Remember those old days when we connected our desktop computers with a wire in order to have internet? Neither do we. Wi-Fi is perhaps the most widespread technology that makes our lives a lot easier and more convenient. Today we not only connect our desktop and laptop computers to our Wi-Fi routers but also our smartphones, smart TVs and IoT connected devices.
The plethora of devices that we connect also bring a lot of problems, especially if you own older router that is not designed for more than 5-6 gadgets. Wi-Fi routers also have limited coverage, specifically for bigger houses with a lot of walls in between. These issues are almost always a cause for panic and anger for owners around the world – imagine losing Wi-Fi signal while watching your favorite Netflix series.
Happily, there are solutions to these problems. And when we say solutions, we don’t mean paying hundreds of dollars for more powerful Wi-Fi routers. Instead, you can purchase a pretty inexpensive Wi-Fi extender and cover the areas in your residence that have never seen Wi-Fi before.
How Does a Wi-Fi Extender Work?
Wi-Fi extenders are a simple solution for improving the coverage in your home. They simply take the signal from the router and amplify it so that it reaches even further. They come in a variety of different types and sizes, but all serve pretty much the same purpose. Installing them on a half-way between the router and the area you want to cover should give you a boost in the Wi-Fi signal and consequently, your internet speed.
But, how do you choose the best Wi-Fi extender for your needs? To help you, we’ve compiled a Top 5 list of the best extenders on the market right now. There you can find solutions for smaller and bigger homes, and also budget and premium options.
Top-5 Wi-Fi Extenders in 2019
• Plume SuperPods
The first product on our list not only provides great Wi-Fi coverage but is also one of the safest around. The SuperPods are specifically designed to counter cyber-attacks, which becomes increasingly important to people around the world. That said, to use this feature you will need a subscription service, which adds to the cost of the already high asking price of the SuperPods. However, for that price, you really get the best solution. You get three extenders in the package which when used, should cover a very big house. They also support 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi bands, or for those who don’t know much about networking, all Wi-Fi bands, including the new 5GHz one. Plume SuperPods are also very small and can be plugged directly into a wall socket, and they even have parental controls. Oh, and they look cool, unlike some competitors with big antennas. For those that trust wires, these small pods come with LAN ports for an even better connection.
• Netgear AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender EX6150
If the Plume SuperPods are very expensive for you, then the Netgear EX6150 range extender might be a great choice for your needs. Sure, it doesn’t look as sleek as the SuperPods, but it is still a very powerful solution. Seriously, it seems like the Netgear takes the Wi-Fi signal in your home and upgrades it to a whole new level. Put it between your router and your room, and you will enjoy super-fast internet. The EX6150 also supports all Wi-Fi bands, including 2.4GHz and 5GHz, has one LAN port and even supports Wi-Fi protected setup. Even though it is less expensive than the Plume product, it is still pricey for one extender. Still, given the fact that it is very easy to use and connect to your router, we think that it’s one of the best extenders around and worth the price if you want the best possible internet connection.
• Linksys RE6500 AC1200 Dual-Band Wireless Range Extender
The first two products on this list are very small and inconspicuous, unlike the Lynksis RE6500, which seems like a mammoth in comparison. However, unlike its smaller competitors, this range extender is much more powerful. First of all, it can communicate with your router much further, and it amplifies the signal to a much higher degree. Being a Linksys product, it is a robust choice for users who want the best coverage and internet speeds. To help you with that, Linksys installed its proprietary Spot Finder Technology that helps you find the best spot for the extender. As with most of its competitors, it supports 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi bands, but unlike them, it has four Ethernet ports. It can also stream music to an audio device via an audio jack, which is an interesting choice.
• D-Link DAP-1320 Wireless N300 Range Extender
If you want better Wi-Fi coverage in your home, but you don’t plan on spending a lot of money, the D-Link DAP-1320 might be a great choice. Sure, it won’t have the same power as other extenders, but for smaller and midsize condos it will do just fine. Its biggest downside is that it doesn’t support the newest 5GHz Wi-Fi bands, but most users won’t know the difference. Despite the lower price, the DAP-1320 is well-built, small and easy to use. Just plug it into a wall socket, connect it to your router, and enjoy better Wi-Fi coverage.
• TP-Link RE350 AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender
The last product on this list is also on the budget end of the spectrum, but not as cheap as the D-Link. Still, you really get what you pay for here, including 802.11ac 5GHz and 2.4GHz coverage, one Ethernet port, Wi-Fi protected access, and even LEDs that will help you position the extender in a better spot. That said, it is not nearly as powerful as the first three solutions on this list, so keep that in mind.
Wi-Fi extenders can really improve the wireless signal in your house, but there are differences between all the models available. Just be sure that you choose one according to your needs – the cheaper models may offer some extending capabilities, but they are still not the best choice for larger houses. On the other hand, why paying a lot for powerful extender if you live in a small house?