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We’ve all experienced that moment—one minute you’re happily scrolling on social media, playing an online game, or watching a video, and the next you stumble into a WiFi dead zone—then everything stops. It Is actually more common of a problem than you may think. The reality is, wifi signal can vary depending on where you are in your home. It is not always possible for one router to emit a perfect signal throughout the house, especially if there are several people using it. The solution? Get yourself a wifi extender.
No matter what type of internet provider you have, you’re not going to be able to use it properly if your WiFi signal is not strong throughout your house. A wifi extender is a great solution to ensure your signal never drops, and is consistent no matter which room you are in. If you are curious to know how they work and which model would be best for you, then read on!
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best WiFi extenders on the U.S. market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about WiFi extenders
- 3.1 What is a WiFi extender exactly?
- 3.2 How does a WiFi extender work?
- 3.3 What functions does a WiFi extender have?
- 3.4 What internet speed can a WiFi extender reach?
- 3.5 Is it advisable to use multiple WiFi extenders at the same time?
- 3.6 What is the difference between a power line adaptor and a WiFi extender?
- 3.7 How is a WiFi extender configured?
- 3.8 What are the advantages of a WiFi extender?
- 3.9 Where is the best place to situate a WiFi extender?
- 3.10 Is the design of the WiFi extender important?
- 4 Shopping criteria
- 5 Summary
- WiFi extenders, also called boosters and signal amplifiers, is a device that repeats the wireless signal from your router to expand its coverage.
- Their main purpose is to cover dead zones. To put it simply, they improve the quality and the stability of the WiFi signal in areas where it is weak or non existent.
- These devices are very popular due to their cheap price and great benefits. With a wifi extender, you can have fast internet connection in all areas of your home, without having to pat exorbitant amounts for a better connection.
Ranking: The best WiFi extenders on the U.S. market
When you’ve tried and failed to improve your connection, a WiFi range extender or may be able to give you the boost you need. It can be difficult to know which one is best, and which one will offer exactly what you are looking for. This is why we have created this ranking, to make the process easier for you. With our handy guide, you can choose among the best wifi extenders on the U.S market, so you know your getting a good deal.
No. 1: TP-Link N300 WiFi Range Extender
TP Link is the World’s #1 provider of consumer Wifi, so it is no surprise this wifi extender by TP-link is a best seller and highly rated by many users. The extender supports wireless speeds of up to 300Mbps and keeps all of your favorite devices running as fast as possible. This device is also compatible with any router, gateway, or access point, making it easy to set up in all areas of your home.
If you are unsure about the best location for your wifi extender, this device will be perfect for you. Th smart indicator lights help decide the optimal placement, although generally it should be installed between the router and the dead zone.
No. 2: OptiCover WiFi Extender with WPS Internet Signal Booster
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OptiCover WiFi Booster is compatible with any router or access point, making it easy to expand and strengthen your at-home network, even if it changes over time. This extender also comes with an ethernet port which allows it to act as a wireless adapter, letting you connect wired devices like game consoles, Blu-ray players and smart TVs to your Wi-Fi.
This Wifi repeater is small and discreet, so it will not stick out in your home. The company also provides technical support for customers 24/7, so if you have any questions or issues about your purchase, you can reach out directly to them.
No. 3: eero Pro Mesh WiFi System
eero is an Amazon company, and comes highly rated by several users. This device acts as both a wireless router and extender in one, optimizing the connection between the two. The eero WiFi System replaces the traditional WiFi router, WiFi extender, and internet booster by covering a 1-2 bedroom home with fast and reliable internet powered by a mesh network .
You can also control this product using Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant software. By having both a wifi router and an extender, the eero extender is a full-fledged WiFi access point that simply plugs in to standard outlets and easily extends your WiFi connectivity to every device with more reliability than the standard WiFi booster.
No. 4: NETGEAR WiFi Range Extender EX3700
This wifi extender by NETGEAR adds WiFi range coverage up to 1000 sq ft, and connects up to 15 devices such as laptops, smartphones, speakers, and tablets. With its universal compatibility, it works with any wireless router, gateway, or cable modem with WiFi. With the ethernet connection, simply plug in game consoles, streaming players, or other nearby wired devices using the one 10/100M port for maximum speed.
