We’re living in a connected world. And that means we all know the pain of walking two steps to the left, only to tumble smartphone-first into a WiFi dead zone. It’s a buffering nightmare. Luckily, we’re still living in a connected world. And that means that tech companies not only understand our pain but have us covered. With lots of solutions, in fact. Our rescuers go by the names of WiFi range extenders, repeaters, signal boosters, and access points to help increase your WiFi signal range.
These handy little devices, many of which install in under a minute, promise to extend your router range to cover your whole home. Most offer speeds of up to 300Mbps – the average home internet speed is around 55Mbps in the U.S., according to Ookla, so at 300Mbps, we’re talking almost 6x average speeds – and a variety of protocols, security, and other WiFi options. Do note that, despite the “boost” in their name, these miracle-workers can’t actually boost your Internet speeds. Rather, they extend your router range, giving you wireless access in areas that would otherwise be dead zones.
We reviewed dozens of WiFi range extenders to identify the best of the best. We looked at WiFi extenders that will boost your signal to make sure you’re getting the most of your internet service, and those that rebroadcast that signal from the edge of its range to, potentially double it. We found the extenders that plug discreetly into your wall, and the mesh systems that will offer you an entire house coverage with an uninterrupted signal no matter where you go.
From the beginning of our research, the TaoTronics Mesh WiFi Router Extender stood out among its peers. With the impressive range and versatility of connection options, it’s no wonder it was our top pick.
The 5 Top-Rated WiFi Range Extenders
|Best WiFi Range Extender Overall||TaoTronics Mesh WiFi Router Extender||4.7|
|Best WiFi Range Extender Wall Plugin||TP Link AV500 Wi Fi Range Extender||4.2|
|Best Budget WiFi Range Extender||TP-Link AC750 WiFi Extender RE220||3.9|
|Best WiFi Range Extender with Ethernet Port||NETGEAR Orbi Home AC3000 Tri Band Home Network with Router & Satellite Extender||4.4|
|Best Long Range WiFi Range Extender||GALAWAY G1208 WiFi Extender Wireless Booster WiFi Signal Booster||4.7|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best WiFi Range Extender Overall: TaoTronics Mesh WiFi Router Extender
The TaoTronics Mesh WiFi Router Extender comes with access to the free TT Mesh app that will offer easy network set up in as little as 10 minutes and connect to all your devices, reaching further than you’ve ever had from a router extender. The upgrade to your router is well worth the extra time spent – you’ll experience the full capability of the internet service you’re paying for, without the standard router bogging down your signal and slowing down your connection speeds.
The wired options are just as quality with this extender, as well, due to the 4 gigabit wired ethernet port that will deliver an even faster connection to your high-speed devices like your gaming consoles.
Over 200 customer reviews on Amazon have earned this WiFi router extender an overall rating of 4.7 stars – and that’s plenty enough to convince us. Give a look at those reviews and we think you will be, too.
TaoTronics Mesh WiFi Router Extender Key Features:
- Coverage up to 5,000 sq ft
- Connect up to 200 devices
- USB 3.0 port
Best WiFi Range Extender Wall Plugin: TP Link AV500 Wi Fi Range Extender
Here’s a genius idea: Use your existing powerline adapters to boost the WiFi signal throughout your home. That’s exactly the M.O. of TP Link AV500 Wi Fi Range Extender, which requires some (relatively easy) setup via Ethernet connections, before extending your wireless signal to all those hard-to-reach areas of your home. We love that, even at this low price point, the package includes two range extenders for whole-home coverage.
Having over 15,000 customer reviews on Amazon is more than enough to build your confidence in the accuracy of a product’s rating, and with an overall rating of 4.2 stars, that fact is nothing but positive for this plugin.
TP Link AV500 Wi Fi Range Extender Key Features:
- Strong 2.4GHz connection with speeds up to 300Mbps and one-touch 128-bit AES encryption
- Compact design plugs in without blocking other outlets
- QoS protocols route the most important WiFi traffic first, and therefore increase your overall network efficiency
- Free lifetime support
Best Budget WiFi Range Extender: TP-Link AC750 WiFi Extender RE220
TP-Link AC750 WiFi Extender RE220 is a wall plug-in device that will allow you to boost your router’s strength and distance to prevent a lag or disconnect. It will create an OneMesh network so you can move from room to another without the disconnect and reconnect problems you may otherwise encounter. The set up for this range booster is as easy as pie; it even has a smart indicator light to help you locate an optimal placement location. Combine this convenience with the two tabs, and you’re ready to connect.
The numbers don’t lie and for this extender, you’re definitely going to appreciate that fact. It has a respectable overall rating of 3.9 stars, given by over 28,000 customer reviews on Amazon. But the number that makes it especially tempting is the cost: you can pick this up for right around $30.
