The internet has quickly gone from novelty to necessity. Homes and businesses alike depend on reliable internet access. But there’s more to a fast and stable connection than a solid internet package. Wireless connections are the most common point of failure for internet enabled devices.
A solid WiFi extender can solve most of these connectivity problems. In this list we’ll examine options for the best WiFi extender. The primary focus is price, ease of use and reliability.
8. Netgear AC1200
The Netgear AC1200 is something of a mixed bag. It earns a place among the best WiFi extender options for good reason. It’s one of the easiest options for less technical people. There’s not even much need to worry about power cables or the like. One simply plugs it directly into a power outlet.
But that’s also where some of the issues become clear. An extender will ideally sit midway between two points. But the AC1200 insists on behavior closer to that of a simple router. Options for ethernet cables are a great feature. But requiring it will limit an extender’s usefulness. It’s still a good option under some circumstances. But for the most part the other extenders come out ahead.
7. D-Link DAP-1520
The D-Link DAP-1520 combines economic effectiveness with an unobtrusive design. The end result makes some of the necessary concessions quite clear. For example, anyone who depends on low latency levels will want to consider other options. The 1520 sells for as low as $19 for good reason.
The extender is primarily for people who want a quick and easy solution to network outages. It features a single button connection wizard. And the plug in wall design ensures that less technical people won’t feel intimidated. This can create the perfect gift for family who need some extra help. But one should keep in mind that it’s a very basic device. That said, it’s one of the best WiFi extender choices when one needs to keep costs low.
6. Linksys RE6700 AC1200
Plugin extenders have a difficult time reaching a proper balance between aesthetics and power. The Linksys RE6700 is a rare example of this working out. It features an expected 867 Mbps speed over both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Both are seamlessly tied together using crossband technology. And the price can run as low as $69.99.
The overall performance might not make it a top contender for pure power. But that performance is quite impressive for a smaller form factor. Additionally it’s one of the few plugin extenders that has a passthrough socket for other electrical devices. While a small touch, it’s always nice to regain a normally blocked electrical socket.
5. TP-Link AC1750
The TP-Link AC1750 is a plugin extender which inches into standalone level power. That power isn’t subtle either. The unit features some very prominent antenna. It delivers a full 1,300Mbps on the 5 GHz range. And it can be found priced as low as $59.99.
The low price point and high power make it a solid option for best WiFi extender. And it nearly reaches a point where it’d be the ideal choice for either home or office. The unit’s bulky form factor is the only real dealbreaker for some homes. It’s still a more stylish solution than many plugin extenders. But while the antenna deliver a lot of power they also draw people’s eyes to it.
4. Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2200
The Netgear Nighthawk X4 AC2200 offers a nice compromise between power and price. It’s a good choice for best WiFi extender which doesn’t require much compromise. Plug in extenders tend to be somewhat underpowered. But the Nighthawk is able to deliver some solid results. In fact, it can reach up to 1,733Mbps on the 5 GHz band.
The high speed doesn’t come without cost though. The Nighthawk is one of the bulkier plugin extenders. Even with the internal antenna it will stand out in most settings. However, it still offers the user friendliness people expect from plugin extenders. One can usually set it up in mere minutes. Additionally, it can usually be found at a reasonable mid-range price of around $138.
3. Amped Wireless Titan-EX AC1900
The Amped Wireless Titan-EX AC1900 ranks somewhat lower due to overall cost. At $199 it’s among the more expensive of the best WiFi extender options. However, sometimes a situation puts far more emphasis on performance than cost. This is particularly true for offices which need to spend money to make money.
The Titan-EX is one of the more costly options for good reason. It’s among the fastest extenders one can find. Under ideal conditions it can reach speeds up to 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band. The larger size and overall cost make it more appropriate for use in an office. But when one needs power the Titan-EX can deliver.
2. D-Link DAP-1650
The D-Link DAP-1650 is a powerful extender which comes in a stylish package. The appearance is in line with some higher quality speaker systems. As a result it can fit unobtrusively into a media center to increase streaming performance.
The high quality design houses some impressive hardware. The 1,200Mbps throughput can handle anything the average household throws at it. And the visual design is no accident. Many of the software functions help it fit into multimedia frameworks. For example, it can even function as a standalone media server. Finally, one can often find it at a reasonable average cost of around $66.
1. TP-Link AC1200
The TP-Link AC1200 comes out ahead in large part due to ease of use. There aren’t even any wires to manage with this extender. Instead one simply needs to plug it into an available electrical outlet. And the clean form factor ensures that it can fit into any room’s aesthetic. These two factors make it the perfect extender to help out less technically minded friends and family.
But ease of use doesn’t imply lack of power. The dual band design ensures that the extender won’t cause any additional interference. One can use it as a totally wireless device. But it also supports a direct ethernet connection.
In conclusion one can see that WiFi extenders have come a long way. Even fairly inexpensive models can offer acceptable performance. And the top of the line can still be had at under $200. But there’s always new developments on the horizon. Anyone trying these products should weigh in on where they feel it ranks among the best WiFi extender options.