This device is simple to set up, and does not require any complex wiring, simply plug it in and press one button to connect to your router! The innovative plug in design offers a sleek solution that extends your router’s range and stays out of sight.
No. 5: Google WiFi system, 3-Pack
Tired of your internet provider? Similar to the eero by Amazon, this Google product acts as both a wireless router and an extender. They offer 3 different options. The first is for a one bedroom apartment, the second for a medium sized home, and the third for a large home.
You can also connect this device to your smartphone through the companion app, so it’s easy to share your password with guests, prioritize devices on your network, see what’s connected, and more. Google Wifi even allows you to pause the Wi-Fi on kids’ devices, like during bedtime or dinnertime!
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about WiFi extenders
We all hate that situation. It seems that every other room in the house gets a full signal, but for some reason, the WiFi just doesn’t want to reach the one you’re in. If you have decided to purchase a WiFi extender, then the first step towards achieving 100% signal coverage in your home has already been made. In the following section we go over the most frequently asked questions about WiFi extenders to help you make the right choice.
What is a WiFi extender exactly?
A WiFi extender, or WiFi booster, is a device which operates by taking the original signal from the wireless router and then retransmitting it from wherever it has been placed. Using one is an easy way to get the wireless coverage you need, so you can finally use your tablet in the family room, bedroom, or anywhere else in the house without the signal dropping.
How does a WiFi extender work?
WiFi extenders basically catch a wireless signal and then rebroadcast it, giving you a stronger signal. It is important to note that a wifi extender will lower the potential speed of a device’s network connection. That’s because that one radio will be transmitting and receiving the new signal. In most cases, you won’t notice that your bandwidth has been decreased, but if you need to use the internet for something like video streaming, you may notice a slight difference.
What functions does a WiFi extender have?
A wifi extender is also called a wifi booster. The vast majority of models of these types of devices that are out on the market only retransmit an existing WiFi signal to a larger area. The following table outlines the capabilities that WiFi extenders perform:
|Function||What does it do?|
|Access point (AP)||AP mode allows the booster to act as a wireless adaptor which can connect to other devices with a cable. This is achieved via the Ethernet port, and it is still possible to share the wireless connectivity with other devices simultaneously.|
|Extender||As we have explained, this device increases the range of your WiFi signal. You can connect it by using a WiFi connection or a LAN port.|
|Router||This mode allows us to connect to the device with a cable or DSL modem (asymmetric digital subscriber line), which makes it work almost like a router.|
What internet speed can a WiFi extender reach?
This all depends on a few different factors. The first being, the type of wifi extender you purchase. Each has a different range, and this will be outlined on the package. The other deciding factor is where it is placed. Depending on the placement of the wifi extender relative to the router, the range may vary. The idea is to add a WiFi extender near the area of your home that needs a wireless boost.
A WiFi extender receives a signal which is then repeated or retransmitted. What this means is that using one of these devices will not increase the existing speed of your WiFi. It simply allows the signal to reach places where it was not strong enough, and allow optimal connectivity throughout your entire home. The transfer speed is should (at least) be equal to the speed of the router. You should not purchase devices with a transfer speed of less than 300 Mbps.
Is it advisable to use multiple WiFi extenders at the same time?
The simple answer is no. So don’t worry, you won’t have to add any more wires to your home. Using multiple extenders can increase latency, meaning the delay in the transmission of data within the network. This is a key factor for achieving an optimal internet connection. If you use several booster within close proximity to each other, it will have a negative affect. However, if you have a large house with dead zones at several points, it is recommended to place one device in each area. Just make sure the boosters are placed as far apart as possible.
What is the difference between a power line adaptor and a WiFi extender?
A WiFi extender and a power line adaptor two different decides with different functions. They are, however, used for the same purpose of achieving a superior internet signal throughout your entire home.
The following table shows us the difference between the two.
|WiFi extender||Power line adaptor|
|What functions does it have?||It increases the range of an existing WiFi connection.||Transmits the internet connection through your home’s electrical wiring.|
|How many devices are included?||One single device which acts as an extender and a power cable. As it is only a single device, the prices is often less.|| A minimum of two devices: the central device, connected to the router, and the extender.
Includes an Ethernet cable.