TP-Link AC750 WiFi Extender RE220 Key Features:
- Includes Ethernet port for wired connections
- 2 models available
- 2-year warranty
Best WiFi Range Extender with Ethernet Port: NETGEAR Orbi Home AC3000 Tri Band Home Network with Router & Satellite Extender
Oh hi, NETGEAR. That’s right, the networking company is back with another great range extender: the NETGEAR Orbi Home AC3000 Tri Band Home Network with Router & Satellite Extender. This tri-band WiFi system is one of the easiest (if not the cheapest) ways to outfit your entire home with lightning-fast WiFi in every corner. The system covers up to 5,000 square feet and eliminates the need for any additional WiFi boosters or extenders: it’s one and done, and then you’re off to binge-watch your favorite streaming show.
Sitting with nearly 10,000 customer reviews on Amazon, this WiFi range extender has a solid overall rating of 4.4 stars. This means that you’re likely to appreciate the consistent quality and performance as well as any of the other thousands of satisfied customers.
NETGEAR Orbi Home AC3000 Tri Band Home Network with Router & Satellite Extender Key Features:
- Tri-band WiFi means your internet runs at maximum speed, no matter how many devices you connect
- Cover up to 5,000 square feet, with no need for additional extenders or boosters
- Robust options include guest WiFi networks, Amazon Echo/Alexa controls, and more
Best Long Range WiFi Range Extender: GALAWAY G1208 WiFi Extender Wireless Booster WiFi Signal Booster
The GALAWAY G1208 WiFi Extender Wireless Booster WiFi Signal Booster is an excellent option to make sure you’re getting the signal strength you need, even in your normally dead coverage areas. Its compact design will allow you to put it wherever it is most useful without the bother of a poor aesthetic or the excess cables. You’ll want to place the booster in just the right location to make sure you’re getting the most efficient result, though. Placing it too far or too close to the router won’t be as effective as directly in the middle of the distance between your desired coverage area and your router.
Over 250 customer reviews on Amazon have given this range extender an impressive overall rating of 4.7 stars. With 95% of customers leaving a positive review, it’s a statistical probability that you, too, would be a satisfied customer.
GALAWAY G1208 WiFi Extender Wireless Booster WiFi Signal Booster Key Features:
- Works with WiFi or wireless adapter
- Wall-mounted design
- 4 external antennas
Who Should Buy a WiFi Range Extender
If your router is in an inconvenient place in your home, then you may need a WiFi range extender to make sure you’re getting enough of a signal where you need it. If your home has particularly robust construction – like a home with concrete walls in a finished basement, for example, then giving the signal from your router a bit of a boost may be the biggest improvement you can give your home office and entertainment system. For those who’ve recently converted a space in your home, then you may find your existing system doesn’t suffice for the equipment you’ve placed further away from your router.
Also consider that when you’re remodeling, relocating, and finishing parts of your home (like a basement), you may be upgrading your entertainment system and that will often come with a need for a stronger signal to support your more resource-intensive equipment. After all, your HD TV won’t matter at all if your streaming connection can’t support the framerate you want. Bear in mind that your home’s size will also have a direct impact on how strong a signal and how long a range you’ll need in your WiFi. Larger houses or homes with a stringent placement of your router will inevitably need a range extender.
Important Features to Consider
A WiFi range extender should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a WiFi range extender:
- Plug and play. If you’re just looking to get the signal from your router into your bedroom so that you can stream a movie as you fall asleep, you may appreciate the ease of a plug and go. And you absolutely won’t find a more cost-efficient method to get that extra push for your WiFi.
- Mesh network. If you’re looking for the best performance from your internet, then you may want to check out a mesh WiFi system. You can kind of create your own “mesh” system with a series of extenders and routers, but by purchasing a mesh system, you’re ensuring setup goes smoothly. These will offer a smooth transition by operating under a single WiFi network.
- Placement. Your signal is only as good as your WiFi router and extender placement. If you put it too close or too far, then you won’t be getting the most of your purchase. For this reason, some extenders will come with a location indicator that will make sure you know exactly where it will be the most effective.
- Repeater. A WiFi repeater will essentially have two routers in one. The first router receives the signal from your internet service provider and then transfers the signal to the second router, which transmits a boosted signal. It’s the same signal, but it’s rebroadcasted so it reaches further. You can find seamless repeaters, but the most common downfall of a WiFi repeater is that your devices will disconnect briefly while it connects to the next router.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a WiFi range extender and how does it work?
