When Best Wi-Fi Range Extenders coverage in your home or office, the best Wi-Fi range extenders are indispensable tools. These devices act as bridges between your existing wireless router and areas where the signal might be weak or nonexistent. One of the top choices is the TP-Link RE650 AC2600, which offers excellent performance with its four powerful external antennas and speeds of up to 2600Mbps.
Another standout option is the Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000, renowned for its tri-band capabilities and seamless mesh network support. For those seeking a budget-friendly solution without compromising on performance, the TP-Link RE220 AC750 is a reliable choice with its compact design and dual-band speeds.
Regardless of your specific requirements, investing in one of these best Wi-Fi range extenders will undoubtedly elevate your wireless experience, banishing dead zones and ensuring smooth connectivity throughout your space.
What Is Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi stands for Wireless Fidelity and allows electronic devices to wirelessly access a local area network (LAN). Wireless technology enables devices such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, smart TVs and other internet-enabled devices to access the internet wirelessly and communicate within certain ranges without physically connecting their respective networks through cables.
Wi-Fi networks rely on radio waves to transmit data between devices and a wireless router that acts as a central hub in their network. The router connects to the internet using wired methods (cable modem or DSL modem) before wirelessly broadcasting internet signal for devices to connect. Wi-Fi has become widely popular and can now be found everywhere from homes and offices to public places and various hotspots; making it a key technology of modern connectivity and communication.
Here Is List Of Best Wi-Fi Range Extenders
- TP-Link RE605X
- Linksys RE7310
- TP-Link RE220
- D-Link EaglePro AI
- Asus RP-AX56
- Netgear Nighthawk X4S (EX7500)
- D-Link DAP-X1870
- TP-Link RE505X
8 Best Wi-Fi Range Extenders
1. TP-Link RE605X
TP-Link range extenders are perennial favorites among customers, offering various models at different price points. I would strongly advise considering the TP-Link RE605X for purchase in 2023; although not as cheap (see value recommendations later), it offers top performance with its AX1800 design, support for Wi-Fi 6 speeds and features, adjustable antennas and user-friendly control apps on Android and iOS; making it one of the best-rounded extenders on the market.
Performance was impressive as well. My tests at the CNET Smart Home demonstrated an RE605X in the basement was able to extend the router’s signal from upstairs, providing my upload and download speeds a significant boost in every room I tested – the fastest average upload speeds to both Wi-Fi 5 and 6 devices; fastest average download speeds on Wi-Fi 6 devices and second fastest on Wi-Fi 5.
By default, this extender creates its own separate network when first pairing with your router, using the same password and SSID with “-EXT” added at the end. That makes this extender an excellent choice; just delete “-EXT” through the app for better connectivity! All these factors combined make this extender easy to recommend.
2. Linksys RE7310
Linksys RE7310 was very close behind its rival and would likely perform similarly on most home networks. We tested both devices using fiber internet plans offering up to 150Mbps download and upload speeds; RE7310 average Wi-Fi 6 download speeds throughout my multistory house were 132Mbps, just 4Mbps behind that from TP-Link; for uploads, the RE7310 delivered an average whole home speed to my Wi-Fi 6 test device of 124Mbps which put it 2Mbps behind its rival from TP-Link.
One thing kept me from declaring the two to have finished in virtual tie is that RE7310 performed slightly less impressively with earlier-generation Wi-Fi 5 devices, particularly with respect to upload speeds. Still, performance was solid across the board; strong enough for me to take video calls in my Smart Home’s basement dead zones – something I wouldn’t have been able to achieve using just one router alone. While bulky in appearance, RE7310 remains my favorite Linksys range extender yet and an excellent pick if available on sale!
Keep an eye out for the Linksys RE7350, which features nearly identical design and specs to that of the RE7310 (and sold for $20 less at Best Buy earlier this year), offering even better value given its specs. I have yet to test that variant out but will update this post when I do – keeping an eye out for any sales as well!
3. TP-Link RE220
TP-Link RE220 range extender was the least costly model I tested at home during my initial round of at-home tests in 2020. Yet that did not prevent it from outperforming every other Wi-Fi extender I tried in terms of speed, reliability and ease of use – indeed it has since fallen even lower to less than $20 on Amazon!
Plug it in and press the WPS button to pair it with your home network; it’ll immediately broadcast networks on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, offering consistent Wi-Fi speeds throughout my home including average download speeds on 5GHz of at least 75Mbps in every room access point I tested, along with strong upload speeds. Furthermore, RE220 never dropped my connection over multiple days’ testing during both daytime and evening hours – it stayed connected at all times!
Though aging now, and unlikely to impress with Wi-Fi 6 speeds, its ease of use and reliable level of performance make this router still an excellent value. Although not as fast as some models I’ve tested since — as well as not having been tested at CNET Smart Home yet — it remains an ideal way to extend Wi-Fi into back rooms at an economical cost. Read more about boosting home Wi-Fi connectivity.
4. D-Link EaglePro AI
D-Link EaglePro AI wasn’t always my speed leader during my tests, but it certainly wasn’t too far behind either — and at $65, its price is significantly less than other Wi-Fi 6 models listed here. That makes this model especially compelling; with its newly designed control app on Android and iOS and adjustable antennas for easy setup. Furthermore, its auto sync design automatically connects up with any router to produce one unified network instantly after set-up – not to mention those lovely pale blue accents which add some much- needed color contrast against all that white plastic!
