6 Best Wifi Extender Options [Buying Guide]

A WiFi extender, as the name suggests, extends or increases WiFi signals across your home. These devices are great for large homes or in case of having a home office. They are also known as signal boosters, wireless repeaters, and WiFi extenders.

Are you looking to buy?

I have outlined some best WiFi extenders along with their pros and cons. Let’s start…

Netgear Orbi RBK50:

Netgear Orbi is expensive.

But it can’t be denied that it is more than just a WiFi booster. The Orbi functions as both a router and a WiFi booster, and they work on the same WiFi network or SSID. No matter where you are in your home, you will stay connected, either to the extender or the main router. So you don’t need to struggle to find the closest WiFi source in your home.

Its basic packaging comes with the main router unit and one satellite. All you need to do is set it up and bingo—you will get an outstanding performance.

A unique feature of the Orbi is that it utilizes a dedicated 5 GHz Wi-Fi band for backhaul. It gives maximum speed on the networks being connected to other devices.

The Orbi is great for both speed and long-range coverage as well.

Advantages:

  • Easy to install
  • Powerful coverage
  • Long Range Speed
  • Single SSID for easy connection
  • Powerful performance than Wi-Fi extenders

Downsides:

  • Expensive
  • Modest feature for power users
  • Not fast in close range

Plume SuperPods:

Plume Super Pods comes with 2X GB LAN ports, parental controls, and cloud-based ad-blocking and cybersecurity. It means you won’t get only powerful coverage, but also get network-based cybersecurity.

The only downside is they are expensive. They are also bound by a subscription service to protect your network from cyber-threats, as well as prevent ads from appearing on the internet. Therefore, if extra software doesn’t bother you, you can go for this powerful WiFi extender.

Advantages:

  • Powerful Coverage
  • Easy to Set Up

Downsides:

  •       Expensive 

TP-Link RE350 AC1200:

TP-Link RE350 AC1200 is an attractive WiFi extender with its glossy white and grey exterior, aerials, and rounded shape. Regarding functionality, you can connect it to your existing network with its quick “plug and play” feature.

The lights on the front of the booster show that it’s connected to each WiFi band. In case of only one bling, you might have to press the WPS button again and it will connect to other networks. You can turn the lights off with its on-off and reset buttons.

This WiFi extender can be used to connect wired devices to the extended network, although it can’t convert the extender into an access point. It delivered an average of 83.6 MBPS—but it can be slower than other faster models.

Advantages:

  • Impressive Design
  • Outstanding Performance
  • Simple Setup
  • Reasonable Priced

Downsides:

  • Performance (5 GHz) could be better
  • Ideal for range than outright speed

Linksys AC1200:

The Linksys AC1200 comes with two adjustable antennas that can be replaced. The extender ensures great connectivity options with four Gigabit Ethernet ports. It is compatible with all devices and features up to 4.3X faster than Wireless-N technology. You can connect a stereo system or audio speakers to wirelessly stream your favorite music from a smart device or computer.

Advantages:

  • Well Priced
  • Audio Streaming Capability
  • Simple Setup

Downsides:

Bulky Design

D-Link DAP-1320 Wireless N300 Range Extender:

If you’re looking to enhance your WiFi network with basic affordable features, DAP-1320 is for you.

It is a basic device that lacks Ethernet ports, dual bands, and 802.11ac. The big positive is that it is great on speed and connectivity. In other words, it is a “no-frill” model that provides a fast, easy and cheap way to enhance your Wi-Fi network.

Advantages:

  • Affordable
  • Simple Setup

Downsides

  • No Ethernet
  • Not Being the Fastest Wi-Fi in its range

Motorola MX 1200:

Motorola is also known for making sophisticated networking devices. Besides, they are eminent chipset providers for many WiFi devices.

What’s so special in their MX 1200/

First of all, it is great for budget-conscious people. Beyond that, it has a sense of uniqueness compared to most boosters out in the market. For beginners, it can be a plug-in WiFi extender that can be plugged directly into an AC outlet. While this is a quick setup, it can be a disappointing thing to know there’s no monitoring app.

Talking about the design, MX1200 has a compact size with a two-prolonged plug that is only compatible with US-style outlets. It comes with 6 Led lights, a WPS button, a power button, and an Ethernet port. The extender is equipped with dual-band 2×2 stream setup and AC 1200 Wi-Fi Rating which is good enough to deliver a top speed of 1200 Mbps.

Advantages:

  • Affordable
  • Simple Setup

Downsides

  • No Mobile App for Set-Up
  • Might not be that Efficient for Long Distance

What to Look For While Shopping a Wi-Fi Extender?

So these are some best WiFi extenders to choose from. Each one has been listed with its pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision while shopping. However, it takes many things to consider when it comes to shopping for a WiFi extender. I have listed some key points below.

Cost:

A WiFi extender can be as cheap as $50 and as expensive as $500 and beyond. You need to decide what fits your budget. The price also determines the features of the Wi-Fi extender. A good extender will cost you around $200.

Plugging:

Are you looking for a plug-in extender? Or you want something that can be connected to your desktop? Some have larger designs that can be placed on a desk or shelf, just like a router. These larger units have better antenna placement and efficient hardware. Plug-in models are easy to install and less expensive.

Wi-Fi Efficiency:

The WiFi standard of your router determines the efficiency of your extender. If your router has the current 802.11ac standard, your extender should have the same range. The older 802.11n is slower and won’t go beyond one band, thereby hindering your WiFi speed. In this case, you need to choose the extender with the same capacity.

Placement:

Radio waves are shared by both routers and WiFi extenders to process the data back and forth over the internet connection. Make sure to place them close enough to get a strong signal, but far enough away to expand the range in the required areas.

Upgrade:

Not getting the speeds or coverage you’re looking for with your wireless router? It means you need to buy an upgraded version of your new router. New models ensure great range, and mesh router will “boost” the wireless coverage across your home.

Author Bio: Ayman Totounji is the CEO of Cynexlink.As an IT expert, he loves to write and educate people about cybersecurity, cloud computing and other areas related to Information Technology.

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