A WiFi range extender, also known as WiFi booster or WiFi repeater, is a relatively simple device that connects to your existing network and features two WiFi radios. One of the two radios listens to your router, and the other one rebroadcasts what the first one hears.
WiFi range extenders in practice:
There are many manufacturers of WiFi range extenders to choose from, but their products do sometimes seem very similar. To help you select the best WiFi extender, here are three options that deliver a great value for money.
This capable WiFi extender from TP-Link boasts a modern design and compatibility with 802.11 b/g/n and 802.11ac WiFi devices. You can plug it directly into any standard wall outlet and set it up with a single press of the WPS button on your order.
It has two external antennas that you can position however you like, and its support for MU-MIMO technology allows it to stream to multiple devices at the same time.
The Linksys RE7000 is a useful little WiFi extender with a clean design due to its absence of external WiFi antennas. But just because it relies solely on internal antennas doesn’t mean that it can’t cover a large area.
In fact, it can extend the range of your wireless router up to 10,000 square feet, which wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for next-Gen AC with MU-MIMO.
A mesh WiFi system is a complete replacement for your current WiFi router, but you can also use it in tandem with it. A mesh WiFi system consists of multiple identical units positioned in different rooms and locations. These units together create a single WiFi network, allowing you to roam from room to room without having to reconnect.
Mesh WiFi in practice:
Generally speaking, the best mesh WiFi systems occupy the high-end market, and their prices reflect this reality. The great thing about mesh WiFi systems is that you can always extend them by purchasing more satellite units, so you can start with the basic configuration and upgrade as necessary.
The Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) is a state-of-the-art WiFi mesh system that features the latest WiFi technologies to give you the most stable and reliable connection possible.
It can deliver a total bandwidth of up to 6600 Mbps, and its setup consists of just three simple steps that can be performed using the ASUS Router app.
A single TP-Link Deco M9 Plus unit can cover up to 2,500 square feet, and you can use as many or as few units as you want.
The TP-Link Deco M9 Plus uses two different 5 GHz backhauls in addition to a 2.4 GHz backhaul, delivering impressive data transfer speeds even with multiple wireless devices connected at the same time.
Expensive but extremely capable — that’s one way to describe this Netgear mesh WiFi system. It supports the generation WiFi 6 technology, which introduces higher data transfer rates, increased capacity, and greater power efficiency, among other things.
Besides WiFi 6, the Netgear Orbi WiFi 6 can also offer comprehensive anti-virus and data theft protection or an app-based setup process.
If money isn’t an issue, and you have a very large area that you want to cover with a reliable WiFi signal, go for a mesh WiFi system. It will eliminate all signal dead zones and let you enjoy the internet without slowdowns and lag.
A WiFi repeater is a convenient, budget-friendly solution for smaller homes, but you need to keep in mind that it won’t replace your router. Regardless of if you decide to go with a mesh WiFi system or a WiFi extender, you should always scan and analyze WiFi coverage at the site before and after the changes are made using a WiFi toolset like NetSpot.