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Top 15 Ways to Boost Your WiFi

Learn 15 effective ways to boost your WiFi network and instantly improve its performance and reach.
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In this article, we’re going over top 15 ways how to boost WiFi signal to improve the performance of your WiFi network.

15 Ways to Boost Your WiFi

Would you like your Teams calls to always be crystal clear and your downloads blazingly fast? Then you need to learn how to boost WiFi signals, and the 15 methods described below are here to help you do just that. So, grab yourself a cup of your favorite beverage — you're about to become a WiFi optimization pro.

1. Select a Good Place for Your Router

Not all places are equally suitable for your router. To start with, you want to avoid placing your router close to metal objects and appliances that emit electromagnetic waves. Metal is the top disrupter of a WiFi signal, and its presence close to a WiFi router can easily create a large dead zone.

Other materials, including glass, wood, plastics, foam, and cardboard, can also disrupt a WiFi signal but their influence of WiFi signal strength tends to less severe. Keep in mind that many buildings use metal studs (rather than 2x4 wood) for the particle board mounting, and placing your router close to them would be a bad idea. When in doubt, use a handheld stud finder or at least a stud finder app on your smartphone.

Strictly speaking, all household appliances emit electromagnetic waves to some degree, even fluorescent lightbulbs, circuit breakers, and electric razors. The biggest emitters of electromagnetic waves tend to be found in the kitchen, and they include stoves, microwave ovens, and dishwashers.

Other problematic appliances are washing machines, tumble dryers, televisions, cordless phones, and radiant heaters. If you have any of these appliances at home, keep your WiFi router as far away from them as possible to boost WiFi signal.

Select a Good Place for Your Router

Ideally, you also want to keep a safe distance from electric wires. To cover an area with an even WiFi signal, you should place your WiFi router roughly in the center. You can slightly boost your wireless signal by elevating the router above the floor level.

WiFi signals radiate outward in all directions, not just horizontally. When your router is on the floor, it’s ability to emit strong signals is severely limited. For the same reason, people who live in multi-store houses should always locate a Wi-Fi router near the ceiling on the first floor. This way, even the second floor will receive consistent coverage.

2. Keep Your Router Updated

If you follow the news, you’ve heard about the growing number of large-scale malware attacks that are costing businesses and individuals alike billions every year. Many of these attacks wouldn’t be possible if all routers were kept updated. Once a malware infects a router, it can steal bandwidth and spread itself across the network to other devices.

But even without a presence of a dangerous malware, routers with old firmware perform worse than routers that are properly updated.

Keep Your Router Updated

To check if your router is running the newest firmware available:

  1. Launch a web browser on your computer or mobile device and connect to your router’s network.
Launch a web browser
  1. Enter the IP address of the router into the web browser.
    • If you don’t know what the IP address is, check if there is an information sticker somewhere on the router.
Enter the IP address
  1. Log in with admin username and password.
    • Again, if you don’t know what the right admin password is, look at the information sticker on the bottom or back of your router.
Log in with admin username and password
  1. Select an option called Firmware Update or Router Update.
    • Because there are many different routers, you may need to do some digging and detective work to find the right option.
Select an option called Firmware Update
  1. Wait until your router finds and installs the latest firmware.
    • Never interrupt the update. If it takes a long time and your router appears to be unresponsive, give it a few more minutes before you disconnect the router from power and turn it on again.
Wait until your router finds and installs the latest firmware

3. Get a Stronger Antenna

Most WiFi routers come with small, weak antennas. It’s not that manufacturers want to save every cent they can, but powerful WiFi antennas tend to be hideously large. Compared to the antenna that came with your router, which probably is just a few inches tall and has around 4 dB gain, a 10-dB antenna can be anywhere between 10 to 15 inches tall.

But if you don’t mind the size, a new, powerful WiFi antenna is a great way how you can boost WiFi at home or office without buying a new router.

There are several different types of WiFi antennas, but the only type you need to care about is the common “rubber duck” antenna, which is an electrically short monopole antenna that consists of a springy wire in the shape of a narrow helix, sealed in a rubber or plastic jacket to protect the antenna.

Such antennas use the same RP-SMA connector, and there are many different models available on Amazon and other online stores. Some even come with a handy extension cable that allows you to place the antenna farther away from your router to achieve optimal signal distribution.

Get a Stronger Antenna

To boost WiFi signal, you need to purchase an antenna with more gain than your current one. The gain of an antenna system relative to an isotropic radiator at radio frequencies is expressed in dBi, or decibels relative to isotropic. Most home routers come with small antennas, whose gain tends to be between 4–5 dBi. Replacing such antenna with a 9 dBi antenna should provide excellent signal boost.

