The 7 Best WiFi Extenders to Buy in 2017

Increase the WiFi range in your home or office with these extenders

WiFi extenders help to improve the coverage area of your router, and in some cases they can provide additional WiFi access points. If your home is too big for your router, there are a few things to consider before diving into the world of WiFi extenders. For example, if you only want to maximize performance, it may be better to simply add Ethernet connections or additional routers to weak WiFi zones. Also, you probably don’t need to spend more than $100 on a WiFi extender, because you could get an additional router or wired connection for the same price or less.

Finally, avoid single-band extenders. Because extenders consume a good deal of your router’s throughput, you want to make sure it’s as efficient as possible. Single-band extenders connect to your router and broadcast their own signals on the same band, and that compromises performance. Dual-band routers, on the other hand, connect to the router on one band and broadcast on the other. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best WiFi extenders that meet these criteria.

1
NETGEAR EX6200 WiFi Range Extender (AC1200)

NETGEAR EX6200 WiFi Range Extender (AC1200)
Courtesy of Amazon.com

If you need a WiFi Extender, the NETGEAR EX6200 is the best option for most situations. It is a powerful dual-band extender that’s both versatile and affordable. It supports the newest Wireless-AC standard and can double as a second WiFi access point. It’s important that any WiFi extender you purchase has dual-band functionality (for reasons mentioned in the intro), meaning it can stream on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands. The EX6200 operates on both WiFi bands and offers up to 1200Mbps of throughput. It also features five Gigabit Ethernet ports, which are significantly faster than the Fast Ethernet standard. This allows the EX6200 to function as a (quite speedy) wired access point. It also includes dual core processor for optimal performance, as well as high-power amplifiers and two high-gain 5dBi antennas. And it can be found for as low as $95.

All this should extend your router’s coverage area by several hundred square feet. Both user and professional reviews seem to back up that claim, making the NETGEAR EX6200 one of the best all-around WiFi extenders on the market. Buy from Amazon »

2
Linksys RE6500 WiFi Range Extender (AC1200)

Linksys RE6500 WiFi Range Extender (AC1200)
Courtesy of Amazon.com

If you’re willing to spend a bit more for a bit more coverage area and a few extra security features, the Linksys RE6500 may be a better choice. Most users complain about its complicated setup process, but if you have a knack for networking and don’t mind the headache, it offers some impressive performance. With Wireless-AC compatibility and up to 1200Mbps of throughput, the RE6500 can extend your home’s wireless coverage area by up to 10,000 square feet (or so Linksys claims). It also includes four Gigabit Ethernet ports, allowing you to use the device as a wired access point.

One unique feature is the RE6500’s audio input jack. This allows you to connect a stereo or speaker system and wirelessly stream music from a computer or mobile device. The RE6500 may also be suited for offices and small businesses, as it includes a 128-bit encryption and a WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) function.

All in all, the Linksys RE6500 is a bit pricier ($110) than you probably need to spend on a decent WiFi extender. But if you can find it for less than $100, it’s a solid competitor for our top pick. Just make sure you have the patience for a somewhat complicated setup process. Buy from Amazon »

3
D-Link DAP-1520 WiFi Range Extender (AC750)

D-Link DAP-1520 WiFi Range Extender (AC750)
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Found for as low as $50, the dual-band D-Link DAP-1520 plugs right into any wall socket and can extend your router’s coverage area at the push of a button. It features Wireless-AC technology with throughput of up to 750Mbps (300 Mbps on 2.4GHz and 433 Mbps on 5GHz). You can also save and restore the device’s settings—ideal for power outages or factory resets—and monitor the traffic on your network. It’s small, easy to install, cheap and according to most reviews it offers an impressively strong wireless signal for the package.

That said, it’s small and inexpensive for a reason. When you downsize to a wall socket WiFi extender you sacrifice a few features some folks might find indispensable. There’s no Ethernet, USB, or audio inputs, for example, and no network bridging functionality.

This is a solid, affordable gadget for basic WiFi extending. It’s ideal for people who have limited technological know-how. It’s not meant for networking wizards who are looking to outfit a press conference or LAN party. Buy the DAP-1520 if you want a simple WiFi extender without all the bells and whistles.  Buy from Amazon »

4
NETGEAR EX3700 WiFi Range Extender (AC750)

NETGEAR EX3700 WiFi Range Extender (AC750)
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Another low-cost WiFi extender that plugs directly into a wall socket is the NETGEAR EX3700. It’s dual-band and compatible with Wireless-AC technology (the latest wireless standard), and it offers throughput of up to 750Mbps.

The EX3700 features two external antennas for enhanced WiFi coverage, as well as the option to create a new WiFi access point or hotspot through a wired Gigabit Ethernet port. This is ideal if you want to create a separate network for guests. NETGEAR also includes its WiFi Analytics App, which allows you to gauge the strength of your WiFi signal, check on its status or identify crowded channels.

These few extra features may be extraneous for some, but the fact that it’s all found in a relatively inexpensive package suggests it’s a better purchase than the competing D-Link DAP-1520. Buy the NETGEAR EX3700 if you want a bit more versatility for your budget. Buy from Amazon »

5
D-Link DAP-1650 WiFi Range Extender (AC1200)

D-Link DAP-1650 WiFi Range Extender (AC1200)
Courtesy of Amazon.com

The D-Link DAP-1650 is another robust, versatile option for folks who want to get a lot out of a WiFi extender. Professional reviews show it offers impressive speeds over a large coverage area, and it can be found for around $90—a bit cheaper than our two top picks. Some owners may also appreciate the compact, console design.

With dual-band Wireless-AC compatibility, the DAP-1650 offers throughput of up to 1200Mbps. While the 2.4GHz band is somewhat middling at 300Mbps, the 5GHz band (867Mbps) is mighty impressive. Between the four Gigabit Ethernet ports, simple setup process and the media server options that allow you to share music, video and other files throughout your network, the DAP-1650 is quite a flexible little machine. There are no external antennas, but some users may appreciate this for aesthetic reasons.

One downside (that could be an advantage for some) is that the DAP-1650 connects back to your router on the same band that it broadcasts. This tends to compromise coverage area. Other extenders skirt this problem by broadcasting and connecting on different bands. It’s not a huge deal, but it may make for a slower connection if you connect to the extender on the same band that it uses to connect to the router. Buy from Amazon »

6
Winders-JR MSRM

Winders-JR MSRM
Courtesy of Amazon.com

The MSRM is a low-power WiFi extender that has a detachable plug for ease of use. It is easy to set up and improves wireless coverage for all WLAN networks in your house. This repeater is best for personal home or office use. At a price of just $30, it does not extend as far as pricier options, but it will deliver your ISPs advertised speed in previous dead zones in your house. One word of warning: this product is only compatible with a 2.4GHz router, so make sure that it will work for you before purchase.  Buy from Amazon »

7
LTERiver Repeater

LTERiver Repeater
Courtesy of Amazon.com

LTERiver’s WiFi Range extender offers support for 802.11ac devices over all WLAN networks. While this dual-band device doesn’t offer as impressive throughput as other options on the list, the 5GHz band hits 433Mbps and the 2.4GHz band offers 300Mbps for 733Mbps of total bandwidth, delivering HD streaming to previous dead areas of the house. Extended WiFi performance is delivered by three external 3dbi antenna that, unfortunately, cannot be detached and replaced by a yogi antenna. The antennas can either repeat or be used to make an access point.

Other nice features include a built-in indicator that informs you where weak signal zones are lurking in your house. It includes WPA2, WPA and WEP for WLAN security and wireless security encryption. The setup is easy with updated firmware. Buy from Amazon »

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