A WiFi range extender is a device that will take the signal for your internet’s WiFi and boost it so that it reaches further and occasionally offers a more stable, faster connection. There are a few different methods of extending the signal – boosting, repeating, and setting up a mesh network. You’ll have the most effective and convenient range with a mesh system, that will allow you to connect to a single network, despite there being multiple extending satellites, and movement from one satellite to another is completely seamless. They are a bit pricier, but you get what you pay for. You can create your own mesh system with a series of extenders that will boost your signal, (and save some cash) but that will, essentially, create multiple networks and if your device moves from one to another, there will be some disconnect. The same will happen for a repeater, but the repeater will create a longer range.
How far can a WiFi extender reach?
How far your WiFi extender can reach is, naturally, dependant on the extender you purchase. You may not be able to expect your signal boosts into the basement from the attic with a small plug-in extender, but you may be able to with another more robust booster. You can expect roughly 150 square feet from your standard router, and with the aid of the right extender, you can usually get that range up to 2,500 square feet without too much difficulty in setup.
Does a WiFi extender slow down internet?
A WiFi extender won’t slow down your internet. – It won’t speed it up, either, though. The idea is, rather, to boost the signal from your internet provider to make sure you’re getting the most of the signal you’re buying. That means that if you cheap out on your internet plan, you can’t fix it with a WiFi extender. However, you will still get the most out of it by using one. Unfortunately, if you’re experiencing a poor signal from the onset, the only option you really have is to make the best of what you have – you may need to search for a better service provider.
If your extender is efficient enough, and you’re noticing lagged performance, you may want to check to see just how many devices are connected. You may find other devices are connecting and hogging your resources. (Or hey, maybe your neighbors are! Set a password on your router.)
What is the difference between a WiFi repeater and a WiFi extender?
In the simplest terms, the biggest difference is that WiFi extenders just make sure your signal is reaching it’s fullest potential. WiFi repeaters will receive your connection and rebroadcast the signal with a new network connection so as to reach further. Think of a repeater as a shortstop in baseball. Your internet provider sends a signal – that’s like the batter hitting the ball into the field. The shortstop catches the ball and then throws it, with a new source of momentum, to the next player. It can go further this way, but bear in mind that there will be some break in between throws where the ball isn’t moving. That is, your devices may experience a disconnect when it reaches the new network. Extenders, in the baseball analogy, are more like optimal conditions – wind in the right direction, a perfect throw, that kind of thing. You can reach further with a repeater but you may not appreciate the disconnects.
Other WiFi Range Extenders We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other WiFi range extenders. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best WiFi range extenders list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your home or office. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Mesh Range Extenders
This full mesh system is a setup that will provide fast and reliable Wi-Fi coverage for your 4K streaming, gaming, and so much more.
- Dual-band connectivity speeds of 867 and 400 Mbps
- Covers up to 4,500 sq ft
- 3 packaging and setup options
You’ll love that this mesh system is conveniently synced. Its discreet design means you won’t have to deal with any power cables.
- Covers up to 5,000 sq ft
- Fast 3-step setup
- 5-pack system
If you’re unhappy with your signal strength in your home, even just a few spotty parts, then you may want to upgrade with this full mesh system setup.
- Set up in under 10 minutes
- 6-bedroom coverage
- 2 packaging options
Billed as a gamer’s range extender, this WiFi range extender boasts fast speeds of up to 1900Mbps (that’s 1.9Gbps!), meaning this extender is also an excellent choice for streaming. (Especially in households where you’re streaming more than one program at a time.)
- Extreme dual-band WiFi with speeds up to 1.9Gbps (1900Mbps)
- 5 Gigabit ports – connect your wired devices (game consoles, smart TVs, etc.)
- USB 3.0 = faster access (up to 10x) to your stored media
For larger homes that require a strong signal from even longer ranges, consider that this extender can provide a signal for up to 3,500 square feet.
- 3-year warranty
- Connect up to 60 devices
- 3 style and packaging options
Plug-In WiFi Range Extenders
This WiFi range extender offers an overall range of 1,200 ft of coverage for your home.
- Connect up to 20 devices
- Universal compatibility
- 2-years warranty
This range extender is perfect to make sure your home has fewer (or no) dead zones that are untouched by your WiFi signal.
- Coverage up to 100 meters (~330ft)
- Portable, plug and play
- Speed up to 300Mbps
This device works with any standard WiFi router, and uses external antennas to ensure optimal performance. Like similar devices, the wall-plug design saves space and makes it easy to install anywhere you have an outlet.
- Universal compatibility extends wireless coverage to any WiFi-enabled device
- Easy to install, with no CD required
- Find the best location (= optimal WiFi coverage), thanks to built-in smart LED indicators
Just plug the Powerline 1000 Essentials Edition in where it’s needed, and Homeplug AV2 support tech will send a strong, super-fast (up to 1Gbps!) signal blazing through your home or office.