4. Cut Off WiFi Leeches

An encrypted, password-protected WiFi is a must in this day and age. With more people than ever relying on WiFi, the hunger for open, fast WiFi networks is real. Don’t think that your neighbors won’t use your WiFi network just because they have their own — they will.

You should encrypt your WiFi and protect it with a strong password that can’t be easily guessed. A strong password should:

  • Include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers.
  • Don’t use common passwords, such as 123456, qwerty, and so on. You can find a list of the most common passwords here.
  • Make sure the password is at least 8 characters long. Short passwords can be easily guessed with brute force.
  • Don’t include any personal information in the password, such as your name, the name of your pet, or your telephone number.
  • Use a unique password and don’t write it on a piece of paper. If you can’t remember it, use a password manager.
Cut Off WiFi Leeches

If you have lots of guests, create a separate guest network and either significantly limit its range or protect it with a different password and change the password on a regular basis.

5. Buy a WiFi Repeater/ Booster/ Extender

Even though they are referred to by many names, WiFi boosters, repeaters, and extenders are basically the same thing.

WiFi repeaters are relatively simple devices that take an existing signal from your WiFi router and rebroadcast it as a new network. This new network is just an extension of your main network, and all data that go through it also go through the main network.

WiFi boosters and extenders are very similar, but they also amplify the existing signal before rebroadcasting it to create a second network. Because WiFi boosters typically have greater range than WiFi repeaters, they make sense in situations where the original signal is very weak.

Extender

A good repeater or booster costs less than $100, and it can be installed in a few minutes by anyone since the installation process usually involves only the press of the WPS button. You can find a list of the top 5 WiFi boosters at the end of this article.

To achieve the best performance when using a WiFi repeater or booster, it’s a good idea to use a WiFi booster app to analyze existing WiFi coverage and determine the optimal way how to extend the existing WiFi network.

6. Switch to a Different WiFi Channel

Just like lanes on the highway, there are multiple WiFi channels on which a WiFi router can broadcast. Their exact number depends on which frequency band is used (with minor variations based on your geographical location due to local regulations).

Switch to a Different WiFi Channel

Data transmitted in the 2.4 GHz frequency band is frequently slowed down by noisy traffic jams because most countries have four non-overlapping channels (1, 6, 11, and 14) in this part of the WiFi network frequency spectrum, with each channel being just 20 MHz wide.

To make the problem even worse, many users leave their router set on the default channel, which is usually either Channel 1 or Channel 6.

This results in a WiFi traffic jam as too many packets are trying to drive on the same line. The solution is simple: find out which channel is occupied the least and switch to it. This can be done with the help of NetSpot, a professional and easy-to-use WiFi analysis and surveillance tool.

With a new channel selected, you need to tell your WiFi router to use it:

  1. Log in to your router as admin.
Log in to your router as admin
  1. Go to Settings and look for Wireless Settings.
Go to Settings and look for Wireless Settings
  1. You should see an option called Channel. The chances are that it will be set to Auto.
You should see an option called Channel
  1. Select the desired channel.
Select the desired channel
  1. Save the new settings and wait for your router to restart.
Save the new settings

You can now verify that your router is broadcasting on the new channel using a WiFi network analyzer like NetSpot.

Fortunately, wireless traffic jams occur far less often in the 5 GHz and 6 GHz bands. That’s because there are far more channels available, and their width can also be greater. In the 5 GHz band, there are 25 non-overlapping 20 MHz channels, and the 6 GHz band is home to 59 non-overlapping 20 MHz channels (or 7 super-wide 160 MHz channels).

What’s more, WiFi routers that support the 5 GHz and 6 GHz bands tend to be smart enough to pick the most suitable channel automatically, so it’s seldom necessary to manually change it to a different one. But should you need to do so, the steps to follow will be the same as when changing channels in the 2.4 GHz band.

Find the best WiFi channel with NetSpot

Use NetSpot to quickly find the least crowded WiFi channels.

7. Control Bandwidth-Hungry Applications and Clients

It takes just one bandwidth-hungry application or a client to make download and upload speeds come to a crawl for everyone else on the same WiFi network. Luckily, modern routers support services like QoS (Quality of Service), which allow users to prioritize certain applications over others.

Control Bandwidth-Hungry Applications and Clients

With QoS, your online gaming session won’t ever be interrupted again by a person watching a 1440p video on YouTube or downloading a huge Linux distribution from the Internet.