Using more devices, the price can be more expensive.
|What connection speed can be reached?|| It will depend on your existing network.
In general, starting at 300 Mbps.
| It will depend on the power line adaptor that you purchase.
In general, they reach up to 1000 Mbps.
How is a WiFi extender configured?
Installing a WiFi extender is quick and easy. Your extender will come with instructions to set it up in your home. This is not a complicated process, and does not require a technician or internet provider. Here is a simple guide to setting up these devices:
- Check that the router is functioning properly and that the transmitted signal is strong.
- Connect the power supply of the booster with the correct cable. Firstly the cable should be connected to the device, and secondly into the power supply via a wall plug. Using an extension cable is not recommended.
- Turn the extender on, in the case that this is not done automatically. In general, it is enough to simply push the WPS (Wifi Protected Setup) button.
What are the advantages of a WiFi extender?
The WiFi extender first uses a wired connection, or wired backhaul, to travel throughout the home. That means you will benefit from the reliability and high speed of cables, instead of relying solely on wireless signals. There are several advantages to having one of these in your home.
Where is the best place to situate a WiFi extender?
The reach of a WiFi extender is limited. We recommend placing the extender is half-way between your wireless router and your computer. Keep in mind when moving the extender that it must be within the range of the router! If you need to use a different location, move the extender closer to the device, but still within the wireless range of the router.
The best place to put your extender is within “dead zones” or places where your wifi signal drops. However, your router needs a stable connection to begin with. There are models which include indicators, showing the signal strength, to help to find the best possible spot. This way it is easy to know which areas of the house require the extender.
Is the design of the WiFi extender important?
The design is always something we consider in our shopping guides. However, in the case of wifi extenders, the design will not influence the functionality of the device. This means that you should choose an extender based on its capabilities, and not its design.
On the other hand, you do need a device that is easy to connect. The wifi extender should have a simple plug in mechanism, and should not have a complex design to it. There are models that are overly simplistic and some that have way too many buttons, lights and antennas. These designs will no doubt be frustrating to install.
It may seem simple to choose a wifi extender. Since they all serve the same purpose, it can be easy to think you can just pick any one. However, you need to consider that each has its own set of functions, and may not be useful for what you want to achieve. This section presents the essential criteria you need to keep in mind so that you can choose the WiFi booster that will give you the best coverage.
- Transfer speed
- Triple function
- Power cost savings
- Compact design
- Smartphones apps
As mentioned, the wifi extender will not perform at its best if the current signal is weak. This means if your wifi is already slow, a wifi extender will only extend the slow signal. This is why you want to pay attention to transfer speeds. Otherwise, the boosted signal won’t be strong enough for the desired result. Following this, it is recommended purchasing a device that at the very least can reach a speed of 300 Mbps.
The main function of a WiFi booster it toy extend or amplify an existing signal, however they can also function as an access point, like a router. As we often own multiple devices that work by WiFi, triple function boosters are very advantageous for all of our gadgets.
Power cost savings
We all need to be conscious of the amount of power we are consuming. Not only for the planet, but for our energy bill. Choose a power saving booster, as this will offer the best benefits. If the indicated power rating is not greater than 3 watts, you can be sure that it is not using too much power and adding a significant amount to your electricity bill.
As mentioned, when it comes to wifi extenders, we want to pay attention to the capabilities over the design. Although, it is useful to have an extender that has a compact design. Wifi routers and extenders are not meant for decoration, so choosing something that is sleek and unassuming will ensure that it is not an eyesore.
Some wifi extenders come with the ability to use them with your smart phone or tablet. With these devices, you can connect to your extender via an app, which allows you to control it. This is a great way to integrate your intuitive technology, and may offer some added benefits.
In our digital age, having a stable wifi connection has become a necessity in most households. Whether you are scrolling on social media, working on your next online project, or streaming your favorite videos, you need a strong connection in all areas of your house. This is why getting a wifi extender is a great investment for you and your family.
WiFi extenders are hugely popular because they are easy to configure, safe and inexpensive to buy. The majority of these devices can function both as an access point and as a router. This is a big advantage for people who have multiple devices which all require a stable, fast WiFi connection that covers a large area.
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(Source of feature image: Kirill Makarov: 11272798/ 123rf.com)