What are the best Wi-Fi range extenders to boost your network in 2022? Looking to beef up your Wi-Fi network? A range extender is a solid, cheaper alternative to buying a new router, and many support advanced features like MU-MIMO and mesh networking. The best Wi-Fi extenders will give you more range without sacrificing speed or adding hassle.
The best Wi-Fi extenders eliminate wireless-network dead spots in your home and stretch your Wi-Fi coverage. By providing a signal where your regular router can’t, you can improve your home network’s range without busting your budget. Whether you call them Wi-Fi boosters, Wi-Fi repeaters, or signal boosters, these small and affordable devices provide stronger Wi-Fi where you need it, often for much less money than upgrading to one of the best mesh routers.
With so many of us adapting to the Work From Home (WFH) technology, many US and UK homes have more apps than ever careening across their Wi-Fi networks. And some of these require not only a good amount of bandwidth, but a steady amount of bandwidth. When they don’t get it, that chat you’re having with your boss on your company’s voice over IP (VoIP) phone system suddenly sounds like one of you is underwater. The same goes for many consumer-grade apps, especially video streaming services like Netflix, and certainly the latest games.
What are the best Wi-Fi range extenders to buy today for your company or at home?
TP-Link RE650 AC2600 Wi-Fi Range Extender
The TP-Link RE650 takes a top position as the best Wi-Fi extender overall, with a convenient plug-in design, and long-range for big homes. It packs a lot of power and delivers great speeds at up to 75 feet. Really, our only problem with the TP-Link RE650 is that the plug-in unit is large enough that it will probably block adjacent outlets, but that’s a small quibble for the excellent performance this extender provides.
That performance came second only to our top overall pick, but the TP-Link RE650 offers competitive speeds in a handy, easy-to-install design. With four external antennas and dual-band wireless-AC support, the TP-Link RE650 is a great choice for large homes. You can also set up and monitor your extended network with TP-Link’s handy Tether app, which puts advanced settings and security tools right on your phone or tablet.
Netgear AX1800 4-Stream Mesh Extender (EAX20)
With Wi-Fi 6 speeds and even mesh capability built right in, the Netgear AX1800 Mesh Extender (EAX20) was already a contender for the best Wi-Fi extender you can get. While not everyone will be excited about its large desktop design – without a plug-in design, there’s no hiding this extender behind the couch or in the corner – and a price that’s more expensive than some routers, the proof is in the performance. And boy, does the Netgear EAX20 deliver, with category-leading speeds and an awesome 95-foot range.
The Netgear EAX20 does one thing and does well: it extends networks that are faster and have a longer range than the competition. Throw in a handful of customization options, and add a layer of online security to help protect your home network, and it’s not hard to say that this admittedly pricey extender is worth every penny.
Rock Space AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender
For an affordable, but capable Wi-Fi extender, you might want to consider the Rock Space AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender. With solid basic Wi-Fi performance and a dead-simple setup, this little Wi-Fi extender is a great way to cover the odd dead spot in your Wi-Fi coverage or to push stronger wireless signals out to your back patio or garage.
With a compact plug-in design and adjustable antennas, you can easily tuck the Rock Space extender out of the way, and setup can be done in just minutes, with no extra app to worry about. And with a solid middle-of-the-road performance that works as well between floors as it does room-to-room, it’s also a great choice for townhouses and other multi-floor homes. Just don’t expect blazing speeds or advanced customization options – this is strictly for basic Wi-Fi.
Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream AC1900+ Wi-Fi Range Extender
Need to beef up your Wi-Fi network coverage and range, but don’t want an extender that stands out? The Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream AC1900+ Wi-Fi range extender is compact and low-profile, with a design that won’t block other outlets or stand out as a garnish tech product. It’s easily the best Wi-Fi extender we’ve seen for people that want an unobtrusive design, instead of an antenna-festooned brick that blocks adjacent outlets.
But aside from the subtle design, the Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream AC1900+ offers solid throughput speeds and set-up assistance that helps you find the right spot for optimal performance. The overall performance is pretty good, but that set-up assistant makes it a great choice for anyone that wants a little help getting things set up just right.
D-Link DAP-1720 Wi-Fi AC1750 Range Extender
D-Link’s DAP-1720 is easy to set up, provides a convenient mobile app for managing device settings, and can help fill a home with Wi-Fi. Handy features like a built-in Ethernet port that can handle Gigabit speeds, and a physical on/off switch make it a capable tool for extending the reach of your router, but it serves up patchy performance and is so large that it risks blocking adjacent AC outlets.
Despite some irregular performance, the D-Link DAP-1720 does particularly well when pushing signals to a floor above or below. That verticality makes it one of the best Wi-Fi extenders available for getting signals to every floor of a multistory home, making it the perfect choice for anyone who finds their Wi-Fi signal dropping out when they go up or downstairs.
Wi-Fi range extenders FAQ
Do wireless extenders really work?
WiFi extenders can, in fact, expand the range of your wireless network. But their effectiveness is limited by a host of factors, including the speed of the internet connection coming into your home, the distance from your router, the areas in your home in need of WiFi coverage, and the WiFi demands of your family.
What‘s the difference between a WiFi extender and a WiFi booster?
When two or more hosts have to be connected with one another over the IEEE 802.11 protocol and the distance is too long for a direct connection to be established, a wireless booster is used to bridge the gap. A WiFi extender is used to extend the coverage area of your WiFi network.
How do I know if I need a WiFi booster or extender in my office or home?
If your WiFi signal is weak and that’s why your network performance is suffering, then you need to do things to boost your WiFi signal. If your WiFi signal is strong but struggles to reach far enough in your home, then consider a WiFi extender or Mesh WiFi if your home is large with multiple floors.
How long do WiFi extenders last?
If your situation is different, and you rely on your extender to provide internet access to important devices or parts of your home, then you may want to consider replacing it from time to time. There is no definite time frame for replacing a Wi-Fi extender, and one can last for five years or more.
How to Find the Right Extender for Your Router in 2022:
When shopping for a range extender, it’s important to find one that matches your router’s specs. For example, if you have a dual-band AC1900 router, get a dual-band AC1900 extender (or better). If your router supports Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) data streaming, which provides enhanced performance by sending data to compatible clients simultaneously rather than sequentially, look for an extender that supports this technology if you want to extend your MU-MIMO network.
The same goes for the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology. If you recently bought a new router that supports this standard, you’ll certainly want to make sure any range extenders support it as well.