Speed-wise, the EaglePro AI was not my top choice during my tests; however, it still managed to provide average download speeds of 114Mbps for Wi-Fi 6 devices and 112Mbps for Wi-Fi 5 devices across every room I tested it in, which is impressive considering I used 150Mbps fiber plan with it. Uploads were lower; including an unexpected single-digit average upload to Wi-Fi 5 devices at dead zones of 5,800 square feet that this AX1500 extender wasn’t meant to cover; this should still work just fine as long as it saves money too!
5. Asus RP-AX56
Asus stood out with their RP-AX56 Wi-Fi 6 range extender that retails for less than $140. Unfortunately, however, its poor approach to device security disqualifies me from recommending this model.
Start off on the positive note. The RP-AX56 tied with TP-Link for fastest average download speeds to my Wi-Fi 6 test laptop, and led all range extenders when I reran my tests using an iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi 5. Furthermore, this range extender provided the fastest average download speeds across both Wi-Fi 6 and 5 devices in CNET Smart Home’s basement guest bedroom which was the main dead zone during testing.
However, the RP-AX56 requires some additional fiddling. After I initially connected it with my router, it created its own, separate Wi-Fi network with no name and password, something you’ll want to change immediately – though iOS’ 1.5-star reviewed Asus extender app doesn’t provide an immediate option for doing so; rather you must enter its IP address into a browser bar and log in using its default admin credentials (username: admin and password: admin), something I highly advise against doing!
6. Netgear Nighthawk X4S (EX7500)
Once you pair a Netgear Nighthawk X4S range extender with your router, it will work to form one seamless network that automatically directs devices between router and extender as necessary. In addition, its app provides quick controls.
This model’s main downside is that it does not support Wi-Fi 6, yet still costs over $100. It features a tri-band design which is quite fancy for range extenders and boasts excellent Wi-Fi 5 performance; in my testing it outshone every other Wi-Fi 5 range extender I tested; even so, its performance couldn’t quite keep up with dual band Wi-Fi 6 models I tested despite costing more. If it goes on sale for less than $100 I might recommend giving this device some consideration; otherwise I recommend prioritizing Wi-Fi 6.
7. D-Link DAP-X1870
The D-Link DAP-X1870 is an exceptional performer, easily creating one single network once connected to your router. However, at an estimated retail price of about $90 USD it seems too costly for 2023 consumers.
They would likely opt for the $20 TP-Link RE220 as the best value pick, though I’ll keep an eye out for any good sales and update this post accordingly.
8. TP-Link RE505X
The RE505X is simply a slightly less powerful version of the RE605X with lower costs and upload speeds, but no I haven’t had time to test it at the CNET Smart Home yet; once tested I will update this post accordingly. Performance-minded users may benefit from spending up for either RE605X or Linksys RE7310’s superior upload speeds; value-minded buyers would probably fare better with less costly D-Link EaglePro AI or TP-Link RE220 range extenders.
At this stage, I consider the RE505X to be somewhat of an underdog; however, should its price dip significantly below $90 I’d definitely be inclined to get my hands on one, as it proved itself as an exceptionally capable and consistent performer during my 2021 tests.
How we test Wi-Fi extenders and signal boosters
Testing Wi-Fi extenders and signal boosters involves conducting several assessments in order to evaluate their performance and effectiveness at expanding wireless coverage. Here are the steps involved with testing these devices:
Initial Setup: Begin by following the manufacturer’s instructions when setting up a Wi-Fi extender or signal booster, such as connecting it to an electrical source and pairing it with your existing wireless router.
Signal Strength Measurement: Before testing a repeater or booster, take measurements of signal strength and speed of existing Wi-Fi networks in various parts of your space using tools like Wi-Fi analyzers or apps as this provides a baseline comparison point.
Position Test: Place the Wi-Fi extender or signal booster at various points throughout the area where you wish to increase Wi-Fi coverage, such as rooms, potential obstructions and areas with weak signals. Make sure it works smoothly before expanding its coverage further.
Speed Test: Once the extenders are installed in various locations, conduct speed tests using tools like Ookla Speedtest or other speed testing apps to gauge internet speeds both with and without an extender installed to assess its impact on performance.
Stability and Reliability: Conduct real-world usage tests by connecting multiple devices simultaneously to an extended Wi-Fi network, and test for stability, reliability, and consistency during activities such as browsing, streaming, online gaming and large file downloads.
Roaming Performance: Evaluate how smoothly devices transition between their main router’s signal and an extended network as users move around a space. Achieving smooth roaming performance is essential to providing stable coverage throughout a coverage area.
Signal Coverage: Wi-Fi signal strength analyzers or heat maps can help visualize the coverage area of Wi-Fi extenders, helping identify any dead zones or weak spots that need improvement.
Compatibility: Before purchasing an extender, ensure it works effectively with different routers and Wi-Fi standards to ensure it fits seamlessly with a range of network setups.
Multiple Extenders: When testing multiple extenders for mesh networking, assess their ability to work as one cohesive network that creates an outstanding Wi-Fi experience across an area.
Final Assessment: Evaluate each test result against its respective counterpart, consider factors like price, setup ease, and user friendliness, and make a comprehensive assessment of how effective a Wi-Fi extender or signal booster performs overall.
By following these testing procedures, you can gather invaluable data that will enable you to select a Wi-Fi extender or signal booster that meets your individual requirements and improves wireless network coverage and performance.