- Uses your existing electrical wiring to deliver blazing fast speeds up to 1000Mbps (1Gbps) – perfect for 4K HD streaming and lag-free gaming
- Tap into your electrical lines for fast connections
- Build your coverage area by connecting multiple adapters
Designed for standard home or office use, the NETGEAR WiFi Range Extender N300 offers speeds of up to 300Mbps. We love that’s it’s super portable – you need only plug it in, and it’s ready to boost your range – this tiny repeater can help knock out the WiFi dead-spots in your home. (Old plaster walls don’t play very nice with new tech, do they?)
- Integrates with 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz wireless router or gateway
- Easy plug-in design for anywhere portability
- Small enough to fit in a briefcase, purse, or backpack
Have WiFi dead zones in your home, office, or warehouse? It’s the MSRM US 300 to the rescue! Simply install this handy device half-way between your wireless router and signal trouble spot, and you’ll see an instant improvement. With proper placement, you can effectively double the operating radius of your existing wireless network.
- Extends your range with speeds up to 300Mbps
- Long-range repeater works with 11b/g/n, 2.4 GHz technology
- Quick & easy installation via the user-friendly wizard setup
Who doesn’t love a combo device? TP Link’s AC750 offers a combination WiFi range extender and smart plug, meaning once it’s installed, you can not only use your smartphone in your previously-dead-zone backyard, but you can also use your now-connected smartphone from the backyard, to turn off the light that’s connected to your new smart plug.
- Dual-band WiFi delivers speeds up to 300Mbps on 2.4GHz + 433Mbps on 5GHz
- Integrated smart plug (connects to the Kasa app) delivers up to 15A of power to connected devices
- Voice control available via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
If you need a wider range from your WiFi router, this plugin extender can provide a strong signal for up to 1,500 sq ft in your home.
- Connects to up to 25 devices
- Universal compatibility
- 1.5Gbps Speed
The compact size and four external antennas will allow you to boost the signal strength of your WiFi without the bother of extra wires or the aesthetic concerns that often come with larger extenders.
- Easy setup from any smart device
- 1200Mbps High Transmission rate
- 4 external antennas
Other WiFi Range Extenders
You’ll be able to extend your wireless signal to provide WiFi for up to 1,292 square feet surrounding the plug with this WiFi range booster.
- 1-button easy setup
- Antennas rotate; upper 270-degrees, lower 180-degrees
- Universal compatibility
If you’re looking for champagne functionality on a beer budget, have a gander at Almond, a touchscreen WiFi router AND range extender AND access point AND wireless bridge. (Say that three times fast.) As its name implies, this is a touchscreen router, which means that you can set up and tweak your settings via the intuitive touchscreen – no clunky computer setup required.
- Touchscreen Wizard cuts setup to just 3 minutes
- Compatible with all 802.11b/g/n networks, offering speeds up to 300Mbps and features including port-forwarding, firewall, DMZ, and UPnP
- Talks to Amazon Alexa: Control your WiFi-connected smart devices via voice commands
Billed as attic-to-basement technology, this handy device delivers a fast signal to every nook and cranny of your home. What’s more, it has other awesome features, like family WiFi controls that allow you to see what devices are connected, prioritize devices, and even pause your kids’ internet usage when it’s time for dinner.
- Replaces your current router to integrate with your modem, eliminating WiFi dead zones and slow spots
- Built-in Network Assist technology selects the clearest channel and fastest band, so you’re always on the fastest connection possible
- Use 1 WiFi point for a 500-1,500 square-foot home, 2 for 1500-3000 square-feet, and 3 for 3000-4500 square-feet.
When you need maximum performance, even outside, the Ubiquiti Networks Unifi Access Point delivers with a weatherproof design and fast speeds. This sweet little access point is most likely compatible with your existing network tech but also works in high-tech extras like 3×3 MIMO technology and dual-band antennas (in triplicate!) to deliver the fastest, strongest signal possible.
- Uses 3 dual-band antennas of 3 dBi each, to deliver the strongest signal throughout your home
- 11 a/b/g/n/ac tech works with your existing network
- Power consumption of just 9W
This Ubiquiti wireless access point is a pretty sweet little device, capable of handling heavy use in multi-user areas, like an office or restaurant. It’s fast, it’s compatible with what you already have and, best of all, it employs self-maintaining tech to automatically troubleshoot and fix network problems.
- 11 b/g/n, 2×2 MIMO WiFi Access Point with 2 internal antennas at 3 dB each
- 4 Ghz 300Mbps transmission rate with open WRT
- Watchdog Technology Chipset enables the system to auto-recover from problems, auto-maintain, auto-optimize, and complete an intelligent restart
If you’re looking for an immense improvement in your WiFi range and signal strength, then you may want to check out this router range extender.
- 1-year warranty
- 4 LAN ports
- 1200Mbps Wi-Fi speeds