How to Set Up a Netgear Wi-Fi Extender

Give your router more range with an extender

What to Know

  • Placement is key here. It needs to be close enough from Wi-Fi router to still have good signal while providing maximum extended range.
  • While your extender will use your standard password to access the internet, you should set a different one for the device itself.

In this article we’ll look at connecting a Netgear extender to your router. First we'll discuss placing your extender for maximum effect, and then look at configuring a Netgear extender specifically.

What Is WPS?

Wi-Fi Protected Setup, or WPS, is built into some routers and extenders to make expanding the network a simpler process. In that particular scenario, all you’ll really need to do is push a button and enter a custom PIN you’ve already set up. Our instructions below assume your router or extender doesn’t have WPS.

  1. Check the signal range of your router. This will be included in the manual, but if you can’t find it, check the bottom of the device and you should see a value in decibel milliwatts (dBm) on the information sticker.

  2. Take the provided number and add 4,000, then subtract 2,000 from the result, and divide by 42.7. This will give you the square footage your router covers in “real-world” conditions. For example, if your router had a dBm of 1,000, your router would have a range of 70 feet total. Ideally, your extender will be placed halfway between your router and the device you want to receive Wi-Fi signal. So your extender should be located about 35 feet away, in our example.

  3. Find an outlet at roughly the halfway point between your router and the area which needs a stronger signal. Simply plug in the Wi-Fi extender into the power outlet.

    Don’t plug an extender into a power strip or extension cord; this may affect overall Wi-Fi performance. If you need to place your extender closer, but don’t have a convenient outlet, you may want to consider a mesh network.

Configuring Your Netgear Extender Without WPS

  1. Using a device with Wi-Fi, such as your phone or laptop, open the Wi-Fi menu and find a network marked Netgear_EXT. A password may be printed in the extender’s manual. If not, use "password" when asked for the password. You’ll be informed there’s no internet; this is normal, as your extender isn’t connected to a router yet.

  2. Go to or in your device’s web browser and choose “New Extender Setup.” You’ll be prompted to set your credentials, including user name, password and security questions. Set your user name to something you’ll remember, and a password that’s different from the ones you use for your router and internet devices. Write this password down, but don't worry about remembering a second one; your extender will use your router's password to get you onto the internet.

    The Netgear Credentials screen.
  3. Once your credentials are configured, you’ll be asked to start an automated “genie” to configure the extender. This will find your router’s networks. If you have multiple bands on one router, such as 2.4 Ghz and 5.0 Ghz, the extender will find both. Select any relevant networks.

    The Netgear Genie configuration screen.
  4. After selecting your networks, you’ll be prompted to enter your router password. Do so and the extender will connect to your router and configure itself.

    A Netgear extender in the Wi-Fi menu.

    Netgear extenders keep the router name with an extension that identifies the band and network. So for example if your router was named Bob, and it had a 2.4 and 5.0 Ghz band, you would see “Bob_2.4EXT” and “Bob_5.0EXT” as network options.

  5. Click next when prompted and test your new network by logging into it. It will have the same password as your router.

  • How do I set up a Netgear N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender?

    You can jump directly to the online setup (mentioned above) or use WPS mode by pressing the button on the N300 side panel and your router. When the N300 WPS and router link lights turn solid green, it's connected to your network. Open a web browser to access the setup genie. Netgear recommends using the Router Arrow and Client Arrow LEDs to help you adjust the location of the extender.

  • How do I set up a Netgear Wi-Fi extender as an access point?

    If your Netgear Wi-Fi extender supports access point installation, look for a switch to turn it to access point mode after you plug it in. If your model doesn't have this switch, connect it to your router with an Ethernet cord and use another Wi-Fi device (as detailed above) to access the setup page in a browser. When prompted, choose to set it up as an access point instead of an extender.

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