience.

How can I boost my Netgear WiFi signal?

If you’re currently using a Netgear WiFi router that doesn’t provide sufficient coverage, you can easily boost your signal by installing a Netgear WiFi extender. Netgear sells many WiFi extenders capable of creating a seamless mesh WiFi network that doesn’t require your devices to reconnect when roaming around.

Do WiFi extenders really work?

Yes, WiFi extenders can boost weak WiFi signal and extend coverage to every part of your house. Some extenders do this by capturing the original signal, amplifying it, and rebroadcasting it as a new WiFi network, while others can create a mesh WiFi network that allows multiple routers and extenders to broadcast under the same network name.

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