To change your router’s QoS settings:

  1. Log in to your router as admin.
Log in to your router as admin
  1. Go to Settings and open the Wireless Settings tab.
Go to Settings and open the Wireless Settings tab
  1. Locate the QoS Settings.
Locate the QoS Settings
  1. Configure your QoS rules.
Configure your QoS rules
  1. Save the new settings and wait for your router to restart.
Save the new settings

Some routers make it very easy to configure QoS settings, while other routers are far from intuitive. When in doubt, consult the manufacturer of your router.

8. Use the Latest WiFi Technologies

The newest wireless technologies — IEEE 802.11ac (WiFi 5) and 802.11ax (WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E) — offer superior download and upload speeds as well as improved range compared to older WiFi technologies, such as IEEE 802.11b, g, and others. To take advantage of the latest WiFi technologies to boost home WiFi, you need to make sure that both your home router and your WiFi-enabled devices, such as smartphones and laptops, support them.

Latest WiFi Technologies

When selecting a new WiFi router with support for IEEE 802.11ac or, better yet, 802.11ax, don’t pick the most affordable model you can find. Unless your budget is very strict, it’s always worth spending extra to purchase a router with an excellent range and modern features such as MU-MIMO, Quality of Service, guest networks, gigabit Ethernet ports, and replaceable external antennas.

A good router should be able to serve you well for at least five years, which is approximately how long it usually takes for a major new WiFi technology to become mainstream. One such technology is right around the corner, and its name is 802.11be (WiFi 7). This upcoming amendment of the 802.11 IEEE standard is expected to be finalized in 2024, and it should make it possible for wireless connections to reach wired speeds.

Near the end of this article, we recommend three best WiFi routers from leading manufacturers, so all you need to do is pick one that fits your budget.

9. Switch to 5 GHz or 6 GHz

The 5 GHz wireless frequency and the recently introduced 6 GHz wireless frequency both provide faster data rates at shorter distances and are typically much less busy than the 2.4 GHz frequency band. If your router supports any of them, consider switching to it for an instant short-range speed boost.

Switch to 5 GHz or 6 GHz

How to boost your WiFi by switching your router to 5 GHz or 6 GHz:

  1. Log in to your router as admin.
Log in to your router as admin
  1. Go to Settings and open the Wireless Settings tab.
Go to Settings
  1. Change the 802.11 mode to 802.11n or newer for the 5 GHz band and 802.11ax or newer for the 6 GHz band.
Change the 802.11 band from 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz
  1. Click apply.
Save the new settings
  1. Restart your router to apply the new settings.

Note: All routers are different, and the steps you need to follow enabled 5 GHz or 6 GHz WiFi on your router may be completely different from those described above.

One downside of the 5 GHz and 6 GHz wireless frequencies is that they don’t penetrate solid objects nearly as well as the 2.4 GHz wireless frequency. This can be a problem in office buildings and residential areas, so it’s advisable to always use 5 GHz and 6 GHz in conjunction with 2.4 GHz. That way, you can get the best of both worlds.

10. Don’t Forget to Reboot

The timeless IT advice, “If it doesn’t work, try switching it on and off", also applies to WiFi routers. A simple reboot is often enough to considerably improve your WiFi speeds. A reboot clears the router’s memory and allows updates to install.

Don’t Forget to Reboot

To reboot your router, either press the restart button located on the back (you may need a pointy object like a pen to get to it because many router manufacturers use recessed restart buttons) or simply disconnect the router from power and turn it on again.

If your router really starts installing an update during the reboot, be patient and don’t interrupt the update process by turning off your router. Depending on your router’s performance, the update process may take more than 10 minutes.

11. Measure Wired Internet Performance

If you’ve tried the 10 above-described tips for improving wireless internet performance without any success, then it’s time to shift your focus from your WiFi and measure wired internet performance. To do that, you need an Ethernet cable and a laptop or desktop computer with an Ethernet port.

  1. Connect one end of the Ethernet cable to your modem.
  2. Connect the other end to your laptop or desktop computer.
  3. Open the following address in a web browser: https://www.speedtest.net/.
  4. Click the GO button to measure your wired internet performance.
  5. Compare the results with the speeds advertised by your internet service provider.
Measure Wired Internet Performance

We recommend you repeat the wired internet performance test several times, preferably at different times of the day. Compare the test results with your wireless internet performance, which you can easily measure using an app like NetSpot for Android and NetSpot for iOS.

Android speedtest

If both your wired and wireless speeds are lower than they should be, then your internet service provider is likely to blame, and you should send it the results of your tests and ask it to fix the problem.

If the provider fails to do so, then it’s probably time to switch to a different internet service provider because even the best tips on how to increase WiFi signal won’t help you.

12. Set Up a Mesh WiFi System

Sometimes, a single router — no matter how capable — can’t reliably cover the entire living space with a strong WiFi signal. In such cases, it’s best to set up a mesh WiFi system, which consists of the main router and multiple satellite units that together provide seamless WiFi coverage.

Set Up a Mesh WiFi System

Some of the most popular mesh WiFi systems available today come from TP-Link, Netgear and Eero, and we offer some recommendations later in this article. What’s great about mesh WiFi systems in general is that you can expand them depending on your needs. This means that you can start with just one main router and one satellite unit and upgrade only if your WiFi is still not performing up to your expectations.

13. Change Your DNS Address

The Domain Name System (DNS) is responsible for converting domain names (such as www.google.com) into IP addresses (64.233.160.0). By default, your modem is most likely configured to use your internet service provider’s DNS server, whose performance may not be the best.

The good news is that most modems let you change your DNS address, which is often the easiest way how to boost WiFi performance. There are many public DNS servers you can choose from, including Google’s DNS server (8.8.8.8) or Cloudflare’s DNS server (1.1.1.1).

Change Your DNS Address

To help you pick the best DNS server, we recommend you download and run Domain Name Speed Benchmark. This free Windows application offers features designed to enable serious DNS performance investigation, and you can use it to find the fastest DNS server in your area with just a few clicks:

  1. Download and start Domain Name Speed Benchmark.
  2. Switch to the Nameservers tab.
  3. Click the Run Benchmark button.
  4. Go to the Conclusions tab after the benchmark completes.

Once you’ve picked the best DNS server available, you need to go to your modem’s settings and replace the default DNS address with the DNS address of the new server.

14. Purchase a Better Internet Plan

It’s easy to underestimate just how many devices these days connect to the internet via WiFi. From computers and mobile phones to various smart home products and appliances, these WiFi-connected devices consume a substantial amount of bandwidth, and not all internet plans can provide it.

Purchase a Better Internet Plan

If you’ve been paying for the same internet plan for the last 10 years, then you should look at what other options are available and considering upgrading. You might even be able to save some money since the prices of fast internet plans have gone down substantially since the early days of broadband internet.

15. Contact Your Internet Service Provider

Last but not least, consider contacting your internet service provider and asking for help. If the ISP truly cares about their customers, they will help you remotely diagnose your WiFi performance issues or even send over a technician to measure your WiFi signal strength and help you boost wireless signal.

Contact Your Internet Service Provider

Boost Your WiFi with NetSpot

Powerful advanced tool for multiple Wi-Fi networks Surveys, Analysis and Troubleshooting.

Why Is My WiFi Signal So Bad? 7 Factors That Affect WiFi Performance

WiFi can be a fickle thing. You may be enjoying a perfectly strong WiFi signal, move just a few steps in one direction, and watch it drop to one bar.

Check out a video guide on how to boost Wi-Fi signal at home — some tips and tricks as well as how to use NetSpot to see surrounding WiFi networks and perform a WiFi site survey.
screenIndex

The seemingly unreliable nature of WiFi networks has everything to do with the fact that there are many factors that influence their performance.

  1. Physical distance: For obvious technical and safety reasons, WiFi routers don’t have the same transmitting power as cell towers. Cheaper routers may even struggle to cover a relatively small apartment with a strong WiFi signal — let alone an entire house. You can determine the reach of your WiFi router using a WiFi analyzer app like NetSpot.
  2. Obstructions: WiFi signals can be partially absorbed or even completely blocked by various obstacles and objects, including walls, duct work, furniture, home appliances, and even people. These WiFi blockers have especially negative effect on 5 GHz WiFi networks, because higher frequency signals don’t penetrate solid objects nearly as well as lower frequency signals.
  3. Interference: WiFi signals occupy the same radio frequency band of the electromagnetic spectrum as actual radios, cell phones, microwave ovens, walkie talkies, baby monitors, and many other devices, all of which can interfere with WiFi signals. Of course, WiFi networks can also interfere with one another, a problem that’s especially common in apartment buildings and other densely populated areas.
  4. Router capacity: Just like some computers can barely handle casual web browsing and some can render complex 3D objects, not all routers are equally powerful. You can’t reasonably expect a low-end router to provide reliable wireless access to the internet to a busy office with more than a dozen of employees and several fax machines, WiFi connected printers, and wireless security cameras.
  5. Bandwidth hoggers: Sometimes, the problem isn’t with the strength of your WiFi signal but with the capacity of your internet connection. Video chatting or streaming on multiple devices can bring even a strong WiFi network to a crawl. For the best experience, it’s important to manage bandwidth hoggers and prevent them from stealing bandwidth from everyone else.
  6. Your internet service provider: You can easily waste an entire day troubleshooting poor WiFi performance without realizing that your internet service provider is actually to blame. To test if that’s really the case, connect to the internet via a wired connection and perform an internet speed test. The measured download and upload speeds should correspond to the speeds advertised by your ISP. If they don’t, then don’t hesitate to complain.
  7. Performance-enhancing features: Modern routers support all kinds of wonderful performance-enhancing features, including Quality of Service, Multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO), beamforming, and others. However, these features may need to be manually enabled to work, and older routers often don’t support them at all.

Now that you understand the top 7 factors that affect WiFi performance, it’s time to take a closer look at the best devices that you can buy to give your network a quick and easy boost.

Best WiFi Boosters

The purpose of WiFi boosters is to extend an existing WiFi signal to areas where it can’t reach. Most WiFi boosters are designed to be plug and play, making it possible for anyone to install them on their own to enjoy a strong and reliable WiFi signal everywhere.

You can use a network analyzer like NetSpot to create a signal heatmap of your space

When selecting a WiFi booster, make sure you have at least a rough idea of how large is the area that you want to cover. You can use a network analyzer like NetSpot to create a signal heatmap of your space. Then you need to set a budget and evaluate the potential candidates based on their features.

To make the selection process easier for you, we selected the top 5 best WiFi boosters according professional reviews and real users alike.


choice #1

The TP-Link RE550 AC1900 WiFi Range Booster is a premium WiFi booster aimed at those who want to cover up to 12,000 additional sq.ft. Its three adjustable antennas give it the ability to evenly distribute WiFi signals to all directions, and the built-in Gigabit Ethernet port is perfect for connecting to a nearby stationary device.

Unlike with some other WiFi boosters, the TP-Link RE550 AC1900 WiFi Range Booster is easy to set up even without a third-party WiFi signal analyzer app like NetSpot. That's because its built-in intelligent signal light helps find the best location for optimal WiFi coverage by showing the signal strength in real time.

TP-Link RE550 AC1900 WiFi Range Booster

Because the TP-Link RE550 AC1900 WiFi Range Booster can simultaneously broadcast on two different frequencies (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), it can achieve combined WiFi speeds of up to 1,900 Mbps, and that's pretty fast for a WiFi range booster.

Pros and Cons

  • Can cover up to 12,000 sq.ft.
  • Three adjustable antennas
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Straightforward setup process
  • None

Despite its unassuming design, the Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream AC1900+ is packed with modern WiFi technologies, including Multi-user MIMO, which allows multiple Wi-Fi devices to simultaneously receive multiple data streams. The WiFi booster also supports Cross Band Technology to maximize the utilization of the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless bands for combined speeds of up to 1.9 Gbps.

Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream AC1900+ Wi-Fi Range Booster

The Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream AC1900+ is designed to extend the range of your WiFi router up to 10,000 square feet. The setup process is a piece of cake because you’re guided from start to finish by the Spot Finder app. All you need to do is connect the WiFi booster to your router by pressing the WPS button and follow the app’s instructions.

Pros and Cons

  • MU-MIMO technology
  • Push-Botton Connect technology
  • Relatively affordable
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • No external antennas

If you need an Ethernet port to connect a computer, video game console, or smart TV to your WiFi range booster, then the Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2200 WiFi Range Booster isn't the right choice for you because it doesn't have any.

Despite this flaw, the WiFi range booster can offer a lot of value thanks to its great performance, MU-MIMO support, and a physical WPS button. Both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands are supported, so you should be able to achieve great speeds even in areas with lots of interference.

Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2200 WiFi Range Booster

Also worth praising is the fact that the Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2200 WiFi Range Booster doesn't block the second receptacle when connected to a wall outlet, keeping it usable for other devices.

Pros and Cons

  • Great performance despite internal antennas
  • MU-MIMO support
  • Convenient physical control buttons
  • Doesn't block the second receptacle
  • No Ethernet port
  • Dated design

The Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 is a high-end WiFi booster with speeds up to 3 Gbps. It uses Netgear’s patented FastLane3 technology to broadcast WiFi signals over three different bands (at the same time (including a dedicated 5GHz band with up to 1.7 Gbps) so that each device you connect to the internet can choose the fastest line available.

What's more, the three bands can be used to create the same seamless signal coverage that's typically created using more expensive mesh routers.

Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 Tri-band WiFi Booster

Thanks to the support for the 802.11k standard, you can move around the house while video chatting with friends or watching an online video without any interruption. On the rear, the Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 has four Gigabit Ethernet ports to connect wired devices, such as your Smart TV, game console, or home security system.

Just keep in mind that this high-end WiFi booster is much larger than most other WiFi boosters on the market. Its dimensions are much closer to WiFi routers, but its performance more than makes up for the bulky form factor.

Pros and Cons

  • Creates a mesh-like network
  • Supports three WiFi bands
  • MU-MIMO support
  • Bulky
  • Expensive

choice #5

Don't let the fact that the D-Link DAP-1610 AC1200 WiFi Booster ranks last on our list of the best WiFi boosters discourage you from taking a closer look at it because it's still one of the best products in its category.

D-Link DAP-1610 AC1200 WiFi Booster

Thanks to its elegant design, the WiFi booster won't be an eyesore in your home, and that's despite the fact that it sports two external antennas. While the antennas can be independently positioned, you should still expect your speeds to be average at best because the router simply isn't a speed monster, which is evident from how much it heats up when pushed to its limits.

Pros and Cons

  • Elegant design
  • Two external antennas
  • One 10/100 LAN port
  • Slower speeds
  • Heats up quickly

Best WiFi Extenders

WiFi extenders look and function exactly the same as WiFi booster. That's because there are actually no differences between them — except for how they're called.

The reason why some manufacturers call their products "WiFi extenders" has nothing to do with their functionality and everything to do with marketing. Because the market with devices that boost WiFi signal is so crowded, it takes a lot of effort for new products to stand out. By inventing a new product category, manufacturers can effortlessly attract attention and increase their sales, even if it means confusing some customers.

Now that's out of the way, let's take a look at the top 5 best WiFi extenders you can buy to boost your WiFi signal.


Looking for the best ways to boost WiFi signal at home or work? Then you should consider the TP-Link AX1750 Wi-Fi 6 Range Extender (RE603X). Thanks to its WiFi 6 support and Gigabit Ethernet Port, this small device can effectively eliminate signal weak zones while allowing you to keep your existing router.

TP-Link AX1750 Wi-Fi 6 Range Extender (RE603X)

You can install it using the TP-LINK Tether app, and the same app can also be used to include the TP-Link AX1750 Wi-Fi 6 Range Extender (RE603X) in a TP-Link OneMesh network. The extender comes equipped with two rather bulky external antennas, but the solid performance they help deliver makes their larger size worth it.

Pros and Cons

  • Solid performance
  • Easy to install
  • Intelligent signal light
  • Bulky

choice #2
  • 4.2
  • 4.2 out of 5

If you’ve been researching how to boost WiFi signal through walls, then you may have already stumbled upon Powerline technology, which uses existing electrical wiring for internet transmission. Well, the Devolo Magic 2 WiFi 6 is a Powerline - compatible WiFi 6 extender that can boost WiFi in houses large and small.

Devolo Magic 2 WiFi 6

In ideal conditions, the Devolo Magic 2 WiFi 6 can reach speeds up to 1,800 Mbps, but you should expect them to vary quite a lot because there can be a huge amount of signal interference in electrical wiring.

Pros and Cons

  • Mesh features
  • Supports the latest Powerline standard
  • Simple configuration
  • Performance may vary
  • Not as fast as other extenders

The Netgear AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Extender (EAX15) is great for those who want to boost WiFi speeds without having to constantly look at some ugly WiFi device with antennas sticking out from it in multiple directions.

Netgear AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Extender (EAX15)

Because the extender supports WiFi 6, it performs well even in highly congested areas. Just like many other Netgear WiFi products, the configuration of the Netgear AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 Mesh Extender (EAX15) is done using the great Nighthawk app, which you can download from the App Store and Google Play Store.

Pros and Cons

  • Elegant design
  • The Nighthawk app works great
  • Satisfactory performance
  • Costs more than some routers

Best WiFi Routers

Does your current router leave a lot to be desired in terms of performance and/or features? If so, it may be the right time to get a new one. Modern routers can broadcast on multiple bands at the same time, and they support features like Multi-user MIMO, which allows them to communicate with multiple devices simultaneously.

If you’ve decided to improve WiFi signal by upgrading your router, then you have many different options to choose from. Of course, more expensive routers generally perform better than budget ones, but even an affordable router can significantly improve your WiFi signal strength if it's installed and configured correctly.


choice #1
  • 4.8
  • 4.8 out of 5

Affordable WiFi 6 routers are still fairly hard to come by, but the TP-Link Archer AX21 is a welcome exception. Sure it lacks many of the advanced features supported by high-end and flagship WiFi 6 routers, but its performance is actually pretty great considering how much it costs, and that’s the most important thing.

TP-Link Archer AX21

The TP-Link Archer AX21 can achieve speeds of up to 1.8 Gbps thanks to OFDMA technology and beamforming, and its four independently positionable antennas. On the back of the router is a USB 2.0 port for local file sharing.

Pros and Cons

  • Affordable
  • Performance exceeds expectations
  • Great build quality
  • Lacks advanced features

Issues with WiFi?

NetSpot can help you extend your wireless network in an optimal and practical way.

choice #2
  • 4.7
  • 4.7 out of 5

The Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 is on another level not just with its design, which makes it look like a miniature from Star Wars, but also with its performance. Because the router supports the 6 GHz band, it can achieve speeds of up to 10.8 Gbps, and its 1.8 GHz quad-core processor is powerful enough to serve up to 60 devices at the same time.

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500

On its own, the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 can cover up to 3,500 sq. ft. with a strong signal. You can also take advantage of multiple Gigabit ports and a single 2.5 Gbps Multi-Gig LAN port to directly connect your most demanding devices.

Pros and Cons

  • Strong 5 GHz and 6 GHz performance
  • Link aggregation
  • Customizable
  • Expensive
  • No parental controls

choice #3
  • 4.4
  • 4.4 out of 5

The Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is a beastly WiFi 6 router that’s intended mainly for gamers who are willing to spend a lot of money to prevent their ping from even entering the three-digit territory.

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

When it was released, the Asus ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 became the world’s first 10 Gigabit WiFi router with a quad-core CPU, and it still dominates WiFi performance benchmarks. The router comes with many gaming-oriented features, including VPN Fusion, which makes it possible to run a VPN and an ordinary internet connection at the same time.

Pros and Cons

  • High-end specifications
  • 2.5 Gbps wired connector
  • Plenty of gaming features
  • Large and polarizing design
  • Very expensive

Best WiFi Mesh Systems

WiFi mesh systems can seamlessly cover a large area with a strong signal. They consist of multiple units that can be independently positioned to form a single network.

When selecting a WiFi mesh system, make sure you have at least a rough idea of how large is the area that you want to cover. You can use a network analyzer like NetSpot to create a signal heatmap of your space. Then you need to set a budget and evaluate the potential candidates based on their features.

To make the selection process easier for you, we selected the top 3 best WiFi mesh systems according to professional reviews and real users alike.


choice #1
  • 4.7
  • 4.7 out of 5

If you’re looking for a relatively affordable mesh WiFi system with support for the WiFi 6 standard, then the TP-Link Deco W7200 is an excellent choice. You can get it up and running in no time using the Deco app, and it will keep you secure with TP-Link HomeShield.

TP-Link Deco W7200

Just know that the TP-Link Deco W7200 units don’t have any USB ports, which can make printer and storage sharing somewhat more difficult — but certainly not impossible.

Pros and Cons

  • Straightforward setup process
  • Comes with HomeShield security
  • Great performance
  • Lacks USB ports

choice #2

Are you interested in the best WiFi speeds and coverage money can buy? Then we recommend you consider the Netgear Orbi WiFi 6E WiFi mesh system. Yes, it’s ridiculously expensive, but its performance is unmatched.

Netgear Orbi WiFi 6E (RBKE963)

With just three units, you can cover up to 9,000 sq. ft. with a strong signal and achieve speeds that reach up to 10.8 Gbps. Each Netgear Orbi WiFi 6E unit features three Gigabit Ethernet ports plus one 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port for your stationary devices.

Pros and Cons

  • Fantastic performance
  • Superb range
  • Easy to configure
  • Ridiculously expensive

choice #3
  • 4.1
  • 4.1 out of 5

The Eero 6 Plus mesh system standards out from other similar products because it's elegantly small yet more than capable of satisfying the needs of demanding users. The system doubles as a Matter and Zigbee hub, making it easy to connect your smart home devices.

Eero 6 Plus

You can get a pack of three Eero 6 Plus units for just $299, and that’s a great price because they can together cover up to 4,500 sq. ft. with speedy internet. Just know that Eero collects some data about its users. If that makes you uncomfortable, we recommend you choose another product instead.

Pros and Cons

  • Eero app is enjoyable to use
  • 160MHz channel support
  • Supports Matter and Zigbee
  • Eero collects user data
SO, WE RECOMMEND
NetSpot
Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting runs on a MacBook (macOS 10.10+) or any laptop (Windows 7/8/10/11) with a standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax wireless network adapter.
  • 4.8
  • 969 User reviews
  • #1
  • Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting

  • 500K
  • Users
  • 8
  • Years
  • Cross-platform
  • Mac/Windows

Conclusion

With these fifteen tips, you should have no problem boosting your WiFi network without buying a new router. Make sure to have NetSpot at hand to check whether our tips helped each time you try one. We guarantee that by the time you get to the number fifteen, your WiFi will feel faster than ever before.

How To Boost WiFi — FAQ

How do I increase my WiFi signal strength?

If you’re wondering how to improve WiFi signal strength, then we have good news for you: there are quite a few things that you can do to boost your WiFi without spending a single dollar. For example, you can use a WiFi signal analyzer to determine a more suitable place for your router, or you can switch to the 5 GHz band for an instant boost in performance, especially if you live in a densely populated urban area.

How can I boost my WiFi signal for free?

If you want to boost your WiFi without purchasing a new router, you can start by tweaking your settings. If you haven’t done so already, activate the 5 GHz band to benefit from its greater resistance to signal interference. You should also make sure that your router uses the least cluttered channel possible, especially when using only the 2.4 GHz band. Use a WiFi analyzer app to determine the best settings.

Do WiFi extenders really work?

Yes, WiFi extenders really work, but their effectiveness greatly depends on their placement. A poorly placed WiFi extender won’t be able to perform nearly as well as a well-placed one, and it might even degrade the performance of your existing network by causing additional signal interference. That’s why it’s essential to play the deployment of any WiFi extender using a WiFi analyzer app like NetSpot.

How can I boost my home WiFi?

The most expensive way how to boost your home WiFi is to buy a new router. Fortunately, there are many far less expensive ways that you should try first, including buying a stronger antenna for your existing router (if it has an external one), installing a WiFi repeater, or moving your router to a more suitable location.

How can I boost my WiFi signal for free?

You can instantly boost your WiFi signal for free by cutting all out WiFi leeches, which are basically unauthorized users of your internet connection. To do that, all you need to do is change your WiFi password and make sure that you’re using at least WPA2 protection (WPA3 is preferable, but not all WiFi routers support it yet).

Do WiFi boosters work?

Yes, WiFi boosters can greatly improve signal coverage by amplifying your existing WiFi signals and rebroadcasting them as a new network, which is why we recommend them to all WiFi users who want to know how to increase WiFi signal strength without buying a new router.

Why do you need to Select a Good Place for Your Router?

To give you a quick answer — that is how you get a great WiFi coverage.

Getting into some detail, not every spot will do for your WiFi router. A router won't do great near metal objects and the appliances that emit electromagnetic waves (the strongest ones are from electric stoves, microwave ovens, and dishwashers). Obstacles made from other materials than metal, can also affect the strength of WiFi signal. You also want to have your router installed on an elevated surface for a better signal broadcast.

How Keeping Your Router Updated helps to boost WiFi?

Keeping your WiFi router up-to-date helps keep hacker attacks away. Malware developers keep coming up with new viruses that can steal bandwidth and spread themselves across the network to other devices. Getting new security firmware versions on your router consistently will keep your network secure.

Why do you need a WiFi Repeater/ Booster/ Extender?

WiFi repeaters, boosters and extenders help you get your WiFi signal to farther rooms and levels of your home or office space. Choose what will work best for you according to the size of your space, compatibility with your router and your budget. A good repeater or a booster can cost less than $100.

How changing a WiFi Channel can help to boost WiFi?

There are multiple wireless channels a WiFi router can broadcast on, however there are only a few non-overlapping available on 2.4 GHz band (3 to be precise). 5GHz frequency offers 24 non-overlapping channels. Usually when you get a router it broadcasts on default channel 1 or 6.

Because many owners leave their routers with the factory settings, those channels get overloaded. Find the least occupied channel in your area with the help of such software as NetSpot and switch your router to it.

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Read next in All about Wi-Fi

If you want to dive deeper into this Wi-Fi thing, check out the following articles about Wi-Fi security, the best apps for wireless networking, inflight WiFi, etc.
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Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting runs on a MacBook (macOS 10.10+) or any laptop (Windows 7/8/10/11) with a standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax wireless